Birth control has long-term health benefits
Aside from reducing the risk of unwanted pregnancies, birth control has a number of health benefits. Women do not always seek out birth control as a contraceptive. Birth control is also used to regulate menstrual cycles, relieve symptoms of PMS, and help reduce the risks of uterine cancer and ovarian cysts.
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Women take birth control for several different reasons. While birth control is effective in pregnancy prevention, there are also many health benefits. Many women use it to regulate their menstrual cycle and reduce symptoms associated with PMS. Birth control is effective in preventing iron deficiency (anemia), bone thinning, acne, ovarian cancers, cysts, and serious infections in the uterus and fallopian tubes.  In many countries, including the United States, women must consult a doctor or OB/GYN first before getting a birth control prescription. Many women are without health insurance, and visiting a specialist by paying out of pocket is not always affordable or convenient. By making birth control available over the counter, women would not only have more choices in preventing pregnancy, but for their overall health as well.
While it is proven that there are health benefits associated with birth control, there are also many side effects. There are a number of birth control brands that can be prescribed, but some brands are not well suited for certain women based off of their medical history. It would be irresponsible to make birth control available without the consultation of a doctor first. Birth control can come with side effects, such as headaches, vomiting, weight gain, and bleeding in between periods. There are also risk factors for women who are over the age of 35, have a history of cancer, high blood pressure, heart attacks, and blood clotting. Birth control is also risky for women who smoke. Because of these factors, it is important to consult a physician before taking any brand of birth control, no matter how healthy an individual may be. While it would be a woman’s responsibility to know their medical history before taking birth control, some women may be unaware of possible health issues, or may be uneducated on how birth control may be risky for them. Making birth control available over the counter may lead to more health problems for women, and in some cases, can be very dangerous.