Pure Pedantry

Chewable Birth Control?

i-2cfda11097612a97d8df0b9e75d5f7ba-200.jpgGod, what is with me today and women’s health? You would think I had girls on the brain.

I happened across this the other day, and it is simply the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. They are now selling chewable mint-flavored birth control.

Perhaps, the women out there can chime in on this, but is there any reason you would want your birth control to be chewable? Would you want your birth control to in any way resemble Flintstones vitamins?

It’s kind of stupid too because they are advertising this for the woman on the go, but if you chew it you have to drink a glass of water right after:

Sometimes it’s hard to establish a routine — the same time is just not the same every day. Femcon Fe offers an option for women with busy lives – spearmint-flavored pills that can be swallowed or chewed.* Now you can take your pill at the same time everyday, anywhere you happen to be. Femcon Fe is effective and reliable whether swallowed or chewed.*

*Immediately followed by a full glass (8 oz.) of liquid.

And I love the mint part too. I guess it is because if your breath is minty fresh you will have a greater chance of actually needing birth control.

Also, check out the commercial:

Why must all drug commercials involve some ridiculous activity like kick-boxing?


  1. #1 fjord_penguin
    June 4, 2007

    This is real? When I saw the commercial a few weeks back, I assumed it was a skit on a comedy show. It is officially the dumbest gimmick I’ve ever seen. I’ve been taking the pill for eleven years, and they’re so small, it’s no problem to dry swallow them in a pinch.

  2. #2 speedwell
    June 4, 2007

    Doesn’t it take longer to chew than to swallow? Gee.

  3. #3 Julia
    June 4, 2007

    Some people just have trouble swallowing pills.

    No one laughed or seemed outraged when my elderly father was prescribed as many as possible of his medications in either liquid or chewable form. Sadly, some of them were available only in pill-swallow form because of the extra cost of producing a chewable. I imagine that, to pay for the special form of the prescription, this manufacturer has to reach for a wider market for the product and so doesn’t stress its use for the small number of people who really need the chewable. The result is an ad that may seem silly to those who have no need for the product.

    But women who, for either physical or psychological reasons, may have difficulty with swallowing even small pills surely deserve the option of oral birth control they can actually use. And if one chews a pill, it would be nice for it to have a pleasant taste. I say good for the manufacturer who is trying to make the chewables available. I only wish more medicines could be in that form.

  4. #4 Jake Young
    June 4, 2007


    You know I hadn’t thought of that. I guess there is probably a core market for people who have trouble swallowing. And I suspect that though the existing prescription are technically “chewable,” they probably don’t taste very good.

    What puzzles me about it is that they advertising seems to target younger career women. They seem to be emphasizing the time saving aspect, not the “you might have trouble swallowing aspects.”

  5. #5 Molkien
    June 4, 2007

    My girlfriend had gone through several brands of birth control, and did not have much luck with many of them. She finally found one a while back that didn’t have any ill side effects. But after six months the company dropped the pill, and only offered the brand in chewable form. We were both skeptical at first, but her gynecologist recommended she try it. it was supposedly identical aside from being chewable, but she started experiencing side effects within a few weeks. She had to stop taking it, and has not since been able to find a suitable replacement. I can understand perhaps some women unable to swallow a pill for various reasons, but it upset her that they discontinued the pill form in favor of the chewable version.

    Perhaps her side effects were just as much psychological as they were physical. I know she was very skeptical of the chewable version despite assurances from her gynecologist.

  6. #6 renice
    June 5, 2007

    Molkien, your gf might want to find a pharmacist who will compound hormones free of many of the additives that pharmaceutical companies use. I was getting mine compounded in an easily swallowed gel form.

  7. #7 caia
    June 5, 2007

    A chewable pill might be more convenient, if you didn’t have to take it with a glass of water. As it is, it sounds like it’s only helpful for women who have trouble swallowing pills.

    When I saw it was mint-flavored, I was actually impressed, thinking it might be a pill that doesn’t come in a Hi, I’m Birth Control case. Because face it, it’s not that you can’t take a pill most places, it’s that the pack makes it really obvious what you’re taking. Not that one should be ashamed, but it’s really nobody’s business. If it came in a little tin like real mints, now that would be a step forward.

    Although, I guess they don’t want you confusing them for mints. And it’d be awkward if someone asked you for one.

    But, that might be a reason a chewable pill might be more discreet – you could take it in a bathroom stall, or in your cubicle or office, and then go get water from a fountain or in the break room, and not have to gulp a pill in front of others. If you were good, you could pop it out in your pocket, or put it in a different pill case. And then no one would have to know you were taking anything at all eating a mint + glass of water =/ medication, to most people.

  8. #8 Emma
    June 5, 2007

    I have trouble swallowing pills, so it’s good to have this option available for me. They make Tylenol in chewable form now (they’re big and mint flavored and the commercial talks about how many headaches people are having in America RIGHT NOW) and I can chew it up without any water at all, although it’s good to follow it with some water because it’s not the best-tasting thing in the world.
    I agree with Caia on the discreet factor of this product. That’s a big bonus, too.

  9. #9 JENNY
    June 14, 2007

    I was skeptical at first at a chewable OC but i enjoyed the commercial. After being at the docs, it made sense to me. I am in my late 20s and i am always on the go and i carry my birthcontol with me everywhere cos i am never at the same place same time everyday. So when giving an option to have that convenience and fliexibility to chew it when i remember to take it- it helps me in taking and it doesnt get missed. So how can that be a gimmick? anything that helps me is a plus and its minty and so easy to pop in your mouth and chew. Should try some!

  10. #10 Christine
    June 25, 2007

    I have a huge problem swallowing even the tiniest of pills which always get stuck in a small pocket in my throat and will not go down with water or swallowing. When I heard of this new chewable birth control I figured I’d give it a try – the Nuvaring that I am currently on is high dose and more chance of side effects. For people out there like me, I think it is wonderful to have this option and would love to have more medicine in either chewable or liquid form.

  11. #11 LNJ
    February 27, 2008

    My ob recommended these to me because they are also a lot easier on your stomach. I am one of those women who have had a lot of issues with BC because the pills would upset my stomach. So far, so good.

  12. #12 Pamela Smith
    July 7, 2008

    Why haven’t any of these rocket scientists, who throw millions away each year on so called research, come up with a birth control for cats? There are so many feral cats, and thier everywhere. I’m wondering, if anyone will ever have a breakthrough of this sort, which (he or she) could make millions on. There are so many people that would back this too. I’m wondering how far off in the future, or if ever, this will happen.

  13. #13 Jane
    June 28, 2009

    You need to grow a freaking brain then.
    It’s common knowledge that pills are hard to swallow for many people, and when you are forced to do it every day it is no fun.

    Why don’t you just fuck right off as it’s none of your concern anyway. I found this page whilst looking for one, because I as a female am expected to be the one to swallow pills everyday which have shitty and dangerous side effects, and find it hard to swallow pills, and here I find you sitting mocking women over it.
    If they taste of nothing or taste bad, it does not take a genius to realise why they would have flavouring in them

  14. #14 Jane
    June 28, 2009

    oh yeah and it’s pretty obvious that at least ‘jenny’ is someone lying and just blatantly trying to sell these. So ignore that. We are not pathetic, some people just prefer different forms of medication, no big deal. I just noticed.. as someone in the medical profession you really ought to have known this, and maybe you shouldn’t mock people for it, and try finding some common sense. I find it hard to believe someone lacking such basic knowledge could possibly be training for such a job.

  15. #15 Tina
    October 15, 2010

    I have serious trouble swallowing pills…and not because I’m elderly or have health issues. If I have to take a pill everyday chewable is a must…otherwise birth control isn’t an option for me. I seriously can’t swallow pills reliably…there are many times when I have tried to take Tylenol or Advil or even Midol because of headaches or cramps, and haven’t been able to do it…so don’t bash women who can’t swallow pills.

  16. #16 Marissa
    April 24, 2012

    I have a horrible time swallowing pills. Absolutely horrible gag reflex. It goes so far that I cannot even swallow thicker liquid medicines. I’m so glad they have chewable birth control. I have to take 8 chewable baby aspirin when I get sick. Orange flavored, thank you very much. I’m 24 and have always had this problem. I’m glad that someone realized this and made this chewable. Can’t hurt that it doesn’t taste disgusting. I rather take offense to your attitude towards chewable medication, although I”m sure that after reading other’s comments you’re feeling rather embarrassed so I’ll stop there.

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