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From the pill and patch to the ring and injection, you can likely find a birth control option that fits your needs.

But there’s one other type of contraception you likely haven’t heard of: chewable birth control.

If you hate swallowing a pill every day, chewable birth control might be right for you. But is it effective and available? Learn the basics of this little-discussed form of contraception.

Femcon Fe was the first chewable birth control approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2003. The medication was designed specifically for people who want to take an oral contraceptive but don’t like standard birth control pills.

It’s important to note that Femcon Fe is now discontinued. However, it wasn’t discontinued for reasons concerning safety or effectiveness.

“There’s a certain group of people who don’t swallow pills,” says Jill Edwardson, MD, MPH, the director of the Kenneth J. Ryan residency program in abortion and family planning and an assistant professor of gynecology and obstetrics at Johns Hopkins Medicine.

Chewable birth control was also intended for the many people who forget to take their pills every day at the same time.

“A third to half… miss their pills,” says Shaalini Ramanadhan, MD, a fellow in the family planning and OB-GYN generalist division of Oregon Health & Science University School of Medicine.

In theory, you may find it easier to tuck your chewable birth control pack in your wallet. Whether you forget to take your pill on time or are on the go and want to keep your medication discreet, you can pop a chewable birth control pill wherever you are, Ramanadhan explains.

Edwardson says that chewable birth control pills come in many formulations from a number of brands.

A few examples of commonly prescribed chewable birth control pills are:

  • Generess Fe
  • Minastrin 24 Fe
  • Wymzya Fe
  • Zenchent Fe
  • Kaitlib Fe
  • Layolis Fe

According to Edwardson, all types of chewable contraceptives are combination birth control. That means they contain both ethinyl estradiol, the synthetic form of estrogen, and progestin norethindrone, the synthetic form of progesterone.

Progestin prevents pregnancy by suppressing ovulation. Estradiol is added mainly to lower the risk of unpredictable and breakthrough bleeding, Ramanadhan explains.

While standard birth control pills have progestin-only formulations, “progestin-only pills aren’t marketed as chewable,” says Jessica Kiley, MD, MPH, the chief of general obstetrics and gynecology at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine.

The major difference between various types of chewable birth control pills is simply the level of estradiol and progestin they contain, she adds.

The original chewable birth control pill, Femcon Fe, is discontinued. However, you can still buy many other chewable birth control pills from other brands. They all have relatively similar formulas, Ramanadhan says.

Chewable birth control has the same effectiveness and benefits as other combination birth control pills, Edwardson says.

Some people find that combination birth control may result in:

Another upside to chewable birth control: You can stop taking it any time you want. With some other methods, like birth control implants, you have to visit your doctor to have the device removed.

Although combined birth control may help with some types of migraine, don’t use it if you have migraine with aura. Read more about the risks of taking birth control if you also have migraine with aura here.

Chewable birth control carries the same side effects as other combination birth control pills, Edwardson says. Most are mild and go away on their own within a few months of use.

According to the FDA, side effects may include:

The main downside specific to chewable birth control is the limited options compared with standard birth control pills. That gives doctors fewer possibilities to switch you to another formulation if you experience side effects.

Blood clots

All combination hormonal birth control pills, including chewable birth control, carry a very small risk of blood clots. This can lead to deep vein thrombosis, heart attack, and stroke. Estrogen is responsible for the increased risk of clots.

“Only 1 in 1,000 women on combination birth control gets a blood clot,” Ramanadhan says.

Doctors don’t recommend combination birth control for people with certain conditions, such as:

  • history of migraine headaches with aura
  • high blood pressure
  • diabetes

If you just gave birth, your doctor will also recommend waiting 4 to 6 weeks to begin taking combination birth control, such as chewable birth control.

Medication residue

Some chewable birth control brands recommend drinking a full glass of water after taking the pill. This is to make sure the medication isn’t stuck in your teeth, Edwardson says.

“You need to make sure all fragments get swallowed and there’s no residue left in your mouth,” Ramanadhan says.

Be sure to check the label. Newer chewable birth control brands advise against taking tablets with water to avoid diluting the hormones they contain.

“It might change the estrogen levels, which might affect bleeding patterns but not efficacy,” Ramanadhan explains.

If you have health insurance, expect to pay your insurance medication copay for chewable birth control.

“At least one type should be covered by insurance,” Edwardson says.

“Usually, most insurers will cover an array of different pills, including chewable pills,” Kiley says.

If you’re planning to pay out of pocket, the cost will vary from brand to brand.

Reviews for chewable birth control on are generally positive. They range from an average of 7 for Generess Fe to an average of 5.1 for Minastrin Fe on a 10-point scale.

Some users say chewable birth control is effective at making their periods lighter and more regular. They also say it helps improve premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms, like mood swings.

However, other users link the pills to undesirable side effects, like nausea and anxiety.

If you’re purchasing birth control in the United States, OB-GYNs say they’ve never heard of specific issues with fake birth control pills.

However, the FDA has warned about internet pharmacies that sell unapproved prescription drugs of unknown origin, safety, and effectiveness.

If you’re not filling a prescription through your pharmacy, be sure to buy from a reliable source. The FDA says an online pharmacy is likely safe if it:

  • always requires a prescription
  • is licensed with a state board of pharmacy
  • has a physical U.S. address and phone number
  • provides a pharmacist to answer your questions

For any type of birth control, it’s a good idea to get a prescription from your doctor.

“Be sure you’re talking to your provider to make sure you’re not at risk of side effects or contraindications,” Ramanadhan says.

It is possible to buy chewable birth control from an online telemedicine company. The company will offer home delivery or pickup at your local pharmacy. Some services are only available in certain states.


Nurx is a telemedicine company that offers free, fast shipping and automatic refills for prescription medications, including oral contraceptives.

You can get a prescription for birth control by answering a few questions online and connecting to a Nurx medical professional for a health assessment. Nurx charges $15 for an initial medical consultation, which gives you 1 year of unlimited messaging with licensed medical professionals. Some insurance plans completely cover the cost of birth control, and out-of-pockets prices are affordable.

Currently, Nurx offers Generess Fe chewable birth control tablets. They are only available for pickup at your local pharmacy.

Get started at Nurx.


SimpleHealth specializes in birth control and also sells multivitamins, urinary tract supplements, and probiotic supplements. The service requires a $15 consultation cost that allows you to message your doctor and the SimpleHealth team.

After you complete your medical history form, a doctor will review it and provide you with a prescription that suits your needs. Many insurance plans cover the entire cost of birth control, and out-of-pocket costs are a minimum of $15 per month.

Currently, SimpleHealth has Minastrin 24 Fe chewable birth control pills available.

Get started at SimpleHealth.

If you need to avoid birth control that contains estrogen, it’s best to visit a healthcare professional to receive a prescription. They can advise you which birth control to take and suggest alternatives, if necessary.

According to a 2018 study, reasons to avoid to estrogen-containing birth control include:

  • high blood pressure
  • personal or family history of blood clots
  • history of lupus with clotting antibodies
  • history of stroke
  • active migraine in women over 35 years old
  • migraine with aura
  • coronary artery disease
  • breast cancer
  • liver cancer
  • smoking over 35 years old
  • complications of diabetes

Can I chew or crush my regular birth control pill?

Always follow your doctor’s instructions on how to take birth control pills.

Do not chew, crush, or split regular birth control pills. According to Consumer Reports, this may change the absorption rate.

To make it easier to swallow regular birth control pills, you may take a pill with a spoonful of yogurt, honey, or peanut butter. You can also use sparkling water or drink through a straw.

What brands offer chewable birth control?

Brands that offer chewable birth control include:

  • Generess Fe
  • Minastrin 24 Fe
  • Wymzya Fe
  • Zenchent Fe
  • Kaitlib Fe
  • Layolis Fe
  • Finzala
  • Mibelas 24 Fe
  • Nexesta Fe
  • Tyblume
  • Zeosa
  • Zenchent Fe
  • Balziva
  • Ovcon-35

Is there liquid birth control?

Currently, there are no liquid birth control options available.

Chewable birth control is a portable contraceptive designed specifically for people who find it difficult to swallow pills. It’s a combination of the synthetic versions of progesterone and estrogen, which prevent pregnancy and reduce breakthrough bleeding.

People who have just given birth or who have certain conditions, such as migraine with aura, should not take chewable birth control because it contains estrogen.

Overall, chewable birth control is very comparable to standard combination birth control pills. “I think of chewable birth control pills as just another way to get birth control into the body,” Edwardson says. “It works the same way as a regular combined birth control pill, with the same side effects and benefits.”

Colleen de Bellefonds is a Paris-based health and wellness journalist with over a decade of experience regularly writing and editing for publications including, Women’s Health, WebMD,, and Find her on Twitter.