What Is Birth Control Online?
According to the Office of Women’s Health, the birth control definition is “any method, medicine, or device used to prevent pregnancy.” Birth control allows women to control pregnancy, choosing when they might want to get pregnant and when they do not. Today, women have a variety of choices in regards to birth control. Women can choose which type of birth control suits their lives and their health the best. There’s even birth control online.
What Are the Different Types of Birth Control?
Some methods of birth control can be permanent (sterilization), long term (hormonal implants or IUDs), month to month (pills), or situational (condoms, spermicides). Some methods contain hormones or sperm-killing liquids to prevent pregnancy. Some hormonal birth controls, like intrauterine devices (IUDs) and skin implants, require an in-person visit with a health professional to insert. Other hormonal birth control methods, like a pill, ring, or patch, can be administered by the user and do not need a face-to-face visit. There is only one type of birth control that results in preventing pregnancy 100% of the time: abstinence.
The History of Birth Control
Women have come a long way in gaining the freedom to obtain birth control to manage their reproductive systems. A woman may not want to have children at that time in her life, or not at all, and birth control allows a woman to prevent getting pregnant. As early as 1960, 30 states still had laws which restricted the sale and advertisement of birth control. Women had to travel over state lines, or purchase birth control on the black market. As early as 1972, the Supreme Court finally declared that prohibiting the sale of contraceptives was unconstitutional.
Birth Control Online
Times have most definitely changed. Not only is birth control legal, but you can obtain prescription birth control pills online. Anyone who is relatively healthy with access to the internet can safely purchase birth control online. However, there are a few considerations before deciding to buy birth control through delivery.
The Pros of Online Birth Control
Though getting oral birth control online seems too good to be true, a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), found that companies who provide health services online (like birth control) are trustworthy and safe. These online services, called telehealth (online video consultation with a qualified health worker), are a growing model of care in medicine and are used to increase access to health care, decreasing the chances of infectious transmission.
Having birth control delivered to your doorstep for free is not only convenient, but it is also private and quick. Birth control online bypasses the trip to the doctor’s office and a very public wait at a pharmacy. In most cases, a prescription can be obtained online. If there are issues the buyer wants to discuss with a health professional, many companies that offer online birth control services also offer telehealth (online video consultation with a qualified health worker) for anyone with questions. Otherwise, a current prescription from a routine healthcare provider can be used.
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The Cons of Online Birth Control
Some companies may have hidden fees or may not accept (or only accept) insurance, so it is essential to research and read the fine print before purchasing. Some companies may also require a bulk purchase and if someone is thinking about changing their birth control in six months or so, these types of contracts may not be ideal. A few other companies may also have age restrictions. The sale of birth control online may not be allowed in some states, or companies may not deliver to specific states. The price for birth control can also fluctuate between companies, so a careful evaluation of each company is necessary before purchase.
What Is the Process?
According to a Harvard article, an online “visit” to purchase birth control can last about eight minutes on average. A questionnaire helps to identify any health conditions that might be a contraindication for oral birth control. Contraindications would prompt a text message or video call with a health professional. Prescriptions can be sent to local pharmacies for immediate availability. Otherwise, birth control can be mailed within about a week.
Obtaining birth control online and telehealth does not replace an annual exam. A face-to-face appointment is still required for a Pap smear and complete physical assessment. Annual exams also establish rapport with a provider and a more thorough assessment can be made.
What Are the Best Online Birth Control Companies?
Now that we have covered the pros and cons of online birth control, as well as the steps of the process, it is time to learn about the best companies.
The Pill Club
The Pill Club has telehealth professionals who can write a year’s worth of prescriptions for a variety of contraceptives, not just oral. Patches and rings are also available to be delivered and delivery is free.
Prjkt Ruby provides free birth control consults and allows for flat-rate pricing for their services. They’re also altruistic, donating 25 cents for each month of birth control ordered to the availability of contraceptive services worldwide.
Lemonaid provides a broad range of services, from medication delivery to telehealth, so they are not solely a birth control delivery service. Their package deals include comprehensive online doctor visits and prescriptions. Patches and rings are also available for delivery.
Although most online telehealth services provide legitimate quality care, there are always a few that might have questionable intentions. A company must be evaluated before purchasing anything from them. Check reviews and ask your routine women’s health provider for recommendations.