New applications and online services are making it possible for women to get birth control without visiting a gynecologist.
Birth control and contraceptives are seen as a public health issue because there are about 40% of unintended pregnancies in the US. Public health experts are seeing online services and applications as a way to get more women using contraception to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies.
‘A set new smartphone apps and websites like Lemonaid, Nurx, and Virtuwell are providing prescription for birth control to lower the rates of unwanted pregnancies.’
Nonprofit organizations give out prescriptions after talking with the patient about health history. They prescribe contraceptives such as birth control pills, patches, rings and morning-after pills.
There is no legislative approval required for the new birth control apps and websites and there is hope this will help and reach many women.
"This kind of access is certainly an improvement for some women who have access to the web and a smartphone," said Dr. Nancy Stanwood, the chairwoman of the board of Physicians for Reproductive Health. "Look, if I can order something on Amazon and they're going to drone-deliver it half an hour later to my house, of course we're going to think of better ways for women to get birth control."
Apps like Lemonaid and Nurx, along with sites such as Virtuwell, Maven and Planned Parenthood, offer birth control-finding services.
Lemonaid is an app that offers birth control prescriptions. The Planned Parenthood telehealth site offers birth control prescriptions along with a home test for STDs and treatment for a urinary tract infections.
Maven is a "digital clinic for women" and has a network of doctors, nurse practitioners and experts on women's and children's health such as lactation consultants, pediatricians and nutritionists.