Finding Birth Control Online: An NWHN Guide
The NWHN and Finding Birth Control Online
The NWHN believes that every person deserves the right to manage their sexuality on their own terms, especially when it comes to birth control. Websites now make online access to birth control a convenient and easy way to get your preferred method of contraception. However, online shopping for anything can be confusing and finding birth control online is no different.
The NWHN cares deeply about health care quality, medication safety, and the right of all people to have accurate information they can use to make informed decisions about their health care. We have an extensive history of advocating for family planning providers to incorporate these values and offer client-centered reproductive health care. Therefore, we welcome new health innovations, such as online access to birth control, that make it more convenient and affordable for people to get the care and services they need. With the recent Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, it’s more important than ever the ensure that all Americans have access to accurate, up-to-date birth control information and resources so they can control their reproductive futures.
We designed this guide to help you navigate finding birth control online so you’ll feel empowered to make the best health care decisions for your body. We researched a handful of websites offering a variety of birth control options—Alpha Medical, Lemonaid Health, Nurx, Pandia Health, Favor (formerly The Pill Club), and Simple Health—and examined how well they meet the NWHN’s values. Below, we outline how these sites compare to one another and offer some suggestions that may help you decide what birth control is best for you and which website to use.
One note: Lemonaid is the only site clearly advertising its ability to serve patients in all 50 states in the U.S. We found that other sites frequently update the states they’re able to serve when it comes to finding birth control online. It’s worth trying again if you like a site that isn’t able to serve you the first time you contact it.
Options Available When Finding Birth Control Online
Each of the websites we visited offer hormonal contraception, but not all offer the full range of options. Ideally, we would like to see a list of all methods offered, including oral contraceptives (OCs, or “the Pill”), the shot, the two contraceptive patches, the monthly contraceptive ring (NuvaRing), and year-long ring (Annovera).
One site, Pandia, came close to our ideal, offering prescriptions for all brands of available Other websites provided full lists of the types of OCs offered, but either only offered one type of patch or ring or didn’t offer either of the contraceptive patches. But, if you know exactly which type of contraceptive you want to use, a site with limited options might be suitable for you.
Necessary Interactions With a Health Care Provider When Finding Birth Control Online
- An online prescription for birth control must be approved by a nurse practitioner, a physician, or another clinician who has the authority to write prescriptions. Who you interact with and how much you interact with the clinician who approves your prescription depends on where you live. All of the sites we visited provide care via privacy-protected online interactions, which means you answer some questions via the website and a clinician reviews your information later. However, some states require prescribers to have a phone call or video chat with a consumer before issuing a prescription. Regardless of how your interaction happens, you should always be given the full name of the clinician who approved your prescription.
- If you want the option to have personal interaction with a provider via video, regardless of where you live, try Lemonaid. Each video consultation with a clinician costs $75.
- Both Simple Health and Pandia Health have a chat function on their websites for 24/7 access.
Price Breakdown Accross Websites for Finding Birth Control Online
Requires a $10 fee to get started and begin receiving your birth control prescription. Birth control is free for those with insurance, and starts at $15 a month for those without insurance. Without insurance, costs are approximately:
- The Pill: $25 a pack (one month)
- The patch: $175 a month
- The ring: $170 a month
Alpha’s website outlines individual costs according to each brand and birth control option, which is a helpful resource.
- If you would like to add a form of Emergency Contraception to your monthly birth control order, head over to Alpha, Nurx, and Favor (formerly The Pill Club).
- Along with birth control services, Simple Health, Alpha, Lemonaid, and Nurx offer additional sexual health treatments and medications. Alpha, Lemonaid, and Nurx offer at-home testing kits for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and prescriptions to treat several STIs, including genital herpes, chlamydia, and gonorrhea.
- Lemonaid and Alpha also offer treatment for erectile dysfunction, endometriosis, migraine, acid reflux, hypothyroidism, hair loss, skin infections, and acne among a variety of common medical conditions. They also offer mental health treatment, but the NWHN recommends seeing an experienced mental health professional first to decide what is the best course of action for your specific needs.
- If you’re not sure which method is right for you, check out these NWHN-trusted sites and articles:
- Contraception Self Advocacy Guide
Birth Control Comparison
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)