Just because you have a prescription, it doesn’t mean you can get it filled.
It would be nice if buying birth control or even menstrual products from a human at a store was just an errand, instead of a sometimes lecture-filled experience. There are lots of websites dedicated to making sure folks can obtain free condoms through the mail, in discreet packaging, but what about the pill? If you don’t have a license or access to public transportation in some areas — how does getting your pill refill come about? Fortunately, there are options for obtaining what you need to maintain your sexual health. Here are 4 online services to help you out.
Nurx is a dream for anyone who can’t see a doctor in person and/or are without insurance. (If you have insurance, your prescription might be free, and if not, Nurx prescriptions start as low as $15.) You can consult with a medical provider (for free) about what birth control might be best for you, and the doctor will also be available for follow up questions. 3-5 days after placing your order, you get your prescription in the mail. You need to supply picture identification, but it can be a school ID, or anything with clear photo. Nurx asks that you also be able to provide the results of a blood pressure check taken in the last 6 months, which you can get at some drug stores with in-house pharmacies. Nurx will supply you with birth control for up to 3 months at a time, and you can get automatic refills for a year from the time you began the prescription.
Nurx isn’t available everywhere, but it does ship to states like Texas, Indiana, and Pennsylvania, which have large rural areas that might make travel without a car or license challenging.
With the GoPuff app, you can get ice cream, toothpaste, swabs, and chips delivered to your house, along with tampons, pregnancy tests, condoms, lube, and PlanB. It’s not available in every city, but you don’t need to be in a place like Boston or New York to use it, either, it delivers in Phoenix, Tucson, Syracuse and Bloomington. GoPuff promises to deliver within 30 minutes, and they’re open all night, which is great if you run out of essentials before or during sexy time or you can’t sleep because you’re wondering if you’re pregnant.
Maven won’t exactly send products to your door, but it’s on this list because, like the delivery services, it’s removing a barrier to health care in the form of giving women access to answers from medical professionals online. Maven doesn’t just respond to your questions about birth control (although it does do that), but to all kinds of issues regarding the health of people with uteruses. You can choose a provider to make an appointment with, including mental health care practitioners, midwives, lactation consultants, and more, or you can visit forums where professionals will address your question. If you do opt for an appointment, you’ll get notes from your doctor when it’s over, which is a total game changer for people who are anxious in medical situations, or anyone who just wants to see information or instructions in writing.
Maven’s appointments start at $18, with the goal being that they cost less than the price of an insurance co-pay.
The Pill Club is all birth control, all the time. Their goal is to make getting your birth control – the Pill, the patch, and the ring, as well as emergency contraception (and free samples!)-simple and quick. You can get your questions about your birth control answered on the site, as well as via a telemedicine provider. The Pill Club doesn’t require insurance, and if you don’t have it, the fee for a year-long prescription is $15. If you’re not using insurance, you just need to send a photo of your credit or debit card.
Here’s the catch – The Pill Club doesn’t accept public insurance plans or non-California health plans, and you can only get a prescription for birth control issued to you by The Pill Club’s doctors if you live in California. But you can transfer your out of state prescription to The Pill Club, and, like Nurx, it delivers to states where access to health care providers could be complicated for some folks, like Montana and Ohio. Plus, The Pill Club gets that not everyone wants their parents or spouse to know they’re on birth control (they include a question about that in their FAQs), so they direct you to to Keep It Confidential, a website about how to take action around keeping your health information private.