Looking for Birth Control? The App Will See You Now

Apps, websites spring up, allowing women access to contraception
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 19, 2016 2:04 PM CDT
Looking for Birth Control? The App Will See You Now
A package of estrogen/progestin birth control pills.   (AP Photo/Bedsider.org)

If the birth control pill helped usher in the sexual revolution, there have been several shakeups since in the options and, now, in the manner in which women obtain birth control. For modern women, there's an app for that, the New York Times reports. More specifically, there are at least six of them, run by for-profit and nonprofit agencies including Planned Parenthood. Meant to widen access to birth control in a nation in which 40% of pregnancies are accidental, some of these apps and websites issue prescriptions after women answer clinicians' questions—some use a video interview—while others ship direct to your doorstep. All of them offer birth-control pills, notes the Times, while only some offer birth-control patches, rings, or even the morning-after pill.

For some women, the new technology is a time-saver that allows them to avoid missing work to head to the doctor's office, while for others it affords privacy. In fact, it has the potential to become the "new normal," as a headline at Cosmopolitan puts it. On the flip side, the Los Angeles Times talks to a nurse practitioner who is worried about women missing out on important face time with doctors, especially the small percentage for whom birth control can result in serious side effects. Her suggested compromise: Women should see their doctor for their first prescription, use apps or similar services for refills, and return for a face-to-face visit after two years. The LAT runs through the more popular apps, while the NYT has a four-question primer on how to choose services. (Meanwhile, birth control for men is on the horizon.)

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