Medically reviewed by Sophia Yen, MD, MPH – Written by Pandia Health Editorial Team
You’ve decided you want to start birth control, WOOHOO! You’ve come to the right place! The next step is to figure out how to get it. Spoiler alert: some methods are quicker and more convenient than others.
The “traditional way” to get birth control
The only non-negotiable part of acquiring birth control is a prescription from a doctor. While you don’t necessarily need to have an in-person visit, a consultation helps give the provider a better idea of your health background and lifestyle habits. Many individuals opt to visit a local Planned Parenthood clinic or OB-GYN office.
During the consultation, the doctor collects information about your medical history and sexual health. From there, they determine which type of birth control might be best for you. If the method is long-term (i.e. the IUD), you may need to schedule an additional appointment. On the other hand, monthly methods (i.e. the pill, patch, and ring) are prescribed and can be picked up from the pharmacy as soon as later that same day.
How can I get birth control without going to the doctor?
Contrary to popular belief, you do not need a pap smear in order to get birth control. Therefore, you don’t necessarily have to schedule an in-person appointment. Several providers offer online consultation options in which you talk over the phone or video chat. This service is also known as telehealth and has become increasingly popular since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking of telehealth, Pandia Health offers online consultations with expert doctors. If you need a prescription for the pill, patch, or ring and live in AZ, CA, CO, GA, FL, IL, NV, MI, PA, TN, TX, WA, or WY, you can sign up to book your appointment ASAP. If you already have a prescription you love, you can transfer it to our pharmacy and have it delivered right to your mailbox. We deliver to all 50 states!
Once you sign up for our services, we do the rest of the work. All we need from you is your shipping address, current pharmacy name and address, and health insurance card. The sooner our Patient Care Advisors have this information, the quicker they can send your birth control. Within a few days, you should receive a package containing your prescription, a Q&A card from our CEO, a fact sheet about your birth control, and a fun goody (swag, candy, etc.).
Can I buy birth control pills over the counter?
In the US, you can’t buy birth control pills over-the-counter—you need a prescription from a doctor. You can, however, purchase other types of contraception such as condoms without a prescription.
What is the easiest way to get birth control?
The easiest way to get birth control depends on what is most comfortable and convenient for each individual. That being said, we recommend delivery, as it allows you to avoid unnecessary monthly trips to the pharmacy. With Pandia Health specifically, you can also eliminate the stress related to running out of birth control—we provide automatic refills for up to a year before needing a new prescription.
How do I ask for birth control?
The most common way to inquire about birth control is by consulting a primary care physician or gynecologist. While this conversation may not require an official appointment, it typically entails questions regarding your medical history, sexual health status, and lifestyle habits (i.e. are you diligent about taking pills?). This information allows the doctor to narrow down which types of birth control may be best for you. From there, they share the options and give you the autonomy to choose based on your personal preferences. If you end up disliking the first type of birth control you try, it’s easy to switch methods—there are 40+ different pills alone.
Cost of birth control
Birth control is typically free for individuals who have insurance. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, most insurance plans cover the cost of birth control. On the other hand, it’s possible to purchase birth control without insurance. You may need to pay a small out-of-pocket fee, but this is usually low. For instance, with Pandia Health, individuals without insurance can buy birth control pills for as low as $15 per pack.
What do I need to get birth control with Pandia?
In order to get birth control through Pandia Health, you need an existing prescription (unless you live in select states and get your pill prescribed by us), your current pharmacy name and address, and a health insurance card or credit card. All of this information can be uploaded directly to your account.
What’s the takeaway?
At the end of the day, how you get your birth control is up to you. Pandia Health strives to bring affordable, convenient birth control to as many individuals as possible. If you’re interested in joining our community, check out our website to learn more.
Disclaimer: The above information is for general informational purposes only and is NOT a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your doctor/primary care provider before starting or changing treatment.