Just open your smart phone, type in birth control prescription apps or do a quick google search and you have plenty of options at your fingertips to get birth control within hours or a couple of days.
“But it’s the convenience for women that are afraid to go to the doctor. For women that can’t take the time off to go see a physician,” said Indianapolis ObGyn, Dr. Michelle Jones-Singer.
Some apps require a questionnaire or a video chat with a clinician. Many health officials hope the easy access to contraception will help curb the rate of unintended pregnancies. But Dr. Jones-Singer says women have to beware.
“There are a lot of cons. If a woman has risk factors to birth control. What is her age? If you’re over 35 you have a higher risk of the health problems that are associated with it. Blood clots, high blood pressure. That needs to be screened.”
Some apps have an age requirement to use and some even accept insurance. But some doctors are worried this quick solution will replace in office visits.
“But you can’t do it endlessly. Year after year after year. You do need to come in for your regular exam. Whether that’s every two years for your pap smear or more frequently if you have a history of having an abnormal pap smear,” Jones-Singer said.
Dr. Jones-Singer supports birth control apps for women who get regular exams and simply need a refill. But says as more of these apps pop up women have to think health, not convenience.
“This is not going to go away unless its legislated out of the process this is not going to go away. But a woman has to wise about her healthcare. And like I said just receiving a prescription is not healthcare.”
Some of the apps are only offered in select states. But doctors believe Indiana’s new telemedicine law will open the door for more birth control apps to be offered in Indiana. The law allows doctors to write prescriptions after talking to patients on their laptop or smart phone.