An Oral contraceptive pill, also known as a birth control pill, is a medication taken daily by women to prevent pregnancy.
The pills are only to be taken as directed by a healthcare professional, and they do not protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
Thus, doctors suggest using other prevention methods along with the oral contraceptive pill.
What are oral contraceptive pills?
The oral contraceptive pill is a type of medicine that uses hormones to prevent pregnancy. “Oral” means you take it by mouth.
Contraception is any form of birth control—a method to prevent pregnancy. People call it “the pill” because it comes in pill form that’s easy to take.
There are two types of contraceptive pills available:
Combination pills: Also called combined oral contraceptives (COCs). They contain both estrogen and progesterone.
Progestin-only pills, also known as POPs or mini pills, solely contain progesterone.
Online prescriptions for oral contraceptive pills offer convenience and accessibility, but they also come with specific pros and cons. Here’s an overview:
What are Online Prescriptions?
Online prescriptions are prescriptions you receive electronically for medications through platforms.
Many healthcare providers offer virtual consultations, allowing patients to discuss their symptoms with a doctor at their convenience, anywhere, anytime.
After the consultation and the doctor’s assessment, they can issue a prescription at a local or online pharmacy.
It’s important to use reputable and regulated online doctor services to ensure the safety and legitimacy of the prescriptions.
It is also recommended to consult a licensed healthcare professional for any medications and prescriptions.
What are the Pros of Online Prescriptions for Oral Contraceptive Pills?
There are many benefits to getting a prescription from a doctor online that traditional in-office doctor consultations do not offer. Here are the oral contraceptive pill advantages:
The first and most massive benefit is time. You do not have to wait in line for a doctor’s appointment by getting one virtually.
This allows you to consult with a doctor from the comfort of your home and get a prescription without delay.
It can be particularly beneficial for individuals in rural, remote, underserved areas who may have limited access to healthcare providers.
Online doctor consultations can provide more privacy and discretion, as you don’t have to visit a physical clinic.
Eliminating the need for travel and waiting rooms can save you time, making it easier to access birth control.
Many online platforms offer repeat prescriptions if you have run out of your medication, ensuring you get all the doses.
What are the Cons of Online Prescriptions for Oral Contraceptive Pills?
Apart from offering convenient consultations, accessibility, and saving time, there are a few disadvantages of oral pills for online prescriptions.
If you already suffer from a specific condition, visiting a doctor in person is best. Here are a few disadvantages to online prescriptions:
Remote consultations may offer a different level of physical examination than in-person appointments, potentially missing important health information.
Some individuals may not be suitable candidates for oral contraceptives due to their health history.
Online providers may not have a complete medical record, increasing the risk of contraindications.
There’s a risk of obtaining medication from unregulated or unreliable sources. It’s essential to choose a reputable online doctor service.
Lack of Personal Interaction
Online consultations may require a more personal touch and interaction than some individuals prefer when discussing their health.
Some insurance plans may not cover online consultations, making them potentially more expensive.
Before opting for online prescriptions for oral contraceptive pills, it’s crucial to research and choose a reputable platform that adheres to legal and safety standards.
As mentioned, consult a doctor for a thorough examination, especially if you have specific health concerns or medical history.
What is the Effectiveness of Birth Control Pills?
When used correctly, birth control pills can be highly efficient.
Both combination pills and progesterone-only pills have a pregnancy rate of less than 1%.
Even among individuals who do not adhere to the proper pill regimen—missing doses or not taking them as directed—the pregnancy rate stands at around 8%.
Strict adherence to the schedule is crucial, especially with progestin-only minipills, as taking them consistently at the same time daily maximizes their effectiveness.
How to Know what Birth Control Pills are Best for You?
A few things to remember:
Consider Your Health Conditions
Think about any health issues you have. If you can’t take estrogen-based pills due to conditions like blood clots, migraines, heart disease, or breast cancer, a progestin-only pill might be safer.
If you’re breastfeeding, doctors might suggest the minipill, which might be better during lactation. Even though newer research challenges this, progestin-only pills are often preferred.
Avoid combination pills in the first four weeks after childbirth due to clotting risks.
Combination pills offer more choices and can treat issues like hormonal acne, unlike progestin-only pills. Your doctor can help you select the right one based on your concerns.
Some people react strongly to hormones. Lower estrogen doses in a pill might help reduce sensitivity.
Consistency in Pill-Taking
If you struggle to take pills on time, a progestin-only pill might not be suitable. Choose a pill that fits your lifestyle.
Managing Side Effects
Trial and error may be required to find the right oral contraceptive pill.
If you are experiencing side effects that are causing you distress, your doctor can switch you to a different pill to reduce these side effects.
The doctor will find the most suitable birth control pill, considering your health, lifestyle, and specific needs.
Birth control pills are a great choice to prevent pregnancy.
At times, they also help with health concerns such as acne and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).
Naturally, they also have side effects, which can include headaches, breast tenderness, and spotting. This depends on the type of pill.
Moreover, they aren’t suitable for everyone and carry risks. Hence, it is best to consult a healthcare professional before using it.
If you feel uncomfortable discussing your problems or cannot visit a doctor in person, you can opt for online telehealth consultations. They are safe, private, and taken according to your availability.