How to get contraception with or without OB-GYN: 10 tips

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With supermarkets selling lubricants, general stores dedicating aisles to vibrators, and fashion retailers advertising arousal oil, it’s natural to wonder when other sexual wellness products will be available. . this readily available.

Well, you might be surprised to learn that birth control is actually that readily available! Yes, even for people who don’t have access to an OB-GYN!

Here is a guide on how to access birth control at local pharmacies, apps, and health centers. Plus, information on why you might want to meet an OB-GYN if the option is open to you.

From pills to patches, from sponges to spermicides and rings to sticks, there are almost as many birth control options available today as there are places to access them. That is to say several!

The good news: There is probably a contraceptive option that best fits your accepted risks, accepted side effects, and intent profile.

The bad news: you have to rule it out from a lot of options.

In the process of obtaining a contraceptive (more information below!), You will have the opportunity to work with a healthcare professional to understand this together.

But in the meantime, below are some questions for you to consider. Your answers to these questions will guide you to the best method of birth control for you:

  1. What is the main reason I am interested in switching to contraception? Prevention of pregnancy? Acne treatment? Relief from migraines?
  2. How often do I currently have sex with the penis in the vagina? How often do I plan to have P-in-V sex in the future?
  3. Can I use something realistically on a schedule?
  4. Do I want my contraception to also reduce the risk of sexually transmitted infections (STIs)?
  5. Do I want children? If so, when?
  6. How do I feel about having a pelvic exam?
  7. What do I think of a doctor who implants the contraceptive method?
  8. What level of risk am I willing to accept in terms of the overall effectiveness of birth control?
  9. What side effects am I comfortable experiencing?

“Ultimately, the best method of birth control for you will depend on a variety of factors, including health history, frequency of sex, and likelihood of adherence,” says Dr Felice Gersh, MD, author of “PCOS SOS: the lifeline of a gynecologist to naturally restore your rhythms, your hormones and your happiness. ”

To be clear: it is absolutely * is * possible to get contraception if you don’t have or want an OB-GYN.

However, the benefit of seeing an OB-GYN in person is that you can get treatment. beyond birth control.

For example, you can also request an STI screening or a Pap test. Or ask all your questions about pre-pregnancy, perimenopause, menopause, pain or menstruation.

“Most OB-GYNs will also perform an internal exam with your consent, which may allow them to notice things you wouldn’t even think of mentioning,” Gersh explains.

For example, you may have vaginal discharge that you didn’t realize was unusual, or you may have internal scarring that could be the cause of pain during vaginal penetration.

If you have health insurance, the best place to start your OB-GYN research is to consult with health professionals in your network.

Then check the healthcare professional’s website or call the main office to see if they offer the things that are important to you. For example:

Another option is to ask around.

“Your friends and family may have an OB-GYN that they like and that they can recommend that you contact,” Gersh says.

“You can also try asking your family doctor or GP for information about birth control. They also have the ability to prescribe contraceptive methods, ”she adds.

Through telehealth, pharmacies and health apps, “for people who don’t have access to an OB-GYN or healthcare, there are ways for them to receive contraception,” Gersh explains. Yay!

Go to the pharmacy

There are four over-the-counter and over-the-counter methods of birth control that you can get almost anywhere you get tampons or other menstrual products:

For these, all you have to do is walk down the aisle, find what you’re looking for, and then check out. Easy!

Use a telehealth provider

These days, there are a number of telehealth platforms and apps that allow you to connect with a contraception prescriber from the comfort of your couch.

They understand:

The catch: These platforms cannot prescribe contraceptive methods that need to be inserted or implanted, such as the implant (also called a stem), copper IUD, hormonal IUD, or injection.

The prescription contraceptive method these services can prescribe varies from provider to provider, but most offer a combination of the following:

Go to a walk-in clinic

This option is best for people who do not have a primary care physician or OB-GYN, but want to spend face-to-face time with a healthcare professional.

Going to a clinic allows you to talk to a qualified healthcare professional – usually a nurse, technician, or doctor – about what you are looking for in a method of contraception.

This can be extremely beneficial if you don’t know which method of birth control is best for you, Gersh explains.

Walk-in clinics that may be able to prescribe contraception include:

External condoms are often widely available over the counter at your local pharmacy and online. But over time the cost can really add up.

Unless you are in a bind and need a condom at present, you may consider contacting one of the community health centers or health services listed above. Often these centers provide free condoms.

These centers are also a great place to access other forms of contraception at no or significantly reduced cost. Our guide to accessing free or low-cost contraception can help you find a location in your area.

If you have health insurance, there is a good chance that you can get free or inexpensive contraception without a problem.

The Affordable Care Act requires that most health insurance companies cover at least one or more methods of birth control approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Now some plans will cover specific brands of birth control and others not. You can work with your insurance or healthcare professional to determine which contraceptive options are covered.

Important: Not all telehealth providers take out insurance. Be sure to check out their FAQ page to learn more before making an appointment online.

If you need a refresher, Medicaid is a U.S. health care provider that has offered health insurance to low-income households since 1965.

Long before ACA, Medicaid offered free contraception to its users – and it still does today.

However, Medicaid does not cover * all * FDA approved birth control methods.

For more information about the contraceptive options that Medicaid covers (or does not cover), see the Online Guide to Contraception in Medicaid.

By far, no one provides better birth control support or care than Planned parenthood.

Planned Parenthood’s online presence is (almost) as useful as its in-person care.

Other places to learn more about birth control methods include:


Gabrielle Kassel is a New York-based Sex and Wellness writer and Level 1 CrossFit trainer. She became a morning person, tested over 200 vibrators, and ate, drank, and brushed with charcoal. drink – all in the name of journalism. In her spare time, she can be found reading self-help books and romance novels, bench press or pole dancing. Follow her on Instagram.



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