I recently saw an ad on Youtube for a website where you can buy contraceptive pills online (I think it may have only been based in America). They said that you fill out a survey about your medical history first but I’m still not 100% sure if it’s a good idea or not.
I can see how it would be a good option for those who find it uncomfortable talking to their doctor about it especially if they are a teenager still living at home or if they live in an area where they may not have as much access to contraception options.
It could also be problematic as people may not fill out the survey correctly and be prescribed a pill that may not work for them.
What do you think? Is it a good idea? Would you purchase your birth control online?
The convenience of this would be really tempting, but I’m not sure i’d be comfortable with all the ‘what-ifs’ that would come with using it.
What if your prescription was left in the sun all day waiting for you to pick it up?
What if it didn’t arrive in time?
I never liked having to go and get repeats from my doctor because it’s so time consuming, but I can also really see the value of having a doctor there to monitor your side effects and to make sure you actually understand the risks and side effects associated with the pill.
I would be worried that with a service like this, people who probably shouldn’t be on the pill (e.g who have migraines with aura) might take it without knowing the risks, or considering other options.
This would definitely help people who aren’t comfortable talking about sensitive/personal topics with their doctor, but it also seems like there could be lots of safety issues with getting prescriptions without a proper consultation! I’m sure there are lots of regulations in place around what kind of meds can be prescribed this way, but @aunt_flo is totally right about contraindications possibly being missed through a survey rather than a consultation. Good history taking and patient discussion is one of the things that makes a great doctor and I’d be worried about missing those benefits. It could be super useful for repeat prescriptions and follow-ups without complications though!
Oh that’s a good point about delivery and storage! @aunt_flo I didn’t even think about that, but yeah packages often taken 3-5 business days to get to people and could be sitting in a hot van for hours.
I agree, having a proper face-to-face consultation first before starting any medication and while you’re on it to see how you are reacting to it is always a good idea. The survey could not be very clear or could be confusing for some people.
I think there would be a way to do it safely! At the moment, you can buy PrEP online. You need a script from a doctor to do this though, and when getting a script all the necessary testing is completed (including STI/HIV screens and kidney and liver function). As well, I think companies can make it mandatory that deliveries require a signature and must go to a post office if you’re not home. The only problem would be making sure you order it with plenty of time to make room for delivery delays so you don’t skip anything – but I guess this human error could come with normal doctors + pharmacy visits.
@goldenrose Surely you would need an initial GP consultation before being able to purchase online contraceptives? Like @aunt_flo was saying, there are just too many risks involved, especially in terms of not getting the right contraception for you.
I’m with @sextronaut and think it would be a good thing if it were moderated appropriately because it helps bridge the gap for people unable to access health care easily.
@tea I had a look at the website (Simple Health) and it looks like the initial “consult” is done on the website by filling out your own medical history and personal preferences which is then reviewed by a doctor online. This is based in the U.S. so maybe they have different regulations when it comes to prescriptions and birth control?
I think the main focus for this website is bridging that gap for people who don’t have easy access to health care which I think is a good thing but it does come with some risks such as not getting the right contraception for the individual.
It’s also marketed on Youtube which is a platform that many young girls access which could potentially cause other problems if they don’t fully understand what the product is but see one of their internet ‘idols’ advertising it may lead them to purchase it when they may not particularly need it (i.e. haven’t gotten their period yet etc.).
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