There are more birth control options on the market than ever before, but many women still lack access to contraceptives due to regional socioeconomic and political pressures. According to a recent study conducted by The Campaign to Prevent Unplanned Pregnancy, more than 19 million American women live in “contraceptive deserts” that do not offer reasonable access to public clinics with a full range of contraceptive options. These issues are particularly prevalent in rural areas, where women may have to drive hours to get to the nearest family planning clinic.
That’s why a telemedicine startup called Nurx is trying to close this gap in contraceptive access by providing an at-home birth control delivery service.
Since the San Francisco-based company was founded in 2014, Nurx has brought its birth control delivery service to 20 states and Washington, D.C. This summer, Nurx began delivering birth control to women in Wisconsin, Georgia and Tennessee.
In addition to expanding the scope of its delivery service, Nurx also began offering PrEP HIV prevention prescriptions in 2016. When used as directed, studies have found that taking PrEP daily can reduce the risk of HIV transmission by as much as 99%. Soon the company hopes to start delivering at-home HIV testing kits as well.
So how does the Nurx delivery service work?
Users can start by making an account on the company’s website or mobile application. Next, the app will ask a few questions to gather information about the patient’s health history, preferred brand of birth control, insurance and shipping information. At this point, users can either choose from one of more than 50 popular birth control brands or elect to be counseled on their options by a physician. Once they make a decision, a doctor will review their request and write a prescription. The contraceptives will then be delivered to the patient at no extra cost. Nurx also offers automatic prescription refills and renewals to prevent accidental lapses in birth control.
Just like a brick-and-mortar family planning clinic, Nurx is HIPAA compliant and available to both insured and uninsured patients. Nurx can even help patients without insurance find affordable generic oral contraceptives that are less expensive but every bit as effective as brand-name birth control pills.
Nurx gained some additional publicity in July when former First Daughter and public health advocate Chelsea Clinton announced that she would be joining the company’s board of directors.
“By putting individuals in control of their personal health, and by starting with critical health needs like birth control and HIV prevention, Nurx is well-positioned to make a difference in the lives of countless Americans,” said Clinton in her announcement. “I’m delighted to join their board, and excited to help them empower people to build better futures for themselves and realize a vision of accessible, affordable care for all.”
If you have any additional questions about your contraceptive options, feel free to give us a call or contact us online at South Avenue Women’s Services today!