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Birth control pills can prevent pregnancy by stopping ovulation and thickening cervical mucus. Alongside emergency contraception pills, there are two main types of birth control pill. All pills require specific and consistent use to work effectively.
A quick look at the best places to get birth control pills online
- Best for choice: Nurx
- Best free trial: Wisp
- Best for medical support: Favor
- Best subscription service: SimpleHealth
This article explores birth control pills and the different types. It also provides a list of online platforms where birth control pills are available.
In the U.S., birth control pills are the most common form of contraception.
A person typically takes one birth control pill daily, containing hormones that prevent ovulation. They can also thicken cervical mucus to prevent sperm from reaching an egg.
Types of birth control
Types of birth control pills
- Combination pill: This pill contains both estrogen and progestin. Estrogen prevents the eggs from developing, and the progestin prevents ovulation and helps thicken the cervical mucus.
- Progestin-only pills: The progestin in these pills works by thickening the cervical wall to stop fertilization.
- Emergency contraception: Some pills, such as those containing levonorgestrel or ulipristal, can prevent pregnancy if a person takes them as soon as possible after having sex without other forms of contraception. The sooner a person takes emergency contraception, the
more effectiveit can be. Emergency contraceptive pills do not have any effect on an already established pregnancy.
Combination pills are usually the first thing a doctor would consider prescribing to a person.
Pills containing natural or synthetically derived estrogen may not suit everyone, including people who smoke or those with
Birth control pills are suitable for individuals having penetrative sex that do not wish to become pregnant.
The United Kingdom’s National Health Service (NHS) states that the combined pill is more than 99% effective if a person takes it correctly.
The NHS also says that the progestin-only pill is also over 99% effective with perfect use — meaning a person takes the medication at the same time, every day, without fail.
Many online companies offer birth control pills. Below are some options for a person to consider.
Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.
Medical News Today follows a strict product selection and vetting process. Learn more here.
Best for choice: Nurx
Nurx stocks over 50 different brands of pills, including generic forms. These include combination and progestin-only pills. It also offers emergency contraception.
In addition, Nurx sells other types of birth control such as a ring, shots, and a patch.
Nurx accepts most private health insurance plans, apart from Medicaid and Medicare. How much an insured person pays each month will depend on the copayment set by their insurer.
There is a $15 consultation fee that is generally not eligible for insurance coverage, and uninsured people could pay around $15 per month for their medications.
- a wide array of brands and prices to choose from
- free shipping
- accepts most forms of health insurance
- also provides medications for acne, migraine, cold sores, and mental health
- not available in all states
- the consultation fee is not usually eligible for coverage through insurers
- does not accept government healthcare programs
Best free trial: Wisp
Wisp offers new customers their first month free.
The company has 15 different types of birth control pills, including combination and progestin-only. They also have two types of pills for emergency contraception.
Prices start at $5 per month.
Wisp ships products for free in discreet packaging, or same-day pickup is available at a person’s local pharmacy. The company also provides medical advice 24 hours a day.
- free shipping
- available in all 50 states
- free trial
- does not accept insurance as payment
Best for medical support: Favor
Favor, formerly known as The Pill Club, offers contraceptives and ongoing personalized medical care.
It claims to have over 120 brands of birth control pills available, including combination and progestin-only pills. A person may also purchase emergency contraception and the contraceptive ring.
The company accepts many insurance plans, but individuals may need to pay a $15 consultation fee that insurers will not cover. Without insurance, prices start from $6.99 per pack for a 1-year supply.
- products are available in all 50 states
- the company offers free delivery
- there is ongoing medical support
- the company may require some people in some states to have a video consultation
- there is an additional payment for a consultation
Best subscription service: SimpleHealth
SimpleHealth is a subscription service that provides automatic refills to customers.
It claims to offer most types of birth control pills, including progestin-only and combination pills.
In addition, it offers a contraceptive patch and vaginal ring.
An initial consultation with SimpleHealth costs $20. Insurance does not typically cover the consultation fee. However, SimpleHealth accepts most major insurance plans that cover the price of the medication. For those without insurance, prices start from $7 a month.
- free shipping
- accepts most insurance plans
- SimpleHealth’s doctors may take 72 hours to review and fulfill prescriptions
- does not ship to all states
|Availability||Over 50 brands||15||over 120 brands||unspecified|
|Alternative birth control methods||ring, shot, patch||N/A||ring||patch, ring|
|Accepts insurance?||yes, but not Medicaid or Medicare||no||yes||yes|
Here are some considerations when a person is looking for a contraceptive pill.
- Speak with a doctor: A person should first consult a doctor or healthcare professional to discuss health conditions or medications that could negatively interact with a pill’s ingredients.
- Menstrual cycle: Some pills may affect a person’s menstrual cycle, so discussing this with a medical professional may help to manage their expectations.
- Costs: It is important to consider costs with prescribed medication. Some contraceptive pills may cost more than others, and some health insurance plans may cover only part of the costs. Individuals should explore all options to ensure they stay within budget.
A person may experience minor
- tender breasts
- decreased libido
- increased vaginal discharge
- abdominal cramping
If the side effects worsen or do not resolve after a few weeks, a person should consult a doctor.
Below, we look at some common questions relating to birth control pills.
Can you get pregnant while on birth control?
It is still possible to get pregnant while taking birth control.
However, the NHS estimates that fewer than 1 in 100 people become pregnant when taking the birth control pill perfectly. With typical use, this statistic rises to 9 in 100 people.
What happens when you stop taking birth control?
Individuals can stop taking birth control pills whenever they choose. However, anecdotal evidence points to some side effects when discontinuing use, such as irregular menstrual cycles, weight changes, and acne.
Does birth control stop periods?
A person can choose to take a pill to stop their periods completely. They may also take a series of active and inactive pills. A person takes the inactive pills 7 days each month, allowing them to have a regular period.
There are two main types of birth control pills — combination and progestin-only. They both aim to prevent pregnancy by either thickening cervical mucus, preventing ovulation, or both.
A person can receive the pills via an online service or an in-person prescription. Insurance companies typically cover the costs associated with birth control pills.