Need birth control? There’s an app for that

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At its core, technology’s central premise revolves around access. Whether it’s to information, to opportunity, or to that light that’s just too many rooms away in your smart-home, our increasingly digitalized world has made the act of obtaining things easier than ever before. And now, that’s the case for birth control too.

After decades of complaints about the obstacles that often accompany access to contraception, technology is stepping in. For women who want to take a trip to the pharmacy without a trip to the doctor for their birth control, there’s now an app for that. In fact, there are at least six apps for that.

As first reported by the New York Times, an increasing number of mobile apps and websites are improving access to birth control. Technology is beginning to replace legislation and tax dollars as a medium through which women can find the pill, patches, rings, and even morning-after pills. From established names like Planned Parenthood to lesser known apps like Lemonaid, women are finding new ways of getting their birth control.

This sort of efficiency and convenience is becoming increasingly important, particularly as women look to start families later and later in their lives. And with almost 40 percent of all pregnancies in the United States unintended, contraception is a major tool in allowing women and families to maintain their autonomy.

“This kind of access is certainly an improvement for some women who have access to the web and a smartphone,” Dr. Nancy Stanwood, the chairwoman of the board of Physicians for Reproductive Health, told the Times. “Look, if I can order something on Amazon and they’re going to drone-deliver it half an hour later to my house, of course we’re going to think of better ways for women to get birth control.”

Moreover, there’s nothing illegal about these apps or the related web services. Doctors are still involved in the entire process, as they have to write the prescriptions. And each service follows the telemedicine regulations outlined by the state or states in which it operates, so while this new method of obtaining birth control may be more convenient, it’s by no means unregulated.

To determine what kind of birth control app may be right for you, check out the Times’ handy guide to picking the best service here.

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