These days so many services are available online. Everything from groceries and meal prep kits to goat rentals and professional potty trainers, you can pretty much order anything these days without ever having to leave the comforts of your own home. But what about birth control? Is it smart or even safe to tap into this latest online fad?
WHO ARE THESE COMPANIES?
There are a handful of companies circling the web and probably even your primetime TV commercial slots advertising the ease and cost efficiency of obtaining birth control and other women’s health related pharmaceuticals through the internet. But who are the people behind these companies? While most of them do have at least a nurse practitioner on their staff, many are founded and run by people with no medical training or background. For many of these companies, the online screening will permit you to receive three months of birth control then report back to them a self-reported blood pressure to extend your prescription for the year. But what if you don’t get an accurate blood pressure reading on your own terms?
WHAT’S THE TRADE-OFF FOR CONVENIENCE?
While innovation is great, we believe safety is paramount. Birth control requires a prescription for a reason. Not every person is an ideal candidate for hormones. This is why it is so important to establish and maintain a relationship with a qualified health care professional that you trust. Keeping with the blood pressure example, say you are not aware you have chronic elevated blood pressure. Did you know that for some people, taking birth control pills can increase your blood pressure? You potentially put yourself at risk of developing a blood clot that can lead to stroke if you take birth control in this scenario. Making sure to receive an annual physical and exam with a qualified, trained health care professional can help you avoid these potentially harmful situations. During an annual exam, the provider will not only check your blood pressure, but he/she will listen to your heart, feel for any possible abnormalities or masses, and thoroughly ensure you are healthy enough to be prescribed birth control.
IS IT WORTH IT?
We all love the convenience that online services can provide, however convenience should not be a reason to forgo safety. If you or a blood-related family member have history of high blood pressure, clotting disorders, deep vein thrombosis (DVT), stroke, heart attack, or certain cancers; or if you are a smoker or could possibly be pregnant, you will want to ensure you see a trained medical professional before starting any hormonal contraception.
The highly trained and compassionate providers are North Atlanta Ob/Gyn are ready to help you determine which contraception is right for you. Call our office at 404.255.0621 to schedule your appointment today.