Birth control pills
You don’t have to visit a doctor in person for a birth control prescription.

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If you have a menstrual cycle, there’s a good chance you’ve considered taking the pill. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly all women use birth control at one point in their lifetimes.

Contraceptive pills have become a reliable and popular choice for pregnancy prevention, with a 99 percent effectiveness rate when used perfectly, according to the National Health Service.

Nowadays, birth control pills are even more accessible thanks to the profusion of online resources and delivery companies at your fingertips.

Read on to learn more about birth control and the services you can access online.

Birth control pill services are organizations from which you can order birth control online. This can be a discreet, convenient way to get the consultation and protection you need. Each service has different offerings and prices, so it’s important to do your research to find the best one for your needs.

To select a series of online birth control delivery services, we:

  • researched each service
  • spoke with medical professionals
  • read reviews to find which delivery services were most reliable and offered customers a positive overall experience

Best overall


  • Types of birth control offered: pills, ring, patch shot, emergency contraception (morning-after pill)
  • Why we chose it: great reputation, low cost

Nurx is one of the most popular birth control pill delivery services online, with more than 26,000 customer reviews. Nurx offers birth control pills, as well as other contraceptives, like the ring, patch, and shot.

To get a prescription, you must first answer a few basic medical questions before being paired with a Nurx medical professional. A brief health assessment will ask for your gender, age, weight, height, and experience using birth control.

Nurx will also ask for a blood pressure reading and your health history to determine which method of birth control is best for you.

For an initial $15 fee, the Nurx medical team will set up a medical consultation, which includes a year of unlimited messaging for any questions you may have, and they’ll provide a prescription. This fee doesn’t include the cost of filling the prescription, which may be free with insurance or an additional fee depending on your insurance coverage. If you don’t have health insurance, Nurx has options available from $15 per month with free delivery.

After your consultation, the Nurx pharmacy will fill your prescription and send along a 3-month supply with automatic refills. This allows you to receive medication without having to request a new prescription or follow-up appointment.

You can cancel your plan at any time.

Most reviewers praise Nurx for its customer service, professionalism, discreet packaging, and ease of use. The company has a 4.8 rating on its website, though some reviewers complain that they can be slow to respond to their messages.

Aside from birth control, Nurx also hosts a suite of health services, including dermatology, emergency contraception, treatments for sexually transmitted infections (STIs), HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), and migraine medications. The company also offers at-home STI and COVID-19 testing.


  • There are more than 100 generic and name-brand birth control options.
  • There’s a variety of options for those who cannot take combination birth control.
  • Nurx offers recognition and support for trans and nonbinary customers taking birth control. They can discuss interactions with a medical team and ensure birth control won’t affect gender-affirming therapy.
  • Emergency contraception is available.


  • Nurx doesn’t have medical professionals in Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming.
  • Deliveries typically take 3 to 5 business days. However, some online reviewers note their prescriptions took longer to arrive.
  • Insurance doesn’t cover the $15 consultation fee.

Best for timely care


  • Types of birth control offered: 100+ pills, NuvaRing, Xulane patch
  • Why we chose it: quick response and care

Lemonaid writes prescriptions for more than 100 birth control pills, as well as NuvaRing and the Xulane patch. Each prescription lasts a year, and deliveries typically include a 3-month supply.

One of the main draws of Lemonaid is the company’s quick turnaround time. The delivery company aims to review medical requests within 24 business hours, depending on your state’s requirements. Some states will require you to have a telehealth visit by phone or video before obtaining a prescription.

Lemonaid is also one of the few companies available to treat people in all 50 states, as well as Washington, D.C. You must be over the age of 18 to order through the service.

You’ll pay out of pocket for prescriptions delivered through the Lemonaid mail-order pharmacy. If you’d like to use insurance on your birth control order, Lemonaid can prescribe your birth control pill and send the order to a local pharmacy. Insurance does not cover medical consultations conducted by the site.

Most reviewers describe Lemonaid as fast, easy, and affordable. Some reviewers voice concerns about long wait times when planning a video visit with a medical professional.

Lemonaid also provides a variety of testing options and treatments for those experiencing anxiety, depression, insomnia, urinary tract infections, acne, asthma, hypothyroidism, and more.

The medical consultation fee is $25. Medication prices start at $15 per month for a 3-month supply. Promotions on first-time orders may be available.


  • Lemonaid offers free delivery in 2 to 3 days.
  • They’re available in every U.S. state and Washington, D.C.
  • They provide a free visit if you’ve run out of refills or haven’t had a visit in over a year.


  • When using insurance, you can’t take advantage of home delivery.
  • The $25 consultation fee is higher than the fees of some competitors.

Best for variety of pill offerings


  • Types of birth control offered: over 120 birth control pill, patch, and ring options
  • Why we chose it: wide variety of pill options

As its name indicates, SimpleHealth makes obtaining birth control easy. You can fill out a medical history form that will be reviewed by a SimpleHealth doctor to determine a birth control brand that’s safe and effective for you.

The one-time consultation fee is $20 and includes ongoing messaging with your doctor and patient experience team. Most insurances will cover birth control entirely, and out-of-pocket costs start at $15 per month.

SimpleHealth has garnered more than 6,000 reviews and a 4.60 rating on About 90 percent of reviewers say they would recommend SimpleHealth, and 95 percent report on-time delivery. Reviewers enjoy the simple process and convenience of delivering online.

Some reviewers, however, say their birth control orders were delayed, and the customer service team wasn’t helpful.

Aside from birth control, SimpleHealth offers its own brand of multivitamins, urinary tract support, and probiotic supplements.


  • There’s a variety of more than 120 birth control pill options at an affordable price.
  • If you have any issues with your experience or change your mind, the initial consultation fee is refundable.
  • Home deliveries ship quickly and on time.
  • Emergency contraception is available.


  • Some reviewers report their birth control brand changed unexpectedly after a few months of using the service.
  • Some reviewers voice inconsistency in reaching the customer service team.
  • There’s no phone number to reach SimpleHealth, so customers must email or text customer service, and they may have to wait several days for a reply.

Best for overall sexual health


  • Types of birth control offered: pills (generic brands), condoms
  • Why we chose it: addresses health issues beyond pregnancy

When it comes to packaging, nothing compares to this aesthetically pleasing style. From the millennial-targeted typeface to the colorful pill pack envelopes, Hers offers simplistic packaging with a process that’s just as easy.

Hers offers 13 different birth control pills, but only the generic versions are available. Like most online prescription services, Hers requires a short questionnaire. After a Hers physician reviews the medical questionnaire, you’ll have a brief consultation to understand the best pill for you.

Hers professionals are available in every state and can address concerns beyond pregnancy prevention, like acne, mood changes, headaches, and missed periods. After your visit, your professional is available for any follow-up questions and concerns you may have.

New pill packs will arrive 6 days before your last dosage, ensuring you never miss a day. Reviewers like the affordable prices and stress-free delivery.

Hers also offers various sexual health products, like condoms, personal lubricants, vibrators, yeast infection treatments, and STI treatments.

The company is the sister to Hims, a health, hair, and skin care brand marketed toward men. Hers also offers some of the same hair and skin care products that Hims does.

Hers doesn’t accept health insurance, so you have to pay out of pocket. They offer plans as low as $12 per month, but some pills are more expensive than others.


  • Hers offers affordable generic birth control pills starting at $12 per month in every state.
  • Deliveries are free and users report them being consistently on time.
  • Hers provides detailed information on which pills are best for treating certain conditions, like acne, PMS, and heavy periods.
  • You get access to medical professionals who can discuss your options and provide judgement-free medical advice about your sexual activity and health.


  • Hers only offers generic brands, so look elsewhere if you’re looking for a name brand.
  • They don’t accept insurance, so all orders must be paid for out of pocket.

Best for seeking female doctors

Pandia Health

  • Types of birth control offered: pills, patches, rings, emergency contraception
  • Why we chose it: female-founded and led

Pandia Health is the only birth control delivery service that’s female-founded and led, making it a great option for those who want to support a woman-owned business.

Founded by Yen, a physician with more than 20 years of experience, the company has a mission to make its customers’ lives easier by providing timely access to birth control.

If you have an existing prescription, you can upload it and begin to receive deliveries for your desired birth control. If you’re in need of a prescription, you’ll need to pay $25 to fill out a brief health consultation form, which is reviewed by a Pandia Health doctor.

With insurance, most people pay $0. Without insurance, prices start at $15 per month with free delivery. You can apply for financial aid to cover the cost of the $25 consultation fee, birth control, and emergency contraceptive if you’re in California, Florida, Louisiana, or Texas.

You’ll need your latest blood pressure measurement, government ID, credit card, and health insurance card if you’re using insurance.

If you have insurance, Pandia Health will write a prescription, and you’ll receive free deliveries of your birth control from the company’s partner pharmacy with automatic refills for a year. How many months of pills you receive at a time varies by your insurance coverage. If you’re paying out of pocket, Pandia Health can ship as many months of medication as you are willing to pay for, up to a year.

Reviewers say Pandia Health is affordable, convenient, and features quick delivery. In addition to birth control pills, they also offer birth control patches, rings, and emergency contraceptives.


  • Pandia Health allows you to upload your existing active prescription.
  • The physicians will check in periodically to see how you’re feeling on your birth control.
  • There’s an option to donate to the charity partner of Pandia Health, the Center for Policy Analysis, to help bring telemedicine consultations and birth control to underserved women.
  • Emergency contraception is available.


  • Pandia Health accepts most insurances, but currently does not accept Kaiser, Cal Optima, LA Care, Humana, Sunshine Health, and StayWell.
  • For active prescriptions, Pandia Health can provide deliveries in all 50 states. However, Pandia Health can only provide online medical consultations and new prescriptions in states with professionals: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Minnesota, Michigan, Nevada, New York, Texas, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Washington, and Wyoming.

Best for sweet surprises


Types of birth control offered: pills, Annovera ring, FC2 internal condom, emergency contraception

Why we chose it: affordable birth control and handy extras

Favor (formerly The Pill Club) delivers special goodies in every shipment. The company carries more than 120 FDA-approved brands. Favor also features an add-on option to receive a generic Plan B or an FC2 internal condom with the pill delivery.

After you fill out a questionnaire, the Favor medical team will work with you to pick out a birth control that fits your needs. Once you receive your prescription, you can choose between a 1- or 3-month supply, depending on your insurance coverage.

If you have an active prescription from a previous provider, you can skip the medical consultation and work with Favor to fill your prescription. Bonus: The company delivers to all 50 states, including Washington, D.C., and they can prescribe in 47 states. Exclusions include Arkansas, Alaska, Mississippi, and U.S. territories like Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

With more than 5 million prescriptions delivered, Favor has a 4.8 rating on the iPhone App Store. Reviewers praise the brand’s helpful medical team, texting options, affordability, and, of course, the goodies.

Favor carries the Annovera ring, emergency contraception, the FC2 internal condom, and a large selection of popular birth control pill brands.

If you have health insurance, your consultation and birth control pills are covered. If you decide to pay out of pocket, the consultation is free, but packs start at $6.99 per pack. Plus, there’s a $15 membership consultation fee per year, no matter if you’re using insurance or paying out of pocket.


  • You get fun monthly treats with each delivery.
  • There’s a large variety of birth control pill brands and generics available.
  • The company allows you to share your previous prescription.
  • Delivery is available to all 50 states, and they can prescribe in most U.S. states.
  • The monthly out-of-pocket expenses are cheaper than other services.
  • Emergency contraception is offered.


  • Certain Medicaid plans don’t allow Favor to automatically ship refills, but the company will contact you if this affects you.
  • Favor doesn’t prescribe birth control in Alaska, Arkansas, and Mississippi, as well as U.S. territories, like Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

Best for convenience


Types of birth control offered: pills, patch, ring, gel

Why we chose it: quick appointments and free delivery

Optum prides itself on being flexible with its patients’ schedules, rather than making them wait around for an appointment. It takes just up to 24 hours to get your personalized treatment plan, and the Optum team is available for questions 24/7. Plus, they deliver your birth control directly, making the whole process super convenient.

Initial consultations and shipping are free, and your birth control auto-refill treatment starts from just $10 depending on the type you choose. What’s nice is there are over 30 brands to pick from, so chances are something will suit your needs.


  • Free delivery provided.
  • Quick turnaround for treatment plan.
  • Various types of birth control offered.


  • No appointments offered.
  • Not many insurance plans accepted.

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Accepts insurance?Virtual consultation feeExpected deliveryOther products available
Nurxyes$153–5 daysmorning after pill, STI treatments, migraine medication
Lemonaidyes$252–3 daystreatments for anxiety, depression, acne & more
SimpleHealthyes$202–7 daysmultivitamins, probiotic supplements, urinary tract support
Hersnoincluded in subscription fee6 days before last dosecondoms, lubricants, vibrators, yeast infection & STI treatments
Pandia Healthyes$202–3 daysemergency contraception, acne treatment
Favoryesfree, but there’s a $15 yearly membership fee3–5 daysemergency contraception, skin care
Optumsomefree for first provider consult, subsequent consults are $155 business daysmedication/treatment, personal care, tests & devices, baby, child & home health products

There are many types of birth control, including the following.

  • Pill: The birth control pill is a highly effective, inexpensive hormonal birth control method with few side effects. The pill is ideal for those looking for an easy-to-take birth control and perhaps also looking for other healthcare solutions. For instance, some pills help clear up acne as well as prevent pregnancy.
  • Patch: The contraceptive patch has the same hormones as other birth control types, but it’s more convenient as a compact patch that’s easy to apply to the skin. This method is ideal for anyone who does not want to (or cannot) remember to take a pill each day.
  • Ring: The discreet, low-maintenance hormonal birth control ring is worn for 4 weeks in the vagina and can easily be changed at home. This method is ideal for anyone who does not want to remember to take a pill each day and may not like the feeling of a patch on their skin.
  • IUD (intrauterine device): An IUD is a tiny device that goes inside your uterus for a long period of time to prevent pregnancy. It’s made of flexible plastic shaped into a T and can come as a hormonal (progestin) or copper IUD. Both types of devices work by altering the way sperm moves inside the uterus so that it can’t reach an egg. This type of birth control is great for those wanting a reversible but long-term way to prevent pregnancy.
  • Gel: A newer type of nonhormonal birth control, vaginal gel prevents pregnancy by lowering the vagina’s pH level when sperm is present. This means sperm cannot move around as easily, which decreases the odds it will meet with an egg and result in pregnancy. Gel is a great birth control method for those who cannot tolerate or choose not to take hormonal birth control.
  • Condom: Standard condoms are worn around the penis and prevent semen from making contact with an egg. Made from very thin latex, polyisoprene, or polyurethane, they’re about 98% effective at preventing pregnancy when used correctly. Since condoms also protect against STIs, they’re great for anyone looking for a single method of protection.
  • Internal condom: Internal (or “female”) condoms protect from pregnancy and STIs in a similar way that standard, “male” condoms do. However, these soft plastic (nitrile) pouches are inserted into the vagina to prevent pregnancy or into the vagina or anus to prevent STIs by creating a barrier that stops sperm from contacting an egg. Like standard condoms, this type of birth control is ideal for those wanting a single method of protection.
  • Emergency contraception: Emergency contraception can come in two forms. The first is an IUD available within 5 days after practicing sex without a condom or another barrier method. This is the most effective emergency contraception type. The second form is an emergency contraception pill (“the morning-after pill”), which is to be taken within 5 days of not practicing safer sex. This type of contraception is meant for those who did not use an alternate birth control method while having vaginal intercourse, or if their birth control method failed or could likely have failed (i.e., due to forgetting to use birth control, experiencing a condom breaking, or experiencing another circumstance that could result in pregnancy).

With the surge of on-demand delivery companies, obtaining birth control is more convenient than ever. You can now order contraceptives with a few clicks online without having to take the time to visit your doctor or a clinic.

When shopping online, you want to make sure that the online delivery is legitimate and features medical professionals who specialize in birth control.

“Look for companies that list their doctors’ first and last names, education, and experience,” Yen suggests. “You want expert care by expert doctors, so it’s worth taking the time to do some research before choosing a birth control or telemedicine company online. Look at the Google reviews for how reliable the service is.”

For in-person prescriptions

If you have contraindications to estrogen-containing birth control, consider obtaining a birth control prescription in person. Contraindications are conditions that serve as a reason to not take the pill due to the potential harm.

Common contraindications include:

  • high blood pressure
  • history of blood clots
  • history of lupus with clotting antibodies
  • breast cancer
  • liver cancer
  • being a smoker over age 35 years
  • diabetes with complications
  • history of migraine with aura

Seeing a healthcare professional for in-person birth control prescriptions can be beneficial for discussing your medical history, taking and monitoring your blood pressure, and administering any needed exams.

In-person visits can provide an opportunity for a more thorough health evaluation, which can be particularly important if you’re starting birth control for the first time or the first time in a long time.

For health concerns

Consulting a healthcare professional doctor before starting birth control is very important if you have specific health concerns.

Like with other medications, birth control comes with potential risks and side effects that might be heightened in those with certain health conditions, past or present. For example, those who have had breast cancer may be advised against hormonal birth control methods. Or other medications you might be taking for a health condition could interfere with your birth control.

Also, your lifestyle can influence how your body might react to birth control. For example, smoking can raise the risk of developing blood clots while on the birth control pill.

And although there are known side effects of birth control like spotting and cramping, if you’re concerned about any of them, an app or automated service cannot provide the same medical support a doctor can.

Birth control pills are safe for most people, but they do have some side effects and risks. Each person reacts differently, so you may or may not experience side effects associated with the pill.

Common side effects include:

  • spotting between periods
  • nausea
  • headaches
  • sore breasts

Side effects typically go away after the first few months, but contact your doctor if your discomfort exceeds the 3-month mark. Birth control shouldn’t make you feel sick, and your doctor can help you find the best method for you.

While rare, there are also some more serious health risks associated with oral contraceptives. Blood clots are a serious but rare risk of using birth control pills, particularly combination pills.

Blood clots can cause:

  • deep vein thrombosis
  • heart attack
  • stroke
  • pulmonary embolism

If you have high blood pressure or are in a larger body, talk with your doctor about the risk of using combination birth control.

Additionally, because of safety risks associated with combination pills, let your doctor know if you have a personal or family history of blood clots or migraine with aura.

Fake pills

Fake pills are produced to deceive consumers. They’re rampant, sold online every day, and are contaminated. They also do not have the right or any active ingredient, or they contain the right ingredients in the wrong dose. They could seriously harm you or result in an unplanned pregnancy.

For these reasons, it’s very important to practice due diligence — do your research and be careful where you buy your birth control pills if you do so online. Many fake pill packaging looks identical to the real thing, but you can see the difference when you compare the actual pills.

Is it OK to buy birth control online?

Yes, buying birth control online from reputable retailers is safe and easy. Whether you’re looking to receive your existing prescription by mail or need to get a prescription virtually, these services can help.

However, if you have certain medical conditions (like high blood pressure) it’s best to opt for in-person care.

Can I get birth control without a doctor?

Birth control pills do require a prescription, but you don’t need to visit a doctor’s office to get it. You can receive a prescription over the phone or through an online birth control service.

In some areas, including California, you can also get a prescription from your local pharmacist.

Which online birth control subscription is best?

There are many birth control services online. Finding the one that’s right for you involves understanding which features you’re looking for and choosing a provider that best meets your needs.

For example, if you’re looking to have your prescription ready ASAP, Lemonaid may be best.

How much is birth control?

There is no set pricing for birth control as it depends on different factors like if and how much your insurance covers it, where you obtain it, and the type of contraceptive you’re getting.

It can be free or as much as $2,000. As an example, birth control pills can cost between $20 and $50 per pack, or $240–600 annually, according to the National Women’s Health Network.

Do I need insurance to get birth control?

You do not need insurance to get birth control. You can pay for it out of pocket. While many employer and private health plans are required to include family planning and birth control coverage at no additional cost, the type and amount of coverage varies by plan.

Oral contraceptives are a safe, effective way to prevent pregnancy and relieve period pain. Birth control pills treat a variety of health issues, and can even help prevent endometrial and ovarian cancer.

Online birth control delivery companies help remove barriers to access by offering a convenient and affordable way to obtain birth control — with or without insurance coverage.

When shopping online, it’s best to apply caution and research companies before making an order.

While not suited for those with certain health conditions, online birth control delivery programs are an easy and time-saving route for obtaining birth control.

Jillian Goltzman is a freelance journalist covering culture, social impact, wellness, and lifestyle. She’s been published in various outlets, including Cosmopolitan, Glamour, and Fodor’s Travel Guide. Outside of writing, Jillian is a public speaker who loves discussing the power of social media — something she spends too much time on. She enjoys reading, her houseplants, and cuddling with her corgi. Find her work on her website, blog, Twitter, and Instagram.