There really is an app for everything nowadays: According to the New York Times, a "growing assortment of new apps and websites" is making it possible to obtain birth control without having to see a doctor.
Public health experts are hoping this will encourage more people to start or restart birth control and that it might bring down unintended pregnancy rates. The NYT reports that due to the fact that the apps and sites are privately funded, they're growing in popularity via word of mouth without the political backlash normally associated with birth control.
The NYT piece references six apps in particular: Lemonaid, Prjkt Ruby, Nurx, Virtuwell, Planned Parenthood Care, and Maven. They differ in various ways — for example, Lemonaid is available in seven states, Planned Parenthood Care in five; some of the sites require users to be 18 and older; some take insurance, some do not. And it's unclear how many people are using them so far.
Ultimately, most of the experts referenced in the NYT article agreed that birth control is safe enough to be sold over the counter — so why not online as well?
“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 NYT. “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.”
Read the full piece and learn more about each app here.