Getting The Pill the Old-Fashioned Way

I finally made the step towards infertility- well, temporary infertility, that is. I’ve been considering getting on the birth control pill for a few months now and I am finally taking a hormone pill everyday at 9:30am. I would have gotten on the pill sooner, but to be honest, I was nervous. Part of my hesitation to start the pill was the amount of options I had to get a prescription. Nowadays, you can get a prescription for the pill online with companies like Nurx or walk into any Planned Parenthoodl. Now legal under Utah law, you can also  completely skip the doctor (even the online one in Nurx) and just speak to a pharmacist, who can dispense birth control pills to any person over 18 years old. All of these options are great for any modern college women, but I have to say, I’m kind of old-fashioned and these options weren’t the best for me. I don’t trust these easy options to find birth control because they seem less personal. My need for connection spans beyond just birth control though- I prefer to visit a physical bank rather than draw money out of the ATM and would rather walk to the scholarship office to ask a quick question than wait for an email reply. So what are old-fashioned twenty-somethings like myself to expect when getting the pill the tried and true way: making an in-person appointment with your doctor?

Obviously, the first step was to schedule an appointment with my doctor. I called my work clinic and set up an appointment with a female family nurse practitioner at her next available date, which was about a month out. That is one qualm of getting birth control the old-fashioned way- the process is much more time-consuming overall as you have to wait for your appointment and pick up a prescription every month.

I then arrived on the day of my appointment on time. The medical assistant who brought me in took my weight and vitals as expected and then left me in the exam room to wait for my doctor. When my doctor came in, she was excited to meet me and tell me about birth control. She first asked me what my reasons for my visit were that day and I explained I was here for birth control amongst other personal concerns. She then took about 5 minutes to ask me a few questions, such as my family history of blood clots and strokes, if I smoked or not, and details about my menstrual cycle so she could choose the right birth control pill for me. I then spent about 15 minutes asking her different questions about how birth control worked and when I was protected against pregnancy, etc. She then reviewed possible side effects, including spot bleeding between periods and headaches that all should resolve within the first 6 months of taking the pill. My doctor then busted some birth control myths:  birth control shouldn’t and doesn’t make you gain weight or cause acne. She also assured me that if I was experiencing any troublesome side effects, I could call the clinic and speak to her about possibly switching pills. Overall, the whole visit took about 20 minutes, but still made me feel comfortable about starting bill control. 

I then went to my local Walgreens that night and picked up my generic birth control pills. Since my company covers all birth control (even if you aren’t on the company’s insurance), I paid $0 for the pills. If I had paid though, the cost would have been $35 for a month’s supply. 

Overall, visiting with my doctor to get birth control the old-fashioned way made me feel more confident about my decision to control my fertility. The experience also alleviated some anxiety I was having about side effects and the changes my body would experience on birth control. For those who would really prefer to have a relationship with their doctor about their sexual health, I would highly recommend getting your birth control prescription the old-fashioned way.

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