Can Teladoc Prescribe Birth Control? (Explained!)

Birth control has been available in America for over 60 years. Despite that, access to it has not always been easy. With the recent rise in telemedicine, and the growth of giants like Teladoc, a lot of patients are turning to it with questions surrounding reproductive health.

So, can Teladoc prescribe birth control?

Teladoc physicians can prescribe birth control. But it is both state and case-dependent. The laws surrounding birth control prescriptions, without physical examination, vary. As Teladoc’s physicians are certified by state, there’s no guarantee of prescription. It’s also only available for certain types of contraceptives.

As a health student interested in telemedicine and the possibilities it offers, the question is an interesting one. I’ll go into it more in depth in this article.

Here’s what else we’ll cover:

  • How Teladoc works in terms of birth control
  • What types of physicians are best to talk to
  • When you can get birth control prescriptions
  • Other important things to consider

It’s super important you do your research when it comes to telemedicine and your own personal health. Using services like Teladoc, although it offers lots of advantages, isn’t always for everyone.

Honest answers to common questions are crucial!

Ready to get started? Let’s go.

Interested in learning more about telemedicine? Check out our guides here.

How does Teladoc work in terms of birth control?

Because Teladoc puts patients in direct contact with board certified physicians, it is possible to get birth control prescriptions.

As the topic is generally considered “non-emergency”, it could be considered a common use of the service.

Patients can book a “visit” through the website or app, arrange a phone or video call with a doctor, and discuss their options. Physicians can then issue prescriptions that can be picked up via local pharmacies (more on this later).

When can Teladoc prescribe birth control?

It’s important to understand that not every Teladoc consultation may end in a prescription for birth control. It’s at the physicians’ discretion.

Something else that determines when or if you can get birth control via the service are state laws surrounding the issue.

In the US, there are five States where it is illegal to issue prescriptions for birth control without in-person consults. These are:

  1. Indiana
  2. Arizona
  3. New Jersey
  4. New Mexico
  5. Nevada

If you make a consult with a Teladoc doctor while you reside in any of these states, you will not be able to get a prescription for birth control (Source).

You will have to see a physician in-person, outside of telemedicine, to do so.

What type of birth control can Teladoc physician’s prescribe?

Teladoc physician’s can prescribe most common forms of birth control via the service. A common exception here is intrauterine devices (IUD’s). These must be fitted by medical professionals to ensure proper functioning.

Commonly prescribed birth control medications include:

  • Progestin-only minipills
  • Combination pills (estrogen and progestin)

It’s recommended to discuss these options (and the pros and cons of each) during your patient-doctor consultation.

What type of physician can prescribe birth control via Teladoc?

The most obvious specialists that offer important advice surrounding birth control are obstetrics and gynecologist (OB-GYN) doctors. These are specialists in reproductive health who know best the benefits and risks of using birth control and contraceptive medicines.

You can arrange consultations with OB-GYN practicioners directly via the Teladoc website or app.

Family medicine doctors are also well placed to discuss sexual health concerns and questions surrounding birth control.

As mentioned before, not all physicians will be able to prescribe birth control. Laws surrounding the issue are state dependent.

Although it’s perfectly fine to use telemedicine services to discuss concerns or questions related to sexual health, you can’t always expect the doctors you talk to will write you prescriptions.

Can Teladoc refill birth control?

Teladoc doctors can refill birth control prescriptions.

As long as you do not reside in any of the states listed above, a consulting physician should be able to issue a prescription to your local pharmacy.

Refills, just as prescriptions, are typically short-term (up to a month).

What to ask about birth control during a Teladoc consult

It’s really important to be open and honest about your needs and concerns surrounding birth control.

The doctors you talk to through the service are trained professionals with extensive experience dealing with female reproductive health issues.

Ensure you provide your doctors with an accurate medical history (take your time to complete your account survey information beforehand) and a prepared list of questions.

Physician’s need to ensure your safety for this type of medication before prescribing it.

Telemedicine birth control

The COVID-19 pandemic saw a growing trend in people talking to telemedicine services like Teladoc to discuss issues surrounding reproductive health.

According to Healthline, although more people are turning to telemedicine to address their needs concerning birth control, there are still “gaps in coverage” (Source) concerning availability.

Several petitions have been raised in recent months looking to life telemedicine restrictions preventing women from accessing prescriptions.

During the pandemic there were also issues concerning supply chains.

One of the biggest barriers to telemedicine and birth control has been awareness. Many individuals are simply unaware they can get access to birth control medications through telemedicine services.

Summary

Teladoc can prescribe birth control if you reside and make a virtual consult inside of U.S. States where its legally permitted to grant prescription without physical examination.

You’ll need to either pay for a flat-fee consultation or have access to Teladoc’s services via a subscription to benefit.

Sources

  • https://www.texmed.org/Template.aspx?id=4698