It’s affordable and fast!

The visit fee is only $15 and we have recommendations for pills that cost as little as $9 per month without insurance.

There is a 2-hour turnaround during business hours (Mon-Fri 8am-5pm PST) and within 24 hours outside of business hours. Much faster than getting an appointment at your doctor’s office.



Birth Control Pills HOW MUCH DOES IT COST? HOW OUR SERVICE WORKS

Can I get a refill of my current birth control pill?

Yes. We can give you a prescription for the birth control pill you have now as long as it’s safe to do so. If you’re over 35 and smoke,  we can only give you a prescription for what’s called a progestin-only pill. We follow nationally-recognized medical rules to decide whether it’s right to give you a specific birth control pill.

How many pills can I get?

Currently, we offer birth control pill prescriptions for up to 12 months at a time. You don’t need to pay for all 12 months at once. After 12, months you need to come back to Planned Parenthood Direct or a Planned Parenthood health center.

Can you start me on a new pill?

Yes. We can start you on birth control pills for the first time, or change you to a pill that better fits your needs.

How do birth control pills work?

Most birth control pills work by releasing hormones that keep your ovaries from releasing eggs. The hormones also thicken your cervical mucus, which helps to block sperm from getting to the egg.

Can you help me choose a pill?

Yes. We can recommend a pill that matches your needs if you don’t already have a specific one in mind. There are 2 broad categories of birth control pills to choose from – combination pills and progestin-only pills - and we can recommend affordable pills that are available at large pharmacies for as low as $9 per month.

How much is the visit fee?

Our visit fee is $15. This fee covers the doctor's evaluation, but it doesn't cover the cost of your medicine. We want to give you great care at a price you can afford.

You pay the $15 visit fee in the app using a credit or debit card.

We'll give back your $15 if we don't think it's right to give you a prescription.

What if I can’t afford to pay for this visit, but I still need birth control pills?

You can visit one of our Planned Parenthood health centers if you can’t pay the $15 visit fee or if you can’t pay for the birth control pills. We have low-cost to no-cost options based on your income and family size. 

Can I use my insurance for my birth control pills?

Yes, present your insurance card at the pharmacy when you pick up your pills.  The pharmacy will let you know whether your prescription is covered and about any copay.


Can I use my insurance for my visit fee?

No, but we're working on it.

Who do I pay for my birth control pills?

You pay for your birth control pills at the pharmacy, just like you would with a regular doctor's visit.

How quickly will you look at my request for birth control pills?

During normal business hours we will get back to you within 2 hours. Our business hours are Monday to Friday 8am-5pm Pacific Time, 11am-8pm Eastern Time.

Outside normal business hours, we try to get back to you within 24 hours.

You'll get a message from us in the app once we've sent your prescription to the pharmacy you wanted.

If the doctor needs to ask you any more questions, we'll send you a message or call you as soon as possible.

How do I measure my blood pressure at home?

It’s important to use a blood pressure monitor that has a cuff for the upper arm and has a label on the box that says ‘clinically validated.’ You can buy them in most drugstores or online. Always read the instructions carefully. We don’t recommend using finger and wrist monitors, as they tend to be less exact.

Rest for at least 5 minutes before starting. Wait at least 30 minutes after smoking, eating, drinking caffeine, or exercising.

Make sure the cuff for the upper arm fits right. A cuff that is the wrong size will give a bad reading. You should have room to fit your fingertips between the cuff and your arm.

Put the cuff on the right part of your arm. The lower part of the cuff should be about an inch above your elbow. Rest your elbow on a table so that the cuff is at the same level as your heart.

Take 2 readings in both arms and give us the highest number you record.

Where can I get my blood pressure measured for free?

Many pharmacies have a machine where you can measure your blood pressure for free. At many pharmacies, you can ask a pharmacy staff member to measure your blood pressure.

Can I get a prescription if I don't know my blood pressure?

No. To prescribe birth control pills, you need to give us your correct blood pressure measurements that have been taken in the past 6 months.


Why do I need to know my blood pressure?

You have a higher risk of serious side effects from a combination pill if you have high blood pressure, which is why we ask for a blood pressure measurement as part of our health questions. Even if you don’t know your blood pressure, just the chance that it might be high makes it unsafe to give you combination pills without measuring it first.

If you do have high blood pressure we can prescribe a progestin-only pill. Taking progestin-only pills is safe if you have high blood pressure. If you have high blood pressure, but still prefer to take a combination pill, we think it’s safer for you to have an in-person discussion with a doctor or nurse first so you can review all your options for birth control.

What about other types of birth control?

The Planned Parenthood website is a great place to learn about all birth control methods. If you're not sure if birth control pills are right for you, you can make an appointment  at your local Planned Parenthood.

Progestin-only pills (POP)

Progestin-only pills contain just one hormone, progestin.

Progestin-only pills have a lower risk of serious side effects compared to combination pills. But you need to take them at the same time every day or they don’t work as well. Of 100 women taking the POP, about 12 will become pregnant in one year.

We can prescribe progestin-only pills to women who can’t take combination pills through the Planned Parenthood Direct app, such as women 35 and older, women who have high blood pressure, or women with risk factors that make it dangerous for them to take a combination pill.

What are combination pills?

Combination pills have 2 hormones – estrogen and progestin. Most pills are combination pills.

Combination pills have a slightly higher risk of serious side effects than progestin-only pills, the other type of birth control pill.  Certain health conditions increase the risks of serious side effects. These serious side effects can include blood clots, stroke, and death. Because of the risk of serious side effects, our doctors will review your answers to our health questions before prescribing any medicine.

If you’re 35 or over and smoke, it's safer for you to either talk with a doctor or nurse face-to-face before obtaining a combination pill or take a pill that only contains progestin. 

If you have high blood pressure, it's not safe to take a combination pill. This is why you'll need to tell us your blood pressure. It's important that you give us the right blood pressure measurement from the last 3 months.

How effective are birth control pills?

About 9 in 100 women taking birth control pills will get pregnant every 12 months. Birth control pills can be more effective if they are taken exactly as directed.

Longer-acting birth control methods such as an IUD (intrauterine device), implant, and shot are more effective at stopping unplanned pregnancy. Learn more about longer-acting birth control methods at Planned Parenthood.

Do birth control pills protect against STDs?

No. Birth control pills don't protect you from sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), including HIV. You can get tested for chlamydia and gonorrhea, two of the most common STDs, with Planned Parenthood Direct or at a Planned Parenthood health center.

How is this different from a regular visit to the doctor?

Our doctors provide the same quality care, but in a different way.

With the Planned Parenthood Direct app, you won't talk to your doctor in-person. Instead, you'll answer health questions that our doctors think are important. Our doctors will then look at your answers and tell you the best option for what you need. Then they will send a prescription to the pharmacy you chose.

Before you start taking the medicine we prescribe, it's very important that you read all the information we give you so you can you see the risks and benefits.

Will I have a live video with a doctor or nurse?

No, but after you've answered our health questions, we'll ask you to use the app to take a picture of yourself so that our doctors to see who they're treating.

Is this a safe way to get care?

It is a safe way to get care as long as you answer our questions truthfully and you read the important information we give you. When we ask for a picture, it’s important that the picture is of you, not a different person, and that you took the picture then and there.

Before you take your medicine, it's very important that you read all the information we give you so you can you see the risks and benefits.

Which pharmacy can I choose?

We can send your prescription to any pharmacy in California.

Who can use the Planned Parenthood Direct app?

You need to be 16 or over and live in California to use the Planned Parenthood Direct app. Give us the right health information, birth date, and picture.

Why do I need to take a picture of myself in the app?

State regulations require that our doctors see who they're treating.

Is the Planned Parenthood Direct app private and secure?

Yes. We protect your personal information and we won’t share your personal health information without your agreement.

Can I tell my doctor about using the Planned Parenthood Direct app?

If you have a regular doctor, it's important to tell them about all the medicine you're taking, including any birth control pills we prescribe.

To make it easy for you to do this, using our app you can email yourself the prescriptions we prescribe and show that to your doctor.

Safe, easy, discreet. Download the app and get started today.