Types of birth control pills: Effectiveness, risks, and more

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Birth control pills can prevent pregnancy by stopping ovulation and thickening cervical mucus. In addition to emergency contraception pills, there are two main types of birth control pills. All pills require specific and consistent use to work effectively.

A quick look at the best places to get birth control pills online

Between 2017–201965% of women in the United States used birth control, with 14% using birth control pills.

This article examines birth control pills and the different types. It also provides a list of online platforms where birth control pills are available.

In the US, birth control pills are the most common form of contraception.

A person usually takes one birth control pill daily, which contains hormones that prevent ovulation. They can also thicken cervical mucus to prevent sperm from reaching an egg.

Types of birth control

Types of birth control pills include:

  • Combination pill: This pill contains both estrogen and progestin. Estrogen prevents the eggs from developing, and the progestin prevents ovulation and helps to thicken the cervical mucus.
  • Progestin pill only: The progestin in these pills works by thickening the cervical wall to stop fertilization.
  • Emergency contraception: Some pills, such as those containing levonorgestrel or ulipristal, can prevent pregnancy if a person takes it as soon as possible after having sex without other forms of contraception. The sooner a person takes emergency contraception, the more effective it can be. Emergency contraceptive pills have no effect on an already established pregnancy.

Combination pills are usually the first thing a doctor will consider prescribing to a person.

Pills that contain natural or synthetically-derived estrogen may not be suitable for everyone, including people who smoke or those with specific conditionsas:

Birth control pills are suitable for individuals who have penetrative sex who do not want to get pregnant.

The UK National Health Service (NHS) states that the combined pill is more than 99% effective if a person takes it right.

The NHS also says that the progestin-only pill is also more than 99% effective with perfect use – meaning that a person takes the medication at the same time, every day, without delay.

Many online companies offer birth control pills. Below are some options for a person to consider.

Best for choice: Nurx

Nurx has more than 50 different brands of pills, including generic forms. These include combination and progestin-only pills. It also provides emergency contraception.

In addition, Nurx sells other forms of birth control such as a ring, shots and a patch.

Nurx accepts most private health insurance plans, apart from Medicaid and Medicare. How much an insured person pays each month will depend on the co-payment determined by their insurer.

There is a $ 15 consultation fee that is generally not eligible for insurance coverage, and uninsured people can approx. $ 15 per month for their medication.


  • a wide range of brands and prices to choose from
  • free delivery
  • accepts most forms of health insurance
  • also provides medications for acne, migraines, cold sores and mental health


  • not available in all states
  • the consultation fee is usually not eligible for cover by insurers
  • does not accept government health care programs

Best free trial period: Wisp

Wisp is offering new customers their first month for free.

The company has 15 different types of birth control pills, including combination and progestin-only. They also have two types of pills for emergency contraception.

Prices start at $ 5 per month.

Wisp sends products free of charge in discrete packaging, or on the same day pick-up is available at a person’s local pharmacy. The company also provides medical advice 24 hours a day.


  • free delivery
  • available in all 50 states
  • free trial


  • does not accept insurance as payment

Best for medical support: Favor

Favor, formerly known as The Pill Club, offers contraception and ongoing personal medical care.

It claims to have more than 120 brands of birth control pills available, including combination and progestin-only pills. A person can also buy emergency contraception and contraception.

The company accepts many insurance plans, but individuals may have to pay a $ 15 consultation fee that insurers will not cover. Without insurance, prices start from $ 6.99 per pack for a 1-year stock.


  • products are available in all 50 states
  • the company offers free delivery
  • there is ongoing medical support


  • the company may require some people in some states to have a video consultation
  • there is an additional charge for a consultation

Best subscription service: SimpleHealth

SimpleHealth is a subscription service that provides automated refills to customers.

It claims to offer most types of birth control pills, including progestin and combination pills.

In addition, it provides a contraceptive patch and vaginal ring.

An initial consultation with SimpleHealth costs $ 20. Insurance usually does not cover the consultation fee. However, SimpleHealth accepts most major insurance plans that cover the price of the medication. For those without insurance, prices start from $ 7 a month.


  • free delivery
  • accept most insurance plans


  • SimpleHealth doctors can take 72 hours to review and comply with prescriptions
  • is not sent to all states

Here are some considerations when a person is looking for a contraceptive pill.

  • Talk to a doctor: A person should first consult a doctor or health care professional to discuss health conditions or medications that may have a negative interaction with a pill’s ingredients.
  • Menstrual cycle: Some pills can affect a person’s menstrual cycle, so discussing them with a medical professional can help manage their expectations.
  • Costs: It is important to consider costs with prescribed medication. Some birth control pills may cost more than others, and some health insurance plans may cover only part of the cost. Individuals should explore all options to ensure they stay within budget.

A person may experience a minor side effects when first taking or changing birth control pills, including:

If the side effects worsen or do not go away after a few weeks, a person should consult a doctor.

Below we look at some common questions related to birth control pills.

Can you get pregnant while on birth control?

It is still possible to get pregnant while using birth control.

However, the NHS estimates that less than 1 in 100 people get pregnant when they use the birth control pill perfectly. With typical use, this statistic rises to 9 out of 100 people.

What happens if you stop taking birth control pills?

Individuals can stop taking birth control pills whenever they want. However, anecdotal evidence points to some side effects when discontinuing use, such as irregular menstrual cycles, weight changes, and acne.

Stop birth control periods?

A person can choose to take a pill to stop their periods completely. They can also take a range of active and inactive pills. A person takes the inactive pills 7 days every month, which allows them to have a regular menstrual period.

There are two main types of birth control pills – combination and progestin-only. They both aim to prevent pregnancy by either thickening cervical mucus, preventing ovulation, or both.

A person can receive the pills via an online service or a personal prescription. Insurance companies usually cover the costs associated with birth control pills.

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