Oct 13, 2023

Why Is It So Hard to Get Birth Control?

Hand holding a phone with the Planned Parenthood Direct app open and the words "birth control from your phone!"

It’s no secret that access to birth control isn’t always easy. In fact, according to Power To Decide, more than 19 million women of reproductive age living in the US are in a contraceptive desert. That means they reside in a county where the number of health centers offering the full range of methods is not enough to meet the needs of the county’s number of women eligible for publicly funded contraception, defined as at least one health center for every 1,000 women in need of publicly funded contraception.  

At Planned Parenthood Direct, we believe in making access to birth control as equitable as possible. We do so by providing quality, compassionate care directly to our patients’ doorsteps (and always in discreet packaging)! Now, here are just a few barriers that can make access to affordable reproductive care a significant challenge.  

Small-town Stigma 

“Living in a small, fairly conservative town where everyone knows everyone is hard. The last thing I want is for people to know all private business.” 

Long Hours at Work 

“I work A LOT and that makes it pretty much impossible to take time off for a doctor’s appointment. Don’t even get me started on making it to the pharmacy before 7 PM.” 

Unreliable Transportation 

“My car is constantly in and out of the shop. It doesn’t make it any better that my doctor is located about 30 minutes away! How am I supposed to make it to an appointment just to get my birth control refilled?” 

Provider Struggles 

"I’ve struggled for a long time with finding a provider that won’t judge me for expressing my needs. My reproductive health is serious, and my requests should be taken seriously too!” 

No Insurance 

“I just turned 26, so I’m no longer able to be on my parent’s insurance. Out of pocket costs can quickly get out of hand. I really need a birth control option that is affordable.”  

Change in Insurance 

“My new job started this week, and everything is going great! The only thing I realized is my new insurance doesn’t cover my birth control and is going to make getting it insanely expensive. It’s time to look for another option.”   

Moved Away for College  

“I’m supposed to be starting college soon, but it’s pretty far from family’s house. Without being near home and my doctor, how am I going to get my birth control prescription refilled? Even then, how am I going to be able to afford it?” 

Mom With a Busy Schedule 

“I’m a mom of three and I’m done with having kids. Between taking care of the little ones, I barely have time to take care of myself. I need a birth control option that works for me.” 

Constant Moving  

“My parents move around for work a lot. Because of that, I often struggle to find a new doctor in our area. I just need a consistent way to get my birth control refilled. I really don’t want to miss a pill.”  

Judgmental Parents 

“I live with my parents, and I’ve never felt comfortable being open about my sexual activity with them. They think that birth control is unnecessary at my age, but I know otherwise. I wish I could get it without them knowing.”  

Maybe you’ve experienced a similar story and know just how difficult it can be to get birth control. Planned Parenthood Direct is here to help bridge the gap in affordable and convenient reproductive care in and provide care in just a few simple steps. Download the Planned Parenthood Direct app on the App Store or Google Play store to get started.  

Disclaimer: All scenarios are entirely fiction and do not represent real-life patients or events.  

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