New App for Birth Control Pills: No Humiliating Exams

gynoPlanned Parenthood is working on a new app that will enable women to purchase birth control prescriptions without needing to visit a doctor.  The app will enable women to converse online with a nurse practitioner and obtain mail-order birth control pills.  The app will be available in Washington and Minnesota but the hope is to make it available nationwide.

From the new app article in the Seattle Times:

Chris Charbonneau, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest:  “People are sexually active for six to nine months before they get a really reliable birth-control method.” . . . “You remember back in the day, we thought we needed a pelvic exam and 37 other things in order to get birth-control pills,” Charbonneau says . . . All it really did was convince a lot of women that birth control had something to do with having a pelvic exam, she says. In fact, the only relevant test is blood pressure to make sure it’s not high, she says, a number the medical provider will ask for. In most communities, blood-pressure readings are available at drugstores and community centers. “When we actually took ourselves through the discipline of figuring out exactly what’s safe and what’s not safe, in the bricks-and-mortar world we decided long ago we didn’t have to do a pelvic exam,” Charbonneau says, and it didn’t make sense to add requirements for the online world.  http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2024575540_plannedparenthoodappxml.html

Pelvic exams impose an unnecessary hurdle to health care that some women find unacceptable, humiliating and traumatic.  Women may be reluctant to visit doctors for birth control pills due to the pelvic exam requirement that some health care providers still insist on. In fact, a recent poll on this site indicates that roughly 84 percent of respondents have stopped going to doctors due to pap test coercion.

The World Health Organization (WHO), American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), and other health leaders have declared that a pelvic exam/pap test is not medically necessary for birth control pills. ACOG notes that “half of all pregnancies in the United States are unintended”.  ACOG specifies that “screening for cervical cancer or STIs is not medically required to provide hormonal contraception”.  However, even though the medically unnecessary exams may be a contributing factor in high rates of unintended pregnancy, many doctors still insist on examining women prior to granting prescriptions.

Some women have already found a way around the pelvic exam obstacle by ordering birth control prescriptions online, but the new app promises to provide an additional option.

About forwomenseyesonly

Hi. My name is Sue and I am interested in promoting holistic and respectful health care.
Gallery | This entry was posted in app for birth control pills, bimanual exam, health, pap test, pelvic exam, planned parenthood, unnecessary pelvic exam and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

23 Responses to New App for Birth Control Pills: No Humiliating Exams

  1. Alex says:

    Very cool! Don’t know if that’ll happen or if it’ll catch on (I know New York & LA tend very heavily toward telling people what to do & are still, somewhat, trend-setters), but interesting. A potential problem, though: It allows for someone to gain fairly easy access to someone’s medical information for whatever purposes they cook up.

    Isn’t it odd? That instead of this just being over-the-counter, now there’s all kinds of angles & avenues to get these things that they should be able to get in the first place. All the ranting & raving about freedom & independance that I’ve heard in my life & all the talk about how things go in the Middle East (particularly with self-elective penetration & mangling of women’s parts).

  2. Kleigh US says:

    I read a few posts about this online. Some worrie that this will “discurage woman from exams.” and thin they go on to defind this implying it was to get “woman started on the pil” Like woman will be latter forced to have exams latter.

  3. Diane says:

    I really hope that all Planned Parenthoods will get on board with this. I remember that when I approached them for the Pill in NYC about five years ago, they told me that they could only give me a six months’ supply – and then they would require a Pap, STD testing and a full bimanual exam before they would prescribe more, because “we need to know that you’re okay.” Of course I flipped them the finger, left and simply procured the BCP elsewhere. I also have a friend who was referred for colposcopy from PP in NYC – the letter they sent her looked as though it was intended for a nursery school child and simply said that colposcopy was a “special camera.” If PP is truly getting on board with this app, it will be a wonderful thing.

    • Kleigh US says:

      I hope they are true to there word and not just trying to suck more woman into taking the pill and thin being forced to have unrelated exams/pap smears to get more pills. the things I have read about this talk about american woman having so many unwanted pregnancys and this is supose to help that.

  4. Moo says:

    This is planned parenthoods record sheet for a women coming in and asking for birth control. HOPE is hormonal option without pelvic exam. Onl they would push for other screenings on the sheet and ask why a women has not had a WWE (well woman exam) lately, other tests for STIs, screening for domestic violence and BMI etc. it is not just about preventing unwanted pregnancies or providing the pill for women who want it.

    http://www.plannedparenthood.org/files/3314/0303/9751/HOPE_Visit_Form.pdf

    • Karen says:

      I wonder what the hidden agenda is with all that domestic violence stuff… maybe it is a convenient reason to separate women from their partners when they are at the doctor’s?

    • Diane says:

      Yeah, the Planned Parenhood I went to supposedly had HOPE. They just START you on the pill, they don’t promise they will keep giving it to you…

      • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

        I’ve heard that a fair bit over the years, PP/HOPE starts you on the Pill and then the pressure starts, I suppose they think they’ve got their claws into you…coax women through the door, tell them what they want to hear, and then push them into “well-woman” exams. (of course, they are as far away from wellness exams as we are from Mars)
        Incredible that things that were never clinical requirements for the Pill have been protected for so long; contraception should be freely available, not used to manipulate and use women and expose them to avoidable health and life risks. I’ve always considered it assault, the fact so many are happy with that arrangement is a shameful reflection on the medical profession. (and others) Brainwashing can blur the lines so assault can look like medical care or thoroughness. That’s why the medical profession is in a unique position to harm and take advantage, so the highest ethical standards should prevail. There is no point talking about ethics and informed consent, when assault is the preferred way to “handle” women.

      • Kay says:

        Those are my thoughts also:
        the new app will just enable the Planned Parenthood to catch more women with the promise of easily-obtainable contraception pills, and then start pressuring them into all sorts of screening, invasive tests and unnecessary exams. They know very well that it is very unhealthy to start taking hormonal pills, then stop if the woman can’t get a script renewal, then shop around until she finds a decent doctor, then start the pills again…

        So the woman will either agree to the tests and exams in order to keep her script uninterrupted, or will wreck a havoc with her taking hormonal pills irregularly, which may easily will lead to abnormalities in cervix epithelium and other tissues, and so she will end up with an “abnormal” pap, colposcopy or “treatment”.

        More business for the medical establishment in either case!

  5. Kleigh US says:

    I really think its a way to suck woman in that dont waqnt exams thin rip the pill from them when they refuse paps/exams. it like they are trying to fish for woman who dont go for paps. also planed parent hood seems like they are doing society a faver by std screening woman like thats there job. it erks me. the attitude.

  6. Alex says:

    You know, I tend to wonder if they fuck around with the medication to cause problems. Maybe there’d be some weird conspiracy to make the pills somewhat jacked-up or something so that it causes a problem that a woman would maybe think “Oh, I need to see someone for this to get fixed.” Of course, this more & more works out to be a bad idea with anything- not just things that are female specific.

    I know that’s comes off a little paranoid, but so many things don’t work like it’s supposed to in this country- it gets one to wondering “Maybe it IS working like it’s supposed to, just not like it’s advertised.”

    • Diane says:

      The thing is, I don’t think a lot of them have in house pharmacies. They’re sending patients to regular pharmacies to fill their scrips. Plus if the pills or other contraception fail they’re looking at providing abortions to a lot of patients, and given the unhealthy climate in America regarding that procedure, a lot of PPs can’t offer it. Nor does PP offer prenatal care. Whatever else they’re doing, it isn’t in their best interests to see their patients get knocked up from faulty birth control.

      I’d be much more inclined to believe that PP does whatever it can to coerce women into paps, pelvics and other unnecessary exams…whether that is by withholding pills until the women acquiesce, or scaring them, or being far too aggressive in recommending colposcopy and LEEP…just like other gyns. Planned Parenthood serves a lot of girls and women who really don’t have any other options for care and might not be very well informed. And their tactics can easily back their patients into the wall, without any illegal medication tampering on their part.

      • Diane says:

        And it is a damned shame, because in theory, the idea of a place for women to get low cost or free contraception, be tested for STDs without judgment, obtain plan B and get safe and legal abortions is a wonderful concept. Too bad PP attaches unnecessary strings to that. Some PPs offer services to men some days…i am damn sure they don’t require the lads to get internal exams to get their condoms.

  7. Si says:

    Here’s a funny parody of men having to jump through hoops to access condoms, which highlights the ongoing double standard, abuse and humiliation that most women have to face to access safe birth control.
    If Buying Condoms Was Like Buying Birth Control:

    • Alice (Australia) says:

      This is hilarious! In a sad way, unfortunately.

    • Alex says:

      Wow! Good rhetoric (I think that’s the right word). It’s a bit creepy, but it’s a creepy situation.

    • Kleigh says:

      It really makes me angry what woman in this country and some others are expected to go thru to get birth control. Its so wrong. The thing is so many think exams are a wonderdul thing and there nothing wrong with this . I cant belive more pple dont see it for what it is.

  8. kleigh us says:

    I’m very disgusted at a article that I read. “Planed parenthood makes it easier to get the pill.” What a woman from pp had to say blew me away. The nerve of this woman I swear. “Woman are smart enough to know pap smears are good for there health.” While we have them in front of us , we bomdard them with information she said. Most of them, they come back for there health care.” So pp uses hope to try to trap those who don’t want paps and gyn exams. So she’s saying woman who are smart get paps. wth. Theres so much wrong with those staments.

    • Alex says:

      Sounds like a fairly predatory way of doing things. I guess the spider’s tactics are the most comparable to this situation. Someone goes to a place to get something that is hard to obtain on personal initiative & they take the opportunity to at least try to get someone into an invasive & potentially dangerous situation. It’s like trapping someone.

      I know this is going to sound like something from the 50s, but there are women on Earth that just need to have their mouths slapped shut! There’s plenty of men out there that this would also apply to, but it seems like the women feel like they have an open option to act however they want to other women. Like they live in a mobile “that doesn’t count” zone. I don’t get how an abusive female, however cerebral her tactics, is anything but a direct threat. Even IF they felt like this is doing someone a service, altruism doesn’t generate ownership. The way they seem to get arrogant & nasty with people, you’d think they are irreplaceable. Supposing one of them dies in a car wreck or takes an attitude with someone that’s just at the end of their nerves? These people would need to be replaced.

  9. Elizabeth (Aust) says:

    https://onlinedoctor.superdrug.com/contraceptive-pill.html

    This may have been posted elsewhere, but found a site that can supply the Pill without the need for a script. (UK only) I followed the pre-order questions and there is nothing on pap testing, doesn’t that make a great change?

  10. Alex says:

    Just looked at that other petition & it seems they only need 199 more signatures (for what, I don’t know). Thing is, it’s not the most immediate link that comes up.

    Sue, maybe you can post it as a separate topic? That way when someone looks up the general subject, they’d be more likely to hit the link from here.

    I really think it would need to boil down to a physical fight to do anything like that, since it’s something that medical personnel seem to be very stubborn about. Just like if someone was to physically pounce on someone & try to do the same things to them, it would be a situation where they’d have to be fought off.

    Another thing is that medical personnel seem to feel quite oppressed when they are denied access to someone’s parts & it gets very hard to argue that something is a wrongdoing even if the one doing it isn’t claiming any culpability. It’s hard to argue that anything is a detriment/attack/wrongdoing at a certain point, since language has to connect to something at some point & there’s no way to say anything so that someone else can’t lie or twist your words on their own- so there’s no way to ultimately define anything. Doesn’t mean the situation’s not real, though.

  11. CHASUK says:

    I have never heard of this, or of it being offered to anyone that I know, very cheap too!http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-39849808
    The price of an innovative device which allows women to give themselves a contraceptive jab has been cut. The long-acting progesterone-based contraceptive, which provides contraceptive cover for three months at a time, is licensed for use by the NHS in the UK – but Pfizer admits that uptake here has been “modest”.

Speak your mind

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s