7 Reasons to See Your Gyno, Even If You Get Birth Control Online
1. These are some methods of birth control you can’t get online. Some forms of birth control, like Long-Acting Reversible Contraceptives, require an in-person doctor’s administration. These include IUDs, hormonal implants, sterilization and hormonal shots. All four of these methods are highly effective and can be incredibly useful for anyone who doesn’t want to manage a daily pill or weekly patch.
2. Get tested for STIs and cancer. The Center for Disease Control estimates that there are 20 million new cases of STIs every year in Americans aged 15-24, yet only 12% of young people were tested for STIs within the past year. STIs are common and treatable, but you’ll need to see your gynecologist to check for their presence and receive treatment. Only a gynecologist can administer a pap smear, an important test that checks for the presence of abnormal cervical cells that can lead to cancer. HPV is an STI that about 80% of sexually active people will have at least once in their lifetime. While most of the time it can clear up on it’s own, HPV still leads to about 31,500 cases of cancer every year. Nearly all instances of cervical and anal cancer, 75% of vaginal cancer cases, 70% of oropharyngeal cancer cases, and 69% of vulvar cancer cases are due to HPV. Only a gynecologist can test for dangerous STIs and cancers caused by HPV.
3. Get vaccinated. While we’re on the subject of HPV, only a healthcare professional can administer the HPV vaccine—the best way of preventing HPV and HPV-related health conditions. While the HPV vaccine is usually administered to children around age 11 or 12, it is FDA-approved for women and men to receive up through age 45.
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4. Get a professional opinion on your reproductive system. Simple Health can review your medical history, but we cannot screen your reproductive system for abnormalities that could indicate or lead to larger health issues. Bimanual, speculum, and external tests must be conducted in-person by a health professional. These tests can tell you if your reproductive system is normal and functioning correctly, two factors that can have huge effects on your reproductive and overall health. Ideally, you should see your gynecologist at least once a year to check that you’re in good shape down there. Seeing a gynecologist is like getting a physical, it’s about tracking your health and preventing future health problems—not just addressing any present concerns.
5. Irregular or irregularly painful periods. Your gynecologist should be your go-to whenever you’re having period trouble. Though Simple Health can provide hormonal birth control that regulates and lightens periods, you’ll need to see a healthcare professional to determine the cause of your period pain and receive long term treatment, if needed.
6. Understanding your fertility. Simple Health can help you prevent pregnancy, but only a gynecologist (or fertility specialist) can help you induce pregnancy. A healthcare professional can gather details about your hormonal cycle and then interpret and explain your fertility. If you need help with family planning, see your gynecologist to talk present and future fertility options.
7. Re-evaluate your contraceptive needs. Hormones are complicated and can cycle inconsistently. As such, hormonal birth control can produce vastly different effects in different bodies. As much as we can give you personalized care to help you find or adjust your birth control method, some cases may ultimately require an in-person visit. If you’re having issues with your birth control and switching brands or methods has not helped, see your gynecologist. You might have a special condition that makes you particularly sensitive (or insensitive) to birth control. Speaking with a professional in person will help you pinpoint the issue, and find a better birth control.
As important as it is to see your gynecologist, you actually don’t need to be examined to receive a birth control prescription. If you want to try birth control but want to skip the office visit, Simple Health has got you covered. We offer the birth control pill, patch or ring for as low as $15 a month (or free with insurance). Complete our doctor-designed online consultation, and based on your health history and birth control preferences, a doctor will prescribe a brand that will best work for you. Best of all? Once you’ve received your prescription, we’ll deliver your pills right to your door for free, so you never have to make a pharmacy run again.
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