Nurx Reviews

Is this at-home health company safe and effective? Our experts dig into their birth control, testing, and PrEP supplies to find out.

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Last updated: Jan 2nd, 2023
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In this Review

Our Findings
Why you should trust us
How we evaluated Nurx
What is Nurx?
Birth control
Other sexual health medications
Mental health treatment
At-home tests
Treatment partnerships
Nurx Goody Store
HSA, FSA, and health insurance
Respecting your privacy
A look at alternatives
FAQ about Nurx
Sources
Nurx Reviews Innerbody

Our Findings

Editor's Rating4.25

Nurx offers birth control for about the same price as your local doctor and other online birth control companies, and as they’ve expanded into other health arenas, some of their new services (such as mental health care) can get expensive. However, their dedication to privacy, straightforward app and website interfaces, and compassionate care team of trained professionals put them a notch above other online wellness companies, who often have difficult navigation systems and apathetic customer support.

Pros

  • Mobile and desktop interfaces are convenient, straightforward, and intuitive

  • Discreet shipping with strong privacy measures

  • Accepts most forms of insurance

  • Reasonably priced array of services

  • Regularly adding more telehealth services

  • More than 100 birth control options available

Cons

  • Only available in 36 states and the District of Columbia

  • No service for people under 13

  • Annual consultation fees still apply even if you don’t use the texting service

  • No live chat — phone calls only for immediate answers

  • No in-house therapy with psychiatric care

Just as Uber and Lyft set out to disrupt the taxi industry and Amazon changed how we think about shopping, many smaller but quickly growing companies are disrupting traditional models of health care. Nurx is one of those companies.

Initially taking life as an online birth control provider, Nurx now offers a wide range of personal health care (from STI testing to mental health medication management) at a low cost and from the comfort of your home. Our team of experts looked into Nurx to find out if their expanded services mean you’ll still get the same high-quality care across the board or if you might want to look elsewhere for intimate healthcare needs.

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Why you should trust us

Innerbody Research has helped millions of readers over the past two decades make more informed decisions about staying healthy and living healthier lifestyles. But what about online women’s wellness and birth control services?

Nurx offers services in reproductive care, at-home testing, STI treatment, mental health care, and — through partners — dermatology and migraine relief. We at Innerbody Research have spent many hundreds of hours researching, testing, and comparing services across each and every one of those care areas. We know the niche providers and the broader, multi-faceted companies, and we've closely followed the development of companies like Nurx that have evolved from the former into the latter. Because members of our team have used Nurx themselves, we're able to draw from copious comparative research as well as our own personal experiences to give you our assessment of their value. For this guide, we referenced more than a dozen additional journals, studies, and trusted sources.

Like all health-related content on this website, this review has been thoroughly vetted by members of our Medical Review Board for accuracy, and we monitor Nurx’s developments to keep our content up-to-date.

How we evaluated Nurx

To help you understand how Nurx compares to other online birth control and wellness providers, we evaluated them in four main categories: their privacy, the number of treatments they offer, how much their assortment of services costs, and their customer service. Privacy and customer service are particularly important for your everyday interactions, but the number of treatments offered and compassionate, well-educated customer service set Nurx apart from their competitors.

Nurx uses trained nurses as their support staff, so you never have to worry about medical jargon going over their heads or not getting the correct information because they don’t know the difference between UTI and STI symptoms. Strong privacy efforts ensure your data stays confidential.

Nurx offers a wide range of birth control options and an ever-expanding list of other health programs that outshines competitors in the online birth control market, placing them closer to women’s health marketplaces like Hers. Some of these additional services (namely their mental health care) can be a little pricey, but nothing is extravagant or out-of-line, and most of their services are reasonably priced. We think that, ultimately, Nurx offers online women’s wellness services at a great value.

Privacy

Rating: 8/10

Nurx takes several active steps to protect your privacy. Alongside the most common — and obvious — privacy steps like following HIPAA and not selling your data, they also ship your orders in plain cardboard boxes and follow HIPAA guidelines as properly as an in-person provider would. Most birth control providers don’t put their name on the box, but some ship in bright, conspicuous packaging. If you are worried about someone finding out about your Nurx account, Nurx provides resources to help you request confidentiality on sensitive health information from your insurance provider.

However, they bill all of their payments from “Nurx.co,” meaning that anyone who wants to know how you’re spending your money can possibly figure out where the purchase came from (though they won’t know what you bought from Nurx). A few brands will obscure their name further, keeping anyone who keeps track of your bank statements off your trail, but it isn’t a particularly common bonus.

Cost

Rating: 8/10

Nurx charges a flat consultation fee when you initiate service, and you’ll have to either pay out-of-pocket or use your insurance to cover the cost of any medication or test kits they recommend. Consultation fees vary between $15 and $60 out-of-pocket, depending on what service you need (but tend to be closer to $15 than not), and are generally good for one year’s worth of customer support. If you’re using Nurx for mental health care, you’ll have to pay a monthly fee rather than an annual one. Considering most online reproductive care services charge between $15 and $25 annually, and specialty care like dermatology and migraine support costs closer to $50, Nurx is middle-of-the-road but can have some decent deals. Some telehealth companies will do this step for free, but charge substantially more for medication.

Nurx scales their pricing to make it easy to afford birth control, health tests, and medications out-of-pocket. For example, you can get generic combined birth control pills for $15/month and an HPV test for $79 without insurance, which is on par with other excellent telemedical and at-home testing services. Nurx also accepts more kinds of health insurance than a vast majority of their competitors, except for government-issued medical insurance. Just be aware that some quoted costs change across the site as Nurx updates their information, so it isn’t always clear how much you’ll actually have to pay.

Treatment variety

Rating: 9/10

Nurx has expanded their offerings dramatically in the last few years. They began as a birth control service, added emergency contraception, PrEP, and HPV screening, and now offer everything from mental health medication to STI testing. They’ve also partnered with two other telehealth companies, Facet and Cove, to provide dermatology care and migraine support. And within each of these areas, they offer a significant number of brands and formulas you can try.

It’s not everything: a few companies are more specialized and offer a more comprehensive range of brands (such as Favor, formerly known as Pill Club), but Nurx offers a wider range of forms than most if the pill doesn’t work for you. Their partnerships with other brands are unique, and allowing the specialists to do what they do best ensures you’re getting excellent care. If you’re looking for a simple one-stop solution within the women’s health sphere, Nurx gathers and consolidates everything you’ll need.

Consultation experience

Rating: 9/10

Almost everyone you’ll talk to at Nurx is an actual human and a licensed medical professional. Even their customer service line is staffed exclusively by registered nurses. This isn’t the case for any other telemedicine service, and ensures that you’re speaking with someone who knows what they’re talking about. Every member of their team that we spoke to was warm, knowledgeable, and cared about our health first and foremost. Often, particularly in the complex reproductive care sphere, there are a large number of team members who are apathetic at best. This isn’t the case for Nurx. If you’re new to starting birth control or nervous for whatever reason, Nurx’s support makes them an excellent choice for beginners.

After submitting the medical questionnaire, our testers found that consultations were completed in 24-48 hours with clear feedback and comments from the provider. When Nurx denied our testers birth control because of health complications, they always clarified why. (However, confusion around this denial and whether or not they’d still have a prescription filled is the number one cause for customer complaints, according to the Better Business Bureau.) You’ll have to get through a few AI questions before connecting with a nurse on their customer service line, but it’s fairly straightforward to get the assistance you need. Like their competitors, Nurx almost always fills and ships prescriptions same-day.

What is Nurx?

Founded in 2015 by Hans Gangeskar and Dr. Edvard Engesaeth and staffed by physicians, Nurx makes it their primary mission to make women’s lives easier, with a focus on simplifying the process to get birth control. By 2020, the company added emergency contraception (the morning-after pill), PrEP, and HPV screening to its available services, and they continue to expand every year.

Currently, Nurx offers convenient access to several health services:

  • Birth control
  • Emergency contraception
  • STI testing, including HPV screening
  • Herpes treatment (for cold sores or genital herpes)
  • UTI treatment
  • HIV PrEP
  • Dermatologic care, including acne, eczema, rosacea, and psoriasis treatment
  • Anti-aging skincare
  • Migraine treatment
  • Anxiety and depression treatment
  • COVID-19 testing

Like other telemedicine companies, if your goal is to get prescription treatment such as birth control, Nurx will gather relevant health information such as your age, weight, blood pressure, and family history through an online or in-app survey. Your virtual provider will review the information and health needs to consider whether you’re a candidate for treatment. Then, unless the doctor notices any issues, they’ll write a prescription, and Nurx will send the medication to you discreetly in the mail. (You can also send Nurx’s prescription to your local pharmacy, but one major benefit of an online service like Nurx is not having to leave the house.)

Each medication Nurx offers, from Annovera to venlafaxine, has a webpage version of a fact sheet. This page includes all of the information you’ll need to make an informed decision, including its average price with and without insurance, what kind of medication it is (and who that kind might be best for), any potential medication interactions or risks, and an FAQ section about the medication. If you don’t know what type of birth control you want, this comprehensive resource will help you parse through everything Nurx has in stock. Once ordered, your prescription will arrive in 1-3 business days, and you’ll automatically get refills every three months that you can cancel at any time. You’ll never have to pay for shipping, either.

Your initial consultation with Nurx will cost anywhere from $17-$60, depending on what you’re looking to treat. While this fee is commonplace and allows you to consult with their healthcare providers 24/7 for one year free of other charges, some other telemedicine companies provide this consultation for free. Hers, which we’ll discuss more later, is one such option with a similar focus on women’s health care through telemedicine.

Nurx services are currently available in 36 U.S. states (including Washington, D.C.). Unfortunately, you can’t use Nurx if you live in one of the following states:

  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • Delaware
  • Hawaii
  • Kansas
  • Mississippi
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Mexico
  • North Dakota
  • Oklahoma
  • Vermont
  • West Virginia

However, you should check Nurx’s list of available states often, as they’ve added services to seven new states in the last two years. You can also email their support line to get notified when they begin services in your state.

According to their FAQ, Nurx is also hoping to add both masculinizing and feminizing hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and more kinds of tests in the future. This is unique (and a pleasant nod, considering the current state of transgender healthcare in the U.S.), as these medications typically only come through trans-specific platforms like Plume or Folx.

Birth control

Nurx offers 37 different types of birth control under more than 100 names, including name-brand and generic pills. This is about the same number as Favor and birth control exclusive telehealth platforms, but more than general online wellness services. Nurx stocks combination and progesterone-only pills, as well as pills with and without a sugar pill week. Most of their birth control pills cost $15/pack out of pocket (sold exclusively in sets of three packs for a three-month supply), and prices with insurance vary but can sometimes be free. The most expensive pills are Slynd, a name-brand progesterone-only pill that costs $290/pack. Nurx states that they will give you a cheaper alternative if your insurance doesn’t cover it or you’re paying out-of-pocket unless you explicitly request Slynd. Only four birth control pills cost more than $50 out-of-pocket, so you’ll have many other options to try first.

Nurx is one of the few online birth control providers that also stocks patches, shots (Depo-Provera), and rings (NuvaRing and Annovera) for birth control to give you the broadest possible range of safe options. You won’t often see this range of forms, as most providers that offer any will give you one brand of ring (typically Annovera, which is the more expensive of the two). They don’t stock IUDs or implants, as those must be administered in person by a professional. If you aren’t sure what kind of birth control best fits your needs, Nurx’s customer support (staffed by accredited nurses) is always there to answer your questions. On each brand’s information page, Nurx also gives information like which brands might work best for specific symptoms (such as clearing hormonal acne, which may also be made worse by certain brands, or lightening a heavy cycle).¹

To get your birth control from Nurx, you’ll need to fill out their health information questionnaire. Some people won’t benefit from hormonal birth control, and they’ll let you know during the doctor’s review if you’re part of that group. (For example, those who have migraine with aura shouldn’t take birth control with estrogen, as studies have found that exogenous estrogen can increase their risk of stroke.²)

Likewise, you’ll need to know your blood pressure to get a prescription from Nurx because estrogen-based birth control can raise your blood pressure. Those with already high blood pressure levels open themselves up to a higher risk of stroke and heart attacks by using a combination pill, patch, shot, or ring.³ If it’s been a while since you’ve been to the doctor’s office, you can purchase an at-home blood pressure measurement device for about $20, or get it checked for free in most large chain pharmacies (like CVS and Walgreens) and some shopping malls and grocery stores (like Walmart). You’re most likely to find these in locations with small clinics. Having to know your blood pressure makes getting your birth control prescription online a little more complicated, but you’ll run into this problem no matter which company you choose.

Emergency contraception

More commonly called the “morning-after pill,” emergency contraception works by temporarily stopping your ovaries from releasing an egg. Taking the morning-after pill can effectively avoid unwanted pregnancies, whether the condom broke or you had an unavoidable birth control lapse.

You must take emergency contraception within 3-5 days after having unprotected sex, depending on the brand, so time is of the essence. We recommend placing your order as soon as possible (as in the “morning after”) to ensure your pill arrives in time. Nurx has a generally excellent track record with their convenient, expedited shipping, and our testers received their orders in 1-3 business days.

You have two choices in terms of brands: Ella and Plan B (as generic New Day). If you are in a rush and don’t have time to do your research, we recommend going with Ella. This is because it works up to 120 hours (five days) after unprotected sex and works equally well on day one or five. New Day is another solid option, but it doesn’t work as well on people who weigh more than 155 pounds, and its effectiveness wanes dramatically after 72 hours.⁴

Among other companies that sell emergency contraception, Nurx is on the cutting-edge by offering both Ella and New Day. Here’s a quick comparison between what Nurx charges and the average cost from the few other telehealth services that offer both.

Nurx lets you rush-ship Ella, an option not available for any of their other purchases because of the time-sensitive nature of emergency contraception. However, said overnight shipping costs $15, skyrocketing your total price to $60 for one pill. You can get New Day for a low price, but you won’t be able to get it quickly. If you prefer New Day, we recommend ordering more than one emergency contraceptive pill at a time if you think you might need it to build a stockpile and keep yourself safe without worrying about shipping delays. You’ll need to have a consultation before Nurx will write you a prescription for emergency contraception. However, they are still sensitive to the timing component and move quickly.

Other sexual health medications

Contraception isn’t the only way you can protect your sexual health. Nurx offers three other sexual health treatments and medications for herpes, HIV, and, if you live in California or Florida, UTIs.

Herpes treatment

Whether you need it for a cold sore outbreak or preventing a genital herpes symptom flare, Nurx can prescribe a course of antiviral medication if you’ve been previously diagnosed with herpes simplex virus (HSV) I or II. Specifically, Nurx provides valacyclovir at doses for either episodic outbreaks (which you take for a few days to make symptoms go away) or daily prevention (which you take daily to keep symptoms from happening at all). Valacyclovir also decreases the risk of transmitting herpes to a partner by up to 50%, making sex even safer. Large-scale telehealth clinics and some other wellness companies like Wisp often stock an alternative to valacyclovir called acyclovir (both in cream and pill form), but valacyclovir pills work just as well (and are often less expensive).

The treatment protocol is standard for Nurx:

  • Fill out a medical questionnaire.
  • Wait for a doctor to review your case.
  • Get a discreet prescription in the mail in 1-3 days.

The consultation costs $20, and medication is $15/month for outbreaks or $25/month for daily prevention. (This is pretty average.) Like birth control, valacyclovir is only prescribed in three-month packs.

Whether you’ve got cold sores or genital herpes, Nurx also sells a few extra products over-the-counter to help relieve some of the discomfort associated with HSV. These include:

  • Good Neighbor Pharmacy Docosanol 10% Cold Sore Cream: $20
  • Abreva (Docosanol 10%) Cold Sore Cream: $25
  • Propolis Homeopathic Ointment, three pack: $18
  • Manukora MGO 50+ Multifloral Raw Manuka Honey: $14.79
  • Nature Made L-Lysine tablets, 1,000mg: $8.99

Each of these products needs to be purchased separately from your prescription, and none of them are covered by insurance. Nature Made’s L-Lysine tablets are our top pick for cold sores too, but check out our guide to the best lysine supplements if you want to look at other high-quality alternatives.

PrEP

Truvada, often known as PrEP (for its status as preexposure prophylaxis), is a medication you can take to significantly reduce your likelihood of contracting HIV. In fact, daily PrEP use can reduce your sexually-transmitted risk by up to 99% and can drop your risk of getting HIV through shared needles by up to 70%.⁵ It’s important to note that PrEP won’t keep you from getting other sexually transmitted infections, so you should still use a condom or other prevention methods alongside PrEP. PrEP is also not appropriate for those who are currently HIV-positive; it won’t keep you from sharing it with a potential partner. However, many providers recommend taking PrEP if you’re at high risk.

Nurx knows how important proper care is since there still is no cure for HIV. Though you can get HIV through several different avenues, you’ll still need to take an STI home test first. There are two different types of tests you can take:

  • Comprehensive, STI and HIV test: $164
  • Basic, HIV test: $94

Both tests look for your HIV status, hepatitis B status, creatinine (kidney function) levels, and pregnancy (if applicable). A study presented in 2020 (but is yet unpublished in a clinical journal) found that PrEP might be able to prevent hepatitis B.⁶ PrEP is known to help treat hepatitis B as long as you don’t have any liver or kidney problems, so there’s no need to worry about not getting a prescription if you test positive.⁷ However, PrEP does increase your creatinine levels, so it’s not a good option if you have kidney disease (hence the creatinine test on this panel).⁸

The STI test also looks for gonorrhea, chlamydia, and syphilis. No matter which you choose, both versions of the HIV test ask for finger-prick blood samples you can perform at home. They’re almost completely painless and take less than two minutes to complete. Nurx and PlushCare are the only two online providers that will prescribe PrEP, making them unique and indispensable for the LGBTQ+ community, who often have limited access to healthcare providers. In our opinion, Nurx is the better of the two because they offer both an HIV-only and an HIV and STI test to help you prepare for PrEP. (PlushCare only offers HIV-only.)

After you send your sample back in the prepaid envelope, your Nurx provider will get the results and be able to either prescribe STI treatment, write a prescription for PrEP, or refer you to an in-person provider who can help. Once your provider has decided it’s safe for you to start PrEP, you’ll need to re-test for HIV every three months. Nurx only sends their PrEP packs in three-month increments, so it’s easy to remember that you need to redo your lab work. Nurx will contact you to see if you want to continue the prescription before they send a lab test.

PrEP is almost always covered by insurance, but if yours doesn’t cover it (or you don’t have or can’t use insurance), Nurx connects you with several payment assistance programs to subsidize the cost. Among Nurx customers, 99% pay nothing for their PrEP other than the cost of quarterly lab tests and a $25 consultation fee.

UTI treatment

UTI treatments are a common feature of most reproductive care telehealth platforms, so Nurx’s new and very limited program is a bit of a let-down compared to other companies. If you live in California or Florida, you can try Nurx’s new UTI treatment service. However, there are more caveats to UTI treatment than other programs.

UTIs — urinary tract infections — are common and happen to most people with vaginas at some point. Often, they’re mild and up to 42% resolve on their own, but some people have chronic UTIs or experience severe, painful symptoms.⁹ In these cases, an antibiotic is often the best course of action (and a pain reliever if necessary). If you need medication to treat a UTI and you live in one of the two aforementioned states, Nurx can quickly write you a prescription. However, Nurx won’t deliver any UTI treatments. The time-sensitive nature of these prescriptions means that they’ll send the request to your closest pharmacy instead.

First, you’ll need to fill out a short online questionnaire to request care for your UTI. Keep an eye on your phone or email inbox once you’ve sent in the questionnaire, as Nurx needs you to respond to any communication within 12 hours to get your prescription going.

One plus if you meet the strict criteria is that Nurx will pick the best medication for you from a longer list than most companies offer. Many will only give you Macrobid, but others will let you choose from one of four antibiotics. Nurx, instead, asks your provider to choose from one of the following:

  • Macrobid
  • Septra
  • Bactrim
  • Sulfatrim
  • Keflex
  • Pyridium (a pain medication that specifically targets pain in your bladder and urethra)

The UTI treatment is only available to people with vaginas. This is because getting a UTI when you have a penis is almost always a complicated health problem that requires in-person care.¹⁰ If you have a penis and think you might have a UTI, reach out to your doctor. You might also consider taking an STI test, as urinary tract problems are extremely common STI symptoms.

A UTI consultation costs $30 through Nurx. However, you won’t get the same annual range of care as you would with other kinds of consultations. Instead, you’ll get a one-week window to follow up with your Nurx provider and a special code for a free consultation for birth control and STI testing.

Mental health treatment

If you need psychiatric care, but all of the psychiatrists and psychiatric nurse practitioners near you have months-long waitlists, Nurx can help bridge the gap for you. They don’t provide online therapy or counseling but can point you in the right direction for your needs. After an initial screening and consultation (including screening measures like the PHQ-9 and GAD-7), Nurx’s providers will help you determine if medication is right for you. You’ll get at least six check-ins annually and unlimited text messaging to ensure your medication is working well (which is important, considering it can take up to three months to feel the full effects of new psychiatric medication). Psychiatrists design all treatment plans, and all medication ships for free.

Nurx provides support for the following conditions:

  • Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and related mild-to-moderate anxiety disorders, such as social anxiety and performance anxiety
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Mild and moderate depression
  • Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)
  • Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD)
  • Postpartum and menopause depression

Mental health care is Nurx’s most expensive service, costing you $55 monthly for consultation fees before medication. The cost of medication varies but averages about $25 per month out-of-pocket. They offer 17 different kinds:

  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs): escitalopram (Lexapro), sertraline (Zoloft), fluoxetine (Prozac), citalopram (Celexa)
  • Selective serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs): venlafaxine (Effexor), duloxetine (Cymbalta), desvenlafaxine (Pristiq)
  • Tricyclic antidepressants: nortriptyline (Pamelor), trazodone, doxepin (Silenor), amitriptyline (Elavil)
  • Antihistamines with anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) properties: hydroxyzine
  • Anxiolytics: buspirone
  • Alternative antidepressants: bupropion (Wellbutrin), mirtazapine (Remeron)
  • Beta-blockers: propranolol (Inderal)
  • Antipsychotics: quetiapine (Seroquel)

Like other medications, all of Nurx’s psychiatric prescriptions ship for free.

We recommend seeking counseling alongside Nurx’s psychiatric services for a holistic approach to mental health care, particularly given how many high-quality online therapy programs exist. The fact that they don’t include any kind of counseling is disappointing, as it means you might not be getting all of the support you need — or, in the worst case scenario, the wrong kind of support altogether. For example, someone with undiagnosed bipolar disorder who’s shown (or recognized) only their depressive symptoms will almost assuredly rocket themselves into mania if given an antidepressant. Nurx isn’t the only service that only gives psychiatric care without psychological support, but they’re the only ones who don’t even link to possible support groups.

At-home tests

Just like your birth control, there are plenty of reasons you might not be inclined to ask for a health test from your doctor. Some tests need to be done in a healthcare setting, but thanks to improving technology, you can check your health status using a saliva or urine sample or a few drops of blood.

There are entire companies whose business model centers on offering at-home health tests for you, but Nurx still offers a few health tests you can get started at home. Their tests reflect their main areas of women’s health and wellness, including:

  • HPV screening
  • STI tests
  • Fertility tests
  • COVID-19 tests

HPV screening

According to the CDC, 75% of sexually active adults have had HPV.¹¹ While there are over 150 strains, screening for this virus is fortunately very easy.

Nurx offers an HPV Test Kit that allows people with vaginas to screen themselves for HPV at home. Specifically, it looks for the 14 strains of HPV that are most likely to cause cervical cancer.¹² You’ll have to fill out a questionnaire and pay a $15 consultation fee, but once you’ve paid, Nurx’s partner lab, Molecular Testing Lab, will send you a one-time HPV swab test kit. It costs $79 without insurance, though this test is covered by most kinds of insurance. Still, Nurx cites that you’ll likely have to pay $49 with insurance anyway.

Once your HPV test arrives (in 1-3 business days after the lab orders it), you’ll follow the instructions to swab the proper areas before resealing the swab and sending it back to the lab. Swabbing takes two minutes or less and is completely painless. If you’ve been vaccinated with a full roster of the HPV vaccine (which was introduced to the U.S. in 2006), it’s unlikely that you’ll test positive, as the vaccine prevents many disease-causing strains of HPV.¹³ However, it may not completely protect you, so it’s always a good idea to be aware of your status. Regular HPV tests are suggested for women 25-29 and recommended for women 30-65. After a few days, someone from Nurx’s medical team will reach out with your results.

Most online reproductive care providers don’t offer any kind of screening or diagnostic process, only providing support after you’ve been diagnosed. By offering HPV screening (and STI tests), Nurx steps outside of the limitations of their competitors to bridge the gap between identification and care.

This kind of HPV screening is not a replacement for a pap smear, nor should it be treated as a replacement for regular gynecologist visits.

STI tests

Whether you’re starting to see someone new or have found out that a past partner was unfaithful, you can now access three STI tests through Nurx’s partner lab, Molecular Testing Lab. These three kits measure a wide variety of STIs, including three-site testing for both chlamydia and gonorrhea.

There are three STI kits — called Basics Covered, Healthy V, and Full Control Kits — all of which come with a $15 consultation fee for Nurx’s care team to order the test. After that, Molecular Testing Lab will charge your insurance, not Nurx, so check with your provider to ensure that they’re covered too. If you have insurance, you’ll pay $75-$90 to the lab as well as your copay for any of the tests. Without insurance, you’ll pay a flat fee of $150, $190, and $220 (respectively).

Here’s a breakdown of what each test covers:

After you swab the relevant areas and drop the swabs in the prepaid envelope in the mail, the lab processes all results within one week. Someone from Nurx’s medical team will reach out with your results. The Nurx team will write a new antibiotic prescription for you to fill at a local pharmacy if you test positive for chlamydia or trichomoniasis, and they’ll help you to coordinate care if you test positive for another STI. Understandably, you’ll have to pay separately for any antibiotic prescriptions you need, and the cost varies depending on the prescription, your insurance, and your pharmacy.

Not only is Nurx offering STI tests (something that puts their service above and beyond other online reproductive care services), but their diagnosis process is particularly unique. Almost every telehealth company that offers STI care requires that your STI situation is a flare-up of something you’ve seen a provider in-person for a diagnosis and treatment before; they won’t diagnose or treat a first-time infection. Nurx does both diagnosis (through their STI tests) and first-time treatment, as well as treatment for flare-ups. Of course, Nurx can’t provide care for everything (gonorrhea infections, for example, are treated with a strong antibiotic injection), but the fact that they’re willing to help you get started is more than most.

If you want to test for more STIs or STDs than Nurx offers (like herpes), you might find more success with other programs, such as myLAB Box, which provides our favorite at-home STD test and which you can learn about in our full review. We’ll discuss the competition in more depth later.

Molecular Testing Labs, the partner laboratory that processes all of Nurx’s home tests, is both CAP-accredited and CLIA-approved, ensuring that your results are handled extremely safely to provide high-quality, accurate results. Your personal information is always anonymized, so you don’t have to worry about anyone connecting your results to you, and everyone is held to HIPAA, so your health information isn’t going anywhere you don’t want it to go.

COVID-19 testing

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Nurx offers two different at-home COVID-19 test kits. These aren’t substitutes for PCR tests, but they can help you identify whether that tickle in the back of your throat is allergies or COVID.

You can choose from two over-the-counter kits: Flowflex COVID-19 Antigen Home Test and Lucira Check It COVID-19 Test Kit. Flowflex is a more traditional at-home antigen test, where you have a test card and a nasal swab to check the active viral load inside of your sinuses (as well as the back of your throat and inside of your cheeks). Each test is single-use but is more prone to false negative results with the omicron strain.

The Lucira Check It Test, on the other hand, is the only PCR-like molecular at-home test authorized for use by the FDA. For this test, you’ll set up the plastic base with AA batteries (included) and then take a nasal swab. While its high-tech plastic setup implies you might be able to reuse it, each kit is single-use only. However, its results are reliable enough that you can upload them to your smartphone for use as a negative test for professional or social events.

Here’s a little bit more information about the differences between each test:

There’s no prescription necessary, and you can purchase as many tests at a time as you need for anyone age 2+ in any of the 50 United States. Thanks to the U.S. federal Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for COVID-19 testing (and previously some supplies), you may find that your health insurance fully covers the cost of these tests. If the EUA is still in place, where you purchase these tests matters less than how quickly you can get them. Like everything else you order through Nurx, you’ll automatically get free ground shipping (arriving in 1-3 days), or you can pay $15 for overnight shipping.

Fertility and pregnancy tests

If you are pausing your birth control prescription while you’re trying to conceive or are worried you might be accidentally pregnant, Nurx has your back every step of the way. Not only do they prescribe birth control, but they also carry:

  • Clearblue ovulation tests: $25
  • Clearblue pregnancy tests: $11.33
  • Good Neighbor Pharmacy Prenatal Multivitamin: $12
  • SwimCount Sperm Quality Test: $60

These fertility and pregnancy tests are convenient to add to your order if you’re already purchasing something from Nurx. Clearblue are high-quality pregnancy and ovulation tests, and they cost less than 10% of what large companies like Mira might charge for their equivalents (and less than half what brick-and-mortar stores like Walgreens charge). Meanwhile, their sperm quality test and prenatal multivitamins aren’t the best quality (nor do they offer the most options), but their prices are lower than average.

All medical gear and over-the-counter treatments from Nurx’s marketplace, including these tests, can either be purchased once or made part of a subscription, which automatically ships once a month. However, their range of products isn’t the end-all-be-all. We put together a guide with some of our favorite fertility tests (including ovulation and sperm quality tests) with more information about when and how to use them and how to pick the test that’s right for your needs.

Treatment partnerships

There are some major areas of health in which other companies had a strong footing before Nurx came along. That’s why Nurx partners with some of the biggest names so that you can have a robust telehealth experience, no matter your needs.

Dermatology

In partnership with Facet, Nurx offers dermatology treatment for five common skin concerns. Nurx cares for three of these concerns — acne, rosacea, and anti-aging — and redirects patients to Facet for two more complicated concerns (psoriasis and eczema). Because your skin health is so closely tied to your hormonal health, it’s common for online women’s wellness platforms to offer a limited range of dermatology treatments.

Skincare treatments directly through Nurx all come with a $40 consultation fee (or $30 for anti-aging care) that covers the cost of your initial consultation and provides one year of 24/7 texting access to the Nurx team (like most other consultation fees). You’ll need to add a few pictures of your face or other problem areas to the questionnaire to ensure that you’ve got the correct diagnosis and receive adequate treatment through telehealth. After looking over your answers, a member of Nurx’s medical staff will write back with an appropriate treatment plan. If this plan includes medication, it’ll arrive in 3-5 days.

Medication is generally covered by insurance but ranges in price from $15/month to $40/month if you pay out-of-pocket (generally sold exclusively in sets of three months). You might be prescribed one of the following medications (or several, depending on the severity):

  • Birth control (for hormonal acne)
  • Topical and oral antibiotics
  • Anti-fungal creams
  • Anti-inflammatory creams
  • Antimicrobial cleanser
  • Azelaic acid
  • Retinoid cream (for anti-aging)

Facet’s services are designed almost identically to Nurx’s, but with different medication options and price points. Facet specifically treats the inflammatory skin conditions psoriasis and eczema (along with dandruff) with more than 30 prescription medications available for both. You’ll pay $65 up-front for a consultation, but using Nurx’s referral link grants you 20% off your first order. Just like with Nurx, you’ll fill out a medical questionnaire and add pictures of your skin. A licensed medical provider will take a look and write a treatment plan (including medication if necessary), which ships in a few days.

Here’s some more information comparing the costs of consultation and treatment (and where you can find it) for your skin.

It’s important to note that neither of the anti-aging skin treatments (tretinoin or adapalene) is covered by insurance, so you’ll have to pay $30/month out-of-pocket for your topical treatment because it’s considered cosmetic.

Nurx also offers 56 over-the-counter skin care products, including everything from benzoyl peroxide acne treatment to lotion applicators from large brands like Cerave, The Ordinary, and Facet’s own collection of generic treatments. Among other online healthcare brands — even those with skincare lines like Hers — this is a luxuriously long product list, meaning you might even be able to skip your monthly trip to the drugstore for your favorite skincare products. And like all other Nurx goods, you won’t have to pay for shipping and can add these goods to any purchase.

Migraine

Migraines are one of the biggest causes of disability in the United States, and more than 39 million people live with migraines in the U.S. (or about 1 billion worldwide).¹⁴ Despite this prevalence, there aren’t many services that cater specifically to those struggling with migraine; Cove has a corner on the online migraine care market, and while Lemonaid and PlushCare offer migraine medication, Cove’s product catalog is twice as large. Nurx doesn’t do anything for migraines directly, but Cove provides free two-day shipping to those who come from Nurx’s site.

Cove charges a one-time consultation fee ranging from $30-$65 (depending on your insurance) and a $10/month ongoing care fee. You can choose from 20 different prescription medications, and all generics cost $9/month. (Other services charge slightly less up front for their consultation fees, but have fewer options for your prescription, which often costs twice as much to compensate.) There aren’t any other bonuses or discounts associated with using Nurx’s referral program for Cove, but they’re a strong online platform for those suffering from chronic migraines.

Check out our full review of Cove to learn more.

Nurx Goody Store

If you want to support Nurx without using them for medical services (or want to advertise how much you love the telehealth provider), they offer a retail store called the Goody Store that’s full of branded merchandise. This comes in several categories, including clothing, accessories, drinkware, stickers, pet clothing, and products for children and infants, for 59 different pieces of merchandise. Some more specific examples of their wares include:

  • Hotel key tags
  • Blue light glasses
  • Beach towel
  • Selfie light
  • Stickers
  • Condom bundles
  • PopGrip
  • Cosmetic pouches
  • Auto-open clear umbrella

They also have more classic merchandise, like shirts, sweatshirts, joggers, tumblers, mugs, and hats. Everything is reasonably priced (one sticker costs $1, and a mug costs $12, for example) but is made to high quality standards.

If you like their products but aren’t sure if you want to purchase one, Nurx offers an interesting twist on the classic referral program. When you share a referral code with a friend and they sign up to receive emails or services from Nurx, you’ll both get a $5 gift card code to spend in the Goody Store. You won’t get any discounts on consultation fees or other medical purchases, but you can still save a few dollars on a giant blanket or fanny pack.

HSA, FSA, and health insurance

Nurx accepts most forms of private insurance, including:

  • Aetna
  • Anthem
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield
  • Cigna
  • CVS Caremark
  • Express Scripts
  • OptumRx
  • United Health Care
  • Tricare

At this time, they don’t accept government insurance such as Medicaid and Medicare. If you have this insurance, are uninsured, or choose not to use insurance for other reasons, you’ll have to pay the out-of-pocket price.

Whether or not you have or use insurance, you’ll have to pay Nurx’s consultation fee separately (as well as your copay, if you have one). The cost varies depending on what service you need but ranges from $15 for birth control to $60 for migraine. However, this fee includes unlimited messaging from the Nurx medical team for one year, where you can get all of your follow-up questions answered.

Respecting your privacy

Nurx does everything they can to support your privacy as a healthcare provider. They’re bound to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), which protects your private health information. Very few people could access the information you share with Nurx without your explicit permission. Of course, following HIPAA is the bare minimum you should expect out of a telehealth provider.

Nurx has to report health information to your insurance provider for your insurance to give them money. Every medical team member is a mandatory reporter, so if they reasonably believe that you’re currently suffering from abuse, neglect, or domestic violence, they will report it to federal agencies such as social services or protective services. However, those are the only two reasons that Nurx might disclose your information without your express written consent.

There are some things Nurx can’t control, and the information your insurance provider shares is one of the biggest. If you aren’t comfortable with your insurance provider knowing about the medication or health services you use, Nurx has made out-of-pocket costs comparable to pharmacy copays, so you don’t have to go into debt for medical privacy. You can also write to your insurance provider to request that they don’t disclose sensitive information to anyone but yourself, and Nurx provides resources to help you write that confidentiality request (which some, but not all, online reproductive care services offer). However, it isn’t guaranteed that your insurance will keep your health data to themselves.

All payments through Nurx are safe and secure. However, you should be aware that your bank will still report the charge as coming from “Nurx.co,” so if you don’t want your partner or parents to know that you’ve ordered birth control or an STI test, there may be better options for you (such as Favor, who also runs and owns their own pharmacy). You won’t have to upload photo ID or a picture of your license like Wisp requires for identity verification, which is nice because it doesn’t formally tie your identity to your account. However, you’ll still need to use your legal name to get any prescriptions written.

Nurx ships their packages in plain brown cardboard boxes and envelopes with no external indications of what’s inside. This discreet shipping means you don’t have to worry about others intercepting your package and knowing what you’ve ordered. However, if you’re in a difficult situation where you aren’t able to guarantee no one else will open your mail (and are worried about your safety), Nurx will let you ship your package to another safe location, such as a P.O. box or a friend’s home. No matter where you order the package, there’s no signing or verification necessary.

A look at alternatives

In the past two years, Nurx has substantially increased their catalog, widening their range of treatments beyond just birth control. This clearly puts them in a different league; now, rather than just birth control companies like Favor, they’re competing against companies like Hers, Lemonaid Health, and LetsGetChecked. We won’t compare their partnered services (some skincare and migraine support), but we’ll explore your other online options in Nurx’s primary service categories.

Birth control and sexual health

Nurx initially began as a service offering online birth control and sexual health, and it’s still what they’re most known for. They are our testers’ favorite online birth control option, with some of our testers even using the service as early as 2018. Things have changed considerably since then, but Nurx’s commitment to high-quality, fast, and compassionate service remains the same.

There are several other online birth control services, including Favor (once known as Pill Club) and Wisp, as well as Felix, Pandia Health, Emme, and Twentyeight Health. You can also get sexual health care from equally sprawling services like Hers, which also offers menopausal treatment, hair care, supplements, sex toys, yeast infection treatment, and a narrow range of primary care support (mostly focusing on UTIs, migraines, and sinus infections). PlushCare is another online sexual health provider which also offers online therapy and mental health medication management.

Some online birth control providers — particularly Favor — have a wider range of birth control brands than Nurx, but no one else gives the same range of forms (often only offering pills and one brand of ring). Nurx is an excellent choice for those starting birth control not only because of their wide range of options but because they have some of the strongest customer support in the industry. Their registered nurses respond quickly and compassionately, which is more than we can say about the others. They also guarantee free shipping no matter what, and while some of their consultation prices are higher than others (who may also use flat-rate prices), you’ll make up for that price with quality care. Plus, Nurx is one of the only telehealth companies in this sphere that reliably takes most forms of insurance.

At-home testing

Nurx is a surprisingly strong contender in the at-home testing space. When put up against industry giants like myLAB Box, LetsGetChecked, Everlywell, and (in the case of STD/STI testing) STDCheck, Nurx meets the same quality standards. All of these options — including Nurx — use CAP-accredited and CLIA-approved laboratories, guaranteeing high-quality results. You’ll only be able to get STI testing done through Nurx (and you can check out our full guide to the best at-home STD/STI tests for more information on their competitors), as their testing options for fertility and COVID-19 are third-party brands sold through their storefront.

The STI tests from competitors cost anywhere from $49 and $369, depending on what you’re looking for. There are a few tests that cover rarer STIs than Nurx, but only one also does three-site gonorrhea and chlamydia testing (myLAB Box). Nurx’s three STI testing panels cover the most comprehensive range of STIs that you might want to be tested for and are thorough about their methods (though they don’t test for herpes).

Nurx offers the distinct advantage of writing an antibiotic prescription if you test positive or helping you find care if the situation is more complicated (like testing positive for gonorrhea or HIV), and you still have access to their medical team even if you test negative across the board. LetsGetChecked is the only other company that offers medication, but they’re limited to fewer states than Nurx and charge an additional $39 for medication consultation, whereas Nurx’s $15 consultation is paid up-front, so you won’t be charged for a positive result.

Skincare

Some online services like Curology and Apostrophe provide both prescription and over-the-counter skincare, along with personalized treatments. There are also more traditional dermatology telehealth offices, like Dermatologist On Call and DirectDerm. Dermatology is also a common field covered by large online telehealth marketplaces like Lemonaid Health, GoodRx, and Teladoc, and because acne is so closely linked to hormonal fluctuations, many online sexual health providers like Hers, Favor, and PlushCare will provide birth control prescriptions for acne flare-ups (along with a few other topical medications).

Nurx doesn’t link you with a licensed dermatologist, so their services aren’t as robust as you’d find somewhere like DirectDerm or Teladoc. (For those, you’ll have to go through Facet.) But you can only get topical treatments through Curology and Apostrophe, meaning that if you have hormonal acne, Nurx is your best bet. Both Curology and Apostrophe cost less up-front than Nurx, but neither of the other services takes insurance, so if you know you have low copays, you might pay less overall through Nurx. Nurx’s skincare services work best for people with insurance who have a simple skin problem and who don’t want or need a lot of hands-on support and advice from a dermatologist.

Mental health

There are many other online telehealth companies that care for your mental health. The biggest drawback to using Nurx for your mental health medication needs is that they don’t offer any therapy or counseling services, which is a huge part of mental health care. That puts Nurx at a distinct disadvantage against many of the big services and keeps them from reaching the heights of companies like Brightside, Cerebral, or TalkSpace. PlushCare, which also offers sexual health consultations for people of all genders, has both teletherapy and online medication management, too. And many of the large telehealth companies (like Doctor on Demand, MDLive, and Teladoc) also offer fast psychiatric services.

Nurx’s hands-off approach is best if you’ve been on the same medication and dose for a while and don’t anticipate needing changes any time soon. It’s also a good option if you see a counselor or therapist who doesn’t offer psychiatric care and you just need your prescription renewed. The biggest perk of using Nurx is that they are significantly cheaper than psychiatric-specific services: most monthly fees are around $95-$99 for the same level of hands-on care, where you’ll only pay $55/month through Nurx. Either way, you’ll still have a separate copay for your medication. Larger telehealth services generally charge by the session, which can range anywhere from free to $150 depending on your coverage, but you’ll lack the ability to connect with a medical professional at any time.

FAQ about Nurx

Sources

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[3] Shufelt, C., & LeVee, A. (2020, September 21). Hormonal contraception in women with hypertension. Journal of the American Medical Association, 324(14), 1451-1452. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.11935

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