As you may know, in order for the birth control pill to be a reliable and effective method in preventing pregnancy, it needs to be taken every day. In fact, certain birth control pills need to be taken at the same time of day — every day — in order to work as effectively as possible.
When used perfectly, Planned Parenthood reports that the birth control pill can be 99 percent effective at preventing pregnancy. However, due to human error, like forgetting to take a dose, it's only about 91 percent effective in reality.
One simple way to help yourself remember to take your birth control pill is to set up daily reminders, like scheduling a recurring phone alarm. There are even apps that send you reminders to take your pills. For some, a simple note on the front of the fridge might do the trick.
But, did you know that Amazon's Alexa can do the job, too? That's thanks to Nurx, a female-focused digital healthcare company that recently launched a birth control reminder and sexual health knowledge skill for Alexa.
Even if your phone or an app is your go-to birth control reminder, it certainly doesn't hurt to set up a back-up notification.
If you're unfamiliar with skills, they are essentially helpful tools that you can activate using your voice on your Alexa device. There are Alexa skills in every category you can think of, from food and drink to sports to personal finance.
In a press release about the new Nurx skill, Jennifer Peña, MD, the chief medical officer at Nurx, revealed that the company's medical team frequently hears from patients who have forgotten to take birth control pills and are concerned about pregnancy as a result. The Nurx skill, which is in the health and fitness category, allows you to schedule a personalized daily birth control reminder on your Alexa. It's available for free with an Amazon Alexa device and doesn't require a membership or an account to Nurx either.
The Alexa skill also answers common questions and provides facts about sexual health and birth control. Since I am not on the birth control pill, I decided to road-test the question feature by asking my Alexa, "Alexa, ask Nurx how an IUD works."
Alexa then recited information about how there are various types of IUDs that function differently to prevent pregnancy.
The Nurx skill can be activated by saying "Alexa, activate Nurx" or visiting the Skills store on the Alexa app. My Alexa can be slightly temperamental, so I found that using the Alexa app was the easiest option to activate the Nurx skill.
Remember, apps and digital tools don't replace a visit to a medical doctor. So, if you have any concerns about birth control, be sure to reach out to your healthcare provider for personalized advice.