Viagra vs. Delivery Management

Several months ago, I was sitting at the bar of my favorite watering hole, sipping a beer and waiting for dinner. A woman sat down next to me and struck up a conversation (which is completely appropriate for this small New England village). It was not long before I learned she was involved in local politics. She asked what I did for a living and I explained that I was a sex therapist specializing in men’s sexual medicine. The first thing out of her mouth was, “Okay can you tell me what’s wrong with you Men that Viagra is covered by insurance and birth control is not?” I was a bit taken aback by the question because the conviction with which she spoke it was completely at odds with the veracity of it.

The fact is most insurance companies do not cover erectile dysfunction drugs. These are considered “lifestyle drugs” and are not covered by the majority of insurance companies. Yes, the top-of-the-line insurance policies that cost thousands of dollars a month do cover these drugs. But for most men, sexual medicine drugs (oral medications, injectables, suppositories, etc.) are not covered at all. Even with the advent of generics, these drugs can be out of the reach of many men in lower economic brackets.

Conversely, with Obama care, birth control is more accessible. The vast majority of insurance companies do cover birth control and places like Planned Parenthood play a significant role in providing this coverage as well. Birth control medication is frequently used for medical conditions, not always for contraception.

Back to my beer: the next 10 minutes of conversation with this woman sitting next to me at the bar was spent offering information to address her assertion.  After a few minutes, the whole bar had joined in the conversation; such is the life of a sex therapist! There are plenty of battles in our culture that need to be fought but pitting one gender against another based on misinformation is not helping anyone.

This topic resurrected when the Supreme Court ruled that employers can opt out of the Affordable Care Act Regulation, requiring birth control coverage if they have religious objections to contraception. This set off a flurry of tweets, opinions, and communications from politicians and activists. This article goes into more detail about the accessibility of Viagra and Birth Control.

Sexual health is still a difficult topic in our culture. Even the healthcare profession has a hard time addressing it. When it comes to sex education, we have our work cut out for us. It’s important to educate ourselves on topics like sexual medicine.

If you have questions, concerns, or want to learn more about your sexual health, please contact us for a free phone consultation or to schedule an appointment.

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