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Frequently Asked Questions



What is Gemma?

Gemma is a digital health company that allows you to get personalized birth control and acne creams prescribed and delivered directly to your door, completely online. We allow you to skip the waiting rooms, the awkward conversations with your doctor, and annoying trips to the pharmacy.

Simply fill out our medical questionnaire and what you’re looking for, and a licensed Canadian healthcare practitioner will review it and either approve your request, or ask you some follow-up questions to better understand your situation. If you’re approved, we will send your prescription directly to our partner pharmacy so they can ship it to you as soon as possible, for free. You also have the choice to send your prescription to another pharmacy of your choice.

Who can use Gemma?

You can use Gemma if you are 18 years old or older and are located in Ontario or Quebec. If you’re elsewhere in Canada, you can sign up to our Newsletter and we’ll let you know when we come to your province :)

Why should I trust Gemma?

All prescriptions made on Gemma are provided by licensed Canadian healthcare practitioners, who must abide by the guidelines of their professional orders. These practitioners will not provide prescriptions unless they believe it is medically appropriate and safe for you, based on the answers you’ve provided in the medical questionnaire. This is why it’s critical that you answer all questions truthfully and transparently. 

Additionally, our pharmacy partner is a licensed Canadian pharmacy, subject to the exact same guidelines and regulations as your preferred local pharmacy.

How it works

Do I need to have a prescription to use Gemma?

Nope! You can get a new prescription through Gemma, or get an existing prescription renewed or changed.

How does the online medical consult work?

Complete and submit the online questionnaire at any time, and one of our medical practitioners will review it within 24 hours and get back to you. No appointment necessary, and often no need to talk to anyone.

Do I have to use your pharmacy?

Absolutely not. Once you have been approved for a prescription by our medical team, you can instruct them to send it to your preferred pharmacy.

How do I change prescriptions?

At Gemma, we encourage you to explore different prescriptions if your current medication is not working for you. Simply submit a new online questionnaire and explain why you would like to change prescriptions, and our medical team will review and decide if a prescription change makes sense for you.

Pricing & Insurance

How much does it cost to get a prescription with Gemma?

In many cases, as long as you're covered by insurance, your prescription will be completely FREE. If you do need to pay out of pocket (aka pay yourself), we will clearly tell you exactly how much you're paying before we charge you.

Medical Consult: The fee to have your online questionnaire reviewed is $10, which will only be charged if your prescriptions has been approved. 

Prescription Cost: The price of the prescription itself depends on your insurance provider, but in most cases it will also be completely FREE.

Shipping Fees: Our shipping is also completely FREE.

How will I know if I need to pay?

You will be provisionally charged for the online visit as soon as it is approved by the healthcare practitioner.

Once the prescription has been processed by our partner pharmacy, we will let you know what the total would be if you go forward with the prescription. You will then be able to check out and finalize the process. We will never charge you before you know how much you owe (if anything!).

Is birth control covered by my provincial health insurance?

In Ontario, OHIP covers many types of birth control in Ontario for people under 25 that do not have private insurance. Make sure to upload your OHIP card during your online visit so that we can apply your coverage. We also recommend letting us know if you do not have private insurance to help the practitioner make a more informed prescription decision.

For private insurance, we recommend that you upload your benefit card during sign up so that our we can apply your coverage before shipping your meds. We also recommend you check your plan manual to better understand how much coverage you have. If you have any questions, you can send us your plan manual and we’ll help walk you through your coverage.

See what types of birth control are covered by OHIP+ here, or directly on the OHIP website here.

How do I update my insurance information?

You can add or update the insurance information on your Gemma account, under the Billing tab.

I'm on my parents' insurance. Will they know I’m taking birth control?

No, any medication you’re taking is considered Personal Health Information and is not allowed to be shared with anyone without your consent, including your parents.


Is Shipping Free?

Absolutely, shipping with Gemma is always absolutely FREE. We also use express shipping options, so that you're able to receive your prescription as fast as possible!

How fast can I expect to receive my prescription?

We use express shipping options where possible, so that you can get your order on time, every time. Depending on where you live in the country, you can expect to receive your shipment within 2-3 days after it's been shipped. We'll send you emails along the way to let you know when your order's been processed, shipped and delivered.


How long does a prescription last?

Prescriptions will typically be made to include enough refills for a full year. However, the amount of medication and the number of refills prescribed will ultimately be decided by the practitioner who reviews your online visit.

How do I cancel my next refill or membership to Gemma?

You can pause or cancel your refill delivery at any time by going to the Prescriptions tab in your Gemma account.

How do I cancel my Gemma prescription?

You can cancel your prescription at any time by reaching out to our customer support team via email at or using our live chat feature! Please note that prescription refills are non-refundable and non-returnable once they have been processed and charged by our partner pharmacy. Due to this, we do require cancellation requests to be submitted at least 24 hours before your next scheduled refill date to avoid the processing of unwanted refills.

How can I update my government ID?

Go to and under your profile, you can upload a new file with your new ID. You must always have the most up to date ID on file.


Who will be reviewing my online consult?

Everyone on the Gemma medical team is a licensed Canadian healthcare practitioner! All online questionnaires submitted on Gemma are reviewed by someone on our medical team that is licensed in your province. They have complete medical authority, and are not influenced by Gemma to make any medical decisions, in terms of prescription authorization, amount of refills or dosage.

Does Gemma replace my doctor?

Not at all. Gemma provides a more convenient way for you to get birth control and prescription acne cream, but we are in no way a replacement for a family doctor or primary care physician. We encourage you to maintain contact with your family doctor, and inform them of all medications you are using, as well as for your regular checkups and any medical concerns.

I have some side effects from the medication I’m taking. Should I stop taking it?

For any questions on the medication you’re taking, we recommend that you speak directly to the physician that prescribed the medication to you. You can do this by reaching out to them directly on our messaging platform.

If you have side effects that you think may be serious and require emergency medical attention, you should call 911 or go seek emergency care immediately.


How do I know you'll keep my information private?

At Gemma, there's nothing we take more seriously than your health and security - and this extends to the security of your information. All Personal Health Information that is discussed during your medical visit will be kept strictly and legally confidential between you and your healthcare provider.

In addition, all your account information is stored safely and securely with a comprehensive security infrastructure and best in class data policies. You can read more on our Privacy Policy.

What does your packaging look like?

We value your privacy and discretion. As such, our packaging is super discreet, arriving in standard and generic packaging with no identifying branding.

Birth Control

What types of birth control does Gemma offer?

We offer a wide range of generic and brand name birth control pills, including both combination and progestin only pills. We also carry the patch, as well as vaginal rings. We also carry several brands of emergency contraception, including the original Plan B.

We do not currently offer the IUD, injection or implant as these need to be administered in person by a medical professional. However, if our medical team believes these alternatives may be best for you, we will not hesitate to let you know.

Does Gemma offer emergency contraception?

As of now, Gemma only offers preventative emergency contraception Having emergency contraception pills for future use is recommended for those at risk of unintended pregnancy. Keep in mind that emergency contraception is recommended only as a backup option, and never as a primary method of birth control.

How old do I have to be to get birth control?

There is no minimum age for getting birth control in Canada. Regardless of age, our medical team will need to ensure that you understand the nature and risks of the treatment before prescribing it.

You also do not need your parents’ permission to get birth control. However, our medical team might encourage you to speak to your parents about your options in certain cases.

What do I do if I miss a pill?

If you miss one or more pills, there are specific instructions on how to make up for the missed pills, depending on the type of birth control pills you take and how many pills you missed. This information can be found on the package insert located inside your birth control package.


What type of acne can Gemma help with?

We can prescribe acne creams and gels for mild to moderate acne, both on your face and body. We cannot currently prescribe treatment aimed at severe or cystic acne, but we're working hard to expand our offering. Sign up for our newsletter if you’d like to learn about new products we’re launching!

Do you offer any acne medications in the form of pills?

Not at this time. We focus on prescription creams and gels for now. However, we're working hard to expand our offering. Sign up for our newsletter if you’d like to learn about new products we’re launching!

I started my treatment and my acne is getting worse, not better.

It is fairly common to experience a “purge” during the first month after starting a new skincare regimen, where your skin gets worse before it starts clearing up. This is quite normal and should resolve on its own within 4-6 weeks. However, if you think your skin’s reaction to treatment is severe, feel free to get in touch with your prescribing practitioner to explore alternative treatment options.

Will these acne prescriptions affect my birth control?

Nope, the acne medication we offer does not impact the effectiveness of birth control.