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FAQ about Family Planing

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

If I am under 18 and want to start birth control, do I need permission from my parents to come to the clinic? 
We do not require parental consent to get a birth control method.  However, we do encourage you to discuss your decisions with your parents. 

What is the difference between a pelvic exam and a pap smear? 
A pelvic exam is an examination of the female reproductive organs. During the exam a medical provider can take several samples and one of those samples is what we call a pap smear. A pap smear is a screening test for cervical cancer. As long as your pap smear result is normal you will only need one every 3-5 years depending on your age. 

When do I need to start having pelvic exams and pap smears? We start giving pap smears at the age of 21, regardless of sexual history. If you are under 21 and sexually active we would recommend vaginal infection testing. 

How can I get Plan B (Emergency Contraception?)  You can walk in to get Plan B through our clinic during our business hours. Plan B is effective for up 5 days after unprotected sex but it works the best within the first 24 hours. So the sooner you can take it the better.  You can also buy Plan B at most pharmacies and without a prescription. 

Is it safe to not have my period? There are some types of birth control that make your periods shorter, lighter, or stop them completely. The changes that are caused by these birth control methods are normal and safe. If you are not having your period and you are not using a hormonal method of birth control then that can be a sign of a problem and should be checked out by your medical provider. Periods vary from woman to woman and from month to month and not everyone will have a regular 28 day cycle. The best way to know about your normal cycle is to keep track with an app on your phone or by writing it down on your calendar.