By law, anyone in the United States can obtain contraceptives regardless of their age. In fact, it is your right. You can go to any drugstore or grocery and buy any type of birth control that does not require a prescription (condoms, for example).
If you are interested in birth control methods that contain hormones, you will first need to see a doctor to obtain a prescription or plan a procedure. This prescription can then be taken to a pharmacy to have it filled.
Although you can pay out-of-pocket for different forms of birth control that require a prescription, it can be a little tricky. If you are on your parents’ health insurance plan, the cost of the medical exam and prescription may be partially or fully covered.
Be aware: if you need to pay a portion of your medical bills or prescription costs, this will need to be paid at the time of service. Many insurance plans will also send a notification when a payment is processed and paid to the doctor.
If you feel that it is absolutely necessary to get birth control without your parents knowing, you might need to pay for everything out-of-pocket. This can be very costly if you go to a primary care doctor or gynecologist. One alternative is to schedule an appointment with Planned Parenthood. They offer contraceptive services to young women, with fees on a sliding scale based on income. They usually have birth control pills at a much lower price than what you would pay at a drugstore pharmacy.
Know your rights
It’s important to know that you do have the right to purchase any form of birth control, both non-hormonal and those that contain hormones, without the permission of your parents. You also have the right to see a physician or clinic (like Planned Parenthood) whenever you want. Any information discussed as part of your treatment will not be disclosed to your parents.
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Can school help?
Many school nurses and on-campus health centers will provide free condoms. They can also provide information about safe sex and the risk of contracting sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Free condoms are a great option. Condoms can protect against STIs as well as prevent pregnancy.
These services and condoms will be provided to you free of charge, and the office should never contact your parents for permission or to inform them that you were there. These offices can not provide birth control that contains hormones or prescriptions, but they can provide information about obtaining them.
If you are exploring different birth control options and have questions, there are sources you can turn to for help. Flo has a wide variety of topics related to your menstrual cycle, birth control, pregnancy, etc. Health professionals can also answer all your questions.
There have many different forms of non-hormonal birth control that have been available for centuries. Some of these still exist, and others are no longer in fashion. The following are some non-hormonal forms of birth control that are available without parental consent:
- condoms (male and female)
- cervical caps
- copper intrauterine device (IUD)
Emergency contraception is sometimes referred to as the morning-after pill. This medication is used to prevent pregnancy after sex, if you think the birth control failed or if you had unprotected sex. Some of them need to be taken within five days to be effective.
There are two different types of emergency contraception available in most countries. Both are also available to you without parental consent. These two FDA-approved medications are Ella (ulipristal acetate) and Plan B One-Step (levonorgestrel). There are also several different generic forms of Plan B. These are available at drugstore pharmacies and through clinics like Planned Parenthood.
What to do if your parents find out
Chances are that if you’re trying to find ways to get birth control without your parents knowing, then they don’t know that you are sexually active. In a situation like this, it’s best to be honest.
Risky sexual behavior among teens in the United States has become a serious health problem. It is far more important to protect yourself from the risks of unprotected sex than to worry about what your parents might think. Your parents might not like the fact that you are sexually active, but they should appreciate that you are trying to be responsible about your health by preventing unwanted pregnancies and STIs.