What Do You Need to Get Birth Control?<< Go Back
It's common for young women to be a little intimidated at the thought of requesting access to birth control medication when they do so for the first time. This is because typically they're doing so while still in their late-teenage years, and there's an inherent self-consciousness that comes with admitting to anyone other than your close friends that you're now sexually active. For this reason, it's perfectly natural for these young women to want to be 100% prepared for what the process of getting birth control for the first time is going to be.
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What do you need to get birth control? The first piece of information needing to be shared regarding this is likely something most of you will already be aware of – you’ll need a prescription from your physician. It’s fair to say that nearly all physicians are objective and non-judgmental as part of being ethical in their profession, so don’t hesitate to make your intentions clear when discussing birth control with them. After that, any inhibitions you may have are likely to pass.
Requirements for a Birth Control Prescription
If seeing a doctor is not possible for you, you may still be able to get a prescription for birth control by visiting a community health centre or any of the many Planned Parenthood Health Centers across the country. Some states allow women to receive a prescription for an oral contraceptive online or directly from a pharmacist.
You should also expect to have to give an overview of your medical history to the physician, and they will usually check your blood pressure too. Some women are required to have one or more medical exams, the most common of which is a pelvic exam. Others may have to have a gynaecological exam and be forewarned that this requires the physician to take a swab from the inside of your vagina if a ‘pap smear’ is required. Again, this is NOT required for most women when seeking their prescriptions, but you should be prepared for the possibility of it.
Another common requirement is to have a swab of the inside of your cheeks, which is done to test for sexually-transmitted diseases or infections. Lastly, one of the more common misconceptions regarding getting birth control pills is that you need your parents’ permission if you are not an adult yet (under 18 years of age). This is not true, although there can be instances where a physician will insist on consulting with your parents if he or she believes there a risk of harm coming to you as a result of being sexually active.
Other Considerations for Getting Birth Control Medication
That’s the long and short of what will be required in order to get the birth control prescription. If you’re covered under an extended health plan you won’t need to think about how you’re going to afford your medication. If not, perhaps we should add that you’ll need to have a means of filling that prescription. Keep in mind that even with most extended health plans you’ll still have a co-pay arrangement where the insurer pays the bulk of the cost for filling the prescription, but the individual still must pay a small amount.
However, the Affordable Care Act in America makes it so that all health insurance plans through an employer, state/market exchange, or privately purchased ones must cover all FDA-approved birth control options. If there is a generic version of any birth control medication, this coverage will automatically apply this option only. Common quality contraceptives with generic alternatives that fit here will Yasmin and Alesse.
Another consideration regarding birth control pills is that your physician may ask you some questions that – while they may make you uncomfortable – are still part of their responsibility to make sure they are looking out for overall good health. One of the more common unwelcome discussion topics is a woman’s weight. Being overweight won’t compromise the effectiveness of birth control but being significantly overweight or obese can affect the medication’s effectiveness.
Why this is true isn’t entirely clear to clinical researchers at this time, but the belief is that adiposity (proliferation of adipose fat reserves in the body) changes the nature of some metabolic processes in the body and ones that are related to the effectiveness of birth control are among them. Considering as well that overweight women are more at risk of pregnancy-related health complications and it’s understandable that a physician may insist that you get down to a healthier body weight before they’ll write you a prescription.
Women who smoke and over the age of 35 may encounter similar resistance from the physician went looking for a birth control prescription. Women who have a medical history of blood clots may have the same experience when meeting with their doctor.
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