…And would I have to get a pap smear? I don’t want to have to get that. It would be awesome just to go somewhere and get it and walk out. Thank you!
First of all, great job in taking control of your own sexual health! Not being able to talk to your parents can be a huge barrier for Teens when it comes to health care and overall well-being. Teen Clinic recommends that you have at least one trusted adult (like a parent, an older sibling, or a teacher) in your life that you can talk to about your sexual health, but if you don’t have that, you can get the care and help you need right here at Teen Clinic!
In the state of Colorado, the law says that minors have the right to access sexual healthcare without the consent or notification of their parents. That means they can start a birth control method, get tested for STIs, or get any other sexual healthcare without their parents being involved at all. In fact, it’s illegal for clinics to share sexual health information with parents (or anyone else!) without an individual’s permission. Teen Clinic offers free or low-cost and confidential sexual health services.
If you are under 18, all of our services are completely free! If you are 18 or 19, Teen Clinic will base the cost of your visit on your income or however you are supporting yourself financially. With that being said, many teens’ services will still be free. For others, there may be a small flat cost for your services. This means that if you come in for an STI test and end up starting birth control too, you’ll still only pay the initial co-pay talked about at the beginning of the visit; no hidden charges! Even with some of our services requiring payment, the most a teen would ever pay is $50! The prices in Teen Clinic are discounted versions of what you might pay at our Family Planning clinic.
You will need an appointment to get started on a birth control method, but the process may be quicker and easier than you think!
When you make an appointment to get started on a birth control method, your nurse practitioner will help you choose the right method for your body and lifestyle! All of the options that we provide here at Teen Clinic will be safe for your future fertility. Some birth control methods can even help to protect your reproductive organs so that you are more likely to be healthy in the future.
We offer many different forms of birth control here at Teen Clinic. Some examples of methods are…
- Abstinence– abstaining from oral, vaginal, and anal sex is the only way to prevent unplanned pregnancy and STIs 100% of the time
- Condoms, etc.– Male (external) condoms, female (internal) condoms, and dental dams help to reduce your risk of unplanned pregnancy and STIs
- Birth Control Pills (estrogen, progesterone, and a combination of both)- take every day at the same time
- Birth Control Patch (Ortho Evra)- change every week
- Birth Control Ring (Nuvaring)- change every month
- Birth Control Shot (Depo Provera)- receive every 3 months
- Birth Control Implant (Nexplanon)- effective for 3 years
- Intrauterine Device/IUD Hormonal (Mirena)-effective for 5 years
- Intrauterine Device/IUD Non-hormonal (Paragard)- effective for 10 years
Birth control methods are a good idea to think about when you’re considering having sex. It’s important to know though that birth control methods will only help to reduce your risk of unplanned pregnancy, not STI contraction. Condoms and dental dams are an important part of STI prevention!
Teen clinic offers free condoms and dental dams!
A pap smear or pap test is something that is performed on someone with a cervix most often during a pelvic exam. A clinician will take samples of cells from the cervix to make sure that your body is healthy. However, it was recently decided that pap tests are only being recommended for people over the age of 21. (Breast and pelvic exams are recommended for females over the age of 19.) We do perform annual pap tests on teens who’ve had an abnormal pap in the past. Talk to your provider about the best choice for you!
Give Teen Clinic a call to get more information about your health and starting on a birth control method! 303-442-5160.