Can my parents make me get a pelvic exam?

Great question! The short answer is no.  Here’s the long answer:  in 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 or get tested for STIs 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.

Since you have the right to access these services, you also have the right not to!  At Teen Clinic, patients who come in against their own wishes will not be seen. We will only run tests or perform examinations that are medically necessary and desired by the patient—you!

It’s totally understandable if your parents are worried about you, or want to make sure you have good care.  That’s their job!  Be sure to talk to them about why they want you to have a pelvic examination. Let them know they can give Teen Clinic a call if they want to talk to a nurse. Some medical standards have recently changed; for instance, youth no longer receive pap tests—it’s recommended to begin getting this test at age 21. For this reason, teens usually only get pelvic exams if they are interested in an IUD or have a concern—about STIs, other infections, or their period.

If you do have a concern, come on in! Teen Clinic is here for you—even if you just need support in talking to your parents.