…Would it be completely confidential or would I have to tell my parents as well?
If you would like an IUD, or intrauterine device, we would do the insertion right here at either our Boulder or Longmont clinic! It’s important to note though that there are 3 parts to the IUD insertion process …
- Birth Control Consultation/Annual Exam- You would start off by making an appointment to talk about the IUD and see if it would be a good fit for your body and lifestyle! You can do this in 1 of 2 ways. The first way you can get the process started is that you can make an appointment for a birth control consultation. During this appointment, you will speak with a nurse practitioner and have an STI screening. This is done simply done peeing in a cup! The other way you can do this is by getting an Annual Exam. Because Teen Clinic follows health standards that we do not perform pap smears on patients under 21, you will not have a pelvic exam unless you have symptoms of an infection. Teen Clinic will also only give a breast exam to patients who are 19 and older. The difference between an annual exam and birth control consultation is that the annual exam is a little more of an in depth visit with a longer interview process. At both visits though you will have an STI screen and talk about if the IUD is right for you!
- IUD Insertion- This next part is where you actually have the IUD inserted! At this point we will have your medical history and STI test results so there will be a shorter interview process. If your tests are negative and you haven’t had any unprotected sex in the last 2 weeks, the IUD will be inserted. But Teen Clinic makes sure that our patients know that the actual insertion is never guaranteed. For some people, the IUD insertion is quick and painless. For others, it may take a little longer or we may need to give you a specific medication and have you come back to try the insertion again at a later date.
- Follow-up appointment- Assuming the IUD was inserted without issue, the nurse will usually have you return to the clinic in 3 months for a follow-up appointment. At this time, the nurse will make sure you’re satisfied with the IUD and make sure everything is as it should be. It usually takes your body about 3 months to adjust to a new medication, so at this time your body should be pretty well adjusted to your new IUD! After this, our nurses will encourage you to return for an annual exam in 1 year!
As far as having to inform your parents about you visiting the clinic, in the State of Colorado, it’s the law that teenagers (minors included) can access family planning health services without parental consent (Colorado 13-22-103 Minors- Birth Control Services Rendered by Physicians and 13-22-105 Minors’ access to medical, dental and related services). These confidentiality policies for minors are supported by many respected health care organizations including the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Public Health Association. So if a teen wants to begin a birth control method without telling a parent or guardian she can visit a confidential clinic and her health information is protected by law. Teen Clinic is a confidential clinic! Teens can access services at either of our Teen Clinics without parental/guardian consent.
However, we really encourage teens to talk with a parent or trusted adult about their sexual health questions and choices. The adults in your life can provide you great guidance and support during this important time in your life. Check out our page specifically for parents and guardians for tips on how to begin speaking with an adult about sexual health.