…And is it okay for me to do it even though I’m only 14?
This is a great question!
Lets start with your question about being able to receive services while only being 14. In other states you might need parental consent, but 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.
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. Most birth control methods will not affect your ability to get pregnant when you so choose. Some birth control methods can even help to protect your reproductive organs so that you are more likely to be healthy when you do decide that you want to have a baby. If you are sexually active, then a reliable form of birth control is a great way to stay healthy by helping you to avoid unplanned pregnancy until you are ready to be a parent!
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, and low-cost or free services for starting a birth control method! Make an appointment here and talk to one of our medical professionals about what might be a good birth control choice for you!