Question: My boyfriend and I are thinking of having sex. However, I’m scared that I might become pregnant. We can use a condom but I’m not comfortable just using that. I am planning to go on birth control, but can I get the pill without my mom knowing?
Answer: Generally, yes. There is no law that requires a parent’s permission for the pill or other birth control. But that doesn’t mean that a doctor won’t ask you for it. Nor does it mean that your confidentiality will always be respected.
It’s really wise to get on a reliable form of birth control. Though I don’t know your family, they might actually think so too. Often parents are a lot more understanding about things like birth control than teens expect. Of course, you know your mom, and you might have a really good reason for wanting to keep this quiet. If that’s the case, it’s good to know that you can.
Here are two key things to know:
1) Find out about your doctor’s confidentiality policy. You can ask the receptionist when you make an appointment or you can ask your doctor herself. Be direct and explain that it is important that your information is not shared with your mom. If this seems like it might be a problem, consider going somewhere else.
2) Go to a clinic that you know maintains confidentiality. A good place to start is a place that receives money from something called Title X funding. Title X is a government program that pays for family planning services like pap smears, STD testing, and birth control. Anyone who receives Title X money must keep all patient information confidential, no matter how young a girl is. This means they can’t tell your mom if you got the pill. You can find a Title X clinic near you through the website of the National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association.
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