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Frequently Asked Questions

What is birth control? 

Birth control is any method used to prevent pregnancy. Birth control methods (contraceptives) work through a variety of mechanisms. Contraceptives do not cause abortion, that is to say that birth control will not disrupt an established pregnancy.

What birth control method is the most effective? 

Abstinence, or abstaining from sexual activity, is the only way to absolutely prevent pregnancy. If you choose to be sexually active, Long-Acting Reversible Contraceptives (LARCs) are the most effective methods. LARCs include IUDs (Mirena®, Paragard®, and Skyla®) and the implant (Nexplanon™). However, LARCs do not protect against sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

What is a barrier method?

Barrier methods are a form of birth control that block sperm from entering the uterus. These include male condoms, female condoms, sponge, and diaphragm. These methods are less effective in preventing pregnancy than LARCs and hormonal birth control methods. However, condoms are necessary to protect against sexually transmitted diseases.

What is dual protection? 

Many methods of birth control that prevent pregnancy do not prevent STD infection. Dual protection is the practice of using condoms along with another form of birth control in order to prevent both STDs and pregnancy. Essential Health Clinic supports dual protection as a healthy sexual behavior.

If I am under 18, will Essential Health Clinic tell my parents/guardians what kind of birth control I am on?

We encourage teens to share the information of their visit with their parents. However, Essential Health Clinic must assure client confidentiality, regardless of age. This confidentiality includes the services received by teens. We will not share health information with parents, or state whether a son/daughter is a client here.

Do I need a pelvic exam or Pap smear to get birth control? 

No, you do not need a Pap smear or pelvic exam to get birth control. Talk to your provider to decide if and when you need a Pap.

What is a LARC?

LARC stands for Long-Acting Reversible Contraception. These include IUDs (Mirena®, Paragard® and Skyla®) and the implant (Nexplanon™). LARCs are highly effective methods of contraception.

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