Info Center

Do I need a prescription to get birth control? How can I get birth control, and how much does it cost? Will they tell my parents?

To get some forms of birth control—like the Pill, Depo-Provera (the Shot), NuvaRing (the Ring) and Ortho Evra (the Patch)—you need a prescription from a doctor or clinician.

Some health care providers prescribe hormonal birth control without a pelvic exam, but some require one. It varies from clinic to clinic. Be sure to ask your health care provider before your appointment if you are concerned about the pelvic exam.

To get a prescription for birth control, you can visit either a gynecologist or a family planning clinic, like Planned Parenthood.

Family planning clinics have programs specially designed to help young people get birth control, testing for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and pregnancy and other reproductive health care. These clinics usually offer their services at very low cost or for free for people who can’t afford to pay.

Clinics that receive Title X funding from the federal government have strict confidentiality policies, meaning they won’t share your information or medical history with anyone, not even your parents. Private doctors’ offices may have their own policies about confidentiality and whether they’re willing to treat teens without a parent’s consent. It’s a good idea to call any clinic or doctor’s office first and ask them about their policies.

Clinic educators or counselors can talk to you about your birth control options, including everything from the Pill to condoms to Depo-Provera (a birth control shot that lasts three months). They also have emergency contraception (EC)—which can prevent a pregnancy up to five days after unprotected vaginal sex. But you can also get EC over the counter at your local pharmacy.

Find a confidential health center in your area.

For more information on the different birth control methods and how to get them, check out this FAQ.

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