Did you know that you have the right to private healthcare, including birth control, testing for sexually transmitted diseases, and more? The clinic or doctor cannot tell anyone you were there unless you say it’s okay, regardless of how old you are or whether or not you are in foster care. Deciding when to have a baby and begin a family is up to you. Even if you already have a child, you can get help with family planning, protect your health, practice safe sex, and prevent unwanted pregnancy.
If you are having sex, see a doctor at least once a year. If you are thinking about having sex, see a doctor before you have sex. Young women should see a gynecologist for a pap smear and sexually transmitted infection screening. Young men should be tested for sexually transmitted infections. To find a doctor:
- Visit Planned Parenthood
- Speak to your primary care doctor for a referral to a gynecologist
- Contact your local county department of public health
- Visit teenparent.net for more information about care for you and your baby
What are my birth control options?
There are many choices for birth control: the birth control pill, condoms and long-acting reversible contraception (LARC), such as shots and Intra Uterine Devices (IUDs). These methods are very effective and work for a long period of time without you having to do anything. Medi-Cal and other health insurance pays for birth control.
Talk to a medical provider to determine the best form of birth control for you or visit Bedsider, which explains the different types of birth control.
What are my rights regarding abortion?
No one can make you have an abortion or stop you from having one. It is your right to decide when you want to start a family. There are free and low-cost procedures available and the clinic will keep it private.
- Visit Planned Parenthood
What are sexually transmitted infections (STIs)?
You can have an STI without knowing it. Many STIs do not have symptoms. There are two primary ways that STIs are transmitted. Some diseases, such as HIV infection, gonorrhea, chlamydia and trichomoniasis, are transmitted during sexual intercourse. Genital ulcer diseases (such as genital herpes, syphilis, and chancroid) and human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is passed through vaginal, anal and oral sex, and any genital-to-genital contact. HPV can be passed between straight and same-sex partners, even when the infected person has no signs or symptoms. Many STIs are easily treated and cured. It is your right to get tested for an STI and treated in private. If you are pregnant and you have an STI, you may pass the infection to your baby, so every woman should be checked for STIs as soon as she thinks she might be pregnant. Find out more at teenparent.net.
Planned Parenthood offers a full range of private reproductive health care services for teens and adults. In many cases, their services are free. Their staff can help you with everything from birth control, to STI and HIV testing to goal setting. There are many Planned Parenthood Clinics throughout the state. Visit Planned Parenthood or call 800.230.PLAN to find a clinic near you.
For more information for pregnancy and parenting, visit teenparent.net.