This is a common problem. A high school student wants to have sex, but their parents aren’t supportive. Although there are many reasons why people wait to have sexual relations, it is unrealistic to expect every teenager to abstain. The CDC reports that more than half of American teens have had sex before turning 18. Although it is common for teenagers to have sex in high school, it is also quite normal to wait until they turn 18. The average age at which they first had sex was 17 years old, so many people still wait until they graduate.
It’s perfectly normal for teenagers to have sex. However, not all parents approve. You might be reluctant to ask your parents for their advice if you believe that you should wait until you are older or if you follow a religious doctrine that prohibits premarital sexual activity. The truth is that teens will have sex regardless of their parents’ thoughts. Let’s discuss how teens can access birth control without them knowing.
Non-prescription birth control, such as condoms and Plan B
Let’s start with birth control options that can be purchased without a prescription. Access to over-the-counter birth control methods such as condoms or emergency contraception like Plan B is available to anyone. There are no age restrictions. Condoms can be purchased online, at a pharmacy, drugstore or grocery store. Lucinda Holt is the Director of Communications for Rutgers University’s sex education resources, Answer and Sex. Refinery29 spoke with Holt, an expert on the YouTube sex education series AMAZE.
She says, “It’s more about young people being able to walk into a pharmacy and buy them.” “On occasion they might be behind a counter which would require a young adult to ask for them.” Condoms can often be obtained for free or at reduced rates at Title X clinics, LGBTQ+ centers, student health clinics, and Title X clinics. Title X clinics receive federal funding to provide certain sexual health and family planning services. They include prescribing hormone birth control, screening for cervical cancer and testing for STIs.
Condoms are available in most pharmacies. However, finding other non-prescription birth controls is possible, such as internal condoms or dental dams. It is possible to order condoms online or do some research. They are not restricted in age, so minors may purchase them. Dial 1-888-NOT-2–LATE (668-2528) for emergency contraception assistance.
Prescription birth control, such as the pill and the IUD
The situation becomes more complicated when considering the birth control methods requiring a prescription. This includes hormonal birth control methods like the pill, patch, or shot and non-hormonal birth controls such as the copper IUD. There are different laws in each state regarding minors accessing prescriptions. Some states require that minors obtain permission from their parents to obtain a prescription. Holt states, “You should be familiar with the laws of your state.”
Sex, Etc. The resource “Sex in the States” makes it easy for you to find the laws in your state. In New York, minors can get birth control prescriptions without their parents’ permission, while in Michigan, minors must have their parents’ permission unless they are married. You can still make an appointment with a Title X clinic to discuss your options confidentially, even if you reside in a state that requires parental consent for a prescription for birth control.
Using the parents’ insurance
You need to be careful if you intend to use your parents’ insurance to obtain a prescription for birth control. Holt says that if the insurance company explains benefits after the fact and parents see detailed information about their visit, it could be an issue. Because different insurance companies have different policies, you can contact your insurance company to inquire about what happens after a visit.
If you can’t use your parents’ health insurance
You can access prescription birth control if you cannot use your parents’ insurance. They are confidential and usually available on a sliding-scale basis. Teens might be eligible for a rate that is no-pay. Holt states that if a teenager doesn’t want their parents’ insurance, a Title X Clinic is the best option to access confidential healthcare and a prescription for hormonal contraception. This online directory contains information about Title X clinics.
Why birth control
Although it may seem like a lot of work to get birth control, you must do it. Holt states that you must do what is necessary to have safe sex. Holt says, “You want to prevent pregnancy and reduce your risk for STIs.”
Holt states that “to have sex safely, a young person must take initiative.” However, Holt is clear that young people can be mature and manage this. They just need the right information.