For my first time coming in for birth control pills, will I have to have a pap smear exam if I’m 17 and have never had one done? And will my parents HSA cover the cost of the birth control pills?

Question:  For my first time coming in for birth control pills, will I have to have a pap smear exam if I’m 17 and have never had one done? And will my parents HSA cover the cost of the birth control pills?

Answer:  American Cancer Society recommends PAP exams starting at age 21 and because you are age 17, you will unlikely receive a PAP exam during your office visit.

Under the Affordable Care Act, the majority of insurance companies provide birth control pills at either low or no cost to the patient.  If your insurance company does not cover the cost of your birth control, or you decide not to use your family insurance, Family Planning offers a sliding fee scale as well as accepts donations.

Is break-thru-bleeding normal when I start or change my method of hormonal birth control?

Question:  I switched birth controls 3 months ago and now I had my period for almost 2 weeks mid pill cycle and now I am getting it every other day. It goes away then comes back. I don’t know what it is

Answer:  Break-thru-bleeding is nothing to worry about during the first three (3) months on the pill, if you change from one pill to another, if you miss a pill, or if you are late taking a pill.  If the bleeding lasts from more than 3 cycles, please call 440-352-0608 and make an appointment with the nurse.

How much are birth control pills and do I need an appointment?

Question: I’m only 16 and I need birth control pills. I have a job and am willing to pay for pills but I don’t want to involve my parents because they’d disagree and I probably wouldn’t get what I needed. How much would it be to get pills? Would I need an appointment? What other things would I have to provide?

Answer: Any new patient at Family Planning will need an appointment to get birth control.  Parents do not have to be involved in this process according to state law, but family involvement is always encouraged. The cost for birth control pills depends on a few factors. We accept private health insurance and Medicaid, but please keep in mind that if you use your parents’ insurance, they might be able to see “Family Planning” on their summary of services which is usually sent in the mail. If you do not want to use insurance, then the cost is based off a sliding fee scale that is determined by your income. Please call us to schedule an appointment.

Painesville: 440-352-0608 or Ashtabula: 440-992-5953

Which is better, the pill or the shot?

Question: Which is better, the pill or the shot?

Answer:  There are advantages and disadvantages to all methods of hormonal birth control.

Birth control pill:

  • Uses hormones (estrogen and progestin) to prevent ovulation
  • Efficacy: 92-99%
  • Take one pill a day at the same time
  • Advantages: Very effective when used correctly, can make menstrual cycle more regular and less painful
  • Disadvantages:  Need to remember to take daily, possible side effects due to estrogen, does not provide protection from sexually transmitted infections (STI) or HIV
  • Possible side effects: dizziness, nausea, headache, change in menstrual cycle, change in appetite, change in mood and although rare, possible chance of blood clots

The Shot:

  • The hormone progestin prevents ovulation
  • Efficacy: 97-99%
  • One shot every 3 months
  • Advantages: Each shot works for 12 weeks, no estrogen side effects, can be used while breast feeding
  • Disadvantages:  irregular menstrual cycles, does not provide protection from sexually transmitted infections (STI) or HIV
  • Possible side effects: headache, change in menstrual cycle, change in appetite, change in mood and in long time users, possible risk of decrease in bone mineral density

The best contraceptive choice depends on your medical history and personal goals.  I encourage you to call and make an appointment to discuss your options with our medical staff (440) 352-0608.

How do I change my birth control?

Question: I am switching from the depo shot to the birth control pills. My expiration date for my shot is February 10th, would I have to wait until then to start taking the birth control pills?

Answer:   You can take your first birth control pill up to 15 weeks after your last Depo injection.  However, I would suggest scheduling an appointment at Family Planning when you are due for your next Depo injection and discuss your options with the nurse.  Irregardless of what type of birth control you switch to, please use a back up method, such as condoms, during the first month.

What are your supply times?

Question: So i am down to my last week of the pill. I am 17 but i was unable to go to the teen clinic on Tuesday so would i be able to just come in at one of the other supply times?

Answer:  Yes, you can come into the clinic during the supply times if you are currently a patient with Family Planning.  Please look on-line or call 24 hours in advance to determine what the supply times are for that day.  If you did not receive your birth control pills from Family Planning, then please call, schedule an appointment to meet with our nursing staff.

Recently changed birth control methods and have not gotten a period

Question: HI, a doctor at the family planning clinic in Painesville OH took out my Mirena IUD that i had had in for a year. It was causing me a lot of pain. She prescribed my Junel Fe 1/20 to begin taking that day. I have been on the JUnel fe now for two months and have missed both months periods. on mirena my periods did come only once every few moths, and I got mine the week before i got it taken out, so I am wondering why i would still not have gotten it on the new birth control. I have taken a pregnancy test and it came up negative, and i take a daily vitamin and am very active, so i am concerned there is something wrong. should I make an appointment or wait another month to see what happens?

Answer: I spoke with the nurse practitioner and she suggested that your delayed period might be a result of the left over hormones from the Mirena.  It is normal to allow your body a few months to adjust to different dosages of hormones when changing birth control methods.  However, if you are uncomfortable not having a menstrual cycle, I encourage you to call and make an appointment to switch to a different dosage   (440) 352-0608.

Can I switch my birth control pill?

Question: Can I switch to a different type of pill? The pill I’m on now is causing me to break out and is making me sick, would I be able to switch to a different kind of pill?

Answer:  Nausea and complexion changes are normal side effects of oral contraceptives and usually last 2-3 months after you begin taking them.  However, if you are uncomfortable or unhappy with your current birth control pill, or you have been consuming them for longer than 3 months, I highly encourage you to call your local doctor or Family Planning (352-0608) to schedule an appointment to discuss other birth control options.

Cost for teen to get the pill without insurance

Question: How much could a teen get the pill for without insurance?

Answer: I cannot say exactly how much birth control would be for someone of any age without insurance. The cost for birth control methods is determined by  where the person falls on our sliding fee scale, which takes into account the patient’s income.  Some people without insurance can qualify for Family Planning Medicaid as well, which helps cover the cost for any family planning related service (birth control, STI testing/treatment). Nobody is denied services here, so I would suggest making an appointment if you’re interested in birth control options. 440-352-0608

Bleeding on the Pill

Question: I was put on Ortho Tri-Cyclen 28 about a month ago, I started taking the pills the day I got them at the office. I was supposed to start my period on March 28th, but I didn’t due to the pills. Around April 2nd I started bleeding, and I wasn’t onto the green pills yet. It definitely wasn’t spotting, it’s been quite a bit of blood, I’ve gone through tampons in an hour. I’ve also had very severe cramps, though they haven’t been constant, just sudden pressure about every 10-15 minutes. Is there something wrong?

A: As educators, we are unable to tell you for sure if something is wrong. Break-thru-bleeding on the pill is spotting/bleeding when you don’t expect your period. It is possible for this to occur during the first 3 months of starting birth control pills. Since you are experiencing severe cramping as well as bleeding, I would recommend calling us at Family Planning to speak to a nurse about what you’re experiencing. 440-352-0608