Free or Low Cost?

Debbi Secaur

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I have been asked several times where a person can get effective birth control for little or no cost. I also offer this information to anyone that is concerned about pregnancy and is not using effective birth control. In most areas there is usually at least one place where birth control can be obtained and any fees are based on the person's income.

One of the first places to look for information and birth control is your state's local Health Department Woman's Clinic. Just look in your local yellow pages under Birth Control, Health Care Facilities, or contact a local doctor for information. You can also check your white pages for a local Planned Parenthood office, but these offices are not in all areas.

Once you know what offices or clinics are in your area, you need to know what kind of birth control you want. Some of the things that you should take into consideration is how often you need to take it (daily, monthly, or longer), how spontaneous sex would be when using it, side effects that you could not deal with (spotting or bleeding between periods, lack of periods), and how easy it is to use (an injection, a daily pill, a diaphragm).

The best way to see what you want in a birth control method is to make a list of wants and don't wants similar to this one. By making a list you will be able to talk to your doctor or nurse about what method would be best for you and your lifestyle. You can use a form just like the example above here for making your own list.

Some of the forms of birth control that are available from free clinics include birth control pills, condoms, foams, IUD, Depo-Provera, Family Planning instruction and other methods depending on the clinic's size. Some large clinics will offer Norplant, diaphragm, and the cervical cap. When you call the clinic in your area, ask what forms of birth control are available, and let the person scheduling the appointment know which one(s) you are interested in.

When making the appointment, make a mental note of what day your last period started on. Depending on the method(s) that you are interested in, you should have the appointment scheduled within a few days of your next period starting, or you may need to make a second trip to the clinic within a week or so. Also depending on your modesty level, you may feel uncomfortable being examined during your period. If this is the case, talk to the person scheduling the appointment about what time during your cycle you should come in.

So, you know what you want and don't want, where the clinic is, what they offer, and you have scheduled an appointment. Now all you have to do is go to the clinic and learn how to use your method of birth control. Birth control is not effective unless used correctly. You should be sure to ask any question that pops into your head during your exam, and if you use a hormonal form of birth control, know the name of it so you can let your doctor know if you ever need any medication due to illness.

These clinics are there to help you, use them wisely.

This article was originally published at on October 15, 2001 and all information was current at that time.

Debbi Secaur is the mother of a fourteen year old boy and a two year old girl. She has lived in the same area of Idaho and Washington for over 30 years.

Debbi is the owner of two groups located on Yahoo that offer support and information to women and couples that are trying to conceive. She has maintained a website for the groups since 1999, and continues to expand her knowledge and understanding of infertility and fertility.

Debbi currently has three websites that she invites everyone to visit.

Birth Control - A website with all of Debbi's Birth Control articles.

TTC Dreams - A website that provides information and support for couples trying to conceive or dealing with infertility.

DJ Designs - A website offering website, ad, and newsletter design services as well as writing services at reasonable prices.


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