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Click on one of the most effective birth control methods for answers to commonly asked questions.

HOW TO PAY FOR IT

How Can I pay for Birth Control?

Under the Affordable Care Act, young adults can continue to be covered under their parent’s health insurance until age 26. The following preventive services must now be covered FREE OF CHARGE by insurance providers:

  1. Birth control (this includes the ones approved on this website)
  2. Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) testing
  3. Blood pressure and Cholesterol screenings
  4. Prenatal and New baby care

Maryland has expanded its free family planning (birth control) program for women who aren't covered with other health insurance. There is no minimum age for the program and you don’t need a parent's signature to apply. The program covers counseling, medical exams, follow up visits and a birth control methods. You must be a US citizen or legal resident and live in Maryland. Enrollment takes about 45 days to process. If you are eligible, you will get a card to take to any provider who accepts the purple and white Medicaid card. To find out if you’re eligible for free birth control, contact Health Care Access of Maryland (410)-649-0500.

What is the Affordable Care Act (ACA)?

President Barack Obama created a law will allow ALL United States citizens to have health insurance. This law will take effect in 2014. Financial assistance will be available for many people to reduce the costs of buying health insurance.

What if you can’t afford private health insurance?

The Maryland Health Benefit Exchange Act of 2011, will allow Marylanders who are at or below 400% of the federal poverty level to purchase affordable health insurance. This marketplace will offer insurance coverage to those who make too much for the state insurance, but can’t afford the private insurance.

Want More Information?

Visit Health Care Access of Maryland healthcareaccessmaryland.org/healthcare-reform/

For a complete list of preventative health services, visit U.S.DHHS healthcare.gov/center/regulations/prevention/recommendations.html

IUD

What if I get an IUD, but want to get pregnant sooner than the 5 or 10 years that it's good for?

You can have your IUD removed whenever you're ready to get pregnant. The hormones in your body should go back to normal quickly and you can start trying right away.

Is it safe to have the hormones from the IUD inside you all the time?

Yes, the hormones used in the Mirena IUD is used in other birth control methods. It's been used by a lot of women, and it's safe.

Does the IUD protect against STIs?

No, the only way to protect against STIs if you're having sex is a latex or polyurethane condom. Doubling up with the IUD and condoms is a great option.

Will it hurt to have sex when I have an IUD inside me?

You may be a little sore immediately after insertion, but the IUD should not cause pain during sex.

Can the IUD hurt my partner?

No, the IUD can't hurt your partner, and it's rare that if they can even feel the strings. The IUD strings soften over time, and if it's a problem, your healthcare provider might be able to trim them.

I'm worried that if I don't bleed regularly with the IUD or implant then I won't know if I get pregnant.

It's totally normal to stop having your period with the IUD or Implant, which many women look at as an added benefit.

Can the IUD move out of place or fall out completely?

Rarely, the IUD can expel or push out of your body. It's uncommon and not usually dangerous, but talk to your provider as soon as it happens.

Is it safe to have an IUD inside me?

Yes, the IUD is safe and approved for preventing pregnancy. It is also one of the most widely used methods in the world.

The ParaGard IUD has copper, right? Is it safe to have the metal inside you?

Yes, the small dose of copper is safe as long as you are not allergic.

Is there anything I can do if my periods are heavier and my cramps are worse since I got my IUD?

If you've only had the IUD for a few months or less, it could lessen or go away on its own. Talk to your provider about potential side effects or any questions.

IMPLANT

I'm thinking about getting the implant. But what do I do if I want to get pregnant in less than the 3 years it lasts?

You can have your Implant removed whenever you're ready to get pregnant. The hormones in your body should go back to normal quickly and you can start trying right away.

Does it hurt to get the implant?

It shouldn't. You get an injection of numbing medicine through a small needle before your health care provider inserts the implant which only takes a few minutes. That area of your arm may be sore or bruised for a couple days.

Does it hurt to get the implant removed?

It shouldn't. You get an injection of numbing medicine through a small needle before your health care provider removes the implant which only takes a few minutes. That area of your arm may be sore or bruised for a couple days.

I'm spotting from the implant. What can I do to stop it?

If you've only had the Implant for a few months or less, it could lessen or go away on its own. Talk to your provider about potential side effects or any questions.

Will the implant show?

No, but you can feel it if you press where it was inserted.

I'm using the implant. Are the side effects like feeling moody, bloated, and nervous going to go away?

If you've only had the Implant for a few months or less, it could lessen or go away on its own. Talk to your provider about potential side effects or any questions.

SHOT

Will the shot make me fat?

There is a possibility of weight gain on the shot since it can increase your appetite and make you eat more.

How often do I have to get the shot?

You have to get the shot 4 times a year or every 3 months. It's really important for you to get each shot on time, so websites like bedsider.org offer to send you a phone or email reminder.

Am I going to stop having my period on the shot?

It's totally normal to stop having your period with the shot, which many women look at as an added benefit. If you were late getting a shot, consider taking a pregnancy test.

PILL

Is the birth control pill dangerous?

No, birth control pills are very safe if you are healthy. Heavy smokers or women with some medical conditions shouldn't take the pill because of potential risks.

What can I do if I'm on the pill and breaking out with acne?

Most pills actually help with acne, so you could talk to provider to see about switching to another kind of pill.

Can I use the pill to control when I have my period?

Yes, it's safe and possible to use the pill to control your bleeding. Be sure to talk to your provider first.

PATCH

Does the patch really work?

Yes, the hormones are released and absorbed through your skin.

Can I swim or take a shower while I'm wearing the patch?

Yes, it's really rare that the patch falls off.

Can I wear the patch all the time and not get my period?

It's not recommended since hormone levels from the patch may be a little higher over time than with the pill.

RING

Can I keep the ring in all of the time and not get my period?

Yes, it's safe and possible to use the ring to control your period. Just use a new ring every three weeks without a 1-week break. Be sure to talk to your provider first.

Will I be able to get the ring out by myself?

Absolutely, you insert and remove the ring yourself. It's easy but could take some practice.

EMERGENCY CONTRACEPTION

The condom broke. What should I do?

Use emergency contraception, also known as the “morning after pill” as soon as you can if the condom broke, spilled, or wasn't used the whole time. Emergency contraception is effective up to five days after sex, but the sooner the better. You may also want to get tested for STIs.

Is emergency contraception the same thing as the abortion pill?

No, emergency contraception works by preventing pregnancy form starting and not if you're already pregnant. If you accidentally take emergency contraception before you know you're pregnant, it won't hurt you or the pregnancy.

How will emergency contraception pills affect my next period?

It depends on when you took emergency contraception during your monthly cycle. Your period may be a little early, a little late, or right on time. Consider taking a pregnancy test if your next period is more than 2 weeks late.

CONDOMS

How should I store condoms?

Condoms should be kept at a moderate temperature (not too hot or too cold). Keeping them in a car or a wallet for long periods of time can damage the structure of the latex causing it to not work properly.

Can I use a male condom and a female condom at the same time?

No, only use one method from each category (barrier and hormonal) to decrease friction which will cause the condom to break.

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