According to the Guttmacher Institute, at least half of all pregnancies that occur in the Untied States each year are unplanned, and more than half of all American women in the United States will have experienced at least one unplanned pregnancy by the age of 45. These are fairly high numbers, and it is vital that you understand what contraception services can and can’t do.
What are Contraception Services?
These are services that are either federally or state funded. They exist for the purpose of providing women with contraceptives, and education concerning sex and pregnancy. These services exist to primarily serve those who are under aged and those who are at or below the poverty level to help avoid unintended pregnancies.
Without these federally or state funded programs, there would be an explosion of unwanted, unintended pregnancies, contributing to an already large problem. Additionally, many financially poor women would go without needed gynecological care.
What Services are Provided?
Aside from providing women with contraceptives, other services may or may not be available, depending on the funding that is available. You may have access to gynecological services, as they apply to pregnancy or the prevention of pregnancy, educational services, and other services. In some cases, you may have access for care where sexually transmitted diseases are concerned as well, but this is not typical of most contraception services.
Remember that not all services are provided at all service centers, and while some are free of charge to you, some may charge based on your income or ability to pay for the services.
What Contraceptive Choices are Provided?
At most centers, birth control pills and condoms are provided. It is rare that injection birth control is used at these centers due to the cost. At approximately 30% of these funded centers, tubal ligation and vasectomy services are offered.
Most centers will perform the required gynecological testing required to prescribe birth control pills, and will include screening services for cervical cancer and STDs at the same time. Most of these funded centers also offer HIV testing as well. To find a contraception service near you, you can contact your local health department.