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Can I Get Birth Control if I’m Under 18?

Jenny Ingle Pappas

Medically reviewed by Jenny Ingle Pappas, MSN, APRN, FNP-C on December 21, 2020

People under the age of 18 can get birth control, but there are a number of factors that may make it more difficult for them to do so. The kind of birth control you want to get, the insurance you have, the state you live in, and your parents’ consent can all influence how easy it is to get birth control before you reach legal adulthood. 

Beyond preventing unwanted pregnancy, birth control is a safe and effective way to regulate periods and lessen menstrual symptoms, and some formulas improve acne, all of which  make it a helpful option for young people regardless of sexual activity. If you’re under 18 and trying to figure if and how you can get access to birth control, here’s what you need to know:

When Can I Get Birth Control?

The age at which young people can access prescription birth control methods varies based on where you live. Each state has a different set of regulations around birth control, and different forms of birth control have different restrictions applied to them.

Get Birth Control At Home

Birth control from Nurx costs as little as $0 with insurance or $15 per month without insurance.

This state-by-state guide can give you a summary of the relevant birth control laws where you live. Some cities may even have laws different from their states, so do research before making a plan of action.

Do I Need My Parents’ Permission to Buy Birth Control?

Teens are generally able to get prescription birth control without their parents’ permission, though that is not true in every state. If you use your parents’ health insurance to buy birth control, however, there’s a chance that they’ll receive a notification about it from their health care plan. Buying birth control out-of-pocket can help ensure privacy, but this may make some forms prohibitively expensive.

Buying Prescription Birth Control

Hormonal birth control such as the birth control pill needs to be prescribed by a medical provider. Making an appointment with your doctor, gynecologist, or local health clinic can set you on the path to getting the prescription you need as soon as possible. Some clinics even offer plans for women who need assistance paying for their birth control.

Buying Non-Prescription Birth Control

Any person of any age can buy non-prescription birth control, such as condoms and Plan B emergency contraception. While the sale of Plan B was originally restricted to those over age 17, the age limit was later lowered to 15 before being abolished entirely in June 2019. While this means that you’ll always have access to emergency contraception as necessary, Plan B is not a substitute for traditional birth control. 

Buying Birth Control From Nurx

Here at Nurx, we prescribe birth control in accordance with CDC guidelines and the state laws that apply to each of our patients. Any woman over the age of 13 can use Nurx to access birth control provided if the state they live in allows for it, and this limit applies to both our prescription and non-prescription products. 

In order to get birth control from Nurx, you’ll need to reach out to one of our medical providers who can review your medical history and help you determine what prescription makes the most sense. Nurx is all about respecting privacy: we won’t tell your parents that you ordered birth control unless it’s required by state law, and all of our birth control is sent directly to your doorstep in plain, discreet packaging. If you’re worried about using your parents’ health insurance, feel free to look over birth control brands we offer in order to find one with a low out-of-pocket price.

Getting birth control doesn’t have to be difficult, expensive, or embarrassing. Reach out to the medical team at Nurx today to see just how easy it can be.

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