I know from personal experience that obtaining birth control can be daunting and aggravating. Nearing the end of my senior year, I wanted to get birth control before I entered college.
Things were getting more serious with my boyfriend and I wanted to be protected. But I had one major roadblock: strict parents.
I began to devise a plan for secretly driving to Planned Parenthood. I used the classic excuse, “I’m hanging out with Danielle today”, which was pretty much the truth since she did come with me for support. I remember feeling so uncomfortable sitting in the waiting room. Why did I feel like everyone was judging me?
I left Planned Parenthood with a year’s supply of birth control pills, feeling like I had won the jackpot. Danielle and I giggled in awe at the goodie bag filled health products, including a variety of brightly colored condoms.
A week into starting on the pill, my parents found out. They were outraged and took the pills away. I remember the hot stinging tears of shame.
I went back to Planned Parenthood to get more birth control. This time I had to pay $30 for a three month supply, only to go home and have my father confiscate it for a second time.
I felt powerless.
It wasn’t until I left home that I was able to take control of my reproductive health.
I felt free. I was in control. And my parents still don’t know.
In college, I discovered there were services that would deliver my birth control. One of these was Nurx, which prescribes and delivers contraceptives to your door. Finally I was able to get my birth control delivered to my college, a safe address far away from parental surveillance.
3 tips for girls still living with their parents:
While birth control delivery services are great, they won’t do you much good if you live in a super strict household where your parents check the mail.
- Get it delivered somewhere else: For me, getting my birth control delivered by Nurx at school was the best solution and I’m glad that there’s an option like this. If you’re able to get the delivery somewhere that isn’t your house, like a school, friend’s house or work mailbox.
- Try and have an open conversation with them: Explain that you’re the one making the decision, that it’s your body. Explain that taking away birth control won’t prevent you from the activities you’re engaging in, and that you’re making a smart, responsible choice by choosing contraceptives.
- Look elsewhere for help: If your parents still refuse to let you get the pill, or continue to confiscate your pills, you can seek out help from another trusted adult, like a school counselor or nurse. You can also look into other birth control options, such as the IUD, patch, injection, or ring, which last longer and don’t require you to take a pill every day. Ultimately it’s your body and your right to choose.
What were your experiences with getting birth control whilst living at home? How did you handle conversations with your parents? Share in the comments below.