You will have been taught about contraception in PHSE but that is very different from going to a doctor and getting contraception
Where can I get advice on contraception?
- Ask people you know : parents, brothers, sisters, friends
- School Nurse : the school nurse comes to King’s School regularly in term time. Find out when she is coming and go to see her
- GP : See a GP you feel comfortable to talk to. It does not need to be the same GP you normally see for other medical problems
- Teenage Advice Clinic : This is a nurse led clnic held at Coleridge Medical Centre on Monday evenings starting at 4.30pm you can just turn up and see the nurse no appointment is needed.
- Local family planning clinic : Phone 01392 276892 for where and when the clinics run or look on www.fpa.org.uk
If I see a doctor or nurse for contraception will they or can they tell my parents?
NO they cannot. The law is outlined below.
Although it is an offence for a man to have sex with a girl under 16 (17 in Northern Ireland) it is lawful for doctors to provide contraceptive advice and treatment without parental consent providing certain criteria are met. These criteria, known as the Fraser Guidelines, were laid down by Lord Fraser in the House of Lords’ case and require the professional to be satisfied that:
- the young person will understand the professional’s advice;
- the young person cannot be persuaded to inform their parents;
- the young person is likely to begin, or to continue having, sexual intercourse with or without contraceptive treatment;
- unless the young person receives contraceptive treatment, their physical or mental health, or both, are likely to suffer;
- the young person’s best interests require them to receive contraceptive advice or treatment with or without parental consent.
Although these criteria specifically refer to contraception, the principles are deemed to apply to other treatments, including abortion.
Young people under the age of 16 have as great a right to confidentiality as any other patient. If someone under 16 is not judged mature enough to consent to treatment, the consultation itself can still remain confidential.
Exceptional situations may occur where a professional believes the health, safety or welfare of the patient or others is at grave risk. It would be usual to counsel the person to try to get them to agree to pass information on. If the patient will not agree to this, the decision whether to disclose information in these circumstances would depend on the degree of current or potential harm. It does not depend on the age of the patient.
Translated this means that a doctor will usually prescribe contraception even if you are under 16 and will not tell your parents. However the doctor will ask questions to ensure that you understand the emotional and physical risks of a sexual relationship.
All healthcare professionals will advise you discuss your decision to use contraception with your parents for several reasons:
- Except for condoms all other contraceptives are medication and your parents may know something about you or your family that make it unsafe to take some types of contraception.
- If you became unwell your parents need to know ALL the medication you take including the pill or contraceptive injections or implants
- Parents seem to know everything! They may feel you have betrayed their trust by not discussing your decision with them. Remember parents are people too!!
My boyfriend and I have “sort of” had sex and now my period is late.
I think I might be pregnant what do I do now?
Firstly talk to someone you trust: boyfriend, mum, dad, brother or sister, friends, religious leader.
You need to do a pregnancy test as soon as possible
- Buy one from a chemist they are all the same so buy the cheapest (£8.00 approx)
- Talk to the School nurse and she can arrange a free confidential pregnancy test at Ottery St Mary Hospital
- See a GP – you do not have to see your normal GP talk to your friends and see the one you will feel most comfortable seeing. Your GP can arrange a free confidential test. At Coleridge Medical Centre this can be done immediately but you will need to produce sample of wee
- Go to the Teenage Clinic in Coleridge Medical Centre on Mondays from 4.30-5.30 for an immediate free confidential pregnancy test