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FAQ's

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In its broadest sense "sexuality" describes the whole way a person goes about expressing himself or herself as a sexual being. It describes how important sexual expression is in a person's life, how one chooses to express that sexuality, and any preference one may have towards the type of sexual partner they choose. The way we choose to behave sexually is as individual and complicated as the ways we choose to dress or earn a living. Human sexuality rarely falls into neat categories or lends itself to simple labelling, but rather is a rich and complex area of human experience.

Why do people's sexualities differ? Many theories have been put forward citing genetic pre-determination, childhood influences, and peer-pressure amongst other reasons. However, attempts to find a single cause for an individual's sexuality and sexual orientation or to influence or change an individual's sexuality have not been successful. Like many of our other characteristics, sexuality seems to be largely a chance product of one's unique nature, which is then further developed by our early interactions. Our sexuality seems to be formed by the time we reach our teens—although it may be many years later before we come to understand and accept our sexuality, which seems resistant to attempts to radically alter it.

  • Yes, teenagers can get birth control without parents' permission. Birth control and other reproductive health services at federally funded Title X family planning clinics in the United States are strictly confidential, which means that clinic staff cannot share any patient's information with anyone unless you give the clinic staff permission.
  • There are many federally funded family planning clinics where teenagers, 17 and under can get free services. These services include birth control methods (prevent pregnancy), pregnancy testing, STD (sexually transmitted diseases) testing, and gynecological exams.
  • Even though federally funded family planning clinics offer confidential services to teenagers, it's always a good idea for teens to talk with their parents or another trusted adult to help them carefully consider their decision about becoming sexually active and the need to use birth control in preventing pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases (STD).

SelectPlan for Women is a program that is available to women who are Pennsylvania residents and who meet certain eligibility requirements. It covers family planning services and supplies, so most of the services you normally receive at our family planning clinics will be free-of-charge! 

Every woman is different as to when a pregnancy test will come up positive. It is best to wait until you have missed a period by 10 to 14 days or two weeks to give your body time to build up the hormone HCG, which is only present when you are pregnant. A very early test (during the week your period is due) might not pick up a pregnancy because the level of HCG might not yet be detectable

 

  • Yes, it is possible to skip the last week of a birth control pill pack (period week) and begin a new pack of pills to prevent your period. Some women decide to skip their period if it is expected to occur during a vacation, wedding, honeymoon, or other important occasion. Women should discuss this with their health care providers in order to understand what this might mean for their body.
  • Birth control pills are normally taken with 21 active hormonal pills followed by 7 placebo or iron pills.
  • While on birth control pills, there is no biological need for a menstrual period, however many women prefer to get their menstrual cycle on a monthly basis. A monthly period eases any worries about being pregnant.
  • The pill is effective two weeks after you start using it. It basically shuts off your ovaries. As long as you remember to take it at the same time each day you will be protected from pregnancy. The Depo-Provera shot is effective about 24 hours after it is given (within the first five days of your menses), even if it is the first time getting the shot.
  • Certain antibiotics can stop the pill from working properly. This can increase your chance of getting pregnant.
  • Use a back up method, like condoms (male or female), or do not have vaginal sex, while taking the antibiotic and a week after finishing the antibiotics.
  • Remember, if you are given a prescription for an antibiotic; it is very important to tell the clinician that you are on the pill.
  • If you are worried about getting pregnant, you may want to consider using Emergency Contraception (EC).
  • The withdrawal or "pulling out" method is when the man pulls his penis out of the woman's vagina before he ejaculates (cums). If there is any pre-ejaculation (pre-cum) on the penis, then there is a chance that a pregnancy may occur.
  • Withdrawal decreases the risk of pregnancy when no other method is available; however, this is one of the least effective methods of birth control.
  • Withdrawal offers no protection against sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
  • Of every 100 women whose partners use withdrawal, 4 will become pregnant each year if they always do it correctly (perfect use).
  • Of every 100 women whose partners use withdrawal, 27 will become pregnant each year if they don't always do it correctly (typical use).
  • You should first complete the cycle of pills that you are currently using.
  • It can take from one to three months for your body's own hormonal cycle to resume menstruating and ovulating. Some couples choose to use a non-hormonal method during this time, to give the body a chance to resume hormonal functioning. Non-hormonal methods include male and female condoms, the diaphragm, spermicide and the sponge.
  • Exposure to pill hormones during pregnancy has been studied by the Food and Drug Administration. The pill does not cause fetal anomalies, but some people would rather not risk hormonal exposure.
  • You may wish to check in with your clinician for a pre-pregnancy check up that includes genetic counseling and a request for prenatal vitamins.
  • Yes. Natural Family Planning or NFP is a method in which a woman and clinician study her patterns of menstruation and ovulation to determine the best times to conceive or avoid pregnancy.
  • NFP is best learned by utilizing the sympto-thermal method. This means that a woman must be comfortable in monitoring her body's signs that signal fertility. Checking the position of the cervix daily as well as vaginal mucus is a part of NFP. Checking Basal Body Temperature (BBT) daily before getting up out of bed is also a part of NFP.
  • This method is easy to learn but is best reviewed with a clinician to help determine fertility patterns.


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