Did you know that the World Health Organization and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) say that it's...
Did you know that the World Health Organization and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) say that it's perfectly fine to prescribe birth control pills without a pelvic exam? Probably you had no idea... and why? Because most practitioners require women to get a pelvic exam before they'll prescribe birth control pills. A new survey, published in Obstetrics & Gynecology notes that 1/3 of doctors and nurses always require that women have a pelvic exam before getting a prescription for birth control pills. A full 44% of doctors and nurses said that they "usually" require a pelvic exam. While no one is debating that pelvic exams are important, they are an unnecessary hurdle for women seeking basic birth control. Think about it. In order to get birth control pills you have to wait to get an appointment, deal with the length of the appointment and wait long time periods before you can get your hands on a basic pack of birth control pills. If you're a new mama especially, trying to care for a baby AND make time for birth control appointments is no fun. It's also a great way to end up pregnant again before you're ready. According to current research there's no good reason to get a pelvic exam SIMPLY to get birth control pills. Many may do the exam for reimbursement - most insurance and Medicare pay $ for pelvic exams, while a general appointment for contraceptive counseling may not pay doctors anything. If your practitioner says you need one, you may be able to pick up pills elsewhere, quicker and cheaper. For example, the survey noted that private practice doctors were far more likely than community clinic and family planning clinics to require a pelvic exam. How often do you need an exam? The National Cancer Institute says you need a pelvic exam at least once every 3 years, beginning about 3 years after you begin to have sexual intercourse, but no later than age 21. Women's Health says that after you hit 30 years old AND if you've had 3 normal Pap tests for 3 years in a row, you should talk to your doctor about spacing out Pap tests to every 3 years. Pelvic exams are important and can protect your reproductive health. If you can't afford an exam, check out these low-cost and free resources. *Source

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