Birth Control and Emergency Contraception
Birth Control Methods
Everyone’s body and lifestyle is different, so pick something that you think will work for you! Visit our friends at Bedsider to find out about all of your options!
Are you under 18?
If you are a teenager, it may be uncomfortable for you to discuss the subject of birth control with your physician. Be assured that, in West Virginia, any conversations you have with your own physician or with a physician at a Title X health clinic are bound by confidentiality laws, which prevent them from telling parents or guardians that you have received any form of contraceptives. You should also know that minors (anyone under the age of 18) do not need to notify or get permission from their parents in order to obtain birth control.
Also known as the “morning-after” pill or Plan B® , emergency contraception (EC) is a safe and reliable way to prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex or birth control failure.
For more information on types and prices of EC, visit Bedsider.
If you are pregnant and did not plan to be, you have options. You have a right to receive comprehensive, non-biased counseling and support – this includes information about abortion, adoption, and parenting, as well as an exploration of your feelings about pursuing each choice.
Visit National Abortion Federation for more information.
West Virginia only has one abortion clinic remaining within our state: the Women’s Health Center of Charleston, but that may not be the closest clinic to your location.
To find a clinic near you, visit National Abortion Federation.
To find out more about abortion procedures and your options, visit National Abortion Federation.
If you need help paying for your abortion and don’t qualify for Medicaid, visit National Network of Abortion Funds.
Beware of Fake Abortion Clinics
Over the past two decades, the anti-choice movement has set up thousands of fake abortion clinics across the country, referring to them as “crisis pregnancy centers” or “pregnancy resource centers.” There are often NO trained healthcare professionals on the premises, and these fake clinics usually do not provide healthcare services for women.
Here are some warning signs that a clinic might be fake:
- When you call to get more information or to set up an appointment, beware of places that tell you that they will only give you information if you come into their office. It is your right to ask questions and they should provide you with any basic information you need over the phone.
- Beware of clinics that advertise free pregnancy tests and counseling but are ambiguous about other healthcare services, including the availability of abortion services on the premises. These fake clinics do not provide health services for women.
There are also websites, run by people opposed to abortion rights, which are designed to trick you into believing you are receiving pro-choice information. A few examples of anti-choice websites using deceptive names are prochoice.com, birthcontrol.org, and pregnancycenters.org. If you are unsure about the information you receive from a website or any other source, please call WV FREE at 304-342-9188 and we will provide you with clear, honest information about the options available to you.
Choosing a Prenatal Healthcare Provider
To find out about the different types of health care providers and birth experiences available to you, explore these links:
AABC is an organization dedicated to pregnancy, birth, labor and delivery, and other women’s healthcare and reproductive issues. Their website provides a description of birth centers and a guide to finding one near you.
The American College of Nurse-Midwives is a professional organization for certified nurse-midwives and certified midwives. Their website provides more information about midwifery care and how to find a midwife in your area.
This professional society for obstetricians and gynecologists, which are doctors who specialize in women’s reproductive health and delivering babies, offers a listing of doctors by area.
The Birth Survey provides information about hospitals, birthing centers, home births, and providers as surveyed by real women who were asked to provide feedback about their birth experiences with a particular doctor or midwife and within a specific birth environment. It is created by The Transparency in Maternity Care Project, a project of the Coalition for Improving Maternity Services (CIMS), to provide information that will help women make fully informed maternity care decisions.
Childbirth Connection is a national not-for-profit organization that uses research, education and advocacy to improve maternity care for all women and their families. Their website provides information and resources on planning for pregnancy, labor and birth, and the postpartum period.
Doulas are specialized (usually non-medical) healthcare providers who provide emotional, physical, and educational support during and after childbirth, including methods for relaxation during labor and help with breastfeeding. Doulas do not deliver babies, so you will still need to choose a provider who does, but Doulas can help make the birth experience more comfortable. Their website offers a listing of providers by area.
If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, Evidence Based Birth gives you a starting point to find evidence about your options during childbirth, and a way to start conversations with your healthcare providers about those options.
MedlinePlus provides health information from the world’s largest medical library, the National Library of Medicine. Their website on pregnancy provides links to a wealth of informative resources including reports on everything from nutrition to teen pregnancy to financial issues.
The Midwives Alliance of North America (MANA) is a professional midwifery association uniquely positioned to unite and strengthen all midwives through dedication to innovative education, professional development, and recognized autonomous practice.
MANA is committed to enabling transformative research, promoting an evidence-based Midwifery Model of Care, addressing health disparities, and achieving optimal outcomes through normal physiologic birth and healthcare across the lifespan.
Below is a brief list of resources for new parents that can help provide support, advice, and supplies once you have given birth:
Personal health care services, provided in the most relaxed setting imaginable: your home.
West Virginia’s Child Care Program is dedicated to improving the affordability, accessibility and quality of child care services.
Whether you’re pregnant, need a birth control method, information about menopause or just want a checkup, we are ready to help you make informed choices about your health.
The Family Resource Center, conveniently located adjacent to Women and Children’s Hospital, provides many resources for first-time parents or parents who would like a refresher course when having another child.
La Leche League is an international, nonprofit, nonsectarian organization dedicated to providing education, information, support, and encouragement to women who want to breastfeed. We also provide health care professionals with continuing education opportunities and access to the latest research on lactation management.
“Every child deserves a good start.”
The Perinatal Partnership has a great list of resources for having a healthy pregnancy.
Located within the West Virginia Bureau for Public Health, the Office of Nutrition Services administers several programs and initiatives designed to promote a healthy start for West Virginia’s children.
The West Virginia Children’s Health Insurance Program (WVCHIP) is a low cost health care plan for children and teenagers of working families. Working together, we will make sure your children get the high quality health insurance they need.
It’s easy to get more information about WVCHIP. Start by exploring this website. Just click one of the topics above or call us at: 1-877-WVA-CHIP
TDD and Translation Services Available.
CHIP Helpline operates: Monday – Friday 8AM to 8PM & Saturday 8AM to 4PM.
The Women’s Health Center’s Parent Program provides case management services to high-risk pregnant women and infants.
There are three main resources for adoption in West Virginia:
Talking to Your Kids About Sexuality and Healthy Relationships
Check out our Let’s Talk About Sex and Healthy Relationships Packet to find out helpful information for discussing sexuality and healthy relationships with children, ages 3-18!
Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS) Data
The Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS) monitors priority health risk behaviors that contribute markedly to the leading causes of death, disability, and social problems among youth and adults in the United States. These behaviors, often established during childhood and early adolescence, include
- Behaviors that contribute to unintentional injuries and violence.
- Sexual behaviors related to unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, including HIV infection.
- Alcohol and other drug use.
- Tobacco use.
- Unhealthy dietary behaviors.
- Inadequate physical activity.
Check out how WV is doing with youth health in this 2017 data!