September is World Sexual Health Month and SNAHC would like to remind everyone of the importance of discussing reproductive and sexual health with a provider. We are all able to take charge of our health by staying informed on our rights and the services we have access to. We have complied a list of information to help you stay healthy, informed, and safe while considering your sexual health options.
What is reproductive and sexual health care?
Sexual and reproductive health care include many services to help patients meet their goals.
These services include but are not limited to:
- Education about birth control methods, providing birth control methods
- Pregnancy testing and counseling
- Pap tests, breast exams, and pelvic exams
- Testicular and prostate exams
- Testing, treatment for, and prevention of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs), including HIV
- Preconception care counseling and education, Infertility testing, treatment, and education
- Referrals to other services, such as prenatal care, domestic violence assistance, or drug and alcohol abuse treatment
Who has access to reproductive and sexual health care?
In the state of California, even if you are under the age of 18, you have the right to have your personal rights explained and provided to you in a manner that you understand. You also have the right to receive health care, including reproductive and sexual health care. You have the right to make your own decision about the following kinds of care (meaning you can say “yes” or “no” and do not need permission from a parent, caregiver, social worker, or any other adult if you want this care):
- Birth control or protection, pregnancy testing, and prenatal (pregnancy) care, at any age and for any gender.
- Abortion, at any age.
- Health care you need due to rape or sexual assault, at any age.
- Health care to prevent sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV, at age 12 or older.
- Testing and treatment for STIs and HIV, at age 12 years or older.
When you get sexual or reproductive health care, or ask your doctor questions about sex, your doctor cannot share that information with your parents, caregivers, group home, social worker, or probation officer without your written consent, except for a few small exceptions.
Why is reproductive and sexual health care important?
Sexual and reproductive health care covers some of the most personal aspects of a person’s life. By discussing these, providers can give proper care and treatment, and in some cases prevent potential illness. Sexual and reproductive health care services can be the main source of health care for many people. As such, the health screening they receive can at times help them identify or receive treatment for other health problems they may not have known about.
How can I access these services?
SNAHC offers confidential family planning services including birth control methods, STI & HIV screenings, treatment & counseling for STI’s including Hepatitis C, partner treatment for chlamydia and gonorrhea, and a wide variety of other reproductive health services. By calling our member services line at (916) 341-0575, you can make an appointment or speak to a provider about your options.