What can you expect if you visit our clinic?
If you need to see one of our nurses, you’ll most likely want to call and make an appointment first. When you call, our clerk may ask you a few questions to see if we can give you help right then. If we think an appointment will be best, we’ll set that up.
I’m thinking about having sex
It’s completely natural and healthy to think about sex! As awkward as it can be to talk about, it’s important for you to find a trusted adult (or talk with us) to ask questions and learn more about it. Here are a few things you should consider before you take this step:
1. Let’s talk about protected sex. You can actually come into any of our health department locations, not say a word to anyone, go straight to the bathroom and grab a handful of condoms for free. We encourage you and your partner to do this!
2. What about birth control for women? If you’re thinking about having sex, understand that condoms can break. Though no type of birth control is 100% reliable, birth control does have a high percentage rate of success in preventing unplanned pregnancy.
3. Besides pregnancy, what other life changes can sex cause? Of course, no matter what kind of birth control you use, there is still a small chance of unplanned pregnancy. But, you also need to think through who you want to be and who your partner has already been with, before having sex. Why? Because sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) do occur often. HIV, a virus that causes AIDS, is a type of STD. This damages your body’s immune system that protects your body from disease. There is not a cure for HIV or AIDS, but treatment can help people stay healthy.
How do you protect yourself? Don’t have sex, have sex with one mutually monogamous partner or have safer sex. Safer sex means you’re not putting yourself in contact with someone’s blood, semen or vaginal fluids.
What are other types of STDs? Chlamydia, gonorrhea, human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, and syphilis are examples. You can read more about this here. We recommend anyone between the ages of 11 and 26 should receive the HPV vaccine to protect themself from cancer-causing infections and pre-cancers. Learn more about the HPV vaccine here.
If you are having sex, especially with more than one partner, you should be tested regularly.
I think I might be pregnant
Make an appointment. You don’t need to have a parent or guardian with you. We’ll perform a women’s health exam and have you take a pregnancy test. We can also perform STD screening to ensure you do not have any issues that could pass to the baby. Once we have the results, if you are pregnant, know that we have many resources to help you! You don’t have to walk through pregnancy alone.
This is a free program offered to all first time parents. Someone will visit your home and walk you through any questions you might have about pregnancy, birth and raising your child. We know the thought of taking care of a baby can be scary. But, that’s why this program exists. We help empower you to raise your child to be healthy and ready for each new step they take. Learn more about it here.
If you’re eligible, you’ll receive nutrition assistance and support while you’re pregnant, breastfeeding and potentially until your child is 5 years old. The goal of this program is to make sure you and baby have the nutrition you need, even if you’re on a very tight income. By setting up an appointment with us, you can apply and be approved on the same day.
My friends all smoke, drink and are experimenting with other drugs
You’ve probably heard it a million times, but remember, just because your friends are doing something doesn’t mean you have to. It’s hard to say no, but knowing the facts will help you make that choice.
First, if you’re wanting to quit smoking or drinking, give us a call so we can help! There’s also a free, convenient and safe online resource for those in Kentucky wanting to quit smoking. Call 1-800-QUIT-Now or, you can also sign up for help through this site.
No matter the drugs you’re being introduced to, know that you can always say no. Many popular drugs right now can impact your mind and physical body in a harmful and potentially deadly way. One thing to be aware of is that there is a growing issue with a substance called Fentanyl. Though this is a real drug prescribed to help those in severe pain, like cancer patients, it’s increasingly being made illegally and added to other illegal drugs to increase potency. This is being done most of the time without the user’s knowledge. Why is this dangerous and even deadly? There’s a rise in drug overdoses across the US mainly because of this drug additive. When you use illegal drugs, there is no way for you to know what you’re putting into your body. The drug itself is dangerous, but when extra ingredients are added like Fentanyl, it can be even more deadly. Learn more about it and what to do if you suspect someone has overdosed here.
If you have questions about any of this, please give us a call. Remember, you do not have to have parental consent to set up an appointment with us.
One of my friends has experienced suicidal thoughts:
If you or a friend has experienced suicidal thoughts, remember you are not alone, even if it feels like it right now. If a friend has confided in you, don’t promise to keep it a secret. Tell him or her you can help, but you need to involve other people, then immediately go to a trusted adult. At any time you can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 988 (all calls are confidential). You can find other resources like making a safety plan and tips on asking for help here.
I’ve witnessed or experienced dating violence/rape. What do I do?
First off, know that you are not alone. There are many people who would like to walk alongside you to make sure that you are safe. You can call the Domestic Violence Hotline: 1−800−799−7233. Or you can call the National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800- 656- 4673. Also, if you stop by our office we have a few resources for you as well.