Family planning services offered at local agency

Emily Spell, RN - Health department

The Sampson County Health Department (SCHD) recognizes the importance of allowing women and their partners to plan their lives, including their family.

This planning includes when and how often they choose to have children. To assist them with planning their families, SCHD offers the Family Planning Program. This program offers women a variety of information and assistance, such as: healthy lifestyle choices, contraceptive choices, physical examinations, and pregnancy planning. The goals of this program are to help prevent unplanned and unwanted pregnancies, help promote healthy lifestyles for women prior to pregnancy and to increase the number of healthy prenatal outcomes.

The goal of the Family Planning Program is to provide medical and educational services to women of child-bearing age so that they may utilize contraceptive options to voluntarily plan their pregnancies. Components of the program include: enabling women to voluntarily space their pregnancies; providing education regarding male and female reproductive systems, self-breast exams, and contraceptive choices; preventing STD’s including HIV/Aids; improving maternal and child health outcome; decreasing maternal mortality and morbidity; and preventing unwanted/unplanned pregnancies.

Services are provided on a voluntary basis. Patients are not coerced in any way and acceptance of services is not a prerequisite to eligibility for any other programs. No one is refused services because of inability to pay; clients are charged based on the Federal Poverty level guidelines through DHHS sliding scale fee. Women that have Medicaid or private insurance also qualify for Family Planning services, as well. Services are confidential, especially for teens.

Appointments for adolescents are provided as soon as possible. North Carolina law states that minors may consent to confidential services for: the treatment of sexually transmitted diseases; treatment for emotional disturbances; treatment for substance abuse; and services related to pregnancy prevention and the diagnosis and treatment of pregnancy.

Adolescents seeking contraceptive services are informed of all contraceptive methods. Each patient is counseled regarding the fact that abstinence is the only 100 percent effective method of both preventing pregnancy and preventing STD’s. Minors are also encouraged to talk with parents/guardians about their Family Planning needs.

On-site contraceptive methods offered at Sampson County Health Department include oral contraceptive pills, condoms, intrauterine devices, hormonal injections, and emergency contraception. Condoms are distributed for free to anyone presenting at the Health Department with a request, with no physical examination required. Prescriptions or referrals to a provider may be offered for those seeking forms of birth control that are not available on-site, such as the hormonal implant or the hormonal ring.

Family Planning is vital to promoting the well-being of women in our community. With education, women can make informed decisions that can positively impact their family for generations to come. To make a Family Planning appointment, please call the Sampson County Health Department at 910-592-1131, ext. 4001, 4960 or 4220. If you would like to know more about the Family Planning Program offered at Sampson County Health Department, please call 910-592-1131, ext. 4214.

Emily Spell, RN

Health department

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