The Sampson County Health Department 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 moms and babies.
The purpose 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. The purpose of the program is to enable women to voluntarily space their pregnancies, provide education regarding male and female reproductive systems, self-breast exams, contraceptive choices, prevent STD’s including HIV/AIDS, improve maternal and child health outcome, decrease maternal mortality and morbidity, and prevent 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 health department program. No one will be refused services because of the inability to pay for their services. Clients are charged based on the Federal Poverty Level guidelines through the Department of Health and Human Services using a sliding fee scale. Services are free for clients ages 18 and under. Women that have Medicaid or private insurance are offered Family Planning services, as well.
Appointments, especially for adolescents, are provided as soon as possible, usually within 24 hours. North Carolina General Statutes state that minors may consent to confidential services for the treatment of sexually transmitted diseases, emotional disturbances, substance abuse, as well as for 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% 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 that offered at the 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 clinician 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.
Today, Family Planning is vital to promoting the health and well-being of women in our community. With education, women can make informed decisions that can positively impact their family for generations to come. If you would like to know more about the Family Planning services offered at your local health department, please call (910) 592-1131, ext. 4214. To make an appointment, please call 910-592-1131, exts. 4001, 4960 or 4220.