More Frequently Asked Questions
How can I get/use Emergency Contraceptive Pills (ECPs), also known as Plan B or the morning after pill?
If you’ve had unprotected sex or your condom broke during sexual relations, Emergency Contraceptive Pills (ECP’s) can reduce your risk of getting pregnant. The sooner you take emergency contraceptive pills, the more effective they are in preventing pregnancy.
If taken within 3 days, your risk of getting pregnant is reduced by 89 percent
If taken within 5 days, your risk of getting pregnant is reduced by 80-85 percent.
Emergency contraceptive pills are not abortion pills and will not hurt a fetus if you’re already pregnant.
To get ECP’s, call your doctor or nurse practitioner to get a prescription. You don’t need an appointment and can pick up the pills at a Kaiser pharmacy. It’s a good idea to ask for a prescription with refills, so you can pick up more pills in case of an emergency.
The ECP package contains two pills. The instructions say to take the pills 12 hours apart, but we recommend that you take both pills at once. Studies show that this is just as effective, and it’s a lot easier to remember! If your period doesn’t start within 3 to 4 weeks, you should have a pregnancy test at any of our labs.
Remember that ECPs are not a good method of on-going birth control. If you think you’re going to continue having sex, you should schedule an appointment with your doctor or nurse practitioner as soon as possible to talk about birth control options. (Link to Pedi, FMS and OBGYN here) You can also make an appointment to talk with the clinical health educator to discuss any questions you have about birth control and sexuality.
You should always use a condom when you have sex, even if you’re using another method of birth control. Remember that condoms are the only method of birth control that will also help protect you from sexually transmitted diseases like HIV/AIDS, chlamydia, gonorrhea, genital herpes, genital warts, syphilis, and others.
How do I know if I have an eating disorder?
Eating disorders, such as anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating, are on the rise among teenagers. There is a lot of pressure to look thin and it’s not uncommon for people to try to lose weight in ways that are actually unhealthy.
If you think you might have an eating disorder, here are a few questions to ask yourself:
- Do you think you’re fat when others say you’re too thin?
- Would you say that food dominates your life?
- Do you make yourself throw up because you feel uncomfortably full?
- Do you worry you have lost control over how much you eat?
- Have you lost a significant amount of weight in three months?
If you answered yes to two or more questions, you should consider speaking with someone about your eating habits. You can speak with a parent, a trusted friend or adult. You should also talk to a counselor who specializes in eating disorders just to make sure that everything is OK. You can contact Child Psychiatry to speak with someone who can help you.
I think my friend might have a problem with drugs and alcohol. Who do I talk to?
Abusing drugs and alcohol can hurt your body, your brain, your relationships, your grades, and your motivation to achieve your goals. The consequences can be long-lasting, and in extreme cases, even life-threatening. If you think your friend may have a problem with drugs and/or alcohol, it’s really important that you talk to an adult who can help. You’re not protecting your friend by keeping his or her problem a secret. Consider talking to a trusted parent (yours or a friend’s), someone at school (teacher, counselor, or advisor), or a professional counselor .
Here are a few questions you can ask your friend:
- Have you ever ridden in a car with someone (including yourself) who was high or had been using alcohol or drugs?
- Do you ever use alcohol or drugs to relax, feel better about yourself, or fit in?
- Do you ever use alcohol or drugs while you’re by yourself?
- Do you ever forget things you did while using alcohol or drugs?
- Do your family or friends ever tell you that you should cut down on your drinking or drug use?
- Have you ever gotten into trouble while you were using alcohol or drugs?
If they answer yes to two or more questions, they may have a problem and need help. Most people who are having problems can’t quit on their own. That’s why it’s so important that you speak with someone who can help you help your friend.