I want to visit a clinic but have no idea on how to start. Where do I go?Expand Collapse
Simone S., 19 – It’s simple. MySelfMyHealth.org is your best resource to find out more about clinics, the services they provide and the location that’s best for you. Then you just give that clinic a call, and they’ll set you up with an appointment. View the clinic list.
Does oral sex count as having sex? Can you get an STI or STD from oral sex?Expand Collapse
Hassan S., 19 – Actually, yes. Oral sex is a kind of sex. You can get STIs/STDs from oral sex just like vaginal or anal intercourse. The same precautions should be taken when involved in any form of sexual activity.
What are my rights as a patient in Minnesota? What are my rights as a minor?Expand Collapse
It’s a Minnesota state law that no matter what your age you have the right to get confidential birth control and STI testing. All clinics on this website have policies to protect your privacy. If you go to another clinic be sure to ask if they have policies to protect your privacy. View the clinic list.
I want to visit a clinic but don’t want my parents to find out. If I make an appointment will they know?
Lanee J., 17 – If you make an appointment to visit a clinic on this website and it’s related to sexual or mental health, your parents will not find out. Even if they call the doctor’s office to ask they will not be able to get that information. No one can tell them you went to or scheduled an appointment. Scheduling an appointment and going to a clinic is completely confidential. Be sure to let the clinic know that you want to keep your visit private. View the clinic list.
What types of clinics are there? How are they different?
There are many different kinds of clinics. Some are specifically for sexual health, some are specifically for teens and some are more general and can see you for both sexual health and for general health care reasons. Some clinics are set up to offer financial help, and some clinics won’t help with payment. The important thing is to find a clinic that feels right to you and offers the services you need. View the clinic list.
I’m scared of what my friends will think of me if I go to a sexual health clinic. Should I be?
Lauren S., 17 – Remember. This is your body, and your decision, and you’re doing it for yourself. You have the right to know about your health and what you can do to help yourself and others. Your appointment is completely private. You don’t have to tell anyone. If you do want to talk about it, open up to someone you can trust. You never know, you might be helping them too.
I’m on birth control. Can I still get STIs/STDs?
Jessie, 19 – Yes. Birth control does not protect against STIs/STDs. It’s used to prevent pregnancy. If you are sexually active and want to protect yourself from STIs/STDs, you have to use condoms. If you have any questions on the use of birth control or condoms it’s best to call a clinic and talk with a health educator or nurse. View the clinic list.
What’s it like at the clinic?
Grace W., 19 – Clinics are safe and nonjudgmental. Every clinic is going to be a little different so just find the one that’s right for you. Clinics are there for you, and welcome you walking through the doors. Some clinics serve just teens and young adults. Other clinics are open to everyone. Some clinics specialize in reproductive health, while others do everything!
Every clinic is different, and every provider is too. That’s why it’s important to find one that fits you. If you find a doctor or nurse you really like then don’t hesitate to request to see them every time you go in.
Is it okay to feel nervous and scared of visiting a clinic?
Janiru H., 21 – Of course! A lot of people feel nervous and scared when they’re doing something for the first time, but trust us, clinics do everything to address your concerns. They make sure you‘re comfortable and your visit is helpful. Clinics are really good at helping new patients feel comfortable by explaining what’s happening at the appointment.
You should feel good after visiting a clinic; you’re taking care of yourself and this is something to be proud of.
What kind of questions should I ask during my appointment?
Here are some common questions young people ask at a clinic:
What am I getting tested for?
What do my symptoms sound like?
Could I have something I don’t know about?
Should I get tested for other things too?
How do I know if I’ve got something?
Now what do I do?
What can I do to protect myself from an STD/STI?
How do I get birth control?
Are some birth controls better than others?
How do I know if I’m pregnant?
Will my parents find out that I’m here?
For a prescription: How often do I take it? Does it matter what time of day I take it? Will I have to pay for it? How often will I have to refill it?
What do I need to know about prescriptions?
What if I can’t afford a prescription?
What if the prescription doesn’t work?
How will I know if it’s working?
Do I need an adult to pick up my prescription?
What if they don’t give me my prescription or there is a problem with insurance?
How many clinics are there in the Twin Cities? Can I go to any clinic I want?
There are clinics all over the Twin Cities – too many to count! Some will offer financial help and some won’t – be sure to ask. Also, if you’re using insurance, be sure to ask if the clinic takes your insurance. Start with finding a clinic that meets your needs, ask questions when you call and make an appointment to see if it’s a fit for you. View the clinic list.
How long does it take for birth control to start working?
It depends on the kind of birth control you’re using. Be sure to ask your doctor. Some works right away. Some may take longer.
What’s the most common STI/STD in Minnesota?
Chlamydia is the most common STI reported to the health department in Minnesota and it affects a large number of young people. Teens 19 and under accounted for nearly 1/3 of chlamydia infections in MN in 2014. HPV (the virus that causes genital warts and cervical cancer) is not reported to the health department, but is also very common among teens. Herpes and gonorrhea are also fairly common in MN.
What’s it like having an exam and Pap smear? Does it hurt? How do I find out the results of my tests?
A pap test is test done as part of a pelvic exam. You only need to have a pap test if you are 21 and/or sexually active.
If you do need an exam or pap smear, know that they can be uncomfortable, but shouldn’t hurt. You know your body better than anybody else so if you’re too uncomfortable or feeling pain you can always tell the doctor or nurse to stop. As scary as it can be, just remember that doctors and nurses do this all the time. They’ll listen to what you have to say and will make you feel as comfortable as possible. And remember afterwards to feel good about going – you are doing something for yourself to be healthy.
Ask your doctor about how you’ll receive the results of this test. They can call, mail or maybe even email. It’s up to you.
I heard that if you have sex during your period you can’t get pregnant. Is that true?
Lanee J., 17 – Nope. Not true. While it’s less likely, you can still get pregnant while having your period or anytime during your cycle. It’s always important to use protection and birth control.
Do I have to pay for anything when I go to a clinic?
It depends. Some clinics have free services or offer sliding scale fees and payments plans. If you’re getting birth control, most clinics can sign you up for a special program in Minnesota that pays for your birth control services. Make sure to ask about it. If you’re using insurance, it could cover some or all of the costs, but may not be confidential. The key is conversation. Ask upfront about payments and options when you call to schedule an appointment. View the clinic list.
If my partner has an STI or STD does that mean that I have one?
If a partner has an STI/STD you should go to a clinic and get tested. Most STIs and STDs are very contagious if you are having sex with someone who is infected. The only way to know for sure is to go to a clinic. If you do have something they can help with treatment. The clinic can also provide education on protecting yourself from STIs/STDs.
How can you tell if you have an STI or STD? When should I go to the clinic?
Hassan S., 19 – There are different symptoms for every STI/STD. Some signs could be a burning feeling when you pee, open sores, or an itching feeling. Pay attention to your body. If you notice a change in your body or just want to make sure, it’s always worth getting tested.
But here’s the deal, a lot of people don’t show any symptoms. This is why it’s so important to get tested regularly and any time you have a new partner.
View the clinic list.
Where can I go or who can I call to find out more about STIs/STDs, birth control, pregnancy tests, etc?
Jessie, 19 – Well, you’re in a good place right now! There’s a ton of great information right here on MySelfMyHealth.org. Visit the websites of any of these clinics to get information and get your questions answered. Use the “Find Your Clinic” tool to find the one clinic that’s just right for you, or just pick up the phone and call. Clinics are happy to talk about this stuff with you. Also, check out the trusted sources page on this website for more resources! View the clinic list.