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Mom Is Not Supportive Of My Going On The Pill

Published: September 17, 2012
Dear Mom Is Not Supportive Of My Going On The Pill,

I am 18 years old, and I would like to visit the ob-gyn for a check-up and to discuss birth control. There is more than one reason I would like to go on birth control: I have experienced severe cramps the first and second days of my period since I was 15 - so severe that I have had to leave school early and/or skip events that I enjoy. I have also been dating my boyfriend for almost 2 years, and we have serious discussions about sex. We would like to take as many precautions as possible to prevent pregnancy and such, and I, personally, would just like to be sure that I am sexually healthy and have no serious cause for the cramps that I experience. The problem is, my mother is the least open-minded person I know, especially when it comes to sex and birth control. She never had cramps, so she doesn't understand the monthly pain that I go through. I asked her to call the doctor, which she agreed to do, but she never did. I brought it up again, and she still did not call. I would gladly call and go myself, but I'm concerned about things such as insurance that might interefere with my ability to go to the doctor and receive birth control. I feel like my mother needs to be involved solely for the payment reasons. My aunt experienced the same cramps as I do, and she went on birth control before college, which is what I would like to do; however, at this point, I would never get an appointment for before I go away. How can I talk to my mother about this when she is so narrow-minded and after I already brought it up to her twice? Is there any way I can go about this on my own without my mother even knowing? I hate to be deceitful, but I feel like there is no getting through to her, I am uncomfortable talking to her about it because I'm afraid of her reaction, and I feel like doing it on my own is my only option. Please help.


Dear Mom Is Not Supportive Of My Going On The Pill,

TeenHealthFX is sorry that your mother has not been more supportive and involved in your getting the healthcare you need. We can appreciate that this must feel difficult for you – but we applaud you for not letting her issues around this get in the way of your seeking out the healthcare you need.

FX wonders if there is still a way for you to work this out with your mother. Consider the following:

  • Could you take the following tactic with your mother: “I have been experiencing severe cramps for about three years. I think it’s important for me to see a doctor so I can find out if there is a way to minimize my pain and to make sure that there aren’t any problems that need to be treated for. I know I asked you to call, but I was thinking that now that I am 18 I should be taking more responsibility for my healthcare and thought it would be better for me to call a gynecologist and schedule my own appointment.” If your mother doesn’t object in any way to this, then FX recommends you schedule your own appointment with a gynecologist. If you don’t have one, ask one of your friends, your primary care physician, or even your aunt for a recommendation of someone reputable in your area. If your mother does object to your taking care of this on your own, then FX thinks you need to talk to her about this. You could say something like, “Mom, I’m in pain and I want to make sure that nothing is medically wrong with me. So I’m really confused about why you would not want me to see the doctor. Can you help me to understand where you’re coming from with this because it’s upsetting to me to think you wouldn’t want me to get medical help for something that’s going on with me.” FX thinks if your mother is resistant to your going to the doctor that it is important for the two of you to have a discussion where you can get a better understanding of what is contributing to her resistance and where she can get a clear understanding of how upsetting it is to you to not have her help or support when you have concerns about a medical issue going on with you.
  • If talking to your mother on your own isn’t effective, could your aunt intervene on your behalf with your mother given she had the same kind of cramp issues? Since your mother can’t relate to what you are going through, perhaps your aunt could explain to her what she went through and encourage her to take you to a gynecologist.

Given that you are 18 now, FX also wants you to think about what you are worried would happen if you went ahead and scheduled your own appointment with a gynecologist. Do you feel something problematic would occur with your mother even if you told her beforehand what you were doing? Or is the issue that you are unsure of the process of how to go about finding someone, scheduling an appointment and using your insurance on your own? If you have further questions or concerns, feel free to write back to FX or consider speaking to your aunt, a friend, or even the parent of a friend for guidance and support with this. 

If you want to get confidential care and find that you cannot use your family’s insurance for whatever reason, FX suggests you contact your local Planned Parenthood clinic or teen health center and ask them what your options are. They might have sliding scale fees where you can pay out of pocket for visits and birth control so you can go confidentially and not have anything show up on your insurance.

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