Figuring Out Birth Control Methods


While you review your overall needs and desired lifestyle, it’s important to figure out a birth control method that is right for you. The choices range from birth control pills to alternative methods that involve no medication.


Protecting Your Personal Health


If you’re overweight, underweight, or a heavy smoker, it’s good to work towards a healthier you while you practice birth control and anticipate when to have children. Overcoming an unhealthy lifestyle should be a primary goal before you get pregnant.


Spacing the Ages of Children


Getting pregnant every two years or three years, until you have the number of children you desire, is one good way to plan births. Spacing your children with enough years apart ensures each child has time for special attention from you.


Your Lincoln County Health Department offers free or low-cost birth control. To learn more about what is offered, make an appointment to attend our Family Planning Clinic at the health department in Hamlin held every 3rd Monday from 1:00pm to 3:00pm.


Nurse Practitioner, Julie Miller, is present at each of our family planning clinics to answer your questions. If you have a medical card or no insurance at all and you need birth control, we can help. Call 304-824-3330 or drop by the health department located at 8008 Court Avenue, Hamlin, WV 25523 (Behind the Court House). Make an appointment today.


You may be eligible for free or low-cost family planning services if you:


• Work at an entry-level, temporary, minimum-wage or other low-paying job

• Don’t have a job

• Are a student

• Can’t afford monthly birth control after paying for basic needs

• Have health insurance that doesn’t cover birth control and you meet certain income qualifications

• Have Medicaid but not HMO coverage

• Lost your WV WORKS (TANF) or other benefits


When we say “free or low-cost,” here is what we mean:


• Contraceptive methods such as condoms and birth control pills are provided free to all eligible clients

• Clinic visits are also free when family size and maximum monthly income are in the “Free Clinic Visit” range

• Clinics may charge a small visit co-pay when family size and income are in the “Low-Cost Clinic Visit” range. A sliding scale is used to determine the fee

• Regardless of family income or insurance, clinic visits and contraceptives are free when clients under age 18 request that services be confidential (without the knowledge or involvement of family)

• Individuals enrolled in a Medicaid HMO (Carelink, Unicare or Health Plan) are not eligible to receive services funded by the WV Family Planning Program. HMOs are responsible for enrollee’s healthcare costs including contraception.

• People with regular Medicaid coverage are eligible for WV Family Planning Program funded services

• No one is denied services because of an inability to pay


Here are some free contraceptives and information available to you:


• Intrauterine device (ParaGard® Copper T380A) (Mirena®)

• Hormonal Implants (Nexplanon®)

• Birth control shots (Depo-Provera®)

• Contraceptive Ring (NuvaRing®)

• Contraceptive Patch (Ortho Evra®)

• Birth control pills

• Foam and condoms

• Diaphragms (Ortho ALL-FLEX® Arcing Spring)

• Vaginal Contraceptive Film

• Emergency contraceptive pills (Plan B®)

• Natural family planning

• Abstinence information

• Surgical sterilization (tubal ligation and vasectomy)


We take comprehensive medical histories and provide clinical exams which may include:


• Clinical breast exams and instructions on monthly self-exams

• Testicular exams and instructions on self-exams

• Screening and treatment for some sexually transmitted diseases (STD)

• Pap tests and pelvic exams performed beginning at age 21

• Menstrual/sexual histories

• Pregnancy testing


Our health education and counseling include:


• How pregnancy occurs

• Birth control methods

• Behaviors that place people at risk for getting STD including HIV

• Reproductive Life Planning

• Pregnancy options

• Resisting pressure to engage in sexual activities

• Preconception counseling and the benefits of folic acid before becoming pregnant

• Basic infertility information


Reducing teen pregnancy


West Virginia is among the 10 worst states in the nation for teen births, according to KIDS COUNT’s 2012 Data Book. “One in 22 teen girls in West Virginia will have a baby,” said Margie Hale, Executive Director of KIDS COUNT. “This is alarming, because we know when teens get pregnant they are much more likely to drop out of school, live in poverty and have babies that are less healthy.”


Lincoln County has one of the highest rates of teen pregnancy in the state – the second highest percent of births to mothers with less than a 12th grade education (27.8%), according to KIDS COUNT. In its Final Report to Stakeholders, The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation said that “Young teen mothers end up dropping out of school, reducing their ability to find meaningful employment, and often setting up their own children for the negative cycle of children having children thus promoting generational poverty.”


The Lincoln County Health Department recognizes teen pregnancy as one of the gravest health problems facing the community. Accordingly, the department counts as among its highest priorities the diminution of teen pregnancy through education and birth control. What is more, the department asserts constructively the policy of confidentiality accorded any teen who seeks contraceptives from the department.


For more information, we urge you to access the West Virginia Family Planning website at: