Consider your birth control options with Planned Parenthood


Ryan Ash

The Planned Parenthood clinic in Champaign sits on the corner of Stoughton and Third streets. The office offers several services relating to sexual health to the Champaign-Urbana community.

By Ava Traverso, Assistant buzz Editor

With Valentine’s Day steadily approaching, there is no better time to reassess birth control methods or receive STI testing to ensure you are as safe as you can be with your partner. While some clinics may be far, expensive or it can be nerve-wracking to make appointments, Planned Parenthood serves as a solution. Located conveniently by County Market, Planned Parenthood may be the step you need to take charge of your health in a safe and budget-friendly way. I spoke with Michelle Verlinsky, Planned Parenthood Generation Action’s secretary, to get an inside look at the organization’s services. 

buzz: What can students go to Planned Parenthood for help with?

Michelle Verlinsky: Students can get an array of services at Planned Parenthood. They can get support, medical attention and resources regarding abortion, birth control, cancer, gender identity, health and wellness, pregnancy, sex and relationships, sexual orientation and sexually transmitted infections. (Its) website is filled with awesome information about all these categories and is a great tool for credible information. It is also important to note that you do not need health insurance to receive help at Planned Parenthood.

buzz: What types of resources are there for selecting a birth control type?

MV: The Planned Parenthood website has an extensive list of the types of birth controls available. They offer the success rate, price, doctor approval, STD protection and other birth control characteristics to get a good idea of what is right for you. It can also help to talk with friends who have taken various birth controls to get their anecdotal perspectives. Finally, always consult a health care provider. Whether at Mckinley (Health Center), Planned Parenthood or your doctor, it is crucial to understand how these birth controls may  affect you personally. 

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buzz: What is one tip you could give about selecting a birth control type?

MV: When selecting your birth control, remember that different birth controls have different levels of hormones and can affect you in different ways. Be patient with your hormonal birth control, and if you continue experiencing unwanted side effects, talk to your doctor about another type of birth control. There are non-hormonal birth control methods like the copper IUD and condoms, but it truly depends on you and what’s best for you. Don’t be afraid of starting birth control, and don’t be afraid to address concerns with your health care provider and switch prescriptions. Also, remember that you do not have to share this information with your parents. Once you are 18, doctors need your approval to report any medical information to your parents. Be aware of side effects, know contingencies and disclose you are on birth control to doctors.

buzz: What does Planned Parenthood Generation Action do?

MV: Planned Parenthood Generation Action is dedicated to education, advocacy and engagement. We want to educate students (who) may or may not have had proper sexual education in schools and expand on that knowledge. We are also passionate about introducing people to planned parenthood to help them get involved in creating change.

buzz: What is one thing you want students to know about Planned Parenthood and its resources?

MV: Men can come to planned parenthood, too! UIUC has a women’s health center but not a men’s health center. If you need to talk about STD testing, medications for transitioning, or anything else, you can find support and medical assistance at planned parenthood. We also have an outstanding trans health program!

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