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Do You Need a Pelvic Exam to Get Birth Control?

When you go to a free clinic to get birth control, do you have to be examined by a doctor before you can get it?
Dariya*

Not always. Until recently, women expected to have a pelvic exam before a doctor would prescribe any kind of birth control. Now experts agree that a physical exam is not necessary before starting birth control.

There are specific reasons to have a pelvic exam, such as if you have:

If these don't apply to you, let the clinic or doctor's office know that you don't want an exam when you make your appointment.

*Names have been changed to protect user privacy.

Reviewed by: Lonna P. Gordon, MD
Date reviewed: January 2022