QJ Sex: Birth control options

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Q: Where can I get a prescription for birth control in Kingston?

A: Good question! If you’re a student at Queen’s, your best option for a birth control prescription is to go to Health Counselling and Disability Services (HCDS), located in the LaSalle building on Stuart St. They operate as your “family doctor” during your time at Queen’s and can help you with anything you otherwise might see your regular GP for. You’ll need to book an appointment to talk about birth control, and this can take a few days to a few weeks, so it’s good practice to call ahead and see what’s available.

If you’re in need of birth control and are limited on time, you can head to CDK Family Medicine and Clinic on Princess St., who operate a walk-in clinic.

HCDS also has an after-hours clinic located in the west end, but they can only provide refill prescriptions and not the initial consultation. This can be good if you realized you’re running low, but probably won’t be helpful if you’ve never been on hormonal birth control before.

If you’re not currently a Queen’s, St. Lawrence College or RMC student in Kingston, your best bet is KFL&A Public Health, located on Portsmouth Ave. They can also dispense birth control to those who have a prescription from them at a reduced cost, which makes it more accessible.

KFL&A is also a great resource for Queen’s students looking to get STI testing who don’t want to wait for an appointment with HCDS. They have a drop-in service Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4-6 p.m. and are easily accessible by bus; they’re also a short walk from main campus.

Although a health provider can help walk you through the options of available birth control, it’s a good idea to go in with a little knowledge of what you’re looking for. There are two main types of hormonal contraceptives formulations: combined methods with both an estrogen and a progestin, and a progestin-only formula. This means that even if you’ve tried one method and it didn’t work for you, you still have other options for hormonal birth control.

The main difference is the way that these hormones are delivered. The most common of these is the Pill, which is simply a pill that you take every day at the same time to prevent pregnancy. You can check out this QJ Sex blog from last year for a more in-depth guide to how the pill works.

There’s also the increasingly-common NuvaRing. Basically, it’s a small silicone ring that is inserted vaginally and slowly releases hormones over the course of a month. Because of this method, it uses a much lower dose of hormones than the pill. Luckily for you, QJ Sex has also written an article about the NuvaRing, if you’re curious.

On top of these methods, there’s also a patch (Ortho Evra), a shot (Depo-Provera), a transdermal implant (Implanon or Nexplanon) and a hormonal IUD (Mirena). An awesome website, sexualityandu.ca, has a great guide with tons more information about each of these methods and is worth checking out if you’re considering any form of hormonal birth control.

As always, if you have any questions you can stop by the SHRC, located in room 223 of the JDUC, or submit them to The Expert Sexpert to be answered in a future column. Have a sexy day!


Birth control, HCDS, QJ Sex, SHRC

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