Have you talked to yourself today?
The majority of adults (57%) agree that sheltering in place during the COVID-19 pandemic has provided increased opportunity for conversations with the young people in their life about sex, love, relationships, and ultimately birth control. And as many are sheltering in place with loved ones, including young people, we’re glad to know that 90% of adults agree that talking about these important topics positively influences youth to make informed decisions.
But even as we all make sure to check-in with family and friends, we need to take the time to check-in with ourselves. How often have we asked a sister or a best friend how their relationship is going? How often have we listened as they talked through major decision? While being there for loved ones is important, take time today to have a powerful conversation with yourself.
To help you get the ball rolling, here are three areas where it’s important to know where you stand:
Do you have health insurance? Are you with happy with your plan and the coverage it gives you?
If the answer to either of these questions is no, you’re in luck. It’s nearly that time of year again; open enrollment for insurance through the Affordable Care Act’s insurance marketplace, healthcare.gov, opens November 1, 2020. And whether you have insurance and want to switch or are looking to get coverage for the first time, they have plenty of resources (such as this checklist and local people to assist you) to ensure that you get the plan that best fits your needs and your budget.
Are you happy with your birth control method?
As our lives change our birth control needs change too. Go on a contraceptive journey and consider factors such as if you want children and how soon, the importance of potential side effects and interactions with any other medications you currently take, and your confidence to use a method correctly every time.
There’s no such thing as the perfect method. So, if your current method isn’t working for you explore all your options.
Health Care Access
Have you seen a provider lately? Are you due for a well-woman visit?
If it’s been awhile since you’ve had a check-up, schedule your next well-woman visit. Meant to focus on your preventative health care, well-woman visits are the perfect time to get your flu shot (or any other shots you may need), screen for common conditions such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol, and get a physical exam (which often includes a breast exam and Pap smear).
However, the pandemic has drastically changed how many of us access reproductive health care. Going to see a health care provider in-person may not be feasible or may feel unsafe at the moment. Telehealth is an excellent alternative to in-person clinic visits. In fact, a recent survey showed that 57% of respondents reported that were likely to talk to their provider about telehealth options in the next six months.
Though obviously it’s not possible to get a physical exam through telehealth, you can discuss birth control and other health concerns with a provider virtually. Plus, it’s possible—and often affordable—to use telehealth even without insurance, and many insurance plans cover telehealth. Learn which telehealth services are available in your area and check them out.
As Let’s Talk Month ends, we’re still going through difficult times. Let’s make sure we keep checking in with ourselves—being aware of our emotional and mental health as well as discovering who we are and what makes us happy.