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What you ask us - our top 10 questions for 2014

Monday, January 5, 2015


We’re starting the year with the 10 questions we were most commonly asked in 2014. 

There are some really great questions, including about our services, contraception, sexually transmissible infections (STIs), appointments, smears.

We’re experts in sexual and reproductive health – which is why people trust us to give good advice.

We talked to our health promoters and nurses and they gave us a sample of questions they get asked.

Your questions

Here’s what you were asking us. Maybe you’ll find the answer to some of your questions.

It says on the website that visits for under 22 year olds are free. How much is it if I don’t fit into this category?

Yes it is free for under 22 year olds to come to our clinics – as long as they’re New Zealand Residents.

If you have a Community Services Card it will cost $5 for a clinic visit.

Many of our prescriptions are fully funded, and are free to collect from pharmacies. Your nurse or doctor can advise you whether your prescription will be free or not.

This applies to everyone no matter what age you are.

There are different costs if you’re not a New Zealand Resident.

Read all our prices or call your nearest clinic for more details.

Feedback from a client

It is possible for you to send a repeat prescription to my pharmacy for me to collect? I need a repeat of my contraceptive pill.

We’ve just started phone consultations. This is a great option to get a repeat of your pill prescription and also get the nurse to fax it to your pharmacy.

Phone consultations are also great to get emergency contraception or to talk about what contraception might be best for you.

Phone consultations are only available if you’re under 22, have been to one of our clinics before and you’re a New Zealand Resident .

If you don’t meet the criteria for a phone consultation, you will need to make an appointment to see a nurse or drop in when no appointment is necesary to get a repeat prescription.

Feedback from a client

What types of condoms are available through Family Planning? Are there options such as polyurethane condoms or just latex condoms?

We have a range of different male condoms which are available with a prescription or on our website from our online shop.

When you come to one of our clinics for a condom consult, the nurse will write you a prescription for free condoms. You will need to take the prescription to the pharmacist to collect, but there will not be any charge. 

If you’ve not used condoms before, the pharmacist can provide you with a range of different condoms so you can try and see which ones you like best – and which ones fit best.

On our website we sell a range of male condoms - and we also have female condoms for sale too.

See the range of condoms we sell online

Feedback from a client

I think I might have picked up chlamydia. I’m really unsure what to do...

This person has made the right call by asking us for help.

If you’re unsure about an STI, it is a great idea to make an appointment at one of our clinics because most STIs are easily treated and our staff have seen it all before.

If you’ve got symptoms, you will need to have an STI test. You might need to pee in a pot or the nurse or doctor might need to take a swab from your vagina or penis so you can be tested. You might need a course of antibiotics.

Females who don’t have symptoms can do self taken swabs so an examination isn’t always necessary

If you’re a guy, it might pay not to go to the loo for a while before your clinic visit – tests results are better for men if they haven’t peed for about two hours before the test is taken.

If you can’t wait to make an appointment, most of our clinics have drop-in times when there’s no need to have an appointment. This information is on the clinic pages.

Read more about STIs

Feedback from a client

If I want to have a cervical smear, do I need to see the doctor first or can I just make an appointment with Family Planning straight away?

All you need to do is ring your nearest clinic and tell them that you’d like to book a cervical smear. You don’t need to see your doctor first.

If you’ve never had one before, read more about about what the test involves.

This is a great question because a lot of people think you have to be a Family Planning client to come to one of our clinics – but you don’t! Anyone of any age can come to our Family Planning clinics.

Read more about cervical smear tests

Feedback from a client

I need to make an appointment and I don’t have any money on my phone. What can I do?

This is something we’ve been working on because we know that this has been a problem for lots of young people.

You could try dropping into one of our clinics at a time when an appointment isn’t needed. You’ll find details of our drop in clinics on the clinic pages of our website.

But keep an eye on our website early in 2015. We’ve got an exciting project almost ready which we think will make it easier to make appointments.

Feedback from a client

My friend has implants in her arm – I want to get them too? What do I need to do?

Implants are a great option for lots of people – they cost very little and they last for five years.

Not all contraception is right for everyone though. You know how sometimes you really like that dress in the shop but don’t like it when you try it on? Well, different types of contraception can be like that. What suits your friend may not suit you.

But, there are all sorts of options so if an implant is not right for you, there will be another contraceptive that will be. Just make an appointment and you can talk about what might be the best option for you.

Read more about contraceptive implants

I think I’m pregnant – can my friend come with me to your clinic?

Yes, you can bring anyone you choose along to to your appointment with you.

During the appointment, the nurse or doctor may ask them to step outside for a while so they can check that you’re okay and not being asked to do anything you don’t want to do.

It’s important to confirm your pregnancy as soon as possible so you’ve got time to make all the decisions you need to make.

Read more about pregnancy

Will you tell anyone about my visit to your clinic?

This is the one question we get asked the most. Lots of people, especially young people, are worried about confidentiality or about someone finding out about their visit.

The law in New Zealand says that you can buy condoms at any age. The law also says you have the right to be prescribed the pill or other contraceptives.

Your nurse or doctor will want to make sure that you are not at risk and that you understand what you’re doing.

We have a confidentiality statement for people under 16. You’ll see it in our clinics, but here’s what it says:

“Everything you say to us will be confidential. We will not tell anyone else, unless there is a risk that someone could harm you, you could harm someone else, or you could harm yourself.

“In those circumstances we may need to tell someone else in order to help you better, but we will always try to inform you first.”

Read more about your rights as a Family Planning client

Feedback from a client

Got a question?

Our new website is a great source of information if you have a question, and our nurses and doctors are always happy to answer questions. Use the search function to help find your answers.

Or make an appointment or drop-in to a clinic to talk to a nurse or doctor.

Family Planning has clinics located throughout New Zealand. Use the clinic finder to find your nearest clinic.