New Jersey Family Planning League (NJFPL) is committed to providing quality family planning and related health services to all New Jerseyans who need them. We support 10 agencies that operate nearly 50 health centers in all 21 counties.
Check with your local health center to learn more about available family planning services. These may include:
- Family planning counseling and education
- Birth control methods
- Pelvic exams
- Cervical, breast, testicular, and prostate cancer screening
- Pregnancy testing and counseling
- Basic infertility services
- Sexually transmitted infection (STI or STD) testing, prevention, education, and treatment
- Screening for HIV, PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) assessment and other services
- Referrals to other health and social services
Did you know
June 2020 is Pride MonthLesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ+) Pride Month is celebrated in June. During Pride, we celebrate the contributions that LGBTQ+ people have made throughout history - and reaffirm our commitment to helping all people access quality sexual and reproductive health services.
Inclusive Services AvailableNJFPL health centers support and provide services to people of all sexual orientations, gender identity or expression in a judgment-free zone. Your sexual and reproductive health is important. Services include:
- HIV prevention and PrEP (HIV prevention program and medication to lower your risk of getting HIV)
- Sexually transmitted infection (STI) testing and treatment
- Birth control methods
- Cancer screenings
- Family planning services
NJFPL Health Centers are a Judgement-Free ZoneBeing honest with your health care provider is important to staying healthy and safe. But it’s also normal to be worried about privacy or being judged. If you are, it’s ok to ask your provider about privacy before you share your information. All NJFPL health centers provide confidential high quality, affordable family planning and related services to anyone in a private and judgement-free place.
Resources if You’re Struggling with Sexual Orientation or Gender IdentityAs you learn more about your own gender identity and sexual orientation, you might have questions, worries or want to talk to others who understand and share your experience. You don’t need to be alone. There are people who understand what you’re going through. Here are some online places where you can learn more about LGBTQ+ issues, events and find community:
- Garden State Equality
- The Pride Center of New Jersey
- Hetrick-Martin Institute NJ (youth services)
- Advocates for Youth
- GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network)
- Human Rights Campaign
- The Trevor Project
- Q Chat Space (Live chat, facilitated, LGBTQ+ online discussion groups)
What You Can Do to Support LGBTQ+ Friends/FamilyDo you have family members or friends you want to support, but you don’t know how? You may not know exactly how they feel, but you can let them know you are on their side and are there to listen and help how they need it. Let them know you care about them for who they are, that they aren’t alone and you have their back. Here are some ideas for offering the best support:
- Educate yourself about LGBTQ+ history and issues
- Listen! Stop talking and just lend an ear and a shoulder to lean on
- Ask what they need most from you
- Don’t assume you know a person’s gender identity or sexual orientation or that everyone around you is straight
- Speak up when you see or hear something wrong, like bullying or offensive LGBTQ jokes
- NEVER “out” someone - besides breaking a trusted bond, you may be putting your friend or family member in danger. Each person has the right to decide when and how they want to come out
What is Telehealth or Telemedicine?Many healthcare providers may be using telehealth and telemedicine services due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But what do these terms really mean? While they are often used to mean the same thing, telehealth is the use of a wide range of telecommunication technologies to support and promote patient care, and telemedicine is a subset of telehealth that specifically refers to providing health care over a distance using telecommunications technology (such as phone calls or video chats). Like an in-office visit, your telemedicine appointment is secure, confidential and judgment-free.
How Does Telemedicine Work?Depending on your healthcare provider, a different online platform may be used for telemedicine services. In a video chat appointment, patients can talk with their healthcare provider while the provider performs a visual exam in real-time. No in-person contact occurs. Think of it like FaceTime but secure to protect your privacy. You may be asked to complete online health forms in advance of your telemedicine appointment or to mail in paper copies. These online platforms allow healthcare providers to text or email you a link. When your appointment time arrives, you simply click on the link and are connected via video with your provider. If you have limited access to the Internet or don’t require a visual exam, your provider may be able to perform your appointment over a simple phone call instead.
What Are the Benefits of Telemedicine?One of the biggest benefits of telemedicine appointments is that the risk of infection between patients, staff and providers is eliminated. Telemedicine also provides you with easier access to care, especially if you live in a rural area or don't have access to transportation. Other benefits include less travel time, less wait time, and no exposure to other patients.
What Family Planning Telemedicine Services Are Offered?Hormonal contraception, or birth control, may be prescribed with a telemedicine appointment. To find the best option for you, your provider may discuss risk of pregnancy, the available methods, how to use them and your preferences and priorities that fit your lifestyle. Sexually transmitted infections (STI) care via telemedicine includes STI testing (you can mail in self-collected samples), prescribed medications and home care treatment for certain (not all) STIs, at-home human papillomavirus (HPV) testing and PrEP prescriptions for HIV prevention. You will also receive education on how to prevent STIs. Medications can be prescribed to be filled at the pharmacy, mailed to you or you may be offered curbside pickup at the health center. Consultations of all kinds are available, from simple questions and concerns, to visual exams and STI services. Family planning services are easily available via telemedicine. You may discuss your contraception options, or changing or stopping your contraceptive method. You might also talk about what to do if you have an expired intrauterine device (IUD) or implant and can’t get in to see your provider or do not want to risk infection during the COVID-19 pandemic. These services may also include preparing for a healthy pregnancy or at-home pregnancy testing. Find the NJFPL-supported health center that is closest or most convenient to you and call to ask what telemedicine services are available and set up your appointment.
Maintaining your sexual health during the COVID-19 pandemic is as important as ever! Many people are having to find new ways to protect their sexual health while practicing isolation and social distancing.
Sex During Social DistancingHaving extra time at home with your partner may lead to more time for sex. You may have just started a new relationship and are wondering if you can have sex during the pandemic. Or you or your partner may be infected with COVID-19 and don’t know when you can safely have sex. Your healthcare provider will be able to help you make the decisions that are right for you, but here are some answers to questions and concerns that you may have right now.
Can I Become Infected with COVID-19 Through Sex?You can get COVID-19 from a person who has it if you are within 6 feet of that person when they cough, sneeze, or talk. COVID-19 is currently not known to transfer through semen or vaginal fluids, but it has been detected in semen, saliva (spit) and feces (poop). Even though vaginal sex may not spread the virus, other sexual acts, such as kissing, oral sex and anal sex may spread COVID-19 between you and your partner.
What if My Partner is Sick?If your partner is sick and testing is available, they should be tested for COVID-19. The result will help guide your sexual decisions. If your partner tests positive, you should not kiss or have sex. COVID-19 spreads very easily through saliva. It’s important to remember that some people infected with COVID-19 may have few or no symptoms, but they are still infectious. Talk with your healthcare provider if you think you or your partner may have been exposed. Your partner should self-isolate and follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) guidelines before leaving quarantine (staying separate from other people and pets). If you or your partner do not have access to COVID-19 testing, you should behave as if your partner is infected and follow self-quarantine guidelines. A weakened immune system puts you at increased risk of infection with COVID-19 or any other virus. Complications from COVID-19 could also be worse if your immune system is weakened. Becoming infected with more than one virus at a time is also possible. Discuss with your partner what you will do if one of you becomes ill. Always respect each other’s wishes whether or not to have sex if one of you is sick.*
What if I Don’t Live with My Partner?Consider the health and safety of yourself, your partner, family members, friends, roommates, co-workers and everyone those people know. Seeing your partner in person is dangerous not only to each other, but to many other people in contact with both of you as well. You should follow the CDC’s guidelines for social distancing. There are other ways besides sex that you and your partner can stay connected during social distancing.
- Go on a virtual date – Set up a video chat over coffee, a meal, or a drink.
- Play online games together – With tons of gaming apps available, stir up some friendly competitiveness and play against your partner.
- Read a romance novel together – Take turns reading a spicy story to each other or try creating your own!
- Virtual sexual activity – Only try this method if you and your partner have established boundaries and respect each other’s privacy. Texting, photos and videos may fulfill your desires during this time of isolation.
- Masturbation – Having sex with yourself is the safest form of sex there is. Just make sure that you wash your hands and any sex toys for at least 20 seconds before and after use.
What if I Want to Have Sex with Someone New?Now is not the time to meet or have any new sexual partners. Although virtual dates may be perfect for the person you were getting to know before the COVID-19 outbreak, inviting them over for sexual activity is a decision that endangers you, your partner and many other people, and contributes to spreading the disease.
Preventing Pregnancy During the COVID-19 PandemicMany sexual health services are still available during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you need to refill a birth control prescription or you would like to start using prescription birth control, you have options. Many healthcare providers are working with patients through telemedicine (virtual) visits, such as voice and video calls. If you have a long-term form of birth control, such as an IUD that is about to expire, contact your healthcare provider to find out if they can replace or remove it for you. If you have to wait, be sure you and your partner use another form of birth control during this time, such as condoms.
Preventing STIs During the COVID-19 PandemicPreventing the spread of STIs during this pandemic is still as important as it was before. Condoms and dental dams are available at drug stores and grocery stores, essential businesses that remain open. You can also get condoms at your local family planning health center. If you know or suspect you have an STI, you are responsible for getting tested and talking with your partner(s) before sex. STI testing is considered an essential service during this time. Getting tested now instead of waiting for the world to go back to “normal” is important. Some STIs may be asymptomatic (not show symptoms), meaning you or your partner could have an STI without knowing it. Getting tested before having sex with new partners and asking new partners to get tested is important for your and their protection. Untreated STIs can have harmful long-term effects on overall health and reproductive health.
Finding a Health CenterWhether it is getting a refill on your birth control prescription or getting tested and treated for STIs, your sexual health is always important, even in the middle of a pandemic. New Jersey Family Planning League supported health centers provide essential services, and still open and providing sexual and reproductive services to the public. Many health centers are working with their patients through telemedicine visits on the phone and over video when possible. In-person visits may be necessary in some cases. As federal, state, and local guidance concerning COVID-19 continues to develop, we recommend that you call your local health center prior to visiting. Visit NJFPL to find a health center near you. * If you don’t feel safe talking to your partner about your sexual health or if you are the victim of domestic abuse, you are not alone and there are resources available to you. The New Jersey Domestic Violence Hotline is accessible 24/7 at 1 (800) 572-SAFE (7233). They offer lifesaving tools and immediate support to empower victims and survivors to find safety and live free of abuse. Your safety comes first, so all calls are totally confidential. The New Jersey Coalition to End Domestic Violence has a long list of other resources as well.
Did You Know
In 2018 the New Jersey Family Planning League family planning project prevented:
- 20,760 unintended pregnancies
- 7,010 abortions
- 2,020 chlamydia infections
Did You Know
The majority of Title X patients in New Jersey are young people, with 60 percent of patients 29 or younger.
Did You Know
Across the country, more than 4 million people annually rely on Title X for affordable sexual and reproductive health care services – including nearly 110,000 here in New Jersey.
NJFPL is proud to announce the launch of our new website, which focuses on providing easy access to health center locator, along with helpful information about services provided by the health centers.