Maine Family Planning offers affordable, affirming, quality reproductive health care services statewide for patients of any age, gender, and income level. Maine Family Planning clinic staff treat all clients with respect and care.
Pregnancy Testing, Options Counseling, and Preconception Counseling
Pregnancy testing and options counseling are available at all of our clinics. Our skilled counselors can review all of your options and provide referrals for whatever decision you make. You can reach out to All Options to discuss your pregnancy. We provide preconception counseling if you are planning a pregnancy.
Emergency Contraception/Plan B
EC used to be called the “morning after pill”. There are two types of EC pills and an IUD that can be used after unprotected sex to prevent a pregnancy:
- The levonorgestrel emergency contraceptive pills available over the counter such as E Contra EZ, Plan B, My Way, Next Choice, and others can decrease the chance of you getting pregnant by 75-89% if you take them within 3 days of unprotected sex.
- You can take them within 5 days after unprotected sex but the longer you wait the less effective they are. If it is over 3 days since you had unprotected sex, please consider ELLA or a copper IUD as they would be more effective.
- None of the levonorgestrel EC pills work any better than the others.
- These are also less effective if you have a higher BMI (body mass index). You can calculate your BMI here. If it is over 25, Ella or a copper IUD are better, more effective options for you.
- This is available in our clinics and at most pharmacies but requires a prescription.
- ELLA works up to 5 days after unprotected sex, unlike levonorgestrel EC which should be taken within 3 days of unprotected sex. It also works better for people with a higher BMI.
- Insertion of a copper IUD (intrauterine device) within 5 days of unprotected sex is another method of emergency contraception and is 99% effective at preventing pregnancy. The copper IUD can be used as a regular birth control method for up to 12 years.
Annual Wellness Visits, Gynecologic, Pelvic, Breast Exams, Pap Tests, and Colposcopy
Come to any of our clinics for regular gynecologic care, testing, and treatment.
Sexually Transmitted, Vaginal, and Urinary Infections Testing and Treatment
Come to any of our clinics to get testing and treatment for chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, HIV, herpes, and other sexually transmitted infections, vaginal infections and urinary tract infections.
Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) can be very serious. If you think you are at risk, contact your local family planning health center.
- Over half of people aged 15-25 in the United States have an STD.
- Having an STD can increase your chances of getting another STD or HIV/AIDS.
- An untreated STD can lead to the inability to have a baby for both women and men.
- 70% of people who have an STD show NO symptoms.
- Human Papilloma Virus is a leading cause of cervical cancer in women.
- STDs can lead to Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) in women.
The best way to prevent STDs is to use condoms during sexual activity or to abstain from sex completely. You can pick up condoms at any Maine Family Planning clinic.
HIV and AIDS
HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus. HIV finds and destroys a type of white blood cell (T cells or CD4 cells) that our immune systems need in order to fight disease. AIDS stands for Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome. Having AIDS means that HIV has weakened the immune system so much that the body can not effectively fight infections.
Symptoms of HIV Infection
The only way to know whether you are infected is to be tested for HIV. You cannot rely on symptoms alone because many people who are infected with HIV do not have symptoms for many years. Maine Family Planning offers rapid, confidential HIV testing.
The most effective ways to prevent HIV are to use condoms during sexual activity and/or to abstain from sex and IV drug use completely. Maine Family Planning provides consultations and prescriptions for PrEP, a daily pill that significantly reduces the risk of HIV infection.
Modern treatment allows individuals with HIV to live longer, healthier lives than in the past. Treatment improves the health of people with HIV and lowers the risk of transmitting the virus to others. MFP can provide referrals for treatment.
PrEP for HIV Prevention
Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis for HIV Prevention
Maine Family Planning offers consultations and prescriptions for HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis – commonly called PrEP – a daily pill that significantly reduces the risk of HIV infection (HIV is the virus that causes AIDS). You can talk to a Nurse Practitioner at any of our 18 clinics about your HIV status, your individual risk, and whether PrEP is a good option for you.
What is PrEP?
PrEP (brand name Truveda) is an antiretroviral medication that can be taken by an HIV negative person before potential HIV exposure to reduce risk of HIV infection. When taken consistently and correctly, PrEP is over 90% effective at preventing HIV transmission through sex, and over 70% effective at preventing HIV transmission through IV drug injection.
How does it work?
Truvada/ PrEP is an antiretroviral drug, which means that it stops HIV from being able to replicate itself and establish itself in a person’s body. In order for PrEP to work effectively, it must be taken every day. It can take one to three weeks for PrEP to start working, depending on your individual risk factors. Your health care provider will help you figure out when PrEP will start working for you.
Is PrEP a good option for me?
If you’re interested in PrEP, the first step is to meet with a health care provider to discuss whether it’s right for you. You’ll need an HIV test and blood tests to make sure you’re healthy enough to take PrEP.
The Centers for Disease Control and Maine Family Planning recommend that PrEP be considered for people who are at significant risk for HIV. PrEP might be a good choice for you if:
- Your partner has HIV;
- Your partner’s HIV status is unknown, you and your partner(s) are not monogamous, and/or you and your partner(s) do not use condoms;
- You’ve had an STD in the last 6 months;
- You’re a man or woman who has sex with (cisgender) men, or a transgender person who engages in high-risk sexual activity;
- You engage in transactional sex, such as sex for money, drugs, or housing;
- You or your partner use injection drugs.
Will I still need to use condoms?
You should still use condoms on PrEP, as Truvada does not protect against other STIs such as syphilis, chlamydia, or gonorrhea. PrEP and condoms can be used together for increased protection against HIV.
If you don’t use a condom because they are not available or were forgotten, if the condom broke, or if you and your partner(s) just prefer not to use them, daily use of PrEP still reduces HIV risk significantly.
Keep in mind that the most effective way to prevent HIV is to abstain from sex and IV drug use.
Is it safe? Are there any side effects?
The majority of PrEP users report no side effects. In a small number of people, there is some nausea, headaches, gas, and loose stool when starting PrEP. These symptoms almost always go away on their own after about a month. Contact your health care provider if you experience discomfort.
PrEP is generally a very safe medication for healthy people. Your health care provider will want to run some tests before prescribing PrEP and will want to monitor your health, as PrEP may worsen existing kidney conditions and can reduce bone density.
What about costs?
You can see a health care provider at Maine Family Planning to discuss and start on PrEP; that visit can be billed to your insurance provider. If you don’t have insurance, we can charge for the visit using our sliding scale.
The PrEP prescription itself will need to be picked up at a pharmacy (we don’t keep this medication at MFP clinics). Most private health insurance plans, as well as Medicaid, cover the cost of PrEP. If you don’t have insurance, don’t have prescription coverage, or if you have a high co-pay, there is an assistance program available that provides free medication for most people. We can help you apply for financial assistance.
When you are calculating your health costs for PrEP, remember that it involves more than just the drug itself—you will also need to account for regular blood tests and health screenings.
Family Planning Benefit
Maine Family Planning is pleased to inform our patients about Maine’s Family Planning Benefit program, which is available to legal Maine residents of childbearing age (male and female), including teens, with an individual income of $26,729 or less annually. Eligibility for this program is based on individual income, not household income.
The Family Planning Benefit program provides limited coverage for family planning services such as:
- Pregnancy testing and preconception counseling
- Birth control methods, including emergency contraception
- Testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections
- Annual gynecological exams
- Screening for cervical cancer, and if needed, repeat Pap tests and colposcopies.
Patients who qualify for Maine’s Family Planning Benefit program can receive covered family planning services at no cost. Applications for MaineCare are available at all Maine Family Planning clinics as well as HERE and your local DHHS office. Fill out the application; bring it to your appointment with identification and four weeks’ worth of pay stubs.