Family Planning - Plan First!

Confidentiality Statement

Wilkes County Health Department provides confidential services for all individuals including teens as required by law.  We encourage teenagers to discuss their health needs with their parents or guardians.

Click here to hear our 60 second radio commercial.

Click here to download a copy of our Family Planning Brochure.

Click here to download a copy of our Family Planning Brochure (Spanish).

Family Planning

What is Family Planning?

Family Planning is a program designed to help men and women prevent, delay or space the birth of children.

What are the goals of the Family Planning Clinic?

  • Prevent unintended pregnancy
  • Provide information about using birth control
  • Make birth control easily available
  • Help you achieve your life goals
  • Promote good health habits

Are services confidential?

Yes, all services are confidential regardless of age.

Screenings and Prevention

What is a Pelvic Exam?

In a Pelvic Exam, the provider looks inside your vagina to make sure it is healthy and uses swabs to take samples. These samples will show if you have a vaginal or bacterial infection or STI (Sexually Transmitted Infection).

What is a PAP test or PAP Smear?

A PAP test or PAP smear is a special sample taken with a swab during the pelvic exam that can find changes in cells in and around the cervix (the opening to the womb) that may lead to cervical cancer.

What is Gardasil?

Gardasil is a vaccination series given to prevent HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) which can lead to cervical cancer.  It’s recommended for men and women between the ages of 9-26.

What is a Breast Exam?

Clinical Breast Exam

The provider will examine your breasts to see if you have any lumps.  She will also teach you how to examine your own breasts (BSE).

Breast Self Exam

A BSE is examining your own breasts for changes and lumps.  Breast self exams allow you to know how your breasts feel so you may be more likely to feel a change.  BSEs can help find breast cancer.

Birth Control Options

Most birth control options are provided free of charge through our Family Planning Clinic.

  • Condoms: latex condoms are used to protect against pregnancy, HIV, and other STIs (non-latex available by request).
  • Vaginal Spermicides: chemicals that kill sperm.
  • Diaphragm: a small rubber cup that fits inside the vagina, over the cervix, must be fitted by a clinician.
  • Natural Family Planning: a woman learns to recognize the fertile days of her menstrual cycle.
  • Oral Contraceptives: hormones that are taken by mouth every day, prescribed by a clinician.
  • Depo-Provera: a hormone that is injected by a clinician (lasts for three months).
  • Nuvaring: A ring that releases hormones (lasts for one month). Sits at the base of the cervix.
  • IUD (Paraguard): a small T-shaped device put inside the womb by a clinician.
  • Plan B: Also called Emergency Contraceptives.  Hormones taken by mouth after unprotected sex

Emergency Contraception is available by appointment.  It can prevent pregnancy if taken within 72 hours after intercourse, but it will not harm a pregnancy already in progress.

Family Planning Visit Includes:

  • Education
  • Lab tests
  • Pelvic Exam
  • Pap Smear
  • Breast Exam
  • Birth Control of your choice
  • Immunizations


Services are affordable.  Fees are based on family size and income.

How to Apply for Family Planning Medicaid

If you are interested in applying for a special type of Medicaid that covers Family Planning Services you can complete the application at our local Department of Social Services.

Who Can Apply?

  • Women ages 19 through 55
  • Men ages 19 through 60
  • U.S. citizens or documented immigrants
  • North Carolina residents who:
    1. Are not pregnant;
    2. Are not sterilized;
    3. Are not incarcerated; and
  • Have income at or below 185% of the federal poverty level.
  • Are not currently on Medicaid

Other requirements may apply

For more information about which services are covered, visit the Family Planning Medicaid  website.

If you’d like to see the Medicaid application, click here.  This is a large document (18 pages), but someone can assist you with completing the form at the Wilkes County Department of Social Services.  If you are applying for Family Planning Medicaid, make sure you complete the box titled “Medicaid Family Planning Waiver Services” on page #9.  Make sure to complete this page as well.

Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)

STI services are free and confidential.

In women, STIs can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), infertility, potentially fatal ectopic pregnancies (pregnancy outside of the uterus, usually in the fallopian tubes), and cancer of the reproductive tract.

STIs can cause lifelong damage for babies infected by their mothers during pregnancy or birth.  This damage includes: blindness, bone deformities, mental retardation, and death.

For more information about signs, symptoms, and treatment for STIs, click here.