Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Do I need a blood test to get a prescription for birth control?"
I am in my early twenties and would like to start birth control. I am very afraid of needles and don?t want to have a blood test. Can I still get a script for birth control?
A blood test is key to letting your doctor know how your body is at baseline, or when it is sick. Sometimes you can tell if someone is sick just by looking at them, but a lot of times you can look just fine but your body may be suffering within. For example, a patient with anemia can feel and look well on the outside but on the inside the organs are over-stressed in order to meet their bodies' demand. No one likes getting a needle stick, but a simple blood test can easily detect what type of problem a person has and give a doctor clues for finding the cause. Depending on your health history and physical exam, your doctor may want to just get a baseline of your liver function before putting you on a drug long-term. This is because the liver is responsible for processing drugs among many other tasks. Unfortunately, you will need a blood test. If you have small or difficult-to-find veins, you may do better keeping yourself well hydrated before getting the blood draw. Running up and down the steps a little to get your heart rate up and blood vessels dilated can also help. Good luck!
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