A service provided by the BC Centre for Disease Control



Answered Questions

In the years since SmartSexResource launched, we have developed a library of questions asked by you, and answered by our expert sexual health nurses.

Our answered questions library cover a broad range of sexual health topics and common questions we hear at our clinics.

Clinics and Services (47)

I’m inquiring about birth control, I’m 16. I’m in a long distance relationship and have been for over a year, we’re both very happy together. We visit each other every few months, and as you could guess we do have sex when the time comes and always use protection. We’re both paranoid because we’re so far away from each other. So for next time we will be spending a few weeks together and I wanted to inquire about having extra protection. The issue is my mom doesn’t feel great about me taking it and I get nervous to talk to her. I’ve tried before but she always tells me about why I shouldn’t take it. Do I need parent permission to take birth control and if not would it cost me a lot? And what would be the best option for me? Thank you.

Hi there, thank you for your question

It’s great that you’re thinking about birth control as an added layer of protection for when you are together with your boyfriend. Even if you do decide to move ahead with some form of hormonal birth control, I encourage you to consider continuing to use condoms as an extra measure against sexually transmitted infections.

You do not need permission from your parents to access birth control in British Columbia. There are several different methods of birth control out there. Have a look at Options for Sexual Health as they have great fact pages on each different type.

One of the most accessible and most common types is the birth control pill. Typically it is easily accessible, safe, discreet, effective and affordable.

If you live in the Lower Mainland, you can access free or low-cost birth control options up to the age of 19. The nurses and doctors at the Youth Clinics will offer pre-counselling to go over all the options and help you decide which will be best for you. Here are the links to the Vancouver Youth Clinics, to the Fraser Youth Clinics and to the Vancouver Island Youth Clinics

If there is no Youth Clinic in your area, then Options for Sexual Health will be your best bet for accessing low-cost birth control.

Let us know if this does not answer your question or if you have any more questions or concerns.
Health Nurse

I recently got tested for HIV serology at a Lifelabs in Toronto using a requisition given to me by a doctor that did not include my name, health card info or anything identifying for that matter because we had specifically agreed that I prefer this test being anonymous. The Lifelabs I went to told me they would “forward the results to my doctor”. I called the clinic today to check if my results had come back in; they told me that the results had indeed come back though they (the front desk) do not have access to result itself (be it positive or negative) and that I would need to refer to the doctor. Is this usual? Protocol for anonymous testing?

Hi, and thank you for your question

I cannot speak specifically about the procedures set in place by your doctor or the clinic that you went to in Toronto. However, I can say that accessing test results from a doctor often requires you to book an appointment to see the doctor and go over the results in person.

Usually, when testing anonymously, there is a code or ID number assigned to the individual, which will link the results to you. If you were provided with such a code, then you will need to give it to the doctor so he/she can access the right results.

Let us know if this does not answer your question or if you have any more questions or concerns.
Health Nurse

I’m 35 years old and have been trying to conceive for about 6 months. I don’t have a GP and would like to have a pap and pelvic exam done to confirm that I’m healthy, it’s been over 5 years since my last. Is it appropriate to go to the local options for sexual health clinic in Kitimat for this? Can they refer me to a doctor here if I need one? Or is there a better option for finding a local doctor for fertility concerns? Thank you for your help.

Hi, and thank you for your question

Yes, the local Options for Sexual Health Clinic in Kitimat can absolutely see you for a PAP screen and pelvic exam. I’ve linked the contact information page for the Kitimat Clinic here. I don’t have any specific information about connecting with a family doctor or fertility specialist in your area, however the nurses and physicians at the Opt clinic should definitely be able to help you get started and may be able to refer you to a local GP for follow up

Let us know if this does not answer your question or if you have any more questions or concerns.
Health Nurse

Can your doctors write prescriptions? I’m getting am IUD but my period just passed and my cervix wont be open enough… Cytotec can help….

I recommend you seek medical attention at a walk in clinic and I can also refer you to the Willow Women’s Clinic where you can discuss options regarding your IUD. Below I provided you with the link.




Does this answer your question? Please let us know.


How long does it take to get results?

It depends what types of tests you did and where you had testing done. Generally, STI testing can take anywhere from a few days to up to 2 weeks for results to be ready. 

At our BCCDC clinics, we typically say 8 days after you tested. 

If you had done PAP testing, it will usually take a few weeks. 

Usually when you test at a clinic, they will provide you with a card that indicates when your test results will be ready and how to access them. If not, you can connect with the health care provided, who did the tests, to find out.

To learn more about results, have a look at our ‘Getting Results’ page.


I am seeking a gay or bi friendly Doctor who is taking new patients in the DT area. I recently moved to Vancouver.

 Most physicians within the lower mainland are well versed with the health needs of people who identify as GLBT2S. Below I have provided links to clinics that we would recommend patients who seek queer competent healthcare providers




Does this answer your question? Please let us know. 


Do you check for head lice at your clinic?


Our clinic is focused on Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) so we don’t recommend that people come to our clinic just for a head lice check, but if someone is at our clinic for something that is STI related and concerned that they may have head lice we will check that for the client.

If someone was concerned that they may have pubic lice our clinic would be a good place to come for a check.

Let us know if this did not answer your question or if you have any more concerns or questions.

Health Nurse

what is the cost for out of province testing or will my Alberta health care number work.

Hi, and thanks for your question
It will depend on which clinic you go to for testing. If you visit a walk-in-clinic they will be less likely to bill Alberta Health for your visit and you will be more likely to have to pay out of pocket for the visit. Each clinic will have a set of fees associated, including doctor’s fees. You may also have to pay out of pocket to have any lab testing done.

If you’re looking specifically for STI testing, I would recommend looking for a clinic or service which does not require BC Medical Services Plan (MSP) coverage. If you are located in the Vancouver area, the provincial STI clinic located at 655 W. 12th Ave and the Bute St. Clinic located at 1170 Bute St are both free clinics and no MSP is required.
For a listing of other clinics and services in your area, have a look at our Clinic Finder

Let us know if this does not answer your question or if you have any more questions or concerns.
Health Nurse

Are you guys open everyday?

Hi, thanks for writing in

I’m not sure exactly to what you’re referring. Our online services are staffed Monday to Friday from 8:30-4:30 with submitted questions being answered during those hours and online nurse chat available typically 2 days a week for 2-3 hours. Keep an eye on the website for updates in chat availability

If you’re referring to our clinic services, the BC Centre for Disease Control STI clinic is open Monday to Saturday. Click here for a complete listing of clinic hours and location information.
If you’re not in the Vancouver area and are looking for testing services, have a look at our Clinic Finder to locate a clinic near you.

Let us know if this does not answer your question or if you have any more questions or concerns.
Health Nurse