Ask Sam letter


To Sam


I'm 16 and want to get the implant for a really safe contraception method. I know where to go for it, and am ready to make an appointment. But I don't want to tell my mum, can I still have the implant without parental consent?
Ask Sam


Hi there,

Thank you for your letter and getting in touch with me. It’s great to hear that you’ve been thinking about contraception so carefully. Safe sex is very important, as it helps avoid unwanted pregnancies as well as protecting against any sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

As you are 16, you legally have the right to make your own decisions about medical treatment, including contraception. So you won’t need parental consent to have the contraceptive implant fitted. The person who fits your implant will want to make sure that you’ve thought through the advantages and disadvantages of your choice. They will also need to talk to you about your medical history, to make sure that the implant is safe for you. (Remember that the implant won’t protect you against STIs. You will still need to use another form of contraception, such as condoms, to give you this type of protection). It sounds like you’ve done plenty of research already, but there’s lots of useful advice about the implant on the Brook website.

It’s worth pointing out that even if you were under 16, you could still get help with contraception without your parents finding out. Health workers are allowed to provide contraception to young people under 16 if they feel confident that they understood the implications of their choices. There’s more information about your rights to confidentiality on the Sexual Health pages in Explore, and at the NHS Living Well site.
If you would like to talk more about any of this with a Childline counsellor, you can do this by calling the free helpline on 0800 1111, logging in for a 1-2-1 chat or emailing them.

Take care,


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