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News | Aug. 5, 2022

Walk-In Contraceptive Clinic offered at Naval Hospital Bremerton

By Douglas Stutz, Naval Hospital Bremerton

Walk-In Contraceptive Clinic offered at Naval Hospital Bremerton
By Douglas H Stutz, NHB/NMRTC Bremerton public affairs officer -- Naval Hospital Bremerton (NHB) is now offering a Walk-In Contraceptive Clinic as of March 1, 2021.
No appointment is necessary.
“The walk-in contraceptive clinic concept was developed due to improve the readiness for our female sailors and was first implemented in San Diego. Delaying access to contraception by requiring appointments can result in unplanned pregnancies which has a direct impact on the readiness of the fleet. This readiness concern prompted the creation of the clinic model. It is important to offer this service to all beneficiaries as part of a holistic women’s health initiative,” explained Lt. Cmdr. Lindsay Gillette, family nurse practitioner assigned to NHB.
The clinic will be held in OB/GYN, located on the main hospital third floor by the Skybridge, every Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. and again from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
“Patients will be provided information on available forms of contraceptives from the Department of Defense ‘Decide and Be Ready’ app, and they will be screened by a registered nurse and provider. The clinic will be staffed with Family Medicine and OB/GYN physicians, nurse practitioners and nurse midwives appropriately to determine safe forms of contraceptives and counseled to the risks and benefits of their choice,” Gillette said.
Services will be on a first-come, first-served basis and available to all eligible beneficiaries – active duty, retirees, family member – in need of birth control services. Wait times and appointment availability may vary due to clinic volume.
“Patients can receive new prescription requests for contraceptives such as the contraceptive pill, patch, ring or injectable shot, refills of a previously used contraceptive, and same day placement of contraceptives requiring a procedure, which would include an implantable contraceptive device or an IUD – intrauterine device, as long as no contraindications exist. Patients can also come in for removal or replacement of these contraceptive devices or receive emergency contraception. For patients who are uncertain of what type of birth control they are interested in, educational resources will be provided along with in-person counseling,” said Cmdr. Jacqueline Lamme, OB/GYN staff physician.
Beneficiaries visiting the clinic will have the opportunity to learn about a range of birth control options:

Intrauterine Device (IUD) - a progesterone only or non-hormonal copper that is used to prevent pregnancy for 3-12 years, depending on which IUD is chosen
Birth control implant - a flexible implantable rod that is placed in the inner upper arm that releases progesterone over four years to prevent pregnancy
Contraceptive injection - an injectable form of progesterone that is given every three months to prevent pregnancy 

Emergency contraceptive pill options
“For patient’s choosing a form of contraceptive that requires a prescription - pills, patch, ring - the order will be placed at the time of their request to be picked up at the main pharmacy, or a retail pharmacy if they choose that option. Patients will receive a 12 month supply of their birth control per Defense Health Agency instruction. Depo-Provera shots will be provided in the OB/GYN clinic without requiring a pharmacy visit. For patients desiring emergency contraception, this will be supplied in the OB/GYN clinic at the time of their visit without requiring a stop at the pharmacy. Please note that for patients desiring Plan B within 72 hours of unprotected intercourse, they may access this from any pharmacy without requiring a prescription or visit with a provider first,” detailed Lamme.
If there is a specific caveat to bear in mind for dependents of active duty and retirees, it’s that there are age restrictions to consider.
“Per Washington State law, minors of any age may receive birth control services without the consent of a parent or guardian. However, sexually transmitted infection (STI) testing and treatment may only be provided without parental consent for minors 14 years and older.  Any female of reproductive age may come to the clinic for birth control.  However, placement of an IUD is only available for patients 14 years and older without parental consent as STI testing is required for this procedure. Additionally, while minors may receive birth control services through the clinic without parental consent and the clinic will not notify or share information, we strongly encourage any minor patients to discuss their wishes with their parent or guardian.  We are also unable to block documentation of their visit or prevent Joint Outpatient Experience (JOE) surveys from going out for patients seen at the clinic and therefore cannot guarantee complete privacy for minor patients,” clarified Lamme.
All patients will go through the COVID-19 Drive-Through screening process upon entering the facility and will wait in their car prior to being seen to abide by the appropriate social distancing strategies in place to help stop the spread of the coronavirus. 
“We are unable to accommodate well woman exams, acute GYN complaints or infertility services within the walk-in clinic at this time,” Lamme said.
For further questions, beneficiaries are requested to contact the OB/GYN clinic at 360-475-4209.
“Our team is very excited to offer this new service to our female sailors and beneficiaries and look forward to serving them,” Gillette exclaimed.
Don't forget to keep your family's information up-to-date in DEERS.