Pregnant teenagers need appropriate care because they are at a higher risk of pregnancy-related complications. But even if healthcare is readily available, most teens are hesitant to seek early consultation due to privacy concerns. Can doctors tell your parents that you’re pregnant? Here’s what you need to know about teen pregnancy and doctor-patient confidentiality.
While honesty to parents is the best thing to do, it may not be that easy for most teens to reveal that they’re pregnant. Some worry about their parent’s reactions, while some need time and confirmation that they are indeed pregnant.
Trust your doctor
Your doctor will be the most trusted person to confirm your pregnancy and provide the necessary care for a pregnant woman. Don’t worry! Doctors will respect your privacy and keep your records confidential.
Why should you trust your doctor about your pregnancy?
- Doctors respect patient privacy and confidentiality.
- Doctors have handled other cases of teen pregnancy.
- Your doctor will give you the appropriate advice for pregnant women.
- Your doctor will help you talk to your parents when you decide to tell them that you’re pregnant.
- You can call your doctor for emergencies concerning your pregnancy.
Laws about patient confidentiality
In the U.S., most states have laws about patient confidentiality and these cover the right of teens to keep their records private. If you are living outside of the United States, it is best to ask your doctor about your concerns in keeping your condition confidential.
If you want to talk to your doctor about private matters, simply ask beforehand. Aside from your pregnancy, you can talk with your doctor about other concerns on your reproductive health, as well as your family and social relationships.
When will doctors disclose patient information?
Doctors won’t disclose your condition unless you show signs of depression or hurting yourself. In this case, your doctor may contact your parents or guardian for advice about managing your symptoms. Your doctor needs to do this to prevent any suicidal attempts or incidents that may be provoked by depression.
Your doctor may also talk to your parents or the persons of authority when someone is hurting you, forcing you to have sexual intercourse, or forcing you to take medications to end your pregnancy. Some laws oblige doctors to reveal information and medical records if there are concerns that someone is hurting their patient. In this case, your doctor will discuss to you about sharing your condition and other important information to keep you safe.
Will my doctor disclose my pregnancy on insurance bills?
Sometimes, pregnant teens are afraid to consult a doctor because their family insurance may reveal their condition in the bill. The extent of patient information that is required greatly varies per insurance company. You may ask your doctor’s help on how to protect your private information when insurance providers collect the data from her office.
Doctors are patient advocates who want the best for you and your baby. They are the most appropriate people to trust in terms of your pregnancy. Even if you’re a teen, doctors will treat your information as confidential just like how they treat other patients. Don’t worry! Your doctor will only contact your parents when the situation will put your life or your health at risk.
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Doctors are more or less like a patient lawyer. They are there to protect you and your privacy at all costs. They will only give you appropriate advice when necessary and help you in decision making when it comes to your pregnancy issues.