Ashley Tisdale says she’s not ready to start a family — and she encourages other women to take charge of their reproductive health and carve their own individual journey to parenthood.
“Whether you’re traveling or you have work or education or you’re married and not ready to have a kid yet, there are options out there,” the actress, who married musician Christopher French in 2014, tells PEOPLE. “For me, it’s like, it’s okay to not want to start a family right away. People are always asking me about that, but it’s just not the right time. And I have options out there.”
The High School Musical star has partnered with Allergan, the maker of birth control pill Lo Loestrin Fe, to join the “Women Who Know” campaign, encouraging women to seek accurate information about their reproductive health, including researching birth control options.
“We are trying to inspire women to take an active role in decisions about their reproductive health and contraceptive options,” says Tisdale, 34. “For me, it’s just about starting the discussion, having those conversations with your doctor and health care provider and knowing that there are options out there.”
Tisdale appears in educational video content alongside OB/GYN Dr. Lakeisha Richardson, in which she encourages other women to ask questions and engage experts.
“I have always been someone who likes to research a lot on anything that I do with my body,” Tisdale explains. “It’s about asking the right questions, and sometimes you might not even know what those questions are and that makes it uncomfortable. What’s great about this campaign is that there are videos and tools and doctor discussions.”
“Everyone is different,” she continues. “You might be like, ‘Oh, that works for that person,’ but we’re all so different. So really what I’m trying to do is just support women and encourage them to have the conversation, to feel more comfortable and be able to ask those questions and find out what the best option for you is.”
And in a case of life truly imitating art, Tisdale will next play a pharmaceutical rep in the upcoming CBS sitcom, Carol’s Second Act, alongside Patricia Heaton.
“I play [Heaton’]s daughter,” she reveals. “A pharmaceutical rep! It’s really all tying in. It’s pretty fun, I’m excited for it.”
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