Despite what certain presidential wannabes might want you to believe, Planned Parenthood is not some sort of abortion megaplex. You may have heard that abortion only accounts for 3% of the services done at Planned Parenthood – but you may not have heard what the other 97% is made up of. We’re here to help. Services can vary by location, so check with your local provider, and then go treat yourself to some affordable, compassionate health care.
1. Breast Exams
During the recent congressional hearing there was much to do about how PP doesn’t offer mammograms – and that’s true. However, should you feel a lump in your breast, find something else that raises a red flag for you, or realize you’re due for your yearly, PP offers clinical breast exams. What’s the difference between a breast exam and a mammogram? A clinical breast exam is where a trained clinician examines breast tissue with their hands and fingers – not an x-ray. Just like most OBGYNs and general practitioners, Planned Parenthood refers to outside radiologists when the situation calls for it.
2. Online STD Testing
Wait, what? Yep. Available in California, Montana, and Washington, Planned Parenthood will mail you an STD test in discreet packaging. You follow the instructions, or have a video visit with a provider, mail it back, and then get your results. Not in those states? You can still get tested in-person at the clinic.
3. UTI and Yeast Infection Treatment
If you’re a woman who has made it through her teens or 20s without a UTI or yeast infection, you’re lucky. If you’re not so lucky, Planned Parenthood can test and treat you for both. You can expect a urine test for a UTI, or a pelvic exam and lab test for a yeast infection. Both can be treated with antibiotics and over-the-counter pain meds.
4. Infertility Tests
Planned Parenthood isn’t just for the ladies. At certain Planned Parenthood locations, in addition to progesterone assays (to find out if and when you’re ovulating) and hysterosalpingograms (to x-ray the uterus and fallopian tubes) for female infertility, they’ll also do semen analysis on men.
You probably already know that you can get the HPV vaccine at many Planned Parenthood locations, but did you also know you can get tetanus boosters and the flu vaccine? That means fewer days sick in bed.
6. Help Quitting Smoking
Planned Parenthood prescribes birth control, but also wants to help you get them most out of that birth control. Since hormonal birth control can increase your risk for blood clots and high blood pressure – risks compounded by smoking – Planned Parenthood has a smoking cessation program at select locations.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of what Planned Parenthood offers. We haven’t even touched on, for instance, the thyroid, cholesterol, anemia, diabetes, and blood pressure screenings they do, and you probably already know you can get your birth control there (but did you know in certain states you can do it online?). Find the nearest Planned Parenthood to you, and see what they can do.
Cover image courtesy of Shutterstock.