Among non-supporters, Planned Parenthood is most known for its birth control and abortion services – and that can skew how people think about them, especially if they’ve never been. Why discuss it? Because PP offers some of the most affordable and comprehensive health services in the United States, and they focus especially on the underprivileged, overlooked, and discriminated. They offer counseling, guidance, and comfort. They provide many with a better quality of life, and that is worth supporting.
Each one of Planned Parenthood’s 600 locations is locally governed and designed to fit its community’s needs. Staffed by educated and compassionate health care professionals, they provide services in a trusted and safe environment for 2.4 million men, women, and young people each year. They also provide aid to people in the LGBTQ community, provide online and outreach services in areas that have high rates of teen pregnancy and STD transmission, and they offer comprehensive reproductive cancer screening services.
Family Planning Services
Planned Parenthood receives a lot of attention for its abortion and birth control services (including emergency contraception), but did you know that they offer other family planning services as well? They offer pregnancy tests, and they provide guidance and assistance to women who want to have a healthy and successful pregnancy. They even have a period tracking app that women and couples can use while trying to conceive.
Sexual Health Services
Sexual health goes well beyond free condoms and sex education (which are offered by PP and desperately needed in many communities). It also includes things like:
- Testing for sexually transmitted diseases (including HIV);
- Pap smears and breast exams;
- Mammogram referrals;
- UTI testing and treatment;
- Vaginal infection testing and treatment;
- Cervical cancer screenings;
- Female infertility screenings, treatments, and referrals;
- LEEP procedures;
- Menopause testing and treatment;
- Sexual response education;
- Hormone therapy for Transgender patients;
- Education, support, resources, and referrals for persons in the LGBTQ community;
- Education, referrals, and assistance with HIV-related issues;
- HIV prevention options (PEP and PrEP);
- Education on the different types of birth control (and help in deciding which is right for you);
- ED education, referrals, exams, and treatments;
- Male infertility screenings and referrals;
- Premature ejaculation education, exams, and referrals;
- Testicular and prostate cancer screenings; and
- Male sterilization (vasectomy).
If you noticed, there are also male services included in the sexual health portion – so yes, PP also offers services to men and adolescent males. No matter what stage of life you’re in, no matter what your age, gender, sexual identity, or sexual orientation, PP is there for you!
A fairly new (but very exciting) service now being offered by PP is the option to complete your appointment from the comfort of your own home. You can request a refill on your birth control prescription, obtain STD tests in the mail and discuss them online with your PP provider, and receive testing and treatment for a UTI. Keep in mind that, because it is still a new and emerging service, it is not available everywhere. Instead, it is being offered in a few select locations, and it may grow with time, depending on its success.
Support Your Local Planned Parenthood
Planned Parenthood has always been a sensitive topic of debate in America, but recent developments put a lot of pressure on them. Whether you know someone who visits PP for sexual health or family planning services, have gone to one at some point in your own life, or are simply looking for a worthy cause to donate your time or money to, stand with Planned Parenthood and support your local community. We do!