PPWNM Encourages Women to Get Checkups as Part of National Women's Health Week
GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan — As part of National Women’s Health Week (May 12-18), Planned Parenthood of West and Northern Michigan (PPWNM) is urging women in our community to schedule preventive checkups including breast cancer screenings, and, if recommended, a Pap test to help protect their health. These are routine screenings that women may often put off due to the time it takes, or fears about the procedures or possible results. However, these “routine screenings” can save your life!
“At Planned Parenthood of West and Northern Michigan, we know firsthand the importance of regular checkups in protecting women’s health and preventing serious health issues,” said PPWNM Vice President of Medical Services Bridget White. “Regular exams and health screenings can rule out or detect life-threatening diseases such as breast and cervical cancers, and sexually transmitted infections including HIV.”
In an effort to promote early detection and help women remain healthy, Planned Parenthood released a new video this week to explain what to expect at a well-woman exam and address any concerns women may have that keep them from getting the preventive care they need. View the new video.
“Some women may be nervous about personal questions and the exams, themselves,” said White. “The video explains that it’s perfectly ok to be nervous and that at Planned Parenthood we understand. We also keep your information completely confidential. Well-woman exams are how we work together to keep you healthy.”
PPWNM’s eight health centers in West and Northern Michigan offer a wide range of preventive health services, including lifesaving cancer screenings, birth control, diagnosis and treatment of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), breast health services, the HPV vaccine, and sexual health information and education. Last year alone, PPWNM served nearly 14,000 women and men with wellness exams, testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections, and birth control.
People can visit ppwnm.org to find the health center nearest them and schedule a wellness exam. Planned Parenthood also offers online tools that can help people start a conversation with providers about health care: The Check can help users figure out whether to get tested for STIs and My Method can prepare women for a conversation with their providers about the most appropriate and best birth control option.
Under the Affordable Care Act, women’s preventive health, including birth control, is covered without co-pays for women who have health insurance. Already, some women with insurance are receiving the benefit, and more will receive it soon, as it kicks in across more health plans. In addition, currently uninsured women will be able to begin enrolling in health coverage plans starting October 1. For more information on the Affordable Care Act benefits and eligibility for coverage, go to healthcare.gov.
Planned Parenthood of West and Northern Michigan (PPWNM) provides sexual health care and sexuality education services, and advocates for access to these services for everyone. PPWNM, an affiliate of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, operates health centers in eight Michigan cities — Big Rapids, Grand Rapids, Ionia, Marquette, Muskegon, Petoskey, Traverse City, and Wyoming — providing medical and education services to thousands of women, men, and teenagers each year. Log on, learn more: ppwnm.org.