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Study Highlights Women’s Unique Relationship With Their OB/GYNs

New York, NY — This year’s National Women’s Health Week (May 11-17), Planned Parenthood Federation of America is highlighting the need for regular wellness exams and preventive health care as a critical part of staying healthy for women of all ages.

When it comes to keeping women healthy, preventive screenings can detect life-threatening diseases such as breast and cervical cancers — and early detection and treatment of these diseases saves lives,” said Dr. Vanessa Cullins, Vice President of External Medical Affairs. “Well-woman exams help providers learn more about your health and family history in order to help you stay healthy, and are a chance to make sure that you’re using the birth control method that best fits your needs.

“A well-woman exam is also an opportunity for you to ask your doctor any questions you might not feel comfortable asking someone else — nothing is off-limits! Planned Parenthood is here to give you accurate, nonjudgmental information and advice.”

2013 study found that women ages 18-44 feel more comfortable being open and honest with ob/gyns than other providers, and that one-third of women view their ob/gyn as their main source of care.

  • By a 16-point margin, the study found that women say they are more likely to be open and honest with their ob/gyn than with other providers.
  • Women tend to think ob/gyn providers are better than other providers when it comes to understanding their bodies and their concerns as a woman.
  • Low-income women and women of color report that ob/gyn providers play an even stronger role in providing health care for them and their families.

o   Latinas are more likely (47 percent) to say their ob/gyn provider is their main source of care.

o   64 percent of African-American women say they see an ob/gyn provider regularly, compared with 58 percent of women overall.

o   Uninsured women (40 percent) and low-income women (41 percent) are more likely to consider their ob/gyn provider their main source of care.

“At Planned Parenthood, we know that for many women, their women’s health care provider is a critical and primary part of the health care they need. We are proud to be a source of preventive care for women across the country and to answer any questions they may have about their health," Dr. Cullins said.

Some women may be unsure about comfort and confidentiality, especially if they haven't had a well-woman exam before. Planned Parenthood’s online resources can walk them through the process and give them a clear sense of what to expect. We’re here to ensure that women know what to expect during an exam.

One in five women has turned to Planned Parenthood at some point in her life for affordable, high-quality health care and nonjudgmental, confidential information and advice. To find a health center near you, visitplannedparenthood.org.



Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, as well as the nation’s largest provider of sex education. With more than 700 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect and without judgment. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable health information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives.


Planned Parenthood Federation of America


Planned Parenthood Federation of America media office: 212-261-4433


May 08, 2014