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A wellness visit is usually pretty straightforward — it’s not a test that you pass or fail. But there are a few things you can do to feel more prepared for it.

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Where can I go for a wellness visit?

You can go to your local Planned Parenthood health center, a health clinic, or your private doctor. You can often see a regular doctor for wellness visits, or you can see a gynecologist who specializes in women’s health.

How much does a wellness visit cost?

Wellness visits are a key part of preventive care. If you have health insurance, all of your preventive care should be covered at no cost to you (thanks to the Affordable Care Act, AKA Obamacare).

If you don’t have insurance, the costs can vary. Your nearest Planned Parenthood health center can talk with you about your payment options. Many people qualify for free or low-cost wellness exams at Planned Parenthood health centers.

How should I prepare for my wellness visit?

You don’t need to do much to get ready for a wellness visit. But here are some tips to make your wellness visit go as smoothly as possible.

  • Go on a day when you don’t have your period, or it’s at least fairly light — unless you have a bleeding problem that your doctor or nurse wants to see.

  • Make a list of the questions you want to ask your doctor or nurse. Write them down so that it’s easier to remember them during your appointment.

  • Ask if you can have a friend or parent in the room with you if that would make you feel more comfortable.

More questions from patients:

Can I get a wellness exam during my period?

Try to get a wellness exam on a day when you don’t have your period — unless you have a bleeding problem that your doctor or nurse wants to check out. Certain lab tests that you get during a wellness exam are better to do when the swab won’t get mixed with period fluid. If your period is going to be really light during your appointment, it might be okay.

If you think you’ll have your period when you’re supposed to go in for an exam, call your doctor’s office to see if you should reschedule your appointment. They’ll let you know if it’s ok to come in during your period or not.

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