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Preventive Care

Planned Parenthood is committed to providing preventive care services, such as annual wellness exams and cancer screenings. We recognize our role as the sole health care provider for many of our patients. This emphasis enables our community to lead healthier lives and reduces existing health disparities in Missouri and Illinois.

Preventive Care Services

Annual Wellness Exams

An annual wellness exam is a yearly reproductive health visit with your clinician or OB-GYN. It's a chance to talk to your doctor about birth control, STI testing and other aspects of your sexual health. The visit may include several screenings, such as a breast exam or a Pap test.

When should I get it? - Annually, much like a physical checkup with your primary care physician.

Breast Cancer Screenings

A breast exam is a breast cancer screening where the clinician checks each breast for possible signs of cancer. The clinician will both look and feel your breasts, including both nipples, and the armpits. Breast exams often take place during the annual wellness exam.

When should I get it? - If you’re under 40, every one to three years. If you’re over 40, annually.

HPV Vaccine

The HPV vaccine is three shots over a six-month period that protect against various strands of the human papillomavirus, or HPV. The vaccine protects against the strains that cause most cases of cervical cancer and genital warts.

When should I get it? - If you’re between the ages of 13 and 26 and haven’t yet received all three shots.

Pap Tests

Pap tests, also known as Pap smears, are a type of cervical cancer screening. During a Pap test, the clinician will use a speculum to open the vagina and then use a swab to collect cells from the cervix.

When should I get it? -  If you’re between 20 and 29, every three years. If you're between 30 and 65, you need a Pap combined with an HPV test every five years.

Prostate Cancer Screenings

Prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers in the U.S. More than 161,000 people will diagnosed with prostate cancer each year.  A prostate cancer screening involves two tests: the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test and the digital rectal exam (DRE).

When should I get it? - Every two years for men with a PSA (prostate-specific antigen) level of less than 2.5 ng/ml, every year for men whose PSA level is 2.5 ng/ml or higher.

Testicular Cancer Screenings

During a testicular cancer screening, a health care professional will examine your testicles for differences in size, shape, or texture - as well as the appearance of new bumps or hard lumps. The earlier testicular cancer is found, the easier it is to treat because it's less likely the cancer has spread past the testicles.

When should I get it? - Yearly, during your annual check-up.


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