Every year, Planned Parenthood provides high-quality, affordable and compassionate care to 2.7 million women, men and young people. There is no organization that does more than we do to provide and advocate for family planning, preventive care and sex education. As the most trusted nonprofit, reproductive health care provider in the country, nothing is more important than the health and safety of our patients.
Many of our supporters are equally passionate about the work we do in their communities and have chosen to share their experiences. One of our patients, JC wanted to share his experience at Planned Parenthood to create greater awareness about all of the services we provide.
I first set foot inside a Planned Parenthood about nine years ago. However, one thing I can tell you for certain is that I always get the same exceptional service, no matter what location I visit.
I was first introduced to Planned Parenthood when I was 16. I lived in a household where sexual health was not taboo for us. I remember growing up as an adolescent and hearing about Planned Parenthood, but I always thought that the services provided were mainly for women. My sisters and mother were big advocates of Planned Parenthood.
When I reached high school, I became involved in a class called “Peer Health.” It was a class mainly composed of juniors and seniors who went around our campus and other schools, giving presentations about bullying, self-esteem and physical abuse. At the time, I thought to myself that since times have changed and adolescents are involved in sex at an earlier age, why not expand our presentations to other topics like sexual and reproductive health?
Along with my teacher, I reached out to an organization that I knew would take part in my idea, a Planned Parenthood in northern California – where I lived at the time. They were so excited to pilot the course that I decided to become a leader and take it upon myself to learn all of the information I possibly could regarding methods of birth control and sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
When we started discussing what we had learned from Planned Parenthood, one question that most of my peers asked was, “Do they provide services for men?” It wasn’t a shock to me that most of my male peers asked this question, as I had never been to a Planned Parenthood myself. Of course, the answer was YES. But how would a young, male teenager like myself know that Planned Parenthood provided these services without ever actually going there? So I decided to visit Planned Parenthood and become one of the first males in my group of peers to visit.
I was greeted with a smile, and all of my questions were answered. I felt safe, comfortable and most importantly, I felt free. How did I feel free you may ask? I felt free in the aspect of being able to open up to my clinician and not be scared to ask questions. I felt like I wasn’t being judged at any time for anything that I was curious about. The clinician that I spoke to made me feel like my sexual health wasn’t taboo and it was very normal for men, like myself, to pose the questions I was asking. Planned Parenthood was very supportive and that’s when I knew that my first visit was not going to be my last.
I am now 25 and living in San Diego. I still visit Planned Parenthood. I go there when I need condoms or regular checkups for HIV and STIs. I feel healthy after every visit and never leave with unanswered questions. I will say this, every time I visit Planned Parenthood, the same feeling and smiles from the staff make it feel like the very first time I set foot in that health center.
Our services for men cover most issues below the belt, including:
- Testicular pain, masses and infections, etc.
- Rectal pain, masses and infections, etc.
- Prostate pain, masses and infections, etc.
- Genital skin disorders
- Prep and non-occupational Pep
- STI testing and treatment
- UTI testing and treatment
- Premature ejaculation
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The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author. This content is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice or an endorsement by Planned Parenthood. Check with your health care provider to discuss what is best for you.