Planned Parenthood understands that LGBTQ+ people may put off getting health care because of cost or anxiety about how they’ll be treated during the visit. However, finding a health care provider who you feel comfortable with is one of the most important aspects of taking care of your health. You deserve a health care provider who respects your identity, family, and community.
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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.
There are more than a dozen methods of birth control, including the patch, the shot, the ring, the diaphragm and the IUD. Birth control protects against pregnancy and can also treat certain health problems like irregular or painful periods.
When should I get it? - When you want to prevent pregnancy or treat specific health issues.
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.
Pre-exposure prophylaxis, also known as PrEP, is a daily pill that can help prevent HIV. PrEP is taken prior to exposure and reduces your risk of getting HIV by 90 percent. It it intended for long-term use. PrEP is for those who don't have HIV but are at an increased risk of contracting it.
When should I get it? - If your partner has HIV, if you have a partner who is at high risk of getting HIV, and/or if you have many partners and don't use condoms regularly.
If you don’t have symptoms, STI/HIV testing involves a urine test and a blood draw to test for the following: gonorrhea, chlamydia, trichomonas, HIV and syphilis. If you have symptoms, then a clinician will examine your symptoms before testing.
When should I get it? - Either once a year or before/after every new partner, whichever comes first.
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.
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