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Preparing for Your Appointment

Planned Parenthood offers quality, affordable care without judgement. To ensure you have the best experience possible, here are some instructions to help you prepare for your visit.

If you have any questions regarding these instructions or your appointment please feel free to contact your health center directly.

What do I need for my visit to Planned Parenthood?

  • Photo ID
  • Insurance Card(s) if you have insurance.   
  • If you have a separate card for pharmacy benefits - bring that, too! 

Does Planned Parenthood take health insurance? 

Yes! Find out more here. Please note that copay is due at time of service.

We accept cash, check, Visa and Mastercard.

What if I Don't Have Insurance?

No insurance? No problem. You may qualify for discounted care on a sliding fee scale, just bring proof of income so we can see if you qualify. Please note that payment is due at time of service.

For payment, we accept cash, check, Visa and Mastercard.

How Do I Prepare for My Visit?

Before your appointment, please take a look at our payment and insurance information.

Children must be accompanied by another adult or teenage sibling at all times in the waiting area.  For their safety, they are not allowed in exam rooms and cannot be left unaccompanied.

We request that you turn off your cell phone while in the health center.  If you must use your phone, please step outside. 

If you are running late, please call us so that we can discuss your options for the day. If you are late, we do reserve the right to reschedule.

If you need to cancel or reschedule your appointment, please let us know as soon as possible so that we can offer that appointment time to someone else. 

Birth Control

Birth control is not one size fits all! That's why Planned Parenthood offers a variety of birth control methods.  If you are looking to start birth control, or start a new birth control method, then please take a look at types of birth control we offer.

This will allow you to have a more informed conversation with the clinician.

Annual Exam and Pap Smear

Planned Parenthood follows the recommendations of national medical organizations and generally provides pap smear testing every three to five years. This may vary depending on your medical and pap history.  

The clinician will evaluate your need for a pelvic exam if you are not due for a pap smear.

If you are due for a pap, in order to get the best results, do not douche or place anything in the vagina 24 hours before your appointment.

If you use the Nuvaring, you can leave the ring in place.

If you are on your menstrual cycle and are spotting or bleeding lightly, we can continue with your appointment. If you are bleeding heavily, then please reschedule your appointment for another time.

Yeast or Bacterial Infection

Symptoms of an infection can include discharge, vaginal odor, painful urination, lesions, or other symptoms.

We will provide an exam and testing to diagnose the problem and recommend treatment.

If you are on your menstrual cycle and are spotting or bleeding lightly, we can continue with your appointment. If you are bleeding heavily please reschedule your appointment for another time.

Please do not insert anything vaginally for 24 hours prior to your appointment.  This includes over-the-counter vaginal creams and medications.

Please do not urinate for 1 hour prior to your appointment. 

Please be sure to eat prior to your appointment as we may need to draw your blood.

If you believe you have been exposed to a sexually transmitted infection, it is best to wait at least two weeks before getting tested. The testing may not pick up the infection if you are tested sooner than that. 

STD Testing and Treatment

Typical screening includes tests for the most common Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs): Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Syphilis and HIV.

Urine and blood samples are collected and sent to a lab for testing. We don't routinely screen for herpes. If you would like to be tested for herpes, then you'll need to have a visit with our nurse practitioner to determine if testing is appropriate.

If you're seeking STD testing because you're concerned that you may have been exposed to gonorrhea or chlamydia, schedule an appointment two weeks after the potential exposure. Testing sooner than that will not show if you were infected by that encounter. If you believe you were exposed to HIV, wait six weeks from the time of the exposure to get tested for the same reason.

HIV Testing

We offer confidential HIV antibody testing with pre- and post-test consultation. You can choose between a rapid test (results available that day) or a blood test (sent to the lab with results back in a couple of weeks).

Please be sure to eat something before coming, as we may be drawing your blood.

Please do not urinate for one hour prior to your appointment.

IUDs and Implants

When you come in we will talk with you and review your medical history to make sure you are a good candidate for these birth control methods. Some patients will be able to have the IUD or Implant inserted that day.  For other patients, after your consultation visit we will need to order your device from an outside pharmacy.  You will need to come back for a follow-up visit to get the device inserted once it has arrived at the health center.  The staff will talk with you further about this during your visit.

If you are getting an IUD inserted, we recommend that you take two to three over-the-counter Ibuprofen (a total of 400-600mg) one hour before your appointment. This will increase your comfort level during the procedure. 

Pregnancy Testing

Our pregnancy tests are urine tests. We will only draw blood for a pregnancy test if it’s medically needed or upon the patient’s request.

If you choose to continue a pregnancy, we will provide you with a list of resources to help you obtain prenatal care.

If you learn you are pregnant and decide to terminate the pregnancy, we will refer you to an abortion provider.

Other

Do not douche, have sex, or put anything in your vagina 24 hours before your pelvic exam. It is best if you are not having your menstrual period for some types of visits. Contact us if you have questions.

Checkups for gynecological concerns may require a pelvic exam.

For the testing and treatment of urinary tract infections, we will need to collect a urine sample at the time of your visit.

For the testing and treatment of vaginal infections, a pelvic exam may be required.

We offer education and treatment for menopause and midlife issues, including non-hormonal treatment(s).

Hormone replacement therapy requires a routine checkup or records of your current exam.

Cervical cancer screenings require a pelvic exam and Pap test.