Planned Parenthood

West and Northern Michigan

FAQs - Answers to Your Frequently Asked Questions

What health services does PPWNM provide?

  • services for women, men, and teens
  • comprehensive well woman exams
  • affordable birth control methods and education
  • emergency contraception
  • pregnancy testing and options information/referrals
  • cancer screening: breast, cervical (Pap smears & colposcopy), and testicular
  • testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections (STIs, or STDs sexually transmitted diseases)
  • HPV vaccination for women and men ages 18-26
  • anonymous and confidential Rapid HIV testing with results in 20 minutes, HIV/AIDS education, treatment referrals
  • midlife services including evaluation for hormone therapy
  • treatment of genito-urinary infections, incontinence, and pelvic floor disorders

Where are PPWNM health centers located?

PPWNM health centers are located in seven West and Northern Michigan communities. Click here to find the PPWNM health center nearest you. To find Planned Parenthood health centers outside of West and Northern Michigan, use the "Find a Health Center" feature at the top right of this website, or call (800) 230-PLAN (7526).

How effective is birth control?

Effectiveness rates of various birth control methods vary greatly. To learn more about the various methods, click the links for each method listed on the birth control page of plannedparenthood.org. You can also take our "My Method" quiz to get recommendations on the best methods for your lifestyle.

Do I need an appointment or an exam to get a method of birth control?

If you want a hormonal method, you will need an appointment to get a prescription. In some cases, you may elect not to get a physical exam, but these exams are highly recommended!

What about condoms?

Female and male condoms are available at all of our health centers. They are either free or sold at a very low cost. Condoms are highly recommended to prevent many sexually transmitted infections, such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, and HIV. Always use a condom if you or your partner has other sex partners.

What about Emergency Contraception?

If unprotected sex occurs a condom breaks, a sexual assault occurs, you've missed birth control pills or taken them too late there is emergency contraception (EC). EC must be taken as soon as possible to be most effective, but can be used within five days of unprotected sex. EC pills are available over the counter at PPWNM, or some drug stores, for those who are 17 years of age and older. For females under age 17, a prescription is needed, which can be obtained and filled at PPWNM.

If you are an IUD candidate, the Paragard can also be used as an emergency contraceptive. It needs to be inserted by a clinician within seven days of unprotected sex.

Click here to find emergency contraception near you.

Who are your health care providers?

Most of the clinicians who do exams and counseling in our centers are nurse practitioners or nurse midwives. Both of these are considered Advanced Practice Nurses (APNs). APNs are Registered Nurses (RNs) who return to school to gain additional knowledge in the area of women's health care. They have to take a certification exam and are then licensed by the State of Michigan as a nurse practitioner or nurse midwife. Our APNs work in collaboration with our Medical Director who is a physician. If you want to see a particular APN or physician, just tell the appointment secretary!

Who are your clients?

PPWNM serves women, men, and teens of all ages. You may be surprised to learn that one in five women have turned to Planned Parenthood at some time in their lives for professional, non-judgemental, and confidential care. We work with clients of all income levels to make their care affordable; and we support and welcome clients regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity, or biological sex.

What do I need to know before my visit?

Please prepare for your appointment by familiarizing yourself with the following information about your family planning options, the various methods of birth control that are available, and your privacy rights.

Family Planning in Michigan

Birth Control Methods

Notice of Health Information Privacy Practices

Aviso Sobre Prácticas de Privacidad Relacionadas con Información de Salud

What do I need to DO before my visit?

If you are a new patient, or an established patient returning for your annual exam, you can save time at your appointment by printing the necessary client forms, filling them out in black ink, and bringing them with you to your appointment. Forms are available in both English and Español on the Client Forms page of this website.

What about my privacy?

PPWNM is committed to advocating for the well being of, and protecting the safety of, all of our clients. Our pledge to protect your privacy and maintain confidentiality of all of your health information is backed up by federal law in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Under Michigan law, all people, including minors, have access to confidential reproductive health care services and birth control. PPWNM complies with all laws regarding mandatory reporting of child abuse or suspected criminal sexual conduct. We always protect your confidentiality and will communicate with you any concerns we have as we fulfill our reporting obligations.

What are my payment options?

Payment is expected at the time of your visit. We accept cash, checks, money orders, VISA, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover Card. You may also pay for your services using a health savings account (HSA) or flexible spending account (FSA). PPWNM has payment plans available, allowing you to pay for your services over a period of time. However, a down payment is still required at your visit. If you have a payment plan, you can use our online payment option to make payments.

We accept Medicaid and the Healthy Michigan Plan. We also accept most private health insurance plans including Blue Care Network, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Cofinity/Aetna, Consumers Mutual, McLaren, Meridian, Priority Health, United, and the U.P. Health Plan. Check with your plan to see what coverage you have for our services.


If you are uninsured or your insurance does not cover our services, we can help you determine whether you qualify for other payment assistance.

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