What it's really like to go to Planned Parenthood
Visiting Planned Parenthood can be really intimidating, especially if you’ve never been there before. Whether you’re going to get tested, find the right birth control for you, or use any of their other services, PP is a great healthcare resource for both women and men. Your experience going to PP may be affected by several factors, including where you live; however, here are a few things you may not expect:
PP is prepared to be discreet:
When you call to make your appointment, not only will the Planned Parenthood representative you talk to be extremely professional, they’ll also make sure to ask whether they can say it’s PP when they contact you via phone or email—so if you need them to be discreet, they know how. It’s worth noting that Planned Parenthood has a long history of dealing with serious issues and is well prepared for a lot of situations; helping you keep your visit under wraps is, if necessary, one of them.
There may be protestors, but also escorts to help:
Protesters outside your Planned Parenthood can make the whole scenario really scary. Luckily, if your clinic typically has protesters, there should be volunteer escorts on hand to help you enter and leave safely. These brave folks provide a calm and steadfast presence amidst what can sometimes be a loud and frightening situation. (You can also become a volunteer escort and help other patients feel safe in the face of these circumstances.)
Planned Parenthood doesn’t exclude anyone:
This one might seem like a no-brainer, but many people don’t realize that getting care when you’re transgender or intersex can be at best challenging and at worst, nearly impossible. Not only do trans women and men sometimes get denied extremely routine procedures like blood work, they also often have to school their doctors on how to treat them.
This brief but crystal clear note on the Brooklyn Planned Parenthood’s page makes their stance on such matters known:
They actually make everything really, really easy:
From calling to make your appointment to picking a birth control method, PP is all about demystifying your healthcare and making things as simple as possible. Sure, you’ll still have to do some paperwork, so it’s not totally painless, but overall, it’s not that bad.
While it helps to do your research regarding any particular treatment, procedure, or birth control method you plan to get at PP, they’re also fully prepared to completely brief you on all your options — and you’re free to change your mind. For example, if you make an appointment to have an IUD implanted and request a copper one, but through talking to the doctor discover that a hormonal one is a better fit for your lifestyle, that’s completely okay. They’ll also do their best to make you comfortable, whether it’s finding a speculum that’s a better fit for your body (vaginas are NOT one size fits all, fyi) or something simple like getting you a cup of water.
Their help goes beyond your appointment:
Planned Parenthood has tons of great resources you can access outside of their facility. So, even though you’re not physically at PP, they’ll be there to help. Whether you leave your visit with some informational pamphlets, look at their website, or even check out their Facebook page, PP is there for you with tons of helpful information, even after you leave the clinic.