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Aug 02 2016
by Natalie Day

A Guide to Planned Parenthood

By Natalie Day - Aug 02 2016
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Growing up, society tells us to be scared of Planned Parenthood. All we know is that’s where you go if you get pregnant or an STD and don’t want your parents to know. As we transition to college where we won’t have parents around, it’s important to know what this (totally not scary) organization does and how they can help you.

Planned Parenthood has three major areas of assistance: education, prevention and help.

Education

1. Relationships

A common myth is that Planned Parenthood is just for STI’s and pregnancies. However, a large part of what they do is teach and inform about common issues. First of all, relationships. They provide guidance for healthy relationships, inclusive of the emotional and physical aspects. There is a ton of helpful information online that you can find here. 

2. Sex

A major area of education at Planned Parenthood is sex. There is information online about how to feel comfortable in a sexual relationship and your own sexuality. This can provide you with some confidence and knowledge if you plan to be sexually involved with someone. It’s important that you understand what you are doing, as well as the risks, so you can be safe and enjoy yourself. 

3. Sexual Orientation and Gender

Planned Parenthood also provides information on sexual orientation and gender. There are descriptions of the different genders and sexual orientations. They also explain the difference between the gender and sex assigned at one's birth and their gender identity. This is a great place to go to have some questions answered and to broaden your understanding on a typically confusing topic.

Prevention

Prevention is something every person should be educated on, whether or not they plan to be sexually active. Prevention includes possible pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases. Planned Parenthood has detailed descriptions of twenty types of birth control on their website. This is the perfect place to go if you’re considering birth control to find the best option for you. Some forms of birth control only prevent pregnancy and some prevent pregnancy and STD’s. As with any of their services, going to a planned parenthood location and speaking to a staff member is an option. 

Help

1. Pregnancy

Planned Parenthood is best known for their help with unexpected pregnancies. They provide assistance with all the necessary steps to decide the best way for you to handle one, however they also help with planned pregnancies. They can be a source from considering having a child through birth. They also assist with unfortunate circumstances like miscarriages and infertility.

2. Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Another well known and very important part of Planned Parenthood is their work with STDs.  They provide detailed information on the various types of infections and diseases, as well as a convenient way to determine if you need to be tested. If you find that you do or you want to be safe, they also provide STD testing. In some states, you can even do it yourself through the mail.

3. Abortions

If you're struggling with an unplanned pregnancy and have decided to get an abortion, Planned Parenthood is the place to go. There are a few types of abortions, which are described in detail on their website, as well as an abortion pill. Depending on how far along the pregnancy is, you can find your best option and some guidance at Planned Parenthood.

4. Morning After Pill

Someone who has been in sexually active where a possible unwanted pregnancy could occur has the option of taking the morning after pill. It's important to know the dangers and symptoms of any medication before you take it, especially a harsh one like this. You can find that information online or at any location.

There are plenty of ways to to handle a pregnancy, STI and much more. This isn't the time to take for granted the resources that we have available for us – take advantage of them! 

Lead Image Credit: Pexels

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Natalie Day - Columbia College Chicago

Natalie Day is a freshman at Columbia College Chicago and is double majoring in acting and writing. She has traveled to Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and Jamaica for mission trips. Natalie spends her free time binge watching Netflix and working on her life long goal of becoming an old dog lady. Follow Natalie on Twitter and Instagram @nat__day.

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