What will my first visit to a family planning clinic be like?

If you've never been to a healthcare clinic before, you might not know what to expect. Staff at Title X (ten) clinics are caring professionals who want to make you feel comfortable. At your first clinic visit, a counselor will explain the health care services available and what will be involved during your initial visit. She will ask for information about your medical history and explain any lab tests that might be done.

If you are a minor, she will talk to you about abstinence and how you can talk to your parents or trusted adult about your visit to the clinic. She will explain the different methods of contraception (birth control), including how each method is used, how it prevents pregnancy, how well it works, and what side effects might occur. The counselor will help you to select a birth control method that suits your needs and provide you with any supplies you need.

After that, a physician or nurse practitioner will do your medical examination. Your exam might include:

  • A review of your health history
  • Listen to your heart and lungs
  • A breast exam
  • Instruction about breast self-examination
  • A pelvic exam
  • A PAP test (a screening test for cervical cancer)
  • Lab tests as necessary
  • STD screening