Category Archives: Sex Ed

Here’s to Your Health!

Resolutions for a healthier you in 2017

Happy New Year from all of us here at Planned Parenthood! This time of year can be both invigorating and challenging. 2016 was a rollercoaster, no matter where you were sitting. It’s natural to feel a little depleted after so many big events, especially considering that we’re also recovering from the holidays. That’s why we believe that 2017 should be the year of self-care.

DID YOU KNOW? A quarter of women don’t know when they need their next breast cancer screening, and over a third of women don’t know when they should get their next cervical cancer screening. Your sexual health is an important component of your general well-being.

Breast Screenings: If you over the age of 21, then you should be receiving regular breast exams from your healthcare provider. Between the ages of 21-39, your healthcare provider should perform a breast exam every 1-3 years. Annual screenings are recommended for women between 40 and 75 years of age.

Cervical Screenings: If you’re in your twenties you should be receiving a Pap test every three years. Between the ages of 30 and 64, you should receive a Pap test or HPV test every 3 years (or every 5 years if you get the two tests together). Women ages 65 and up should consult with their healthcare provider.

Birth Control: The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) named modern contraception (together with family planning) one of the top 10 greatest public health achievements of the 20th century, and its positive impact on social justice and quality of life for many people around the world is hard to overstate. We all know that birth control can help women prevent unwanted pregnancies, and it facilitates having children only if and when a person or family is ready.

But DID YOU KNOW that oral contraceptives have additional non-contraceptive health benefits? They can even help prevent certain types of cancers! In scientific studies, oral contraceptives have been found to be associated with a reduced risk of ovarian and endometrial cancers. Additionally, oral contraceptives are used to treat pain from endometriosis and menstruation, and they help with menstrual regulation. Go birth control!

Treat yourself to health in 2017.

Have questions? We’d love to talk to you! Give us a call at 619-881-4500. Or visit our website:

Kiri @ Planned Parenthood

Making friends with Planned Parenthood

Being first-generation Americans in my Lebanese family, my siblings and I were raised in a much different environment than my parents had ever known. I grew up in a conservative, religious Muslim household where sex before marriage was considered taboo. My parents never talked about sex, safe sex, or contraception. As a result, my sisters and brother and I were often left to figure out our own life lessons, forming our individual sets of beliefs based on our personal experiences. This mindset proved to be problematic when all my peers seemed to know so much more about sex while I was left in the dust. I knew sex was not something I felt comfortable discussing with my parents. I relied on the Internet, friends, and my brother for information.

Fortunately, I learned that I was not alone. I learned about safe sex and contraceptives through my friends, who utilized Planned Parenthood’s services. My friends began to use Planned Parenthood for birth control. They shared their experiences with me—about birth control and abortion—and said that Planned Parenthood was a safe environment that they’d go back to.

This summer, I decided to intern for Planned Parenthood to show my appreciation for all the support they offer and the lives they better. They provide a safe place that gives you options and equips you with the tools to make better decisions not only in the present, but in the future. Planned Parenthood is there for my friends, it is there for me, and I want to be there for them.

Shari @ Planned Parenthood

Are you ready to take the easiest test of the year?

Whether you’re heading off to college for the first time or going back for another year, the start of school is a good time to think about how to take care of yourself when you’re living on your own. As a young adult, being smart and responsible about your sexual health is one of the most important things you can do.

If you’re sexually active, getting tested for STDs is a basic part of staying healthy and taking control of your sex life. It is one of the most important things you can do to protect your health, and it’s easier than ever before.

Here’s some information on how to ace this test:

  • Planned Parenthood provides STD testing at all of our health centers and we offer no- to low-cost services for young people, women, and men. You can reach out to your local Planned Parenthood health center for confidential testing.
  • STD tests are quick, simple, and painless. For example: Rapid HIV tests can provide results in as little as 20 minutes from just a swab inside the mouth or a quick prick of your finger.
  • You can’t tell by looking who has an STD. For example, 75 percent of women and 50 percent of men with chlamydia have no symptoms. Many STDs are asymptomatic, so the only way to know your status for sure is to get tested.
  • The good news is that most STDs, including HIV, are treatable. Many are curable. The sooner you know your status, the sooner you can get treated. Early treatment can help prevent serious health problems that may result from untreated STDs.
  • You can take care of yourself and your partner by talking about getting tested before you start having sex. Some conversations may seem hard to have, but open communication with your partner is essential to staying healthy and stopping the spread of STDs.

Now that you know some of the basics, head on over to your nearest Planned Parenthood health center and get yourself tested!

-Shanna @ Planned Parenthood

Snap to it!

Did you know Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest is on Snapchat?

Snapchat—a social mobile app that allows users to send and receive photos and videos that disappear after 24 hours—is a favorite among young people: Over 45 percent of its users are under age 25. The disappearing-content feature is highly valued by teens and young adults, and allows Planned Parenthood to provide education on sensitive topics.

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This year, our Community and Government Relations department won Planned Parenthood’s Digital Excellence Award for creative use of Snapchat in providing accessible, medically-accurate, and inclusive sexual health information.

Follow us on Snapchat to see our award-winning work.