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Everyone’s welcome

Planned Parenthood is not just for women

As Movember puts a spotlight on men’s health issues, it is important to note that Planned Parenthood offers a comprehensive slate of men’s services in addition to its more well-known role as a beacon for women’s healthcare.

With clinics in Tulsa (1007 S. Peoria Ave.), Oklahoma City, and Edmond, Planned Parenthood is an affordable place for men’s healthcare—both preventative and remedial. Men are historically more prone to ignoring proactive measures and waiting until easily addressed issues become problems needing treatment, so consider this an entreaty to go get checked out before troubles arise.

“We really support Men’s Health Awareness Month,” said Kristin Metcalf-Wilson, assistant vice president for health services for Planned Parenthood Great Plains, which covers Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Arkansas. “We do know that too many times men overlook their preventative health needs. They may only come when they’re sick, but we really encourage men to take the opportunity this month to get in and do a preventative annual checkup, because we could discover things early that really require less treatment than when you actually present with symptoms and then have a chronic illness like hypertension or diabetes.”

Planned Parenthood excels at dealing with sexually transmitted diseases and infections (STDs or STIs) and other genital issues, such as warts and penile or testicular pain. They also offer HIV testing, testosterone-level testing (for both men and transgender individuals), prostate exams, and more.

Planned Parenthood also offers a medication called post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP), which, if taken soon after exposure to HIV, can prevent one from contracting the virus. Patients also have the option to take pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) before sexual exposure to a partner with HIV.

And they give out condoms for free.

A man interested in STD or STI testing or PEP or PrEP medication might want to head to Planned Parenthood even if he has a primary care physician. If he can’t get an appointment quickly enough or wants to maintain privacy, Planned Parenthood might be a good option.

And since the PP clinic in Tulsa is actually a full primary care center, it offers a range of services, so men can be seen for anything from sinusitis to ulcers or acid reflux, high cholesterol, diabetes, depression/anxiety, back pain, annual wellness checkups, and on and on.

“The Tulsa center provides primary care, so it’s a full range of services to men, women, and families,” Metcalf-Wilson said. “It’s preventative checkups, prostate exams, STD testing, any other acute or minor illnesses men experience just as much as anyone else, chronic conditions, such as diabetes and hypertension. And they do have specific family planning services that dive more into reproductive health and STI testing.

“We offer transgender services, as well, and fully support transgender care as part of Movember.”

The Edmond and OKC clinics, while not primary care centers, still offer all of the other reproductive health services noted above.

“Our [other] Oklahoma centers provide family planning to men, so less of the primary care focus and more reproductive health,” Metcalf-Wilson said. “So they are doing exams for STD testing and treatment, and, of course, any kind of preventative screening that men may need, depending on their age.”

Planned Parenthood takes all kinds of insurance but also accepts direct payments for services outside of insurance at a slightly reduced cost. This is a more affordable option for lower-income patients.

“All of our Oklahoma centers accept insured patients and non-insured patients,” Metcalf-Wilson said. “We do have a same-day payment policy, so it’s a little bit of a reduction in what a normal visit might cost. But we also accept many insurance plans, including Medicaid.”

Capping off the month of Movember for Planned Parenthood is the organization’s annual Generations Strong Gala, a fundraiser celebration where the public can show their support by enjoying an evening of entertainment and food. This year’s event will be held Nov. 30 at the IDL Ballroom in downtown Tulsa (230 E. 1st St.), hosted by spoken word poet/feminist Lauren Zuniga, with a performance by local musician Adrienne Gilley.

Individual tickets are available at ppaction.org/site/calendar for $100, but young professionals can attend for $40. 
—John Tranchina

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