What does family planning have to do with men?

There's a myth about family planning — that it's all about deciding when and how to have a baby.

That's part of it, but it leaves out a pretty important piece: men. Family planning services include all the care, testing, and counseling women or anyone who can become pregnant need to prioritize their reproductive health. But family planning isn’t always about babies. It includes any information or care that empowers you to take charge of your sexual health. And that relates to us all.

People who identify as male—whether they have sex with other men, women, or both—also have resources available to them through no to low—cost family planning health centers to protect their health.

All sexually active men are at risk for STDs. No exceptions. But family planning services can help men prevent STDs through simple measures like condom use. Condoms are 98% effective at preventing the transmission of STDs when used properly and are available for free at over 25 no or low—cost family planning health centers across Philadelphia.

Haven’t been consistent with using condoms in the past? Family planning health centers offer STD testing so that you can protect yourself, your partner, and any future partners. Experts recommend getting tested at least once a year, calling it one of the most important things sexually active men can do. Untreated STDs can lead to further health issues but do not worry; if an STD is detected through testing, the majority of infections can be treated using antibiotics. Family planning health centers can help with that, too. Early testing leads to early treatment, which is important to ensuring overall health.

If pregnancy is a possibility, that’s a choice that men should discuss with their partner. Men have an important role in deciding whether a baby is right for you both, and you can (and should) support your partner with their family planning care. That might include seeking preconception counseling if your partner is trying to become pregnant, or it might include preventing pregnancy altogether. Not only are there many birth control options available at family planning health centers, but condoms can be just as effective at preventing pregnancy as they are at preventing STDs.

So, get yourself to a no or low—cost family planning health center. They're accessible, easy to find and you don't need insurance—so it's never been easier to be prepared, be informed, and be a responsible partner.

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