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What to expect at an appointment

Monday, November 23, 2015


So you’ve made an appointment at Family Planning, but you’re not sure what to expect? Maybe you’re feeling a little bit worried?

We understand you might feel nervous or embarrassed talking to someone about sex or your body, but our receptionists, nurses and doctors are friendly, welcoming, and here to help you.

Here are some of your commonly asked questions about visiting Family Planning.

A consultation room

1. Can I bring a friend/my partner to my appointment?

Yes, you can bring anyone you choose along to your appointment with you.

The nurse or doctor might ask to see you alone first to check that you’re okay and not being made to do anything you don’t want to do.

2. Can I choose my nurse or doctor?

Sure, if you’ve been in before and want to see the same nurse or doctor again, just ask the receptionist.

If for some reason you want to change nurse or doctor, maybe because you know them from somewhere else, that’s fine too.

Almost all of our nurses and doctors are women. You can ask a support person to come with you if that makes you feel more comfortable.

3. Will any of the tests hurt?

If you’re ever feeling nervous about something, just tell the nurse or doctor, they’ll talk you through everything they’re doing and answer any questions you might have. Some tests might be a little bit uncomfortable, but it’s unlikely they will hurt. Usually they’re very quick, and will be over before you know it.

4. What if I have my period?

If you are scheduled for an STI check or a smear and you have your period, you can still go to your appointment. If you’d rather reschedule it for another day, just give us a call.

5. Will I have to take my pants and underwear off?

If you need an STI test, a cervical smear or something similar, you will have to take off your pants and underwear. The nurse or doctor will give you some privacy while you dress and undress. There’s no need to feel embarrassed, the nurses and doctors do this every day.

Remember, no one will ever force you to do something you don’t want to do.

6. I feel embarrassed/nervous about going to my appointment, what should I do?

Many people feel a bit nervous before their first appointment, but we really encourage you to come along. Once you’re here, you’ll see our staff are friendly, understanding and they care about your sexual and reproductive health.

You can ask them absolutely anything - they love answering your questions. They’re pretty impossible to shock or embarrass, so don’t hold back.

Afterwards, you’ll feel much better for taking the step to look after your health and wellbeing.

7. Can I get condoms at Family Planning?

Of course! We can give you a few to take home, or we can give you a prescription for free condoms from a pharmacy.

Family Planning has clinics located throughout New Zealand. Use the clinic finder to find your nearest clinic.

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