Women need extra health care that men don’t need because women’s bodies have extra opportunities for things to go wrong. Care of a woman’s body takes specialized watchfulness and regular attention. Women need yearly visits to health care providers. This extra attention can be very expensive.

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Frequently women neglect their reproductive health.  Often that’s because they can’t afford the office visits.  Many women don’t have adequate insurance.  Some women don’t have insurance at all and must pay for health care out-of-pocket. Fortunately, when women find themselves unable to pay for ob/gyn care, there are many community resources that can help them.

Local Health Department

A good place to start to look for free ob/gyn care is to call the local health department.  Most counties and cities run free clinics for all kinds of health care, including ob/gyn.

Many cities have other free clinics that will treat pregnant women.  Many times they are coalitions of charitable organizations that are funded by donations.

Some cities have government-run clinics that provide free obgyn care. These agencies are funded by government grants. They provide free or low-cost well-woman care that includes all the usual gynecological check-ups.  Women can find these facilities with a simple internet search.  Many of them are called “pregnancy resource centers” or simply “women’s centers” or they might be named after a founder or a doner.

For example, a search for free ob/gyn care produces long lists of clinics and agencies that can help a woman keep herself healthy.  If a woman develops an ob/gyn problem, these clinics can also find specialists that will take on their problems for free or at reduced rates.

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Planned Parenthood

Planned Parenthood is a well-known provider of free ob/gyn care.  As the name implies, Planned Parenthood focuses on parenthood.  When a woman is pregnant, Planned Parenthood can provide the vital prenatal care that a pregnant woman needs. At the first visit, doctors at Planned Parenthood will perform a physical, a breast exam, a pelvic exam, testing for STDs, and a Pap test.  Later in the pregnancy, they also provide free ultrasounds.  Then they will discuss the importance of a healthy diet and prenatal vitamins.

A woman can also ask her primary care doctor for information on facilities that offer free ob/gyn care.  Sometimes the doctor’s office themselves will take on a few free patients if there is a genuine need.

If a woman does have insurance, the good news is that the Affordable Care Act requires insurers to provide well-woman, prenatal, and birth control services to all their customers.

A final way to find free ob/gyn care is to check out the Medicaid system for the state where a woman lives.  Many times women don’t realize that their income is low enough that they qualify for Medicaid insurance that will cover their regular well-woman visits and their prenatal care.

In short, there are many resources for free ob/gyn care.  Women can start with their local health department and follow their recommendations to find the best place.