Sexual Health

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines sexual health as "the state of physical, emotional, mental and social well-being related to sexuality; it is not merely the absence of disease, dysfunction and infirmity. Sexual health requires a positive, respectful approach to sexuality and sexual relationships, as well as the possibility of having pleasurable and safe sexual experiences, free of coercion, discrimination and violence. For sexual health to be attained and maintained, the sexual rights of all persons must be respected, protected and fulfilled."

Some students may make the decision to remain abstinent until they marry.Other students may chose to be sexually active and if you make this decision it is important that you understand the risks associated with becoming sexually active and know and use safer sex techniques.

We have provided some important safer sex information on these pages and urge you to also check out The Sexual Health Network and The Sexuality Information and Education Council of the Us for additional information.

Sexually Transmitted Infections Introduction:

A sexually transmitted infection (STI; formerly called sexually transmitted disease or STD) is caused by a virus, parasite, fungus, or bacterium that can be passed from one person to another through intimate or sexual contact. There are nearly 30 STIs in the world. Some can be cured, and some can only be treated but not cured.

One in five people in the United States has been infected with a sexually transmitted infections (STI) at some point in his or her life. There are over fifty known diseases that can be transmitted through sexual activity; Chlamydia, gonorrhea, genital warts, herpes, and HIV/AIDS are among the most common.Itching, nausea, painful urination, vaginal discharge, fatigue, skin changes, rashes, and sores on or near your genitals can be signs or symptoms of an STI, and you should visit your doctor or a Health Services immediately if you show any of these symptoms.

If you’re sexually active, it’s a good idea to get tested regularly for STIs. Chlamydia, for example, is the most common STI in the United States largely because up to 40 percent of men and 85 percent of women show no symptoms when they contract the infection.

There is increasing evidence that changing sexual practices have led to a dramatic rise in throat cancers in the US the HPV virus is now being implicated in the dramatic increase in head and neck cancer. Increasing rates of HPV infection, spread through oral sex, is largely driving up the rapid rise in oropharyngeal cancers.  More information and some recent journal articles are included in the HPV page and the links below.

www.medscape.com

From Medscape Medical News

 

Women's Health Exam:

Every woman, whether she is sexually active or not, is encouraged to have a woman's health exam. The age recommendation for the first pelvic exam is age 21. An appointment can be made by calling the Health Services at ext. 5135. Women's health exam appointments are scheduled with a nurse practitioner (NP).

Exams usually take about 45 minutes to 1 hour and include a full physical, a breast exam and teaching of self breast exam, and the pelvic exam (examination of the pelvic organs - vulva, vagina, uterus, and ovaries). A Pap smear to screen for cervical changes is obtained. Sometimes, if indicated, sexually transmitted infection testing can be done. Any questions and concerns about menstrual cycle, anatomy, and contraceptive methods may also be discussed.

Women having menstrual irregularities or abnormal vaginal or urinary symptoms are asked to call the Health Services at ext. 5135 to make an appointment.

Men's Health Exam:

Periodic exams of men's reproductive organs is usually not routinely done. More typically a male student comes to the Health Services when he perceives an abnormality. Students may be evaluated by a nurse and scheduled with the NP/MD if necessary. If indicated, STI testing and/or analysis of a urine specimen will be performed. Referrals are made when appropriate. Time is also given to address questions, teach testicular self-examination, and to discuss contraception.

STI Testing & Counseling:

Sexually transmitted infection (STIs) can be contracted through intimate contact with someone who is infected. Students concerned about possible exposure to STIs should call the Health Services at ext. 5135 to talk with a nurse who will answer questions or schedule an appointment with the nurse practitioner or the doctor for further evaluation, testing, and/or treatment as indicated.

Tests and/or exams for chlamydia, gonorrhea, herpes, genital warts (HPV), syphilis, HIV, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, trichomonas, pubic lice, molluscum, and scabies are available.

Parton Health Services provides free condoms - please help yourself - they're located in the front entrance foyer on the main floor

Contraceptive Counseling:

If a student is contemplating being in a sexually active heterosexual relationship or is already in one, contraception needs to be addressed. The Health Services provides counseling to individuals and couples interested in information. Condoms are provided at the Health Services to students free of charge.

Women interested in the oral contraceptive pill, contraceptive patch, NuvaRing, diaphragm, or Depo Provera should call for an appointment at ext.5135 with a Nurse Practitioner. Referrals are made to outside resources for women interested in the cervical cap, Norplant, or IUD .

Emergency Contraception:

Post coital contraception, also called the Morning-After-Pill (MAP) or Emergency Contraceptive Pills (ECPs) is offered at Health Services. It is available during our regular business hours.  To receive the ECP (Plan B), come to the Health Services or call ext. 5135 to talk with a nurse. The nurse will obtain a history, provide information about the use and side-effects of the ECP, and discuss contraception and transmission of sexually transmitted disease.

The ECP is used to prevent pregnancy. Ideally it should be given as soon after unprotected intercourse as possible and is most effective when given within 72 hours. If a decision is made to take Plan B, the Health Services will charge you $14 at the time of your visit. To learn more about the MAP, please visit this Website:

Pregnancy Testing:

The Health Services provides urine pregnancy testing at no charge. Students wishing to be tested should come to the Health Services or call ext. 5135 to speak with a nurse.  Results are immediately available.

Health Services
Centeno House
1st & 2nd Floor
Phone: 802.443.5135
Fax: 802.443.2066

Counseling
Centeno House
3rd Floor
Phone: 802.443.5141
Fax: 802.443.3407

Sports Medicine
Field House
Phone: 802.443.3636
Fax: 802.443.2094