The department provides annual health exams with appropriate screenings, pregnancy testing and counseling, birth control services, testing and treatment for sexually-transmitted diseases and other conditions affecting sexual and general health. Our clinicians and support staff are sensitive to the health issues and concerns facing gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered and heterosexual students. We invite you to discuss your concerns with certainty of nonjudgmental treatment.
We do serve men as well. Men who would feel more comfortable seeing a male clinician will be referred to a male clinician.
Sexual health problems of men may include concerns about sexuality and sexual functioning, diagnosis and treatment of sexually-transmitted diseases, urinary tract infections and prostate conditions. Men need to be as concerned about the health of their sexual organs as women are of their own. We encourage male students to do regular self-exams of their testicles to check for the presence of abnormalities (e.g., lumps) that could signal a serious condition such as testicular cancer. This cancer occurs most commonly in young men, so regular self-exam is critical. A brochure entitled "Male Self-Exam" is available in the display racks on the third floor of the health center.
A physical exam is recommended for all women starting at age 21. This exam includes an assessment of general health as well as sexual health; it includes a breast exam, pelvic exam and a Pap smear - a laboratory screening for cervical cancer. Sexually transmitted infection testing can also be done at this visit. If you have never had a pelvic exam, our pamphlet entitled "Your Pelvic Exam" will help you know what to expect. The handout is available in the display racks on the third floor of the health center. Your provider can review the current guidelines regarding the frequency of this exam at your appointment. These exams are performed by female clinicians who are sensitive to nuances surrounding this important exam and can help you work through your feelings about it.
About Birth Control and "Mis-Conception"
Nationally, about 70 percent of college students report being sexually active. The majority of these students are in heterosexual relationships and therefore are capable of becoming pregnant, whether or not they desire it. For many college students, pregnancy creates a situation that requires difficult decision-making.
Student Health Services provides comprehensive birth control services to registered students and we encourage students who are sexually active to consider their need for contraception in advance of sexual activity. Many OSU students can qualify for the Oregon Contraceptive Care (CCare) program, which provides free contraception and health exams. Contact the CCare office at SHS for more information.
Whether you are seeking information about birth control or you need help selecting a method that is suitable to your health, lifestyle, and relationship, our clinicians can assist you. All methods of birth control are available at SHS. Emergency Contraception is also available. This is a medication that can be taken within five days after unprotected intercourse to lower pregnancy risk. It is more effective if taken as soon as possible after unprotected intercourse. A website that can be helpful for learning about different contraceptive options is www.bedsider.org.
Pregnancy Testing and Counseling
Pregnancies do occur among OSU students - planned and desired ones as well as unplanned ones. Whether a student is afraid she is pregnant or hopes that she is, our clinicians can provide accurate diagnosis through a combination of examination and laboratory testing. When an unplanned pregnancy is confirmed, all options are made available to the student. No one will tell you what the best option is for you. You will be provided adequate information to carry out whichever decision is right for you and advised to make that decision on the basis of personal and family values and other relevant factors.
SHS does not perform abortion or adoption services. Referrals for these resources are routinely made by the clinician who diagnoses a pregnancy.
Pregnant students may continue to take advantage of all available healthcare services unrelated to the pregnancy, including nutrition counseling. However, since Student Health does not provide obstetrical care, students will be referred to local obstetricians or midwives for prenatal care.