Student Health Service

Birth Control Options

  

  Birth Control

  Eating Disorders

  Emergency Contraception

  Sexual Assault

  Sexually Transmitted Infections

 


Common Question: 
If I want to start birth control and I make an appointment at the Student Health Service, will I need an examination or PAP test?

Answer:
Student Health Service does provide advice, counseling and prescriptions for various methods of contraception/birth control.  National guidelines regarding the age and frequency of exams with a Pap smear have changed.  An exam with a Pap smear is no longer recommended for those <21 years old.  For those >21 years old, an exam and Pap smear is recommended at age 21 and, if normal, then every 3 years until age 30.  Above age 30, a Pap smear should be done every 3 to 5 years.  If you are younger than 21 or have had a normal Pap exam within the past 2-3 years, you likely would not need an exam. 

Depending on your age and situation and how recently you may have had an exam, you may not need an exam, an exam with a Pap might be needed, or you might be given a prescription for a limited time to allow you to schedule a needed exam in the near future.  It would be best to schedule an appointment with a provider to discuss your particular situation, your needs and options for methods of birth control.

There is a charge for Pap smear examinations, so you will want to check with your insurance to determine coverage and out-of-pocket costs associated. 
To make an appointment with a Student Health Service health care provider, please call 419-372-2271.


There are numerous types of birth control available through the Student Health Service. Some are available by a prescription obtained from  your health care provider. Others are easily obtained without a prescription. Choosing a contraceptive method is an important decision. When researching your contraceptive options keep in mind your wishes, fears, preferences, and those of your partner. You are also going to want to weigh the potential risks and side effects of a method with its contraceptive and non-contraceptive benefits. No one birth control method is perfect for all. 

The Pill/Oral  Contraceptives
Available by prescription only, "the pill" is the most commonly used contraceptive method. Oral contraceptives prevent the ovaries from releasing an egg. The pill also thickens your cervical mucous and changes the lining of your uterus.

The Shot/Depo-Provera
Available by prescription only, this hormone-containing injection prevents the release of eggs from your ovaries and thickens your cervical mucous. For greater information on Depo-Provera, click on www.aafp.org/healthinfo.

The Ring/NuvaRing
Available by prescription, this small synthetic ring is inserted into the vagina and remains in place for three weeks followed by a week without the ring. The "ring" works to prevent pregnancy as does "the pill" and "the patch."

The Patch/Ortho Evra
Available by prescription, "the patch" works to prevent pregnancy the same way as "the pill." You apply a bandaid-sized patch weekly to a designated area of your skin once a week for three weeks. This is followed by a patch-free week, and then the process begins again.

Diaphragm
Available by prescription, this small rubber cap holds spermicidal jelly or cream against your cervix. The diaphragm acts as a barrier to keep sperm out of your reproductive tract and the jelly or cream acts as a backup method to kill any sperm that may have gotten around the rim of the diaphragm

Male Condoms
No prescription is needed for this contraceptive which also serves to protect against sexually transmitted infections. Condoms act as a barrier to keep sperm from reaching your reproductive organs. They work best when accompanied by a spermicide.

Female Condoms
Available without a prescription, female condoms act as a barrier method (like male condoms) to prevent sperm from coming into contact with your reproductive system. The female condom covers the inside of your vagina.

Spermicides
Available without a prescription, spermicides are chemicals that kill sperm. They come in a variety of forms including foams, jellies, creams, suppositories, and films.