Frequently Asked Questions

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  • Why would I need to have a gynecological exam?

    You should see a qualified clinician at least once a year beginning with the onset of sexual intercourse or by age 21 through the rest of your life. Through routine gynecological exams, your clinician can determine if your reproductive organs are healthy and detect many problems such as cervical changes or sexually transmitted infections at their earliest possible stage.

  • What is the executive blood test for and do I need to be fasting?

    Prior to the collection of your blood sample, it is necessary that you be fasting 8-12 hours. However, it is not recommended that you be fasting for longer than 12 hours. Your blood samples will be sent off to an outside laboratory for analysis of your liver, kidney & heart function, electrolytes, iron, blood sugar, thyroid studies, lipids, cholesterol, triglycerides and a complete blood count.

  • Is there anything that I have to do prior to the gynecological exam?

    Yes. If you have not had a pelvic exam before it is required that you watch our videos that discuss the procedures of a pelvic exam and breast exam, as well as, our videos that discuss STD’s and contraceptives. The viewing of these videos can be on the same day of the exam or before the exam. We recommend that at least 48 hours prior to the pelvic exam there should be no uses of douches, vaginal creams, spermicides, and no sexual intercourse.

  • What sexually transmitted infections (STI’s) can be detected during a routine gynecological exam?

    Gonorrhea and chlamydia cultures are routinely done as part of our Women’s Health package during the pelvic exam. Both of these are bacterial infections that can be treated with antibiotics. If an outbreak of genital herpes or genital warts is visualized the clinician will diagnose and treat at the time of the visit.

  • Isn’t the Pap test the same as a pelvic exam?

    No. Pap is short for Papanicolau’s test also known as a pap smear. This test is included in our Women’s Health Package and consists of collecting a sample of cervical cells during the pelvic exam. The sample of cervical cells is smeared on a slide and sent to a laboratory for analysis of cancerous or pre-cancerous cell changes. Cervical cancer is usually caused by the Human Papilloma virus (HPV) which is a sexually transmitted infection. Early detection can lead to the cure of cervical cancer.

  • Does Student Health Services offer Emergency Contraception?

    Yes. However, we recommend a annual gynecological exam with counseling on contraceptive choices.

  • Is vaginal discharge normal?

    Yes, women may exhibit a normal discharge that is clear to whitish mucous like material. It may increase in amount and consistency during and after the ovulatory phase of the menstrual cycle. You may need to see a clinician if the discharge changes in color (green, yellow, grey), and or is associated with signs and symptoms such as foul odor, vaginal itching, burning, spotting, dyspareunia (painful intercourse). A clinician may decide to collect a sample of vaginal secretions for microscopic viewing called a “wet prep”. Bacterial vaginosis, Candida vaginitis (also known as a “yeast infection), and trichomonas vaginitis are three of the most common causes of vaginal discomfort all of which can be diagnosed and treated at your student health clinic.