The Wellness Center and the Peer Educators are here to help you learn about sexual health so that you can make informed decisions for your health and well-being. Whether you need information on contraceptives, pregnancy, or abstinence, we’re here to answer questions as a non-judgmental resource.
Water-based lubricant is available for free in the Wellness Center!
- Lack of lubrication is one of the leading causes of condom breakage, due to increased friction against the material.
- By reducing unnecessary friction, lube can also help make sexual activity more enjoyable.
- Oil-based lubricant deteriorates latex condoms, so never use them together.
- Silicone-based lubricant can deteriorate silicone-based toys and other products, so an alternative lube is better.
Contraception & Barrier Methods
The following options are available for free in the Wellness Center!
- External Condoms – including latex-free, extra large, and non-lubricated
- Internal Condoms
Other Forms of Contraception (Not offered in the office):
Talk to a healthcare provider about these options before you determine which method is the best for you. Contraceptive consultations are available at Health Services. Note that these methods are intended to decrease the chance of unwanted pregnancy. None of the following methods protect against STIs, including HIV/AIDS.
- Emergency Contraception- (also known as “the morning after pill”) is available in the Health Services office. Both males and females can pick it up without an exam, though the Nurse Practitioner does like to have a conversation when you stop in. You can use Emergency Contraception within 120 hours of unprotected sex, but it is recommended to take it as soon after intercourse as possible.
- Birth Control Pills – Prescriptions are available from Health Services. Many side effects can occur with the use of birth control including weight gain, blood clots, changes in acne and/or mood. There are many different birth control pill brands. In general, there are two types:
- Combination Pill- Small doses of estrogen and progestin. Within, there are smaller groupings depending on the amount of estrogen or progestin. Common names: Othro Tri Cyclen, Yasmin, Alesse, Nordette.
- Progestin-Only Pill – Usually only taken to decrease estrogen side effects. Can cause irregular menstruation in the beginning, usually decreasing the number of periods in the first year.
- Intrauterine Device (IUD)- A small device that a doctor inserts into the uterus, through the cervix. Some IUDs are effective for up to twelve years. IUDs are either made of copper ions or release the hormone progestin. Copper ions prevent fertilization by immobilizing sperm. Hormonal IUDs impair sperm mobility and thicken the cervical mucus to keep sperm from the uterus. Both change the uterine lining to prevent fertilization. All IUDs have a string (or more than one) that hang through the opening of the cervix into the vaginal canal, allowing a healthcare provider to remove it if the patient so desires, but the string is largely unoticeable and does not interfere with tampons or sex that involves insertion. IUDs are 99% effective.
- Diaphragm- A barrier method of birth control that is inserted into the vagina before intercourse and is left in for at least 6 hours after sex. Exams are needed to get a diaphragm because a doctor must provide one that is the proper size for your body. To be used with spermicide.
- Cervical Cap- Smaller than a diaphragm, needs to be left in place for 6 hours after intercourse. It is designed to create an almost air-tight seal around the cervical opening. It can be left in for 48 hours. It also needs to be fitted by a doctor but comes in limited sizes so they do not work for everyone.
- Nuva Ring- A clear, plastic ring (larger than a rubberband) that is placed in a woman’s vagina for three weeks at a time. It provides a continuous low dose of progestin and estrogen hormones which are absorbed through the vaginal wall. This suppresses ovulation and thickens cervical mucus which prevents fertilization. You must visit a healthcare provider to be prescribed.
- Ortho Evra Patch- A small patch worn on the skin for a week at a time that contains high levels of estrogen thus suppressing ovulation. You must visit a healthcare provider to be prescribed.
- Depo-Provera- Highly effective and low-maintenance. Healthcare provider will administer a shot every three months. When shots are given on time, this form is 99% effective at preventing pregnancy.