Common questions related to women’s health.
What are the signs and symptoms of a urinary tract infection (UTI)?
Initial symptoms are burning with urination, frequent urination, feeling like your bladder never fully empties after urination, foul smelling urine, blood in the urine, and bladder pain. Serious signs that could indicate the infection is spreading to your kidneys are fevers, chills, nausea, vomiting, and lower-mid back pain. Please come see us at the SHC at the start of symptoms. We will evaluate you, test your urine at our Student Health Center (SHC) and start you on the proper treatment if indicated.
My friend gave me a medication called AZO for my UTI, is this all I need?
No, AZO is an over-the-counter medication that treats the symptoms of an UTI, but it does not treat the infection, you should still come in to see us for an evaluation.
What forms of birth control can the SHC provide?
Student Health Center providers prescribe for hormonal birth control, including birth control pills, patches, vaginal rings, and the shot. The student health center provides free male and female condoms. If needed, referrals can be made to local specialties who can place an IUD or implantable form of birth control. Other options we can also provide information on include diaphragms, cervical caps, spermicide, and fertility tracking.
When should I start having a pap smear test?
The pap smear is a test for cervical cancer in women, it involves collecting cells from your cervix. In general, the recommended age to begin pap testing is 21 and is repeated every 3-5 years based on your history and previous results.
My periods have been abnormal, what does this mean?
Normal menstrual cycles occur every 21-35 days with flow lasting for 4-7 days. Irregular periods are caused by many things, including pregnancy, hormonal changes, infections, medications, stress, excessive exercise, polycystic ovarian disease, and endometriosis. The most important thing you can do is track your periods, keeping an accurate record of when your period begins, include the amount of flow, how many tampons or pads you are going through in a day, record if you are having blood clots and the approximate size of the clot. Keep track of other symptoms as well, such as spotting between periods, cramping, pain, headaches, nausea. Having a detailed record will help guide us in ordering the appropriate testing and treatment.
I found a lump in my breast, what should I do?
Don’t panic, breast tissue naturally has a bumpy texture, and hormone fluctuations can cause changes to that normal texture. However, if you find an area that feels different from the rest of your breast, or a new lump, please contact us, we can provide reassurance and expedite appropriate testing.
I’ve noticed some vaginal discharge changes, is it a yeast infection?
A change in the balance of the vaginal bacteria can lead to inflammation and discharge. Bacterial Vaginosis results from an overgrowth of the bacteria naturally found in your vagina, discharge with this infection is often watery, gray, and has a fishy smell. Yeast infections are caused by an overgrowth of naturally occurring fungus called candida albicans, this results in a white clumpy discharge and vaginal itching. If you have noticed vaginal changes, please make an appointment to come in and discuss your symptoms with a provider so the appropriate testing and treatment can be initiated.