Women's Health

The Women Health service include pelvic exams with Pap smears, breast exams, and complete physical exams with laboratory testing. All visits offer counseling for contraception and sexually transmitted disease prevention. If any problems are noted during the exam, they are addressed.

Women's Health

  1. Gynecological exam

For routine gynecological exams, it is best to make appointments mid-cycle, or 2 weeks following menses to give best Pap results. Avoid douching, sex, or vaginal creams for at least 48 hours before the exam. For the initial exam, arrive 20 minutes before appointment time to complete questionnaires and other paperwork. Do not procrastinate; do not be afraid. The pelvic exam is not painful, and staff is very sensitive to your feelings. Pap smears are routinely done beginning at age 21 years, and thereafter every 3 years if normal. Gonorrhea and chlamydia screening and HIV testing are offered annually. Be prepared for blood tests by fasting for 12 hours before the exam, and schedule blood work at the same visit, if you wish. Make an appointment.

  1. Contraceptive services

Contraceptive services include prescriptions for oral contraceptive pills, injections for DepoProvera, and referral for LARC (Long-Acting Reversible Contraception such as IUD or implants) at NO COST to the patient, if they are covered by an eligible Prescription Plan such as the student health plan. Condoms are readily available in the Newark Health Center pharmacy at a low cost.

For more information about LARC (Long-Acting Reversible Contraception) click here.

  1. Breast care

Routine gynecological exams include breast self-exam (BSE) training, and screening mammograms are recommended in accordance with US Public Service Task Force (USPSTF) Guidelines. The student insurance plan covers cost of mammograms if indicated within their primary care coverage. Staff will identify and evaluate breast masses, or other breast problems, and provide referrals to specialists as needed. (Check your health insurance plan regarding breast care benefits)

  1. Costs for testing

There is no cost for visits by full-time students and recommended testing is free for students with the student insurance plan. However, full-time students who have waived insurance, are assessed a fee for laboratory tests and immunizations. If the student is part-time, there is also a per-visit health fee.  Fees are payable at the time of the visit.

  1. Emergency contraception/ Morning-after pill

Morning-after pill is available over-the-counter at most local pharmacies. Students are encouraged to use the Newark Health Center Pharmacy to obtain the Plan B at reduced cost.

Students needing to utilize morning-after pills are encouraged to make a GYN appointment for evaluation and counseling regarding a more reliable contraceptive method, and to screen for sexually transmitted diseases if necessary. Also, if menses are delayed or absent after taking the emergency contraception pill, one should consider the possibility of pregnancy and consult health service staff.

  1. HPV vaccine

All women ages 11 through 26 years of age, are urged to be vaccinated against HPV infection. This vaccine (Gardasil) protects against the 4 most common strains of HPV that may cause either genital warts or cervical cancer. The three-part vaccine series is recommended even if the patient had a previous abnormal Pap smear due to HPV. The cost is covered through student health insurance plan.  Alternatively, students who have waived the insurance can pay directly, and then utilize receipt and claim forms for reimbursement, which is usually 100%.

  1. Sexual Assault or intimate partner violence (IPV)

Sexual Assault and sexual violence are the most underreported crimes among students. These crimes should be reported and evaluated as soon as possible by emergency room personnel.  If that does not occur, our medical staff will see a victim immediately, as an acute visit. Thorough investigation and appropriate referrals will be made, available resources and victims' rights will be discussed, and treatment offered.  (See Sexual Assault Website for instructions and details)

Women's Health Questions & Answers

  1. Gynecological problems?

Most frequently, gynecological complaints include menstrual problems such as irregular menses, missed menses, excessive bleeding, or severely painful menses.  Abnormal vaginal discharge, painful urination or acute pelvic pain, are frequent presenting problems. Chronic pelvic pain, sexual dysfunction and polycystic ovarian syndrome will be investigated and treated. Other problems, such as abnormal Pap smears, uterine fibroids, polyps, or ovarian masses may be referred to gynecological specialists. Referrals are covered up to the limits of the student’s insurance policy. (See terms of your policy)

Students are advised to have annual STD screening, if applicable, and to investigate abnormal findings, such as pelvic pain or vaginal discharge, which may be related to a sexually transmitted disease.

  1. Am I pregnant?

Students can obtain free pregnancy testing through the health center, if they are insured, or upon payment of a small fee, if they have waived insurance. 

Men's and Women's Health Questions & Answers

  1. What to expect regarding history taking

Health providers are sensitive and well educated about the needs of all patients, and comfortable in discussing all sexual lifestyles. Though questions might seem personal at times, accuracy in reporting one's sexual behaviors and experiences may be critical to a student's medical health management.

  1. What are STI's (Sexually Transmitted Infections)?

Students often ask to be tested for “everything”. Sexually transmitted infections can be transmitted to the vagina, penis, skin, throat, blood stream, or colorectal mucosa through intimate contact. The most commonly diagnosed STIs in sexually active college students are chlamydia, human papilloma virus (HPV), genital herpes, and gonorrhea. We test for these infections, as well as for syphilis, Hepatitis B and C, and HIV/AIDS by blood, urine tests, swabs of the cervix, throat or rectal cultures, as indicated. Some of these tests have charges. Some of these infections are preventable by vaccination – this includes Hepatitis B and HPV. We urge all students to use condoms for contraception, and as an effective barrier against STIs.

  1. What is PrEP, a daily pill that prevents getting HIV?

Pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, is a way for people who do not have HIV but who are at substantial risk of getting it to prevent HIV infection by taking a pill every day. The pill (brand name Truvada) contains two medicines (tenofovir and emtricitabine) that are used in combination with other medicines to treat HIV. When someone is exposed to HIV through sex or injection drug use, these medicines can work to keep the virus from establishing a permanent infection.

When taken consistently, PrEP has been shown to reduce the risk of HIV infection in people who are at high risk by up to 92%. PrEP is much less effective if it is not taken consistently.PrEP is a powerful HIV prevention tool and can be combined with condoms and other prevention methods to provide even greater protection than when used alone. But people who use PrEP must commit to taking the drug every day and seeing their health care provider for follow-up every 3 months.