Welcome to women’s health American University’s Student Health Center!
As female college students, many of you are away from home for the first time and may have gynecologic questions and concerns. At the Student Health Center, we hope to be able to provide you with an experience that will enable you to make informed decisions about your health.
What is a gynecologic (aka “GYN”) exam?
A gynecologic exam involves an external and internal physical examination of the female genitalia. Additionally, a breast exam is often performed for a more comprehensive women’s health evaluation. A GYN exam generally includes testing for sexually transmitted infections as well as a Pap Smear (see below). You can make an appointment for a GYN exam online or by calling the Student Health Center. Be sure to specify that you would like a GYN exam because these exams are allotted more time than a routine visit.
When should you have a Papanicolaou (aka “Pap”) screening?
New medical recommendations for frequency of Pap screenings have changed over the last few years. At this time, healthy females are encouraged to have their first Pap smear at 21 years of age. If their examination is normal then they should be screened for cervical cancer every three years. Those over the age of 30 years with prior normal screenings should have it every five years. In some instances, the rate of Pap screening should be done more frequently. Please ask your provider what they would recommend specifically for you based on your medical history.
What is an STI screening?
Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) are spread by bodily fluids. If you are sexually active (i.e. oral, vaginal, or anal) with men or women then you can be exposed to infections that may not have any symptoms immediately. Gonorrhea, Chlamydia and Syphilis can be screened on an annual basis and treated if necessary. We also recommend HIV screening every year for individuals who are sexually active. While HIV is not curable, early detection allows for early initiation of treatments to maintain one’s health.
Student Health Clinic offers the following services to female students:
Counsel for contraception methods
Prescriptions for contraception medications (i.e. oral, injection, and topical contraception)
Screening for cervical cancer (i.e. Pap Smear)
Provider manual breast examination
Screening for sexually transmitted infections
Pregnancy tests (i.e. urine and blood available)
Evaluation and treatment for urinary tract infections