Complete physical exams for young men and women (including illness treatment & gynecological exams)
Our teen health services provide annual physical exams just to make sure that you are in overall good health. You may need us to fill out a physical form for school, athletics, or a work application. Just bring the form with you to your visit, and the doctor will fill it out. Young women can get full gynecological exams, including Pap tests to screen for cervical cancer, starting at the age of 21.
Condoms and birth control methods
You can always come and get a variety of free condoms at our health centers. You do not need an appointment to see the doctor in order to get condoms. You can simply ask for them at the front desk or ask to see the Health Educator. Young women can also come into the health center to begin a birth control method. We offer a variety of birth control methods such as IUDs, the pill, the ring, the depo-shot, the patch and Nexplanon at our health centers. The health educator or doctor will help you decide which method works best for you and teach you how to use it correctly. If you have Medicaid or Family Planning Benefit Program (FPBP) we can give you a prescription for your birth control that may be filled at the pharmacy without your parent or guardian's knowledge. If you don't have insurance, you will still be able to get birth control and other services at the health center.
Emergency contraception (Plan B, the morning-after pill, or an IUD)
A young woman can take emergency contraception (also known as Plan B or the morning-after pill) to prevent pregnancy after a situation where she engaged in sexual intercourse and the condom broke, another birth control method failed, or she and her partner didn't use a birth control method. A young woman has up to five days to take Plan B in order for it to be effective against pregnancy, but it is more effective the sooner she takes it. Young men who come into the health center requesting Plan B for their partner will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Plan B is not 100% effective, so it's better to be on regular method of birth control. Usually a young woman who gets Plan B at the health center can also start another method of birth control the same day!
Pregnancy testing and options counseling
If you have missed your period, you can come in for pregnancy testing. The test is a urine test and takes approximately five minutes. If it's negative, the Health Educator will talk to you about some birth control options so you don't have to sit through those long five minutes again! If you do have a positive pregnancy test, the Health Educator will discuss your options and help you choose which option is right for you. Our staff respects your individual right to choose the course of your pregnancy, and we will help and support you in whatever decision you make.
STI screening and treatment
We encourage sexually active teens to come in for regular STI screening every six months, or if you are having symptoms. Symptoms of STIs may include discharge from the vagina or penis, pain during sex, pain during urination, burning during urination, or sores or bumps on the vagina or penis. The most common symptom of an STI is no symptoms at all, which is why it is important to get tested every six months! STI screening is a urine test, which we send to an outside lab. No needles or penile swabs involved! If you are having symptoms, the doctor may want to do a physical exam. Lab results typically come back within 2-4 weeks, and we will call you only if a test is positive or if there was a problem with your test. If your test is positive, we will make an appointment for you to come in for treatment.
HIV Rapid Testing and risk reduction counseling
You can come to a health center for HIV Rapid Testing at any time. We use an oral rapid test, which involves a mouth swab. Again, no needles! The test takes 20 minutes for the results to develop, so you will receive your results that same day. If the result is negative, you will discuss risk reduction strategies with the Health Educator or doctor to make sure that you remain HIV negative. If the test is positive, we will draw blood and send it to the lab for a confirmatory test.
HPV vaccinations for young men and women
The human papillomavirus (HPV) is a common sexually transmitted virus. There are many strains of it, and most don't have any symptoms. However, a few strains of HPV are more dangerous and can cause cervical cancer in women. The HPV vaccine is for these most dangerous strains of HPV. The vaccine is given in three doses over a six-month period to both young men and women older than 13.
Our teen health centers have Health Educators. They answer any and all questions you may have about sexual and reproductive health. Our Health Educators are open-minded and have heard it all, so there is no need to be afraid of asking an "embarrassing" question.
Medical and social service referrals
Our health centers are primary care and family planning facilities. If during a medical exam the doctor feels that you would benefit from seeing a medical specialist or are in need of a specialized social service, we will refer you to our partner organizations for appropriate services.