University Health Services offers comprehensive women's health services:
- Breast exams
- Pap smears and routine pelvic exams (by appointment only)
- Pregnancy testing and referrals
- Screening, diagnosis, and treatment of STI's and vaginitis
- Referrals to Gynecology for abnormal pap
- Evaluation and treatment of woman's health concerns such as menstrual problems, PMS, urinary tract infections, vaginal infections, PCOS
- Contraceptive counseling, prescription, and management
- Emergency contraception (Plan B)
Annual Preventative Exam
A yearly gynecological assessment is recommended for all women, especially if they are sexually active and/or using hormonal medication.
Annual exams begin with an evaluation of the thyroid, breasts, and abdomen. The pelvic exam includes inspection of the vulva, vagina, cervix, and palpation of the uterus and ovaries. Pap test are added beginning at age 21. Screening for sexually transmitted infections, such as chlamydia and gonorrhea, can be done as well.
How do I prepare for my exam?
Plan your pelvic exam on a day you will not have your period. Woman should not douche. But if you do, don’t douche for at least 24 hours. Make a list of questions you want to ask your provider.
48 hours before your exam do not have intercourse or place tampons or medication in the vagina. This will ensure a more accurate assessment of the vaginal walls and the cervix.
What if I have an urgent problem?
Same day appointments are offered based on availability. Symptoms may include:
- Menstrual cramps
- Abdominal pain
- Severe PMS
- Irregular periods
- Abnormal discharge,
- Pain, swelling, or tenderness of the vulva or vagina
- Sores, lumps, or itching of the vulva or vagina
- Severe or unusual vaginal or pelvic pain
Most contraceptive methods requiring a prescription are available.
- Birth control pills
- NuvaRing (birth control vaginal ring)
- Ortho Evra Patch (birth control patch)
- Depo-Provera (injectable contraception)
- Diaphragm (non-hormonal barrier/spermicidal method)
We do not provide the IUD or Implanon (contraceptive implant), but will discuss the benefits and side effects with you and refer you to providers in the community who accept the UC Student Health Insurance. Please note: the fees and insurance coverage will be different when you receive care outside of University Health Services.
Getting started on birth control:
Woman requesting a birth control method that requires a prescription need to have a contraceptive consultation. An exam is not required to start birth control, but is recommended if you have been sexually active or over the age of 21.
Getting refills of birth control when prescribed by an outside clinician:
Written prescriptions for your birth control method from a non UHS clinician can be filled at the UHS Pharmacy. In order to comply with public health regulations, patients obtaining their prescriptions from UHS need to be under the care of a UHS provider. Prescriptions coming from a non UHS clinician may need to be rewritten by the UHS provider.
UHS must receive a copy of your recent pap smear (if applicable, within the past 12 months) from your clinician's office. This can be accomplished by:
- Faxing pap report to University Health Services at 513-556-1337
- Mailing pap report to:
University Health Services
University of Cincinnati
PO Box 210010
Cincinnati, OH 45221-0010
- Bringing in a copy of your pap report to University Health Services
If you do not have immediate access to your pap results, discuss this with a UHS nurse who will assist you with obtaining your results from your clinician. You will need to complete and sign a medical records release.
Once the pap report is obtained, you will need to schedule an appointment with a University Health Services provider for a Contraceptive Counseling office visit. This visit is covered for those who have UC Student Health Insurance. This can be done with an appointment at either UHS location.
At the time of your office visit, your blood pressure will be checked and you will be asked to complete a short oral contraceptive questionnaire. If the UHS provider determines there are no contraindications, you will be provided with a prescription for enough pill packs until your next pap is due.
Continuing Depo-Provera injections when prescribed by an outside clinician:
If you use Depo-Provera and are due for an injection, UHS will give that injection if you provide medical documentation of the date of the previous shot. A copy of your most recent PAP test (if applicable) is also appreciated. Your health care provider can fax it to us at:
- 513-556-1337 (UHS Lindner Location, Main Campus)
- 513-584-2222 (UHS Holmes Location, Medical Campus)
Please obtain your records to us before your visit so your care is not delayed.
Sexually Transmitted Infections
Many students seek out routine STI screening, even when they are not having symptoms, just to be sure they don’t have an STI. This is important, since many infections do not cause symptoms.
Please call for an appointment for evaluation if you are sexually active and experiencing symptoms such as:
- Unusual discharge
- Bleeding between periods or after sex
- Burning pain with urination
- Pelvic pain
Emergency Contraceptive Pills
Emergency contraception, also known as Plan B or the morning after pill helps prevent pregnancy after unprotected intercourse or after the failure of regular method birth control. It may be effective up 72 hours after unprotected sex, although effectiveness decreases the longer you wait.
Emergency contraception is now available without a prescription if you are 17 years or older. If you are 17 or under, Plan B requires a prescription. It can be purchased by both males and females. Proof of age is required.
HPV Vaccine (GARDASIL)
HPV (human papillomavirus) is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the U.S. Most HPV infections don’t cause any symptoms and go away on their own. However, the virus can cause genital warts, abnormal Pap tests results, and cervical cancer.
GARDASIL protects against four major types of possible 40 types of HPV. These include two types that cause about 70 percent of cervical cancer and two types that cause about 90 percent of genital warts. HPV vaccine can prevent most genital warts and most cases of cervical cancer.
The vaccine is safe and effective for males and females 9-26 years old, regardless of their sexual history. The HPV vaccine is given as a three-dose series, with the second and third dose given 2 and 6 months after the first dose.
Contact UHS nursing personnel to discuss cost and to schedule an appointment.
- UHS Lindner Location (Main Campus) 513-556-2564
- UHS Holmes Location (Medical Campus) 513-584-4457
Pregnancy Testing and Counseling
University Health Services offers pregnancy testing, options counseling and referrals. A urine pregnancy test is usually accurate one or two days after a missed period, or 14 days after unprotected intercourse. There are also several pregnancy test kits available for use at home. The advantage of using a kit at home would be convenience and privacy. The disadvantages are the chance of error and the cost.
If you are concerned about a positive result or think you may be pregnant, you may want to sort out your feelings and clarify your options. Please remember, you do have choices and we will help in any way we can, no matter what your choice.
Same day appointments based on availability are available for pregnancy testing and counseling.
Services for victims of sexual assault are provided by the University Health Services regardless of the duration of time since the assault occurred. If the sexual assault occurred within the last 72 hours, you will be encouraged to seek care at University Hospital where evidence can be collected.
This does not require you to make a police report. If you choose to be seen at University Health Services, evidence will not be collected. Concerns about sexually transmitted infections and pregnancy will be addressed, as well as a discussion of resources and a plan for follow-up care.
Other Campus Resources: If you are experiencing sexual assault, intimate partner violence, and/or stalking and would like to speak with someone, please contact one of the numbers below.