Sexual and Reproductive Health
You may have many questions about your sexual health and that's OK! If you're looking for education, ranging from abstinence or contraceptive options to sexually transmitted infections, Health Service is here to answer all of your questions. The Peer Assistants are another resource for information and education.
- Sexually Transmitted Infections
- Sexual Assault
- Other Sexual Health Issues
- Other Resources
- Nuva Ring
- Oral Contraceptives
- Paragard IUD
- Plan B (Emergency Contraception)
- Reality Female Condom
- Spermicide (firm/foam/suppositories)
- Today Sponge
Condoms are available free of charge in the Health Service office. Select oral contraceptives, Depo Provera and Nuva Ring are also available for a fee. Please call Health Service to schedule an appointment with a provider to discuss contraceptive options. Emergency contraception (Plan B) can be obtained during normal business hours.
Chlamydia trachomatis is a major infectious cause of human eye and genital disease. Not all infected people exhibit symptoms of infection. About half of all men and three-quarters of all women who have Chlamydia have no symptoms and do not know that they are infected. It can be serious but is easily cured with antibiotics if detected in time.
- Genital Herpes
The herpes simplex virus (HSV) is a virus that manifests itself in two common viral infections, each marked by painful, watery blisters in the skin or mucous membranes (such as the mouth or lips) or on the genitals. The disease is contagious, particularly during an outbreak, and is incurable with present technology.
- Genital HPV
Genital HPV infection is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) that is caused by human papillomavirus (HPV). Human papillomavirus is the name of a group of viruses that includes more than 200 different strains or types. More than 50 of these viruses are sexually transmitted, and they can infect the genital area of men and women including the skin of the penis, vulva (area outside the vagina), or anus, and the linings of the vagina, cervix, or rectum. Most people who become infected with HPV will not have any symptoms and will clear the infection on their own.
Ninety-nine percent of cervical cancer cases in the United States are caused by human papillomavirus (HPV). Gardasil is a vaccine developed which prevents four strains (types) of HPV. Gardasil is recommended for women ages 9 - 26.
Gonorrhea is among the most common sexually-transmitted diseases in the world. Gonorrhea increases the risk of passing on or becoming infected with HIV (the virus that causes AIDS). This is likely due to weakening of the mucosal surface secondary to the gonorrhea infection. Gonorrhea might also increase the amount of HIV present in semen and other genital secretions. Gonorrhea is curable with treatment.
Human immunodeficiency virus or HIV is a retrovirus that causes acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), a condition in humans in which the immune system begins to fail. World Health Organization (WHO) estimate that AIDS has killed more than 25 million people since it was first recognized on December 1, 1981, making it one of the most destructive pandemics in recorded history. If untreated, eventually most HIV-infected individuals develop AIDS and die; however about one in ten remain healthy for many years, with no noticeable symptoms. Treatment with anti-retrovirals, where available, increases the life expectancy of people infected with HIV.
The route of transmission of syphilis is almost invariably by sexual contact; however, there are examples of direct contact infections. The signs and symptoms of syphilis are countless. Syphilis can be treated with penicillin or other antibiotics.
Sometimes referred to as "trich" or the ping pong disease, is a common sexually transmitted disease that affects 2 to 3 million Americans yearly. Trichomonas is primarily an infection of the genitourinary tract; the urethra is the most common site of infection in men, and the vagina is the most common site of infection in women.
If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, this is information about what you can do.
If you need immediate help, first, get to a safe place... this can be your room, a friend’s room or any comfortable place. Your immediate safety is the most important thing.
Gustavus has a trained Sexual Assault Response Team (SART), consisting of Gustavus staff, available to respond to students who have experienced sexual assault. They are available to provide support, information and assist with resource referrals. They will keep the circumstances of the assault as confidential as possible.
A member of the team can be reached 24 hours a day by contacting 507-933-6868. Ask to speak with a Sexual Assault Response Team member (SART).
Sexual Assault Response Team members
|Jill VanOsdol ’10||Career Counselor, Employer Relations Coordinator||507-933-7524|
|Kelli Miller||Clinical Team Lead||507-933-7630|
|Kristen Nelson ’06|
|Patricia Dawson||Sart Team Leader and Clinical Support||507-933-7630|
|Seán Easton||Associate Professor and Director||507-933-7640|
|Sara Sletten||Administrative Coordinator||507-933-6018|
|Yurie Hong||Associate Professor||507-933-7160|
Off Campus Resources
- CADA (24 hour Crisis Resource for Domestic and Sexual Violence) 507-625-8688 or 1-800-477-0466
- St Peter Police Department: (507) 931-1550
- Nicollet County Sheriff: (507) 931-1570
What to do if you are sexually assaulted:
- As mentioned above, always get to a safe place
- If you think you want evidence collected, do not bathe, shower, brush your teeth or go to the bathroom. This is important for preserving evidence.
- If you want to have a pill to prevent pregnancy (Plan B is available in Health Services or at some pharmacies) you should take the medication within 72 hours.
- If you are concerned or would like STI testing-staff in Health Services can assist with this or local clinics as well.
- If you think you want to make an official report on campus or police report, assistance will be provided by a SART member or someone from Crime Victim Services.
- Get support. No matter what decisions you make, you have done the best you can. You deserve to have all resources available.
- Urinary Tract Infection
Symptoms include discomfort or pain at the urethral meatus or a burning sensation throughout the urethra, frequent urination, bloody urine, cloudy and foul-smelling urine.
If you are experiencing symptoms that include severe itching, burning, soreness, irritation of the vagina and/or vulva, along with an abnormal discharge that may be accompanied by an odor, please schedule an appointment with a provider for proper diagnosis and treatment.