Birth Control & STI Testing
Robbinsdale Clinic P.A.
There are several options for protecting yourself from unplanned pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, including HIV/AIDS. It is important to be informed on the different forms of prevention and what they protect against.
Contraceptives work by preventing a sperm from fertilizing an egg. The two main types of contraception are barrier methods and hormonal methods.
Barrier methods physically prevent sperm from swimming into the uterus and fertilizing the woman’s egg. Hormonal methods alter a woman’s hormonal cycle to prevent fertilization.
Various methods of regular contraception include:
- Intrauterine Device (IUD)
- Depo-Provera Injection
- Nexplanon (birth control implant)
- Oral Contraceptives, The Patch, and Vaginal Ring
- Emergency Contraception
- Tubal Ligation for Women
- Vasectomy for Men
Birth control failure or unprotected intercourse happens, and when it does, emergency contraception (also known as “the morning after pill”) can help prevent pregnancy.
Emergency contraception works mainly by stopping the ovary from releasing an egg, and no ovulation means no fertilization. However, emergency contraception is not 100% effective. If taken within 72 hours after unprotected sex, it can reduce the risk of pregnancy by 89%. If taken within 24 hours of unprotected sex, it is 95% effective in reducing the risk of pregnancy.
Emergency contraception is NOT the same thing as the abortion pill and does not cause an abortion. It will not stop an established pregnancy and won’t harm an existing pregnancy. Emergency contraception doesn’t end a pregnancy — it prevents one.
Individuals who are sexually active face the risk of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), which are spread through semen or vaginal fluids, blood or skin-to-skin contact. We also offer treatment for most infections, either in-clinic, by referral, or by prescribing medication. An STI test will require us to collect a urine, blood or vaginal swab sample, depending on the infection.
Common STIs include:
- Chlamydia (Bacteria) Most people have no symptoms at all. Treatment can prevent the infection from harming your ability to get pregnant in the future. It is treated with antibiotic pills.
- Gonorrhea (Bacteria) Not as common as chlamydia. It, too, needs treatment to prevent it affecting your fertility. It is treated with antibiotics.
- Hepatitis A (Virus) Spread by getting something (usually food) that has feces (stool) on it in your mouth.
- Hepatitis B (Virus) Most people under 30 have been vaccinated against this virus. If you haven’t been vaccinated for Hepatitis B, contact your doctor.
- Hepatitis C (Virus) This is spread by contaminated needles and bodily fluids. There is no vaccine for Hepatitis C but newer treatments have become very effective if you have Hepatitis C.
- Herpes (Virus) May cause sores around the mouth or blisters on the genitals, but most people have no symptoms. Herpes is spread through close skin-to-skin contact, kissing or by having vaginal, anal, or oral sex. There is no cure for herpes, but medication is available to reduce symptoms and make it less likely that you will spread the infection to your partner.
- HIV (Virus) Spread by blood, vaginal fluids, semen or breast milk. There is no vaccine, but there is treatment and preventative medications.
- Human Papillomavirus (HPV) / Genital Warts (Virus) The most common STI, at least 50% of sexually active people get it at some point in their lives. Most often it goes away without causing harm but can cause genital warts and some cancers (cervical, throat, rectal) if left untreated. There is a vaccine for people of all genders and identities ages 11 to 45.
- Syphilis (Bacteria) A treatable infection that is more common in men who have male partners. It has serious effects if not treated. It is treated with antibiotic injections.
- Trichomoniasis (Parasite) Can cause abnormal vaginal discharge, irritation in the penis, or no symptoms at all. It can be treated with pills.