It burns when I pee. What do I do?

Sincerely,

Urination Consternation

Dear U.C.,

Go to Central Iowa Family Planning. It is the only clinic in Grinnell that offers STI and UTI testing and treatment. Everything is confidential, and they charge on a sliding scale based on income (i.e. students don’t have to pay much, if anything). CIFP also offers a variety of birth control methods; emergency contraception; HPV and Hepatitis vaccines; pregnancy testing, options, and services; general health care; LGBTQ services; and health education. They’re awesome. You could also get tested and treated for an STI or UTI at one of the doctor’s offices in town, but—depending on your insurance—you could end up paying quite a bit more for it. CIFP is located in the building directly behind/east of the Kum & Go nearest campus.

How effective are lambskin condoms?

Sincerely,

Latex Lamenter

Dear Lamenter,

Lambskin condoms—made from the cecum (intestine) of the lamb rather than the skin—are just as effective as latex condoms at preventing pregnancy. However, lambskin condoms do not protect against STI’s, including HIV. The material they are made from contains pores large enough for viruses to pass through but small enough to prevent sperm from passing. They should ONLY be used between partners who are absolutely sure of their status and are seeking a contraceptive method or new sexual experience. Lambskin condoms are said to simulate a condom-free sexual interaction and transfer body heat better than latex condoms. They are also compatible with oil-based lubricants, unlike latex condoms. We only know of one brand of true lambskin condoms currently on the market: Trojan Naturalamb. The two other options for latex-free condoms are those made from polyurethane and polyisoprene. Both are functionally as effective as latex condoms at preventing pregnancy and the transmission of STI’s, and they are often preferred to latex condoms for fit and feel. SHIC sells Lifestyles Non-Latex polyisoprene condoms and invites you to come try them out yourself and submit a review to [SHIC] for our Condom Review Book!

What are the symptoms of gonorrhea? 

Sincerely, 

STI’D

Dear STI’D,

Symptoms of gonorrhea are different for women and men. In fact, oftentimes, women do not experience any symptoms at all, or their symptoms are very mild. Symptoms in women may include pain and/or burning during urination, vaginal itching, increase in vaginal discharge, pelvic and abdominal pain and vaginal bleeding in between periods.

Men with gonorrhea may experience abnormal discharge that is typically white, green or yellow in color, burning during urination, and pain and/or swelling in one testicle.

Both men and women may also experience anal itching or discomfort. Rarely, women and men with gonorrhea will also experience a sore throat and/or pink eye.

Fortunately, gonorrhea can be easily treated with antibiotics, so if you are experiencing any symptoms, it is worth making an appointment with your nearest health professionals such as Central Iowa Family Planning!

Is birth control still effective if I take it late?

Sincerely, 

Tick-Tock

Dear Tick-Tock,

The time frame for taking the pill really depends on what type of birth control you are taking, so it is very important to check the packaging to see what type of pill you are on. Overall, the pill should be taken at the same time every day in order to ensure effectiveness, but some pills have stricter rules than others. Typically, progestin-only pills say that you must take the pill at the same time every day, give or take one or two hours, while combination pills (progestin and estrogen) are often said to have a 12-hour window for effectiveness. There are also different rules about what to do if you forget to take a pill based on what type of birth control you are on. Luckily, the Internet provides a plethora of resources to help in the event that you have missed a pill. Just make sure that if you are worried, you use an alternative form of birth control (i.e. a condom) while you wait for your next cycle to begin. If you need any condoms, or other fun things, stop by the SHIC between 5-8 Monday-Thursday, and 4-5:30 Friday-Sunday.