Sexual Health Offerings for Students
Confidential pregnancy testing is available at health services. The pregnancy test (urine or blood-based) can detect a pregnancy 14 days following intercourse, even before a late period. Unrestricted pregnancy options counseling is also available with our medical providers to discuss all pregnancy options including prenatal care, abortion, or adoption. Referrals to off-campus local, compassionate providers are also offered if needed.
The SS2U program is a way for Vikings to have quick access to supplies for safer sex. All items are delivered in discreet packaging right to your mailbox within 5-7 days! Safer sex supplies available include a variety of external condoms, lubricants, dental dams, finger cots, and consultations about internal condoms.
A nurse practitioner from Counseling and Health Services will confidentially receive your request and package the items for you. Please use the online form to request which items you would like and in what quantity. Make sure if you are living on campus you enter your campus mailbox address for the most convenient delivery. We deliver to active Salem State University students living off campus as well.
Please note if you need condoms faster than 5-7 days, free condoms are located in containers in all of the dorms and each RA has a supply, and we have them outside of counseling and health services in Ellison Campus Center.
Physical exams and gynecological exams are individualized and based on the age of the patient and their personal and family health history. The first Pap Smear is recommended for people with a uterus, cervix, and vagina at age 21. Chlamydia screening is recommended on a yearly basis for all sexually active people under the age of 25. An annual exam may include a blood pressure check, cholesterol and blood sugar tests, breast, pelvic exam, and PAP smear for people with vaginas, testicular exam for people with penises, and screening for sexually transmitted infections for all sexually active people.
Evaluation of other gynecologic and sexual health concerns is also available and could include evaluation of the any of the following symptoms: abnormal vaginal discharge, vaginal pain, irregular periods, pain with urination, penile discharge, genital lesion, etc.
Free condoms and dental dams are located outside of our front door for students to access anytime the Ellison Campus Center building is unlocked. If you need lube, or are interested in trying different types of condoms, please ask!
Our providers can discuss all different types of birth control with you including hormonal and non-hormonal options. Options we can prescribe for you include the pill, the ring, the patch, the shot, the implant, and if you are interested in an IUD we can refer you to a local clinic that can insert them.
As a reminder, anyone with a uterus can become pregnant, even if you are on gender affirming hormones or haven’t had your period in a while. This is why it is super important to talk with us about contraception
We recommend visiting Bedsider and exploring all of the contraception.
Health Services often carries contraception options in our office, if you would prefer not to use your insurance to pickup your birth control from the pharmacy. Depending on our stock, we usually carry a few different types of the pill, the NuvaRing, and the Depo Provera. Payment is by Clipper Cash using a sliding scale.
Please book an appointment with us to talk about starting birth control
Depo Provera injections are by appointment. If this is a follow-up injection, please bring documentation of your last injection (if it was off campus) with you to your appointment. Make sure to pick up your Depo-Provera if you are purchasing it from the pharmacy.
If we’ve seen you for a contraception appointment, we are happy to refill your contraception for you. Please call our office at 978.542.6413 or send us a secure message on your health portal. Please allow for 2 business days to be completed b your provider. We need to see you for an appointment at least once per year, and possibly sooner depending on your individual health history.
If we haven’t seen you before and you are already on a contraceptive, please make an appointment with us to discuss your refills!
We sell Plan B and Ella at the front desk of CHS. Ask for “the pink sheet” to fill out the request form.
- Plan B is $10 Clipper Cash, Ella is $15 Clipper Cash
Who should take Emergency Contraception?
- If you are not already on a method of contraception
- You forgot to use a condom, or the condom broke
- You’re not sure if a condom was used
- You were forced to have sex against your will
When should I take it?
- You should take it as soon as possible after unprotected sex. The sooner you take it, the more effective it is and the less likely you are to become pregnant!
Should I take Plan B or Ella?
- Plan B: Works better if taken within 72 hours, and works better the sooner you take it. Studied in people up to 160 pounds.
- Ella: Works within 5 days, better if you weigh over 160 pounds, but not studied above 200 pounds.
- Need help deciding? Book an appointment with a nurse practitioner, or take this quiz to get instant help
Are there other options?
- You can have an IUD placed as a form of emergency contraception. The closet clinic for this is HealthQ (link to healthq.org).
People experiencing urinary tract infection symptoms (pain with urination, increased frequency of urination, blood in urine, fever, and/or abdominal or back pain) can receive same-day treatment through Health Services. You should schedule the appointment through your health portal or call health services. Non-UTI symptoms such as abnormal vaginal discharge, can schedule an appointment with a medical provider and expect to be seen within 1-2 week(s).
Testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections is available at Health Services to all students. These tests can either be billed to your insurance or you can choose to not use your insurance and pay the out of pocket costs for the tests on your Clippercard. HIV testing is $15, Syphillis testing is $5, and chlamydia and gonorrhea testing is $75. Other STI testing would require insurance or further discussion with your medical provider at health services.
Counseling and health services offers DIY STI testing kits, a way to perform testing for chlamydia and gonorrhea without an appointment! These kits are located in the Ellison Campus center in a basket in front of the health services door, 107. You can also request a kit be mailed to your on or off-campus address via SS2U.
Testing for chlamydia and gonorrhea is recommended at least once a year for those that are sexually active or more often if you have a new partner or develop symptoms. Most people infected with chlamydia or gonorrhea have no symptoms, but if you are or would like additional STI testing such as for HIV or syphilis, please make an appointment with Counseling and Health Services through your online portal or call 978.542.6413.
PrEP is used by HIV-negative individuals that are at high risk of getting HIV. It is a medication that can prevent HIV in addition to other ways you may be practicing safe sexual behaviors. If you are having trouble taking steps to lower the chances of getting HIV when having sex or want to do more to lower your chances, PrEP is right for you! Prep can reduce risk of HIV as much as 92% and works best when combined with other prevention strategies such as condoms.
PEP is a prescribed treatment that can protect you after exposure to HIV either through sex or by sharing needles. This treatment involves taking a full HIV regimen daily for 28 days and should be started as soon as possible after exposure, but must be started within 72 hours.
Schedule an appointment with health services to discuss these treatments with your provider!
As of July 1, 2018, patients in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts now have additional privacy protections available to keep private healthcare information from being shared. If you are on another person’s health insurance (like a parent or spouse), you can now submit a request to keep information about your health care services confidential. This new law changes how the Explanation of Benefits (EOB) statement, which is generated after a health visit and sent to the insurance subscriber and unintentionally compromises patient confidentiality, can now be redirected. Learn more.
Health services works closely with Massachusetts Department of Public Health Sexual and Reproductive Health Program to offer unrestricted comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services. Your sexual health is an important part of your overall physical and emotional wellbeing and we want to make sure you have the resources you need.
Local, trusted off-campus sexual and reproductive health providers:
- Planned Parenthood
- Financial assistance
- At CHS, we offer billing through insurance or out-of-pocket options for STI testing, medications, and birth control. Talk to our NPs about a sliding scale.
- The clinics listed above often have sliding scale prices for assistance with healthcare.
Family planning is a term covers your decision to start a family, or not!
No matter your gender or your body parts, it is important to think about if you’d like to have children or not, and when you’d like to have them.
Please come into health services to talk about ways you can prevent becoming pregnant or getting someone pregnant, or how to help your chances of pregnancy.
Free menstrual products including pads and tampons are stocked in the bathrooms at CHS. We keep bags in the restroom so students can take what they need.
You can also find free menstrual products in the food pantry.
Each dormitory is supplied with free menstrual products. If you aren’t sure where to find them, as your RA (resident assistant)!