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Menstrual, Sexual, and Reproductive Health Resources

Menstrual Equity

About Menstrual Equity

Remember not all women menstruate and not all menstruators are women. Because of this, the term feminine hygiene is not a correct term to use. Instead use:

      • Menstrual Hygiene
      • Period Products
      • Menstrual Products

Menstrual/period poverty: Lack of access to menstrual products, sanitation, and education

Sustainable menstruation: Being mindful of the negative effects disposable sanitary products have on our environment so using alternative reusable products instead (menstrual cups, reusable period underwear/pads, etc.)

Health conditions can impact menstruation

*Disclaimer: This is for educational purposes only, please do not self-diagnose, see a gynecologist or specialist if you have concerns*

  • Endometriosis: When tissue similar to the tissue that normally lines the inside of the uterus grows outside the uterus. Endometriosis can cause heavy and painful periods, as well as, bowel, bladder or other organ dysfunction, pain with intercourse, inflammation, scarring and adhesions, and infertility.

  • Adenomyosis: When the inner lining of the uterus breaks through the muscle wall of the uterus. Adenomyosis can cause heavy and painful periods, bowel, bladder or other organ dysfunction, pain with intercourse, etc.
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS): A hormonal disorder causing enlarged ovaries with small cysts on the outer edge can cause infrequent or prolonged periods
  • Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD): Severe irritability, depression, and/or anxiety in the weeks before your period starts
  • Uterine fibroids: Noncancerous growths of the uterus that can cause heavy and painful periods

Sexual Health

If you choose to have sex, use the following strategies to ensure it’s safe sex!

Condoms

Use condoms every time you have oral, anal, or vaginal sex. Know where to get condoms and how to use them correctly. Aside from abstinence, condoms are the only contraceptive method that also protects you from sexually transmitted infections.

 

Contraception

Choose a birth control method that works for you and your partner(s).

 

 

Vaccination

Get the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine to protect you and your partner from genital warts and cancer.

 

 

Communication

Talk with your partner(s) about healthy sexuality, including pregnancy prevention, STI testing, and consent. Learn how to build and maintain a healthy relationship.

 

 

Testing

Get tested regularly for sexually transmitted infections. Many STIs do not cause symptoms, so getting tested is the only way to know for sure if you or your partner have an STI. Make an appointment at the Student Health Center for low-cost STI testing.

 

 

Sober

Avoid using alcohol or drugs before having sex. If you are impaired, you may be more likely to take risks, like not using a condom. Plus, you are less able to give and receive consent.

 

 

Resources

Resources:

  • Centers for Disease Control & Prevention: An overview of a various sexual health topics. Start here for data and general facts.
  • The Center for Young Women’s Health–This page offers specialized information about the sexual health needs of women, including a review of contraception options, guidelines for lesbian sexual health, and details about sexually transmitted diseases and infections.
  • Sexuality and You – A Canadian website that takes a comprehensive look at sexuality.
  • Guttmacher Institute – A wealth of information about sex from one of the premier sexual and reproductive health research and policy institutions in the U.S.
  • Bedsider.org – Provides information on birth control methods, e-mail or text birth control reminders, testimonials and more.
  • Emergency Contraception – Besider.org webpage that provides general information about types of EC and various details
  • CDC Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention  Frequently asked questions, up to date information, testing resources, hoaxes and rumors.  Exceptional site to get accurate information.
  • Go Ask Alice! – Ask a question or review the questions others have asked. The public health and health promotion professional team at Columbia University provides the most up-to-date information and research on various health topics.