All posts by Carol, RN

Carol, RN, has been practicing nursing for over 50 years, the last four with First Care Clinic. Carol loves working in nursing! When she is not at First Care Clinic, Carol enjoys spending time with her children and grandchildren, traveling and playing piano.

7 Reasons to NOT Have Sex on Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is all about romance. Roses, chocolate and sex are big items of the day. But if you’re not in a long term committed relationship (marriage), you would do well to think again about having sex to celebrate the day. Stick with the roses, chocolate and a romantic dinner.

Here are seven reasons why postponing sex until you’re ready to say, “I do” is a good idea:

  1. Sex can become a substitute for healthy communication. When you decide to wait a while before you’re sexually active, you give yourself and your partner time to learn how to communicate well. You’ll have space to learn how to navigate conflict without leaving the emotional connection behind. According to Mark Regenerus, Phd, couples who “prioritize sex promptly at the outset of a relationship often find their relationships underdeveloped when it comes to the qualities that make relationships stable and spouses reliable and trustworthy.”
  2. Having sex with a person develops deep bonds in your brain. Having sex with one person and then having that relationship end and starting again and again hurts. It hurts emotionally and part of this is due to the connections your brain has formed.
  3. If you wait to have sex, you won’t have other memories to deal with when you enter the bedroom after you get married. Further, a 2010 study reported in the Journal of Family Psychology that couples who wait until marriage are happier with the quality of sex than couples who have intercourse before their vows.
  4. Refraining from sex lets you enjoy life without the fear of an unintended pregnancy. An estimated 15% of couples with “typical” condom use will get pregnant within the first year. This is reduced to 3% for “perfect” condom use. (Dr. Fitch on Condom Effectiveness: 2013 Update)
  5. Without sex, you are free from the fear of sexually transmitted diseases or infections. STDs are at an all-time high. According to the CDC, Young people aged 15-24 acquire half of all new STDS. Further, one in four sexually active adolescent females has an STD, such as chlamydia or HPV.” While “perfect” condom usage may reduce risk, for STD prevention there is a significant difference between always use and typical use. Most research indicates that condoms are ineffective or substantially less effective at reducing STD risk if they are not used for every act of intercourse. According to the CDC, the most reliable ways to avoid transmission of STDs are to abstain from sexual activity, or to be in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with an uninfected partner.
  6. You know that your partner loves you for who you are and not for what you can do for him or her. The man (or woman) you want to be with will respect you for sticking to your standards.
  7. No regrets. Rarely does someone say, “I wish I would have had sex with my boyfriend/girlfriend sooner.” But it is common for a person to wish they had waited longer. Some people wish they’d waited to be sexually active until they were with the person who would cherish, love and respect them for the rest of their lives. Researchers from the 2010 study said “the longer a couple waited to become sexually involved, the better that sexual quality, relationship communication, relationship satisfaction and perceived relationship stability was in marriage …”
Be mine: Roses and chocolate
This Valentine’s Day what if he’s ready for sex, but you’d rather stick with the chocolate and flowers? You have the freedom to choose.

This Valentine’s Day, what if he’s ready for sex but you’re not? You have the freedom to choose.

In a healthy relationship, both people seek to be friends. They focus on getting to know each other and enjoying shared activities along the way. Physical involvement follows relational and emotional connectedness. Sex is treasured and reserved for a lifelong committed relationship.

You have the freedom to choose sex now or to save sex, beginning today, for the person who commits to love and cherish you for the rest of your life.

To talk with someone confidentially, call or text us at 608-259-1605. If you are concerned about your sexual health or want to talk, contact us. Make your appointment for STI/STD testing for women in Madison, Wisconsin today.

Looking for Mr. Right?

Are you looking for “Mr. Right?”

Often we think that if we just find the right person, life will be great. But what if Mr. Right turns out not to be so “right” after all? Or what if he’s mostly looking for what he can get from you? And truth be told, you’re looking for what you can get from him too?

Men might be looking for sex. Women might be looking for companionship and intimacy. Maybe you’re looking for sex too. Or maybe sometimes you feel used and like you’re missing something.

Everyone wants healthy relationships, but sometimes we are not sure how to get there or what a healthy relationship looks like.

First, you need to be safe. If you’re in an unsafe relationship, get help. Call 9-1-1 in an emergency – or text us if you need help in figuring out where to go or how to get out.

Second, instead of focusing on looking for the right person, or holding on to him no matter what, focus on becoming the right person. Are you someone you would want to spend time with? Are you trustworthy? Work on communicating in a way that is loving and truthful.

Third, create healthy boundaries. You are valuable because you are a human being. Do not just go along with what someone else wants because you’re trying to hold onto the relationship. If you want to wait for sex, don’t go to his apartment at the end of a date.

Fourth, consider your values and goals. Don’t compromise your values and goals for a relationship.

In a healthy relationship, both people seek to be friends. They want to get to know each other and enjoy shared activities along the way. Physical involvement follows relational and emotional connectedness. Sex is treasured and reserved for a lifelong committed relationship.

Sometimes in a relationship, this ordering may get turned upside down. Early physical involvement may stunt the growth of emotional intimacy. Sex may substitute for learning more about each other’s personality, goals and character. When conflict or pain arises, it may be easier to turn to sex than to work through issues and grow together.

It does not have to be this way. You have the freedom to choose sex now or to save sex, beginning today, for the person who commits to love and cherish you for the rest of your life.

Interested in talking with someone about this? Text or call us at 608-259-1605.

Think You Might Be Pregnant?

Being pregnant can be an exciting, scary or overwhelming time – especially if you think you might be pregnant and weren’t intending to become pregnant right now. Even if you feel like your world is a bit out of control, there are people who can help you figure out whether or not you’re pregnant and help you sort through your options.

The most common sign of being pregnant is missing your period. However, this sign can be misleading if your periods are irregular.

You could also experience nausea, with or without vomiting. This is often called morning sickness, but can occur anytime day or night.

Your breasts may also feel sensitive and sore because of early pregnancy hormonal changes.

You may need to use the bathroom more often and feel unusually tired or moody.

You could also experience bloating, light spotting or cramping, constipation, food aversions and even nasal congestion.

You could have many of these signs and not be pregnant. Many of these signs could also be symptoms of being sick or under stress or could mean your period is about to start. And you can be pregnant without experiencing many of these signs of pregnancy.

If you have had a missed period or think you may be pregnant the only way to know for sure is to have a pregnancy test. Call or text now to make an appointment at First Care Clinic.

Even if you’ve already taken a home pregnancy test, you should contact your health care provider or our clinic to have your pregnancy confirmed so you can begin getting the care you need.

 Wondering what to do next?

If you think you might be pregnant, we can help you find out for sure. Our clinic provides everything free of charge and confidentially – pregnancy testing, consultation on your pregnancy options, ultrasound as indicated and STD testing and treatment for women.

You will have the results of your pregnancy test during your appointment.

If you are pregnant, you have three options:

  • Parenting – Continuing the pregnancy and raising your child
  • Adoption – Continuing the pregnancy and letting someone else parent the child
  • Abortion – Ending the pregnancy now by having an abortion

We can help you explore these options.

We will listen to you as you talk about your feelings, values and fears. We can help you think through who your support people are and talk about resources that are available to you. And we’ll answer questions you might have.

Call or text us today to get started.

Wondering how to tell your parents?

This is a common question. You may be nervous about how your parents would react to the news of your pregnancy.

Everyone’s parents are different. However, parents may initially be disappointed but often become more supportive than you may expect. Your parents could become your biggest ally.

This is big news. Plan to have a conversation when you and your parent(s) have time to talk and aren’t already upset or really stressed about something. And probably not too late at night either so they’re not really tired.

If you’d like help in talking through how to talk with your parents, we can help. Call or text us and we’ll set an appointment for you to meet with a nurse or patient advocate.

You don’t have to walk through an unintended pregnancy alone. Talk with someone you trust or contact us and we can help. That’s what we’re here for.

Questions about STDs?

Do you have questions about STDs? Or wonder if you might have one and not know it?

April is STD Awareness Month. There is good reason to be aware of the risks associated with sexually transmitted diseases and infections. Infection rates in the United States continue to climb. Young people aged 15-24 account for about half of the nearly 20 million new sexually transmitted infections each year, according to the CDC.

The approximately 1.5 million cases of chlamydia reported in 2015 represent the highest number of annual cases of any condition ever reported to CDC. Substantial increases were also seen among reported cases of gonorrhea and syphilis.

Also according to the CDC, women and infants are at significant risk for long-term consequences of STDs. For some women maintaining the relationship with her partner may take a higher priority than STD risk reduction, thereby affecting her sexual and reproductive health, as well as the health of her unborn baby if she is pregnant.

So what can you do about it?

First, know the facts.

A few answers to common questions:

Q. I don’t have any symptoms. Can I still have an STD or STI?

A. Yes. While you may have symptoms such as vaginal itching, vaginal discharge or red sores with an STD, some common STDs, such as chlamydia and gonorrhea, often do not have symptoms. Most people who have chlamydia do not know it.

Q. How does someone get an STD or STI?

A. You get an STD or STI by having sex with someone who has that sexually transmitted disease or infection. Having sex means having anal, oral or vaginal contact.

Q. Can I prevent an STD by washing or douching after sex?

A. No.

Q. How do I know if I should get tested for an STD?

A. If you are sexually active, you should be tested. See the CDC’s guidelines for how often to get tested for various sexually transmitted infections. First Care Clinic offers comprehensive STD testing for women free of charge. Call or text 608-259-1605 to make an appointment to get tested.

Q. What do I do if I have an STD?

A. Many STDs are curable and all are treatable. First Care Clinic or your health care provider can recommend and prescribe specific treatment for you.

There is good news. STDs are preventable. There are things you can do to avoid getting or passing on an STD.

The surest way to avoid STDs is to not have sex. To reduce your risk, agree to have sex with only one person who agrees to only have sex with you. Read the CDC’s “Lowdown” infographic for more about how to prevent STDs.