Tag Archives: Madison

Ashamed to Ask About STDs?

Perhaps you’ve heard that STDs are a serious and growing problem. Maybe you know that young people between the ages of 15-24 account for half of the 20 million new STD infections that occur in the U.S. each. And you might have heard that one in four sexually active adolescent females has an STD.

But you probably still feel like it can’t happen to you. Most of us do.

Ashamed to ask about STDs?
Nearly 9 in 10 young women don’t think they’re vulnerable to getting STDs. But statistics show they are. (Photo by Daniel Spase on Unsplash.)

Nearly 9 in 10 young women don’t think they’re vulnerable to getting chlamydia or gonorrhea. But statistics say they are.

We don’t like to talk about STDs. And we usually feel like we don’t have to. Most people who have chlamydia don’t know it since chlamydia often has no symptoms. It’s the most commonly reported sexually transmitted disease in the United States. In Wisconsin alone, there were nearly 27,000 cases of chlamydia in 2016, a 10% increase over 2015. And while there were only about 6,500 cases of gonorrhea, that was a 24% increase over the previous year.

But it’s easy to ignore the numbers. Who wants to ask about getting tested when they feel fine?

But did you know?

Cases of gonorrhea, chlamydia and syphilis are at an all-time high. Left untreated, STDs can cause:

  • Increased risk of giving or getting HIV
  • Long-term pelvic and/or abdominal pain
  • Inability to get pregnant or pregnancy complications

Testing is the only way to know if you have an STD.

During STD Awareness Month, we are spreading the word about preventing STDs. The good news is, STDs are preventable.

What can you do? Some tips from the CDC:

  • First, get tested. First Care Clinic provides free STI/STD testing for women in Madison, Wisconsin. Call or text 608-259-1605 or click to request an appointment. If you’re looking for STD testing for men, one option is Dane County public health.
  • The surest way to avoid STDs is to not have sex. To reduce your risk, agree to have sex with only one, committed, long-term partner who agrees to only have sex with you. Make sure you both get tested to know for sure that neither of you has an STD. Talk with your partner about STDs before having sex. This might not be a comfortable conversation but having this conversation is important.
  • Get vaccinated for HPV. HPV is the most common STD. The HPV vaccine is safe, effective and can help you avoid HPV-related health problems like genital warts and some cancers.
  • If you test positive, getting an STD is not the end! Many STDS are curable and all are treatable.

Have further questions? Check out “Questions about STDs?” or read the CDC’s lowdown on STD prevention.

Request an Appointment

Figuring Out What’s Best for You

Chloe* found First Care Clinic, saw that it had great reviews, and tells of her experience with welcoming and helpful staff. She talks about walking through best and worst case scenario and sorting out her options.

Request an AppointmentIf you think you might be pregnant and are looking for someone to talk to — someone who won’t judge you but will help you process your thoughts and feelings — listen to Chloe’s story and come see us.

If you think you might be pregnant in the Madison, Wisconsin area, text or call us at 608-259-1605 to make an appointment – all of our services are free of charge.

Request an Appointment

 

*Name changed to protect privacy.

5 Things to Consider When Making a Pregnancy Decision

If you think you might be pregnant and you weren’t planning on it, your mind may be swirling with all kinds of thoughts.

“I can’t be pregnant. Not now.” “I was on birth control. How is this possible?” “How can I care for another child?” “What about finishing school?” “How will I tell my parents?” “I can’t afford a child right now.”

Woman looking at pregnancy test
Pregnant and not sure what to do? Take time to consider these 5 things before making a decision about your pregnancy.
An unintended pregnancy can present many challenges. But you will want to take time to consider a number of things before making a decision about your pregnancy.
  1. Are you pregnant?
    • Are your symptoms or a home pregnancy test indicating that you are pregnant?
    • Before making any decision, get your pregnancy confirmed by a medical professional. An ultrasound can tell if the baby has a heartbeat and how far along you are.
  2. Consider your options. If you are pregnant, you have three options.
    • Abortion: Abortion is often seen as an option of necessity. It is not a choice that most women want to make but they feel that they don’t have other options. Learn more.
    • Adoption: Adoption can be a very difficult choice to make. However, making an adoption plan can be a good option for women who are not ready to parent and are also not comfortable choosing abortion. Find out more about adoption.
    • Parenting: Some women who initially consider abortion decide that they can parent their child after considering their feelings, values and fears as well as resources and support that are available. Find out how we can help.
  3. Consider your thoughts, values and resources.
    • It can be helpful in sorting out your thoughts to make a list of your options and the benefits and risks of each option.
    • Think about what you value. Looking at your list, rate how important each benefit and risk is to you.
    • Think about and write down any resources and support you know about that may support each of your options. How might the important people in your life support you in your choice? What community resources are available to you?
      • If you feel you do not have enough support, discuss your options with a trusted person. Our nurses and patient advocates can help you with this. Text or call us.
      • Is anyone in your life pressuring you to make a certain decision? It will be best for you – and for the long term health of your relationships – if you can both respectfully communicate your thoughts and feelings.
    • You will want to consider whether you want not make this decision alone or share the decision.
      • Regardless of who you involve in the decision, it will be best if you can make it freely – without feeling pressured to make a certain choice.
      • We can offer a listening ear to the person or people you are involving in your decision.
      • The father of your baby may find it helpful to meet with our Fatherhood Specialist or a male client advocate. Text or call us to find out more.
    • If you feel pressure from others to make a specific choice, find someone to help you and the others involved. Our nurses and patient advocates are available to meet with you. We can help you navigate the challenges you are facing. Text or call us.Request an Appointment
  1. Learn all you can about each of your options.
    • Abortion: Do you know what abortion procedures are available to you? Do you understand the potential risks of abortion? You have the right to give fully informed consent and to assess risks and side effects.
    • Parenting: Do you know what risks are associated with continuing the pregnancy? What community resources are available for pregnant moms and moms with infants and other children? What are the responsibilities of the father of the baby?
    • Adoption: Do you understand the options available with making an adoption plan? There are now many options for adoption. An adoption can be open or closed. You may get together with your child regularly and send birthday cards and gifts or choose to live life separately. Find out more.
  2. Know your rights: In the state of Wisconsin, you have the right to make this decision. No one else, including your parents or the father of the baby, can legally force you to have an abortion. The decision you make must be voluntary and non-coerced. If you are feeling pressured to get an abortion you don’t want, get help. Contact us or call the police.

As you attempt to cope with the complex emotions associated with an unintended pregnancy, it can become more difficult to think clearly about your options. Come in and talk about how you are feeling. We can help to answer some of the questions that are going around in your head. Text or call us today.

Request an Appointment