As awkward as some subjects may be for girls to discuss, it is important that we are all aware of the healthy ways to treat our bodies. Some of these subjects include the morning after pill, and our first gynecologist visits. All of these things are commonalities among collegiate women and are also things that students need to know. It is important to know the different facts about all of these things in case a variety of situations arise such as one of your friends crash dieting, or maybe another friend thinks that it is ok to use the morning after pill more than just a few times.
According to Mayoclinic.com, “Emergency contraception is an effective option for preventing pregnancy after unprotected sex, but it isn’t as effective as other methods of contraception and isn’t recommended for routine use. An estimated 1 to 2 out of 100 women who have unprotected sex one time and correctly use the morning-after pill will get pregnant. The morning-after pill doesn’t offer protection from sexually transmitted infections.”
Not only is the morning after pill not great to use more than once but also the pill itself has side effects that can make you feel ill and even harm your body. Some of these side effects, according to Mayoclinic.com include, but are not limited to: “nausea, vomiting, dizziness, fatigue, headaches and more.” Though these symptoms may only last a few days it is important to remember to consult a physician if anything gets worse.
As awkward as walking into the pharmacy to get a plan B pill is, something that is equally awkward is going to your gynecologist for the first time. Many girls have questions as to when they should have their first visit and if it is even necessary if you are not sexually active. It is suggested, according to about.com Women’s Health, that a teenage girls should visit an OB/GYN between the ages of 13 and 15 in order to become acquainted with the doctor and become familiar. During these ages it is not necessary to get a pelvic exam, as it is merely just an informational type of consultation.
Another question that many girls ask is when they should get their first pap smear and if they really need to get one if they are not sexually active. Mayoclinic.com says, “If you’re a virgin – meaning you haven’t had sexual (vaginal) intercourse – you probably don’t need a Pap smear. The purpose of a pap smear is to collect cells from your cervix, which is the lower end of your uterus. The cells collected in a Pap smear can detect if you have cervical cancer or suspicious cells that indicate you may develop cervical cancer.”
The question, however, still remains: when should you get your first pap smear? Dr. Judith Reichmann recommends in a 2006 article on MSNBC, “the current recommendation is to begin performing Pap smears either three years after the onset of sexual activity, or when the patient reaches age 21.”
It is very important to be aware of your body and what is healthy and right for it. As women, we have a lot of things we need to worry about and obtaining the knowledge about each question only helps us to know what we should do next. Every woman should be aware of the way her body works and what she needs to do to keep it healthy!