Student health services and contraceptives

Marjan Hussein
Staff Writer

Student Health Services provides health education, wellness services and office appointments to address al healthcare needs of the college student population at MNSU.

Student Health Services is located in the Carkoski Commons. Jodi Egeland, Medical Director of SHS states that SHS is open to students for all healthcare needs including wellness physicals for sports participants, DOT (Directly Observed Treatment) or women’s annual exams to begin birth control or contraceptives.

SHS is comprised of the Health Education Department, Alcohol Education & Sanctions, plus a Medical Clinic that has a full-service on-site pharmacy and lab.

All these amenities are tendered to cater for the medical needs of MNSU students. 

Egeland states that the Health Education Department of the SHS presents educational health & wellness topics on campus, in addition to training students to provide peer to peer health and wellness education as well as outreach.

The department also offers a relaxation station for students and alcohol education for those identified violating alcohol & drug policy on campus. 

The medical clinic, lab and pharmacy provide full service medical and wellness visits for all registered college students providing both prescription as well as non-prescription medications all at a low cost to students.

Students can learn more about the SHS by visiting their website www.mnsu.edu/shs or calling the front desk at (507) 389-6276 for information on medical issues.

College life has a lot to offer and making irresponsible decisions is highly likely for college students, especially during the thrill of the moment.

College is a time for exploration and if not done with caution it can lead to dire circumstances. Egeland states that a contraceptive is a device or method used to prevent pregnancy.

Contraceptives do have other roles besides preventing pregnancy, such as regulating a women’s menstrual cycle, reducing cramping & heavy bleeding, improving acne for some, and decreasing unwanted facial hair in addition to preventing sexually transmitted diseases Egeland says.

Egeland sheds light on three common misconceptions about contraceptives one of them being pills that are believed to cause weight gain.

She states that OCPs (Oral Contraceptive Pills) do not cause weight gain, weight gained by a patient when they are on the pills is likely due to external factors. Regular exercise, a healthy diet and lifestyle are vital factors for patients on the pill.

The second misconception is that IUDs (Intrauterine Contraceptive Device) should not be used in women who have not been pregnant.

There are no contraindications to IUD placement in a woman simply because she has never been pregnant Egeland says.

The third misconception is that the pill reduces a woman’s fertility. After stopping OCPs and once the ovulatory cycle has returned to normal, there is no negative effect on fertility. In fact, the risk of primary infertility may be reduced in women who have taken OCPs.

Egeland says that these are typically the most misunderstood issues about contraceptives thus getting more knowledge before making assumptions would prove helpful to majority of patients. 

Student Health Services provides all forms of contraceptives from birth control pills, Nuva Ring, and the patch to the Depo Provera injection, IUD, Nexplanon, condoms in addition to education for natural family planning.

Egeland strongly recommends that students who are sexually active in college use condoms every time as one unprotected sexual experience can lead to a sexually transmitted infection. 

Egeland states that a challenge the SHS is facing is the clinic space being at capacity and having no area to expand.

“We would love to be able to expand and serve our students with a larger clinic,” Egeland says, “However, until a solution is found we are happy that our staff and providers are busy keeping our college students healthy every day.”

Egeland undoubtedly sees growth in the SHS and has a positive mindset that exciting changes will soon take place.

“We have a Student Health Advisory Committee and we work with them to help us determine the wants and needs of our growing student population,” Egeland said.

Student Health Services provides student centered, quality health care and education to the MNSU population.

The wise words of the Medical Director of Student Health Services could not put it any better; a healthy student is a successful student!

Feature photo courtesy of Flickr.

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