At Falcon Health Center, we are committed to providing an environment where students feel comfortable approaching their sexual health needs and questions. If at any time you feel as though you need to see a provider or nurse about an issue you are facing, please contact the Falcon Health Center and set up an appointment.
National statistics show that one out of six college women will be sexually assaulted during their college career. BGSU statistics fortunately do not reflect this percentage. However, these assaults still occur, and occur in a variety of ways.
Some key definitions are:
- Consent: an approval to participate in sexual activity given without being physically or emotionally manipulated. Consent also requires having the cognitive and emotional ability to agree to participate.
- Sexual Contact: touching of the erogenous zone of another for the purpose of sexual arousal. These areas can include the genitals, pubic region, buttocks, breasts, or thigh of another.
- Sexual Conduct: oral, anal, or vaginal penetration by a body part or object.
- Sexual Assault: any type of unwelcomed physical, sexual, or emotional contact or conduct.
Types of Sexual Assault:
- Rape: engaging in sexual conduct without consent and with purposeful force. This includes personally impairing another’s judgment by administering any drug, intoxicant, or controlled substance by force, threat of force, or deception.
- Sexual Battery: engaging in sexual conduct without consent. This includes knowing that the other person’s conduct is substantially impaired and / or knowing that the other person is unaware of the sexual conduct.
- Sexual Imposition: engaging in sexual contact with another when the sexual contact is offensive to the other person. This includes knowing that the other person is substantially impaired and / or knowing that the other person is unaware of the sexual contact.
When someone has been sexually assaulted, concerns can include pregnancy, STIs, confidentiality, reporting, and a collection of evidence. At this time, the Falcon Health Center refers all victims to the Wood County Hospital Emergency Department for the collection of evidence by a specially trained SANE nurse. After collecting the evidence, Wood County Hospital will release it to either the Campus Police or City Police depending on the location of the assault. The rape kit can be collected within 96 hours of an assault. The Falcon Health Center can provide a victim with prophylactic treatment for STIs, emergency contraception, toxicology screens and referral to counseling services on or off campus. If further follow-up or treatment is needed, services can be given at Falcon Health Center.
BGSU educational programs focus on preventing sexual assaults and informing students of measures to take if they or someone they know is sexually assaulted. We have established a coalition of faculty, staff, and students to respond to education, prevention, and response. Our programming includes residence/ Greek presentations by staff and peers on prevention and response. We also try to raise awareness about the use of predatory drugs such as, rohypnol, roofies, and GHB.
The Wellness Connection at BGSU offers education and resources about sexual assault. Click below to learn more.
Have you ever witnessed a sexual assault situation? Bystanders of sexual assault situations play a role in the investigation and prevention of future incidents. To learn more about how to be an active bystander in a safe way, visit the link below.
Sexually Transmitted Infections
According to the CDC, sexually active adolescents (10-19 year-olds) and young adults (20-24 year-olds) are at high risk for getting a sexually transmitted infection. About 19 million new cases of sexually transmitted infections are recorded each year, and nearly half of those cases are from 15-24 year-olds. It is important to be screened regularly, have open communication of sexual history with partners, know the signs and symptoms of common infections, and to consult a professional if you have any concerns or questions.
Falcon Health Center can perform a variety of screens for sexually transmitted infections, including Syphilis, Gonorrhea, Chlamydia, and Herpes.
Below is more detail on several common sexually transmitted infections.
Candidiasis: a fungal infection that arises from the normal flora of the skin and vagina. Some do not consider it an STI, but it can be passed between partners.
|Female Symptoms:||redness, swelling, itching of clitoris, labia, vagina; cheesy vaginal discharge.|
|Male Symptoms:||inflammation of urethra and skin around scrotum; surface lesions on penis.|
|Treatment:||antifungal agents (oral or topical), many are available over the counter.|
Syphilis: a bacterial infection that is transmitted through oral, anal, or vaginal sex, or with broken skin directly with a Syphilis sore.
|Symptoms:||Syphilis presents an initial long latent period without any symptoms, so a screen would provide the best answer if you think you may have it. The symptoms are the same for males and females, but the infection has four categories of symptoms.
|Treatment:||prescription antibiotics, early treatments are the most successful.|
Gonorrhea: a bacterial infection transmitted by vaginal, anal, or oral sex. Symptoms usually appear within 1-10 days after exposure. Untreated Gonorrhea can cause sterility in men and women.
|Female Symptoms:||vaginal or urethral discharge, rectal bleeding, fever, low abdominal pain, rectal infection with itching and discharge, painful urination. Most women do not show symptoms.|
|Male Symptoms:||burning urination, opaque urethral discharge, rectal infection with itching and discharge.|
Chlamydia: a bacterial infection transmitted through sexual intercourse. Chlamydia is largely asymptomatic, causing a need for regular screening. If symptoms do appear, it is usually within two weeks after the exposure.
|Female Symptoms:||vaginal discharge, burning urination, abdominal pain, bleeding between periods, vaginal irritation.|
|Male Symptoms:||penile discharge, burning urination.|
|Treatment:||prescription antibiotics. All sexual partners need treatment, even if their testing is negative.|
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID): a bacterial infection of the reproductive organs in females, usually caused by multiple bacterial species.
|Symptoms:||pain or tenderness in lower abdomen, uterus, cervix, or Fallopian tubes; fever, chills.|
|Treatment:||prescription antibiotics, possibly multiple to combat multiple strains of bacteria.|
Trichomoniasis: a parasitic infection transmitted through sexual contact with an infected individual.
|Female Symptoms:||yellow-green discharge, irritation during intercourse and urination, itching of external genitalia. Not all women present symptoms.|
|Male Symptoms:||temporary irritation in urethra, mild discharge, burning with urination or ejaculation. Men rarely present symptoms.|
Pubic Lice / “Crabs”: a parasitic infection transmitted through sexual contact, or sharing of the clothes, bed, or bedding of an infected person.
|Symptoms:||severe itching of the pubic area. Both the lice and the eggs are visible to the naked eye. It is possible for the infection to spread to other hairy parts of the body.|
|Treatment:||over the counter lice-killing shampoos and lotions.|
Scabies: a parasitic infection transmitted primarily through sexual contact, but also contact with infected skin, sheets, towels, bedding, and furniture. Symptoms may not appear until one month after contact, but can still be spread to others.
|Symptoms:||small red bumps where females have burrowed into skin to lay eggs; intense itching usually in the genital area, between fingers, on wrists, elbows, and lower abdomen.|
|Treatment:||topical pesticides specific to the mite.|
Genital Herpes: caused by the Herpes Simplex Virus being passed between partners through sexual contact or even kissing.
|Symptoms:||small blisters that eventually ulcerate, inflammation of the urethra; headache, fatigue, muscle weakness. Herpes moves into a latent stage of varying duration 3-4 weeks after infection. The symptoms return periodically throughout the year. It is common that most people do not present symptoms.|
|Treatment:||Because Herpes is a viral infection, there is no cure. However, antiviral drugs can suppress symptoms.|
Human Papillomavirus (HPV): HPV is also known as Genital Warts or Condyloma Acuminata. It is a viral infection that is transmitted through skin to skin contact.
|Symptoms:||growths or bumps that appear on the genital area of men and women. Often there is no visual evidence of warts, but a pap smear can show if there is an abnormality. Symptoms may take months or years to appear.|
|Treatment:||A prescription cream which helps your immune system get rid of visible warts. Sometimes a specific chemical applied by your healthcare provider is used to dissolve warts. Some types of HPV can cause precancerous or cancerous conditions of the cervix, vulva, penis, or anus. Annual pap smears in women are key in detecting any changes that may be related to HPV.|
|Vaccine:||The Falcon Health Center offers the Gardasil vaccine to help protect against diseases caused by HPV. Gardasil is for girls and women 9-26 years of age. The vaccine does not substitute for routine cervical cancer screenings. Three doses of the vaccine are needed. For more information about Gardasil, go to www.gardasil.com.|
Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS): HIV is the virus that causes AIDS. People who have HIV may not get AIDS. AIDS is a disease characterized by the severe weakening of the immune system. HIV is transmitted through contact between specific body fluids (blood, semen, vaginal fluid) of an infected person with the broken skin or same specific body fluids of another.
|Symptoms:||rapid weight loss, dry cough, fever, profound fatigue, swollen lymph glands, pneumonia, memory loss, and depression. None of these symptoms are reliable for knowing whether or not you have HIV or AIDS. A test is the only way to know for certain if you have the virus.|
|Treatment:||The rapid mutating nature of the virus requires different forms of treatment as the strain progresses. Antiviral treatment can control the progression of HIV to AIDS, but there is no definite cure. Because HIV causes a breakdown of the immune system, there is a much higher chance of contracting secondary infections. These infections must also be treated.|
Top Risk Factors for Sexually Transmitted Infections:
- Unprotected Sex
- Multiple Partners
- Under Age 25
- Early Onset of Sexual Activity
- Alcohol Use
- Drug Use
- Trading Sex for Money or Drugs
- Living in a Community with High STI Rates
- Serial Monogamy
The Falcon Health Center realizes that a trip to the doctor’s office can be intimidating; especially for those who fear they may be discriminated against or misunderstood by the medical staff. We work very hard at the Falcon Health Center to create a safe environment for all students to feel at ease. Our top priority is student health, which can only be accomplished if students feel safe enough to come receive help. Students who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, or Transgender may have different questions or concerns, but the Falcon Health Center is qualified and eager to assist everyone.
To better serve our gender-variant, transsexual, and/or transgender students, we encourage open communication between health care providers and patients.
Below are links that may be helpful to anyone with questions.