SSU Student Health Center (SHC) Women's Health & Contraception

Confidential women's health services are offered to regularly enrolled SSU students, with no charge for medical visits during the school year. Nominal fees are charged for pharmaceuticals, certain lab tests, summer visits, and to participants in pre-designated special SSU enrollment programs.

Informational Video Sessions & Medical Evaluation:

Required for first time prescription contraceptives at SSU.

Hormonal Contraception (e.g. Birth Control Pills, Depo-Provera, Nuva Ring) Initial examination typically includes:

  1. Medical history & limited physical exam (including pelvic exam)
  2. Pap smear &/or breast exam only as indicated by age, symptoms, previous findings
  3. Chlamydia testing or testing for other STI if indicated

Re-check & refill visits for contraceptives are best scheduled during the regular school year. Click here to learn more about contraceptive options offered at the Student Health Center

Diaphragm Fit: Visit typically includes similar evaluation as for hormonal contraception plus diaphragm fitting & instructions.

Emergency Contraceptive Pills (ECPs): To reduce the risk of pregnancy following unprotected intercourse, women should go to the Student Health Center, another medical provider, or participating California pharmacy as soon as possible & within 72 hours. (Taking ECPs may help prevent pregnancy if taken up to 5 days after unprotected intercourse, but ASAP is more effective) Get more information at 707 664-2921; the Princeton Emergency Contraception Website.

Periodic Women's Health Exam with or without contraception:
Exam and lab testing as indicated by medical history, age, & other factors. May or may not include Pap, breast exam, pelvic, STI testing.

Pregnancy Testing:

Home tests are available at a low cost at the SSU SHC Pharmacy. Medical visits with a Nurse Practitionr or an RN are available by appointment. These are best scheduled only if you are at least 5 days late with your period or have symptoms that concern you or if you have had a positive home pregnancy test.

Pharmacy Services

Prescription contraceptives are dispensed only to students who have received a medical evaluation and prescription from the SSU SHC. A brief appointment for a one-month prescription of continuing hormonal contraceptives can be arranged pending a student's full examination here. Condoms, foam, etc. are available at the SHC pharmacy without a prescription. SHC prescriptions may also be filled at off-campus pharmacies at the student's own expense. Condoms, foam, home pregnancy tests, etc. are available at low cost without a prescription.


Contraceptive Options available at the SSU Student Health Center 664-2921

No prescription required:

  • Condoms: Male & Female more effective @ pregnancy prevention when used w/spermicide.
  • Spermicides: foam, jelly, film) prevents sperm from reaching and fertilizing an egg. Usually best used in conjunction with condoms. Much less effective when used alone.

Prescription required:

  • Hormonal Contraceptives: Hormonal contraceptives contain estrogen & progesterone (or progesterone alone) & prevent pregnancy by suppressing the release of eggs from the ovary as well as by causing cervical mucus to thicken which interferes with sperm motility.
    • Birth Control Pills (combined estrogen and progesterone)
      • Reversible, and generally safe and reliable; has non-contraceptive benefits (e.g. reduction in menstrual flow, discomfort, and anemia; decreased risk of ovarian and uterine cancer).
      • Must be taken at the same time each day; reduced efficacy in obese individuals..
      • Possible minor side effects: (e.g. nausea, headache, fluid retention, depression)..
      • Possible serious side effects (rare - but some of these are more common in smokers): blood clots, heart attack, stroke, blood pressure increase, glucose intolerance, gall bladder or liver problems.
    • Nuva Ring (Vaginal Ring) - contains estrogen and progesterone
      • Similar to the combined birth control pill in effectiveness, actions and side effects��except hormones are delivered by a flexible polymer ring that is placed in the vagina, left in place for 3 weeks, and removed for one week..
      • There is less theoretical chance of nausea and no daily pill taking required with these methods, but there is probably a greater failure rate in obese individuals.
      • New side effect, dosage, or effectiveness data may emerge, as this is a relatively new method.
    • Depo Provera is a progesterone only injectable contraceptive given at 3-month intervals.
      • Convenient 99% effective contraception without the need to remember a daily pill.
      • Contains no estrogen, avoids estrogen related side effects; o.k. for use in nursing mothers.
      • Reduced menses, menstrual cramps and anemia, but possible irregular menses.
      • Reversible method, but return of ovulation may be delayed.
      • Possible progestin related side effects (e.g. acne, fluid retention, weight gain, depression).
      • Long-term use may reduce bone mineral density and increase the risk of osteoporotic fractures later in life.
      • Therefore, the FDA currently recommends that the use of Depo Provera beyond 2 years should occur only if other birth control methods are not adequate for the individual.
    • Emergency Contraceptive Pills: (ECPs) - Hormonal
      • Combined or progesterone alone hormonal pills
      • Not a reliable means of on-going contraception
      • Designed for use in emergency situations of unprotected intercourse such as failure of another method (condom breakage or isolated unplanned circumstance including sexual assault.
      • Most effective if used within 72 hours but may work up to 72 hours after intercourse - ASAP is best
      • Some California pharmacies offer ECPs in accordance with California law
    • Barrier Contraception
      • Diaphragm is used in conjunction with a spermicide. Requires individual fitting and a prescription. See separate Sheet.