Let’s face it, sometimes things in bed can take an unexpected twist. Whether or not the condom breaks, birth control fails you, or there was no condom involved at all—unprotected sex does happen and it can be extremely stressful. Without the use of a condom, you run the risk of contracting one or multiple sexually transmitted infections (STIs). But, STIs are not the only possible outcomes of unprotected sex; if you are a woman in a heterosexual relationship, your chances of having an unplanned pregnancy become greater when a condom is not used.
Unfortunately, going back in time and stopping the sex act from happening is not an option. So, what does that leave you with? Fortunately, there are plenty of options!
If you are limited to the resources on campus and/or within walking distance of the borough, do not fret! West Chester University provides many sexual health services and education for its students. One thing you can do is visit the Student Health Services Center, now located on the ground floor of Commonwealth Hall. The Health Center provides contraception such as, birth control and condoms. The center also provides STI testing. If you are sexually active, it is encouraged that you get tested for sexually transmitted infections at least once a year or if symptoms occur. Many STIs do not even show symptoms, so it’s possible to have one and not even know it.
Another option on campus is to visit the Women’s Center on the second floor of Lawrence. Here, you can learn more information about sexual and reproductive health and receive a referral, if needed.
If you do not mind walking into the borough, Planned Parenthood is less than a twenty-minute walk from campus. Planned Parenthood provides STI testing and treatment, birth control, emergency contraception, condoms, HIV testing, and more. They also accept many insurance plans, and their rates are on a sliding scale.
Another off-campus option, accessible by both car and bus, is the Government Services Center on Westtown Road. On Tuesdays and Wednesdays, the Chester County Health department offers free, and confidential STI and HIV testing.
Although these resources are located close to campus, you are not limited to just these. There are a plethora of online and national resources that are also available to you. If you visit the Women’s Center’s website, all of these resources are conveniently listed for you.
Sometimes, things in life are just plainly unavoidable. However, you are not alone. Many college students have either experienced the anxiety that follows unprotected sex, or knows someone who has. STIs do not discriminate against gender, race, or sexual orientation. Therefore, taking control and utilizing resources can only help.
Stephanie Frasca is a fourth-year student majoring in communication sciences and disorders with minors in psychology and linguistics. She can be reached at SF767711@wcupa.edu.