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Sexual Health

The Well for Health Promotion promotes sexual health by providing programs, services, and resources that are inclusive, holistic, and evidence-based. Our staff at The Health Center provides high quality, medical sexual health care.

Sexual Health Services

Student Health Center Services

Sexual and reproductive health is an important part of your overall well-being. The clinicians at the Health Center offer many services to Tulane students that support most common sexual and reproductive health needs. These services include STI testing, PrEP, gynecological services and screenings, transgender health services, and many others. For more information, please visit the link below or call 504-865-5255 (Uptown) or 504-988-6929 (Downtown) during business hours.

Learn more here.

LGBTQ+ Health Services

Campus Health is committed to providing caring, high quality, and confidential services to our campus community, inclusive of all sexual orientations and gender identities.

To meet the health and wellness needs of all campus community members, the various Campus Health offices provide numerous programs and services specifically for the LGBTQ+ community. Whether you need primary care, preventive health services, mental health care, or you are looking for general health and wellness information, our staff of physicians, nurse practitioners, therapists, health educators, and other health professionals are ready to help.

Learn more here.

GYT Clinic/STI Testing

At Tulane, Campus Health offers two types of STI testing options:

GYT Clinic

a quick and easy way for Tulane students to get screened for sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

  • Screenings are for those who have no symptoms and no recent exposure to an STI.
  • Test screen for HIV, Gonorrhea, and Chlamydia. 
  • There are no limits on how many times a student can use GYT.
  • GYT visits are confidential and are not recorded for insurance claims.

Learn more here.

STI Testing

A comprehensive appointment that includes STI testing and doctor’s consultation.

  • STI testing is provided as a medical appointment that is submitted to your health insurance.
  • Testing screen for HIV, Gonorrhea, and Chlamydia, Genital Herpes, Syphilis, Trichomoniasis, and HPV.

Learn more here.

Check out this video with frequency asked questions about the STI/GYT Clinics:

 

Safer Sex Supplies

Free Safer Sex Supplies @TU

The Well for Health Promotion provides free safer sex supplies to all Tulane students.

Pick up supplies for yourself from the following locations:

  • Safer Sex Supply Kiosk at the Student Health Center (building #92, 1st floor, in lobby by pharmacy).
  • Locker rooms and all gender bathrooms in the Reily Center.
  • The Carolyn Barber Pierre Center for Intercultural Life (LBC, Garden Level- Suite G04)
  • The Goldman Center for Student Accessibility (Science and Engineering Lab Complex, 1st Floor (building 14))
  • Student Organization Center (SOC) (LBC, Garden Level- Suite G11)
  • Office of Student Conduct/ CMVSS/ FLS (LBV, Garden Level- Suite G02)
  • If you are staff, faculty, an RA/RD, student organization, or FSL organization, you can request safer sex supplies to give out in your spaces, classes, and events here.

 Safer sex supply options include:

  • External Condom Kit— 4 external condoms, 2 lubes, and a safer sex supply demonstration reference card. 
    • External condoms are Lifestyle brand and latex, unless labeled latex-free.
    • External condom varieties include: Regular, Sensitive, Extra-Strength, Latex-free, Snugger fit, Ultra-thin, Ribbed, Multi-colored, Rough Rider Studded, Trustex Extra Large, Trojan Magnum, Durex Extra-Sensitive, Crown Lightly Lubricated
  • Flavored External Condom Kit (for oral sex only)-- 2 flavored external condoms, 2 flavored lubes, and a safer sex supply demonstration reference card
    • Flavored external condoms are Lifestyle brand and flavored strawberry, vanilla, banana, etc.. Lube is ID Fruitopia flavored strawberry, vanilla, etc..
  • Internal Condom Kit—1 internal condom, 1 unflavored lube, and a safer sex supply demonstration reference card
    • Internal condoms are latex and FC2 brand. Lubricant is Glide Water Based.
  • Dental Dam Kit (for oral sex only)-- 1 Dental dam, 1 unflavored lube, 1 flavored lube, and a safer sex supply demonstration reference card
    • Dental Dams are flavored Latex and Line One Labs brand. Lubricant is ID Glide Water Based (unflavored) and ID Fruitopia (flavored).

For videos with step by step instructions for how to use dental dams, internal condoms, external condoms, and lube, click  here!

Contraceptives or Birth Control

 

What is the difference between hormonal and non-hormonal birth control?

 

What types of hormonal birth control exist?

 

What types of non-hormonal birth control exist?

 


I am Trans. Do I need birth control? Learn more here.

How to Choose Safer Sex Supplies or Contraceptives

How do I choose a method?

There are many methods of contraception to choose from and it is worth taking the time to find out more about each one so that you can choose contraception that suits you. If you are still not sure talk to your healthcare provider about the best method for you.

Method How well does it work? How to use Advantage Disadvantages
Birth Control Implant 99% effective The birth control implant (AKA Nexplanon) is a tiny, thin rod about the size of a matchstick. The implant releases hormones into your body that prevent you from getting pregnant. A nurse or doctor inserts the implant under the skin of your upper arm.

Protects against pregnancy and are super effective

Lasts for a long time – up to 5 years, but it is not permanent

Convenient and private 

Make your periods better 

Only one hormone 

You can get pregnant after taking out your implant   

Does not protect against STIs (sexually transmitted infections)

Can have negative side effects 

Intrauterine Device

(IUD)

99% effective The intrauterine device is basically a device inside your uterus. It is a small piece of flexible plastic shaped like a T. A doctor or nurse puts the IUD in through your vagina into your uterus. IUDs can be put in at any point in your menstrual cycle, and you can usually get one put in right after giving birth or having an abortion.

One of the best ways to prevent pregnancy and they last for years

It works until it expires, or you have it taken out 

You can get pregnant after taking it out 

IUDS can make your periods better

Copper IUD does not have hormones 

The copper IUD can be used as emergency contraception

IUD side effects: pain, cramping, backaches, spotting between periods, irregular periods, heavier periods, and worse menstrual cramps 

No protection against STIs

Birth Control Shot 94% effective The birth control shot (also know as the depo shot; Depo-Provera) is an injection you get once every 3 months. The shot contains the hormone progestin. Progestin stops you from getting pregnancy by preventing ovulation. You must remember to get a new shot every 12-13 weeks (every 3 months or 4 times a year). The shot requires a prescription and usually a doctor or a nurse must give you the shot. 

The shot is effective at preventing pregnancy 

The shot is convenient and private 

The shot can make you get your period less often while you use it 

The shot has health benefits 

The shot is temporary, so you can get pregnant after you stop using it if you want to 

The shot does not protect against STIs

You must get an injection every 3 months 

There can be negative side effects while you use the shot 

If may take up to 10 months after stopping the birth control to get pregnant 

Birth Control Vaginal Ring 91% effective The birth control ring (AKA NuvaRing) is a safe and convenient birth control method that works well if you always use it correctly. You wear the small, flexible ring inside your vagina, and it prevents pregnancy by releasing hormones into your body. To use the ring most effectively, you must use it correctly and every month. 

NuvaRing is an effective way to prevent pregnancy 

NuvaRing is convenient 

The ring can make your periods better 

Has health benefits 

You can get pregnant right away when you stop using the ring 

You must change NuvaRing on time 

There can be negative side effects 

There can be some rare but serious risks 

Birth Control Patch 91% effective Like most birth control pills, the patch contains the hormones estrogen and progestin. These mimic the hormones our bodies make naturally. You wear the patch on your belly, upper arm, butt, or back, and your skin absorbs the hormones into your body. The hormones in the patch stop ovulation. No ovulation means there is no egg hanging around for sperm to fertilize, so pregnancy cannot happen.  The patch’s hormones also thicken the mucus on your cervix. This thicker cervical mucus blocks sperm so it cannot swim to an egg. 

The patch is an effective way to prevent pregnancy (when used correctly)

The patch is convenient 

The patch can make your periods better 

The patch has health benefits 
 

You can get pregnant right away when you stop using the patch 

Does not protect against STIs

You must change the patch on time 

There can be negative side effects 

There can be some rare but serious risks

Birth Control Pill 91% effective Birth control pills are a kind of medicine with hormones. The pills come in a pack, and you take 1 pill every day at or around the same time. It is safe, affordable, and effective if you always take your pill on time. The pills work by stopping sperm from joining with an egg because the hormones in the pill stop ovulation.

The pill is an effective way to prevent pregnancy 

The pill has health benefits 

The pill can make your periods better

You can get pregnant right away when you stop taking the pill 

The pill is convenient

The pill does not protect against STIs

You must take the pill every day 

There can be negative side effects 

There can be some rare but serious risks

External Condom 85% effective Condoms are thin, stretchy pouches that you wear on your penis or sex toy during any kind of sexual activity. Condoms provide great protection from both pregnancy and STIs. They are easy to use and easy to get. To use, first check that the packaging has not been tampered with and make sure the condom is not expired by checking the date. Next, open the package without using your teeth or any sharp object. Hold the tip of the condom, place the condom rolled-side up on the tip of the penis or sex toy, and gently roll down the condom. 

Condoms are effective against STIs

Condoms do not cost much and are convenient 

Condoms help other methods of birth control work even better 

Condoms have no side effects 

You must use a condom every time you have sex 

Condoms can take some getting used to 

Internal Condom 79% effective

Internal condoms are an alternative to regular condoms. They provide pretty much the same great protection from pregnancy and STIs. What is different about them? Internal condoms go inside the vagina for pregnancy prevention or into the vagina or anus for protection from STIs. For a long time, they were called “female condoms: However, people of any gender can use them for vaginal or anal sex.

 To use an internal condom for vaginal sex, first check that the packaging has not been tampered with and make sure the condom is not expired by checking the date. Next, open the package without using your teeth or any sharp object. The internal condom has a two rings. Pinch or twist into a figure-eight the smaller inner ring and use your finder to gently guide the inner ring into the vagina. Push until the ring reopens around the round surface of the cervix. Make sure the outer ring is outside of your body covering the vaginal opening. 

  To use an internal condom for anal sex, first check that the packaging has not been tampered with and make sure the condom is not expired by checking the date. Next, open the package without using your teeth or any sharp object. The internal condom has a two rings; remove the smaller inner ring. Place a clean finger inside of the condom and gently guide the internal condom into your anus. Make sure the outer ring is outside of your body covering the anus.        

Internal condoms help prevent STIs

They’re latex-free and comfortable 

Internal condoms can increase sexual pleasure 

Internal condoms give you control 

You have to use a new one every time you have vaginal or anal sex – and you have to use them correctly 

Internal condoms take some time getting used to 

Dental Dam Does NOT prevent pregnancy Dental dams or dams for short are thin, square pieces of latex that help prevent STIs during oral sex on a vulva or anus. Dams protect you by keeping vaginal fluids out of your mouth, and preventing skin-to-skin contact between your mouth and a vulva or anus. They also protect you during oral-to-anal sex from germs that can cause digestive infections.  

Dams are easy to use 

You can open an external condom and lay it flat on your partner’s vulva or anus

They are available at the Health Centers

May be difficult to find in stores or pharmacies outside of campus 

If not made or purchased in advance, can be a burden to prepare in the moment of sex 

Does not protect against pregnancy 

PrEP 90% effective at preventing HIV contraction; Does NOT prevent pregnancy PrEP stands for pre-exposure prophylaxis. It’s a daily pill that can help prevent HIV. If you don’t have HIV, taking PrEP every day can lower your chances of getting HIV from sex by more than 90%. PrEP is also known by the brand name Truvada. 

If you use it correctly, PrEP can lower your chances of getting HIV from sex 

 

You can get a prescription for PrEP at the SHC. 

You have to take PrEP every day. PrEP does not work as well if you skip doses

PrEP may cause side effects like nausea, loss of appetite, and headaches 

Withdrawl Method ("Pulling out" 78% effective Pulling out is exactly what it sounds like: pulling the penis out of the vagina before ejaculation (aka cumming). If semen (cum) gets inside a vagina, one can get pregnant. 

It is free and it is always available 
 

The pull-out method has no side effects 

Pulling out makes other forms of birth control even more effective

It is hard to pull out in time 

 

Fertility Awareness 76-86% effective Fertility Awareness methods (FAMs) are ways to track your ovulation so you can prevent pregnancy. FAMs are also called “natural family planning” and “the rhythm method”. 

Nonhormonal and requires no supplies or interventions

 

Diffcult to perfect and if not done perfectly, can result in pregnancy.

Does NOT prevent STIs

Outercourse & abstinence 100% People are abstinent for lots of different reasons. Sometimes people use abstinence as birth control to prevent pregnancy. Abstinence can mean different things depending on who you ask. Using outercourse as birth control means you do some sexual activities, but you do not have vaginal sex (penis-in-vagina) or get any semen (cum) in the vagina. This way, the sperm calls in semen can’t get to an egg and cause pregnancy.

Simple, free, and work well to prevent pregnancy

100% effective way to avoid pregnancy and STIs

Outercourse really lowers your risk a lot

Avoiding sex can be hard for some people 

If you plan on being abstinent but end up having vaginal sex, pregnancy can happen if you do not use birth control 

Some types of outercourse can spread STIs

Emergency Contraception Varies depending on method

There are 2 ways to prevent pregnancy after you have unprotected sex: 

Option 1: Get a Paragard IUD within 120 hours (5 days) after having unprotected sex. This is the most effective type of emergency contraception. 

Option 2: Take an emergency contraceptive pill (AKA the morning-after pill) within 120 hours (5 days) after having unprotected sex. This is the most effective type of emergency contraception. 

The IUD is the most effective type of EC – it works 99 times out of 100, no matter your weight

You can get the Paragard IUD inserted or take ella up to 5 days (120 hours) after unprotected sex

Morning after pills work best when you take them quickly after unprotected sex 

There can be negative side effects

Does not protect against STIs, nor does it treat existing infections

 

Best Methods Based on What's Important to You

Best at Preventing Pregnancy

  • Birth Control Implant
  • IUD
  • Birth Control Shot
  • Birth Control Vaginal Ring
  • Birth Control Patch
  • Birth Control Pill
  • Internal Condom
  • External Condom
  • Outercourse and Abstinence

Easiest to Use

  • Birth Control Implant
  • IUD
  • External Condom

Helps with Periods

  • Birth Control Implant
  • IUD
  • Birth Control Shot
  • Birth Control Vaginal Ring
  • Birth Control Patch o Birth Control Pill

Helps Prevent STIs

  • Internal Condom
  • External Condom
  • Dental Dams

Doctor or Nurse Required

  • Birth control implant
  • IUD
  • Birth Control Shot
  • Birth Control Vaginal Ring
  • Birth Control Patch
  • Birth Control Pill
  • PrEP

Less or No Hormones

  • Birth Control Implant
  • IUD o Birth Control Shot
  • External Condom
  • Internal Condom
  • Dental Dams
  • PrEP
  • Withdrawal (Pull Out Method)
Emergency Contraceptives

Tulane and Loyola students may walk into the pharmacy on the third floor of the Student Health Center and receive free emergency contraction during open business hours. Students are not required to have a health insurance plan nor do they need a prescription to access the emergency contraception.

What is EC?
Emergency contraception (aka the morning after pill) is birth control that you use after you have had unprotected sex—if you did not use birth control or your regular birth control failed. Emergency contraception should be used as soon as possible within three to five days after unprotected sex to prevent pregnancy. ECPs are more effective the sooner you take them. Emergency contraception does not work if you are already pregnant.

You can use emergency contraception to prevent pregnancy if:

  • you didn’t use a condom or other birth control method when you had vaginal sex
  • you messed up your regular birth control (forgot to take your birth control pills, change your patch or ring, or get your shot on time) and had vaginal sex
  • your condom broke or slipped off after ejaculation (cumming)
  • your partner didn't pull out in time
  • you were forced to have unprotected vaginal sex

If you use emergency contraception correctly after you have unprotected sex, it makes it much less likely that you’ll get pregnant. But don’t use it regularly as your only protection from pregnancy, because it’s not as effective as regular, non-emergency birth control methods (like the IUD, pill, or condoms). 

What types of emergency contraception exists?

There are 2 types of morning-after pills:

A pill with levonorgestrel. Brand names include: Plan B One Step, Take Action, My Way, AfterPill, and others.

  • You can buy these morning-after pills over the counter without a prescription in most drugstores and pharmacies.
  • Pan B is available for free without a prescription at the Student Health Center Pharmacy. 
  • These types of morning-after pills work best when you take them within 72 hours (3 days) after unprotected sex, but you can take them up to 5 days after. The sooner you take them, the better they work.
  • These types of morning-after pills work best on people who weigh under 155 lbs.

A pill with ulipristal acetate. There’s only one brand, called ella.

  • You need a prescription from a nurse or doctor to get ella emergency contraception.
  • Make an appointment with the Student Health Center for an ella prescription that can be filled at the pharmacy.
  • ella is the most effective type of morning-after pill.
  • You can take ella up to 120 hours (5 days) after unprotected sex, and it works just as well on day 5 as it does on day 1.
  • This type of morning-after pill work on people of all bodyweights.

 

Sex Education

The Well's Workshops

Coming Soon

Safer Sex Guides

How to use Dental Dams

 

How to use External Condoms

 

How to use Internal Condoms

 

The Low Down on Lube

 

Queer-Inclusive Guide to Anal Sex

 

Queer-Inclusive Guide to Oral Sex

 

Queer-Inclusive Guide to Vaginal Sex

STI FAQs

Why are they called STDs vs STIs?
While the terms can be used interchangeably, Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) is often used instead of Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD). This is because STI is inclusive of both symptomatic and asymptomatic infections. Using the term STI also helps reduce stigma, especially since they are so common—more than half of all of us will get an STI at some point in our lives and 1 in 3 sexually active people under the age of 25 has an STI.

How can I protect myself from spreading or getting an STI?
Although anyone who is sexually active can get an STI, there are lots of ways to protect yourself and your partner(s):

  • Use an internal or external condom or a dental dam, which are all available for free at the Well for Health Promotion!
  • Get the HPV vaccine
  • Consider medications like pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) or post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) which prevents HIV infection Get tested.
  • Getting testing is the most effective way for sexually active individuals to remain STI-free.

How do I know if I have an STI?
The only way to know you have an STI is to get tested. The most common STI symptom is actually a lack of symptoms or mild symptoms that get disregarded for something else. This means that most people with STIs don’t even know they have one until they get tested. Not getting treatment can also lead to long term health effects such as infertility, urinary tract and liver problems, and cancers. No STI is harmless so it’s best to get tested and treated!

How soon can I be tested?
Some STIs can be treated within a few days, while others take weeks or even monthly to become detectable. A window period is the time it takes for STIs to become detectable by If you have been exposed to an STI and are tested while in the window period, your test result may not be as accurate. The window period is 10 days for the chlamydia and gonorrhea test, and 3 months for the HIV test. It is best to schedule an appointment when you are out of the window period, if possible. It's important to note that you can still transmit STIs to your partner while you are in the window period.

How often should I get tested?
This depends. If you are sexually active, you should aim to be tested at least once per year. If you engage with multiple partners, it’s a good idea to get tested more frequently, perhaps every 3-6 months. If you’ve had unprotected sex, have a new partner (or more than one partner), or for any reason are worried you have been exposed to an STI, talk to your healthcare provider about getting tested. The bottom line is that it is up to you and it depends on you and your lifestyle!

When is STI testing appropriate?
If you're sexually active, it’s important to get tested on a regular basis, especially if you have more than one partner

  • If you've had unprotected sex, have a new partner, or for any reason are worried you have been exposed to an STI
  • If you have symptoms such as rash, sores, bumps, itching, burning, pain, odor, discharge, and/or bleeding in your genital region
  • If you had a recent experience of sexual assault/sexual violence**
  • If any of the above apply to you, talk to your healthcare provider about getting tested.
  • If you have no STI symptoms, learn about whether a GYT screening may be a good option.

What's the difference between treatable and curable?
All STIs are treatable and many STIs are curable. STIs can either be caused by viruses, bacteria, or parasites. Bacterial and parasitic STIs are treated by antibiotics and other medications and thus often curable. Viral STIs such as HIV, HPV, Herpes, and Hepatitis—the four Hs—generally have no cure, but many symptoms can be alleviated with treatment.

What should I do if I am showing symptoms?
Make an appointment with a provider at the student health center or with a provider in the community as soon as possible. They will help you get tested for STIs and get treatment.

How should I inform my partners?
Be honest. There is nothing shameful about having an STI. Let them know the facts and encourage them to also get tested and seek treatment. Decide how much information you feel comfortable sharing and set boundaries. For more ideas on how to comfortably and safely disclose your status, check here or here. You can also let your partner(s) know completely anonymously that they should get tested by sending them a text message!

  • “Hey I need to talk to you about something important... I’ve been diagnosed with ____ and I’m getting treated. It’s probably a good idea for you to also get tested to see if you need treatment as well”

Can I get an STI from oral sex?
You sure can. Although oral sex is often considered “safer” than vaginal or anal sex, you can get STIs from both giving or receiving oral sex. Many STIs including chlamydia, gonorrhea, and herpes can be transmitted through oral sex. It is a good idea to use barrier methods like condoms (internal or external) or dental dams in order to prevent fluid transfer and reduce your risk of catching an STI.

How do I ask my partner about their status?
If you can, try to have the conversation before things start heating up. One strategy is to sandwich the conversation between positive things you feel about the relationship.

  • “I really like you and value you our relationship. I was thinking that before we take things to the next level it might be a good idea to talk about our sexual health and the last time we got tested? I definitely don’t want to kill the mood, but I find you really attractive and really want to take this to the next level.”
  • Try to avoid asking your partner(s) if they are clean as this assigns stigma to having an STI.
  • Since STIs often are asymptomatic, it’s possible that your partner(s) may not even know that they have an STI. The only way to be sure of your and their status is to get tested! Until you and your(s) get tested together, its best to operate under the assumption that they have an STI and practice the safest sex possible, including barrier methods.

Can I get an STI more than once?
After getting treatment, your body does not build immunity to any bacterial or parasitic STI so you can get a STI multiple times. You can prevent reinfection by completing your entire treatment, having your partner(s) get tested and treated, and practicing safer sex.

Sex Ed Resources for Trans Folx

Sexual Health Services at TU

Tulane's Student Health Center offers a variety of health, wellness, and sexual health services for the Trans and GNC students at both the Uptown and Downtown locations. These services include general preventative care, gender- affirming hormone replacement therapy, PrEP/PEP, and counseling on birth control and safer sex methods. To learn more about these services, please click here or call the SHC at (504)865-5255.

Great Online Resources

Check out these great online resources that are specifically designed to be trans-centered and sex positive. 

 

Sexual Empowerment

Communication

Sex Communication Checklist
Use this checklist from Scarleteen to help you think through and evaluate your sexual wants, needs, and limits. You can even decide to share your answers with a partner or use some of the questions to guide conversations with each other.

Sex Ed Quickies: Sex Communication
Watch this video from the Well's Health Promotion team focused on talking about sex and communicating with partners. 

Masturbation/Solo Sex
 
The Clitoris
Learn more about the clitoris here. The clitoris is the only part of human anatomy whose sole function is to experience pleasure. 
 
Bang: Masturbation Nation-- A Sex-Ed Zine for all Genders and Genitalia
Check out this zine that was designed by Vic Liu for all genders and genitalia which goes in depth in masturbation 
 
Sex Ed Quickies: Masturbation
Watch this video by the Well's Health Promotion team talking about masturbation as sexual self-care. 
Pleasure
Coming Soon
Boundaries
Coming soon.

 

Staff Picks

Social Media
  • @plannedparenthood
  • @afrosexology_
  • @givingthetalk
  • @yourewelcomeclub
  • @kimbritive
  • @sexelducation
  • @askgoody
  • @sexedwithirma
  • @pleasurecentredsexology
  • @brook_sexpositive
  • @sexwithemily
  • @iharterika
Websites
  • Scarleteen provides “sex ed for the real world” with inclusive, comprehensive, supportive sexuality and relationships info for teens and emerging adults
  • O.School is a non-judgmental resource for sexuality and dating. Help build your sexual confidence through medically-accurate videos, articles, and livestreams.
  • Bedsider
  • Go Ask Alice!
Podcasts
  • Sex with Emily
  • Sex Unspoken (Made by Tulane students!)
  • Black Feminist Rants (Made by a Tulane student!)
  • Sex Out Loud
  • Queer Sex Ed Podcast
  • Disability After Dark