Bates Health Services Sexual Resources

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Elizabeth LaCroix, Assistant News Editor

Bates Health Services (BHS) takes on the role of your at-home doctor’s office—valuing the full support of students as they participate in academics and co-curricular activities. In addition to the general healthcare BHS provides, they also have reproductive healthcare services to support all student healthcare needs. 

“Bates Health Services is partnered with Central Maine Medical Center (CMMC) to provide healthcare to all Bates students, and we aspire to make students feel welcome and empowered to access our sexual health services,” Brenna Callahan, the Student Health Support Coordinator and Specialist at Bates, told The Student. 

Appointments can be scheduled for gynecological and sexual health services with doctors (MDs and DOs), family nurse practitioners, and registered nurses (RNs). Students can call BHS at (207) 786-6199 or email them at [email protected] to schedule an appointment. 

Sexual Health Services Available In-Office

  • BHS aims to provide students with accurate sexual health information and to ensure that they have timely access to care for appropriate screening and testing.
  • Treatment is available for common sexual health diagnoses (bacterial vaginosis, chlamydia, syphilis, etc.) through the BHS in-house pharmacy.
  • Options are given for contraceptive use and STI/HIV prevention.
  • BHS educates students on medications and vaccines for avoiding diseases such as HIV with PrEP, HPV, and Hepatitis.
  • Support for students who identify as LGBTQIAP2+ with their sexual health needs is provided.
  • Pregnancy testing and counseling along with other gynecological services are available in-office.
  • BHS often collaborates with Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), Sexual Assault Victim Advocacy (SAVA), and other local community services to meet the needs of all patients. 

Sexual Health Services Available Out of Office

  • BHS can make referrals to CMMC for ultrasounds or other treatments requiring a specialist. 
  • Abortions are not available in-office, but transportation can be provided through the Bobcat Express for appointments at Lewiston Family Planning or CMMC.

Accessing Birth Control and Contraception

  1. Schedule an Appointment—Call or email BHS to request an appointment with a medical provider to talk about birth control options.
  2. Order the Contraception—Depending on the type of option selected, a prescription can be sent to a pharmacy for pick up on the same day (i.e. birth control pills, patches, or rings). If the student is interested in long-acting reversible contraception, like an Intrauterine Device (IUD) or Nexplanon, BHS will order the device and set up an appointment for placement when it arrives.
  3. Follow-Up Appointment—This is only required if the student is interested in an IUD or Nexplanon, and during this visit, the device will be implanted at BHS. 

*In the case of emergency contraception, such as Plan B, students can come to BHS and see one of the nurses. 

Testing and Treatment for Sexually Transmitted Infections

  1. Schedule an Appointment—Call or email BHS to request an appointment for STI testing. You may also find an at-home STI testing kit location on campus and drop it off at BHS. 
  2. Your Appointment—BHS medical staff will ask questions during your appointment about your symptoms and then determine the appropriate method for testing.This will either take the form of symptomatic or asymptomatic tests. If a student is experiencing symptoms, the student should see a provider to determine the range of STI screening. Typically, asymptomatic tests only screen for gonorrhea and chlamydia.
  3. Get your Results—Results typically come back within a couple of days and BHS nurses will review the results before calling the student. Students can also set up the CMMC Patient Portal to access results online.
  4. Attend any Follow-Up Appointments—These are only necessary if the student tests positive. BHS will schedule a follow-up appointment with a provider for students to access treatment for STIs at Health Services.

Constructing an Equitable and Judgement Free Zone

BHS understands that college is a unique time to receive and access healthcare as many students are seeking care for the first time around concerns that are often stigmatized. 

“One of the things that have been a very high priority since we began working with the Family Medical Residency is engaging with healthcare providers who understand the student experience,” Callahan said. 

BHS has also been working to improve equity and access to all of their services. “As we build and support a comprehensive framework with equity and social justice at its core, we will continue to reflect on and articulate the significance of these issues,” Callahan stated.