Who may use these services: Registered Stanford students
- On this page:
A variety of women's health services are available by appointment (which may be scheduled for the same day you call). They include the following:
- A Well Woman exam
- Birth control advice, counseling and family planning methods
- Emergency contraception (morning-after pill)
- Pregnancy testing, counseling and referrals
- Screening for sexually transmitted infections
- Diagnosis of gynecological disorders
- Cervical cancer screening (Pap test) should begin at age 21 years.
- Women under the age of 21 who need contraception or STI screening may do so without having a Pap test.
- Pap testing is recommended every 3 years for women between the ages of 21 years and 29 years who are healthy and have had normal Paps in the past.* See below
- Women aged 30 years and older should speak with their provider about whether or not they should have Pap testing every 5 years.*
*Women with certain risk factors may need more frequent screening, including those who have HIV, are immunosuppressed, or have had abnormal Pap smears in the past.
If this is your first gynecological exam, please see What Happens during a Well Woman Exam.
- Schedule your exam and Pap smear for the middle of your menstrual cycle, when you are not having your period.
- Avoid sexual intercourse, douches, tampons or anything in the vagina (including medications) for 48 hours prior to your exam
- At least 24 hours before going to your appointment, log onto Vadenpatient and fill out the confidential web questionnaire.
- Bring medications you are taking, including birth control pills
- Bring any relevant medical records or past test results
- Arrive at least 15 minutes early to prepare for the exam
If your period starts during the 48 hours before your appointment, please call and reschedule it (unless you want to be seen for other concerns).
For contraceptive options, please review information on the Planned Parenthood site or view AHRP interactive tutorial.
Also see Virtual Health Library: Women's Health for more information about annual exams, contraceptive methods and sexually transmitted infections.
Students now have the option of making an appointment to discuss birth control options with a peer counselor prior to seeing a healthcare provider. Please contact any of the following counselors for more information:
Lauren Bishop firstname.lastname@example.org
Claudia Lopez email@example.com
Sophi Newman firstname.lastname@example.org
Autumn Rose Burnes email@example.com
Christina Warner firstname.lastname@example.org
If you cannot keep your appointment, please cancel as soon as possible so that another student can use it.
- Cancel an appointment any time online at Vadenpatient Online (you will need your SUNet ID).
- Call (650) 498-2336, extension 1 during office hours to speak with a receptionist. After hours, dial the number and extension 1. When the recording starts, press 3 and leave a message.
- A medical assistant will bring you to a private room, ask some basic health questions and check your temperature, pulse and blood pressure.
- Then you are asked to remove your clothing and slip on a cloth examination gown.
- Your health care provider will come in and discuss your general health history, family history, menstrual, sexual and contraceptive history.
- Your thyroid, neck, lungs, heart, breasts, abdomen and skin will be examined.
The Pap Test
- Next, you will lie down on the exam table, place your feet in foot rests at the end of the table, relax and let your knees fall gently apart.
- The health care provider will visually inspect your external genitalia.
- Next, a speculum (instrument used to examine the cervix) is inserted into the vagina. You may have a sensation of fullness. Relaxing at this point makes the exam more comfortable.
- Cells for a Pap smear (a screening test that checks for cellular changes on the cervix that could be signs of cancer, precancerous cells and other abnormalities) are collected. Sometimes mild cramping or a prickly sensation may occur with this procedure. The Pap specimen will be sent to a laboratory for examination.
HPV DNA Testing
HPV DNA testing is NOT recommended for
- Any women aged 20 or under
- Routine screening in women before age 30
- Screening women considering HPV vaccination
- As part of a routine STI screen
- As part of a sexual assault workup
HPV DNA testing may be ordered for women ≥ 30 who have met certain criteria. If you are interested in pursuing this test, please discuss this with your health care provider.
The Pelvic Exam
- After the speculum is removed, the health care provider performs a pelvic exam to determine the size, shape, and position of your ovaries and uterus. To do this, the provider inserts gloved fingers into the vagina and place his or her other hand on your abdomen, applying slight pressure.
- Following this, a gloved finger may be inserted into the rectum to detect abnormalities and to examine the back of the uterus and the ovaries.
- Your health care provider will also screen for sexually transmitted infections if it is appropriate.
Emergency contraception (Plan B) is now available at the Vaden pharmacy without a prescription, for anyone (male or female) who is 18 years or older. A government issued ID (ie driver's license) is required to verify proof of age. Women under 18 can still receive Plan B by making an appointment with a nurse. The cost for this product is $30.00 (price as of 11/06 is subject to change)
- Medline interactive tutorial is an interactive video about the Pap smear
- Planned Parenthood site overview of contraceptive options
- AHRP interactive tutorial is a tool to evaluate which contraceptive method is right for you
- Plan B
- Virtual Library : Women's Health for more information about annual exams, contraceptive methods and sexually transmitted infections
- Pharmacy offers a full range of prescription contraceptive options.
- Sexual Health Peer Resource Center is a resource for contraceptive information and products.
- Preventing Pregnancy from the Vaden Health Series
- Graduate Women's Wellness Network provides
updated information regarding Stanford campus wellness issues and events.
It is sponsored by Graduate Women’s Wellness Committee.