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About 230,000 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year in the US and 40,000 women will die from it. Breast cancer screenings, such as breast exams or mammograms, help detect breast cancer in its earliest, most treatable stage. These breast cancer detection tools can save lives. More than 9 out of 10 women who detect breast cancer early live at least five years—and many live much longer. Learn more about breast cancer screenings.
Pap tests and HPV tests are kinds of cervical cancer screening. Women get routine screenings to help them avoid getting cervical cancer.
Cervical cancer screening can detect cell changes in the cervix before cancer even develops. The changes can be treated and cancer can be prevented. That is why cervical cancer screening is so important. Learn more about cervical cancer and screening.
HIV is the infection that causes AIDS. HIV has few or no symptoms for up to 10 years or more before symptoms of AIDS develop. About 1 out of 6 people with HIV don't know they are infected, so testing is very important. Getting tested is quick, simple, and painless: rapid HIV tests can provide results in as fast as 20 minutes from just a swab inside the mouth. Learn more about HIV & AIDS and HIV testing.
HPV stands for human papillomavirus. There are more than 100 types of HPV. Some types produce warts—plantar warts on the feet and common hand warts. About 40 types of HPV can infect the genital area—the vulva, vagina, cervix, rectum, anus, penis, or scrotum.
Genital HPV infections are very common. HPV is so common that nearly all sexually active men and women get it at some point in their lives. But most people who have HPV don't know it.
There are two types of HPV vaccines, Gardasil and Cervarix. They both protect against HPV types 16 and 18, which cause 7 out of 10 cases of cervical cancer. Gardasil also protects against types six and 11. They cause 9 out of 10 cases of genital warts.
It is recommended that all girls and women ages 9 to 26 get an HPV vaccine. Boys and men ages 9 to 26 can get the vaccine to prevent genital warts, some cancers of the anus, and to prevent the spread of HPV to women, which could potentially cause cancer. Learn more about HPV and the HPV vaccine.
Emergency contraception is a safe and effective way to prevent pregnancy after unprotected intercourse. It can be used up to five days (120 hours) after unprotected intercourse.
Pregnancy doesn't happen right after sex. That's why it's possible to prevent pregnancy even after the fact. It can take up to six days for the sperm and egg to meet after having sex. Emergency contraception pills work by keeping a woman's ovary from releasing an egg for longer than usual. Pregnancy cannot happen if there is no egg to join with sperm.
You might have also heard that the morning-after pill causes an abortion. But that's not true. The morning-after pill is not the abortion pill. Emergency contraception is birth control, not abortion. Learn more about emergency contraception.
Millions of women face unplanned pregnancies every year. In fact, half of all pregnancies in the US are unplanned. If you are pregnant, you have three options to think about—abortion, adoption, and parenting. Only you can decide what is right for you. But women often find it helpful to talk it through with someone else.
Family planning clinics, like your local Planned Parenthood health center, have specially trained staff who can talk with you about all of your options. But beware of so-called "crisis pregnancy centers." These are fake clinics run by people who are anti-abortion. They often don't give women all their options. They have a history of scaring women into not having abortions. Absolutely no one should pressure you or trick you into making a decision you're not comfortable with. Learn more about pregnancy options.
Pregnancy tests are usually simple urine tests that show if a woman is pregnant. They test for a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG). HCG is released when a fertilized egg attaches to the lining of the uterus. HCG is only found in a woman's body if she is pregnant. Learn more about pregnancy testing.
If you've had sex with another person and did not use a condom, female condom, dental dam, or other barrier, it's a good idea to talk to your healthcare provider about sexually transmitted infection (STI) testing. Getting tested can put your mind at ease or get you (and your partner) needed treatment. It's also important to learn about ways you and your partner can protect yourselves in the future through safer sex. Learn more about STIs and STI testing.
Pregnant and need to know more? An ultrasound can tell you the date of your pregnancy, assess the location in the uterus and rule out an ectopic pregnancy, and assess the presence of a heartbeat. We offer pregnancy dating ultrasounds at our Prevention Park Health Center in Houston, Spring Health Center in Spring, TX and New Orleans Health Center in LA. Learn more here.
It is pretty easy to get a urinary tract infection (UTI). Anything that brings bacteria in contact with the vulva and/or urethra can cause a UTI. This can happen when tiny bits of feces enter the urethra during sex play or even when toilet water back splashes. Unprotected anal intercourse is a very high-risk behavior for urinary tract infections.
UTIs can also be caused by STDs. When a UTI is caused by an STD, the infection is most often only in the urethra—not the bladder. A healthcare provider can do a test to see if you have a UTI. Your provider will test a sample of your urine. Learn more about UTIs.
Vasectomy is a safe, simple and permanent procedure that prevents a man from causing pregnancy. It is nearly 100 percent effective. There is no cutting involved and the procedure takes about 10 minutes. No stitches are needed and recovery is quick. Keep in mind that vasectomy offers no protection against sexually transmitted infections. Learn more about vasectomy.