Sex

March 29th, 2010 by Noelle

Abstinence

Abstinence is not having sex. A person who decides to practice abstinence has decided not to have sex.couple

How Does It Work?

If two people don’t have sex, then sperm can’t fertilize an egg and there’s no possibility of a pregnancy. Some forms of birth control depend on barriers that prevent the sperm from reaching the egg (such as condoms or diaphragms). Others interfere with the menstrual cycle (as birth control pills do). With abstinence, no barriers or pills are necessary because the person is not having sex.

You don’t have to be a virgin to practice abstinence. Sometimes people who have been having sex decide not to continue having sex. Even if a person has been having sex, he or she can still choose abstinence to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

How Well Does It Work?

Abstinence is 100% effective in preventing pregnancy. Although many birth control methods can have high rates of success if used properly, they can fail occasionally. Practicing abstinence ensures that a girl will not become pregnant because there is no opportunity for sperm to fertilize an egg.

Before You Decide to Have Sex

  • Decide first if you are in a healthy relationship.
  • Trust yourself – If waiting seems to be an idea that might work for you, list some reasons why. Decisions based on your own reasons are easier to stick to.
  • Make your own decision
    • Recognize pressures that can cause you to ignore your own feelings.
    • Be aware of the impact of a sexual relationship can have on your life.
    • Know how much time and attention a sexual relationship can take.
    • Consider abstinence a reasonable option
    • Make conscious decisions that consider all factors.

Sexual Assault

Rape is defined as forced sexual intercourse; force may involve psychological coercion (being “talked into it”) as well as physical violence. This includes situations where the victim may be drunk, drugged, asleep, unconscious, or for any reason unable to say yes or no. It doesn’t matter if a girl dresses sexy or a guy is really “bombed,” sex without proper consent is RAPE. Period.

Additional information about Date Myths & Facts can be found on the Smarter Sex website.

Being Safe On Campus

Several things affect your safety on campus. Each campus is different. However, sexual assaults happen everywhere and can be committed by anyone. Just because someone looks like you and “seems” nice does not mean they are incapable of rape. Below are several things to keep in mind while on campus and in settings where alcohol is involved to avoid sexual assault.

On campus housing:

  • Always lock your door. Never prop your door open if you leave or are asleep.
  • Know your res hall. The dorms at PSU require quests to sign in and out. The doors to our Res Halls are always locked-don’t let strangers in.
  • Your dorm room should be as safe as a hotel or apartment. This isn’t mom and dad’s house!

On Campus:

  • If you are on campus late at night, use the campus shuttle. Know where the emergency phones are. You can call University Police to have them escort you to your Res Hall.
  • Walk home with a friend that you know well.
  • Avoid short cuts that are not well lit or are surrounded by bushes or other obstacles that may hinder your view.
  • If you commute to school and are on campus late at night, make sure you park in a well-lit area. Avoid walking to your car alone.
  • Check the back seat of your car before getting inside to make sure no one is hiding inside.

Safety at Parties

  • Be aware of your surroundings.
  • If you are planning to drink, bring a friend with you and leave with that same person. Know how you are going to get home.
  • Date rape drugs, such as GHB or “roofies” are present on college campuses. If someone offers to get you a drink, go with him or her and watch him or her pour it. Never accept a drink from a random person. Keep an eye on your drink, don’t set your cup down to dance and come back to finish it later. You are better off wasting a drink then getting wasted and putting your safety at risk.
  • Avoid being alone and be careful whom you invite back to your room. Do you really know this person? He may look like you, dress like you, even be best friends with your best friend, but do you really know him/her after one night?
  • If you start to feel strange or unusually intoxicated, seek help from a friend. A stranger who offers to help you or escort you from the event could be someone who’s slipped you a drug and plans to do you harm.
  • Avoid excessive drinking. Too much alcohol can affect your judgment.

Safety on Dates

As you know by now, the majority of rapes occur by people you know. If you are on a date with a stranger, meet the person in a public place and avoid being alone. You may be daydreaming about your next date, but your date may have different intentions. Get to know each other before you invite your date “upstairs”; not only is it a safer option, it also will mean that your relationship will be based on more than just sex.

Contraceptives

What are your choices? There are several ways to protect yourself and your partner from pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV. The following links will give you information about several different kinds of contraceptives available in the United States (Information from Planned Parenthood).

  • Abstinence
  • Withdrawal
  • Rhythm/Calendar Method
  • Condom
  • Diaphragm
  • Cervical Cap
  • Female Condom
  • The Pill
  • The Patch
  • The Ring
  • Morning After Pill (MAP)
  • Intrauterine Device (IUD)
  • Depo-Provera
  • Sterilization

Abstinence is the only method that is 100% effective in the prevention of STDs and pregnancy.

Only a female condom and a latex or polyurethane condom may reduce the risk of STDs.

Resources

American Social Health Association

Emergency Contraception Website

Sexuality Information and Education Council of the US

Sex, Etc.

CDC National Prevention Information Network

Planned Parenthood

Sexuality Information and Education Council of the US

Gay & Lesbian National Hotline

GLBT Health Webpages

Nutrition

March 29th, 2010 by Noelle

There is a lot of information available on how to eat healthy, but it isn’t always easy to do as a college student. Eating at Prospect Dining Hall isn’t like eating at home and there are a ton of choices. If you live off campus, cooking can be difficult and expensive – as well as time consuming.

veggies

Additional Nutrition Resources:

Center for Disease Control

Fruits & Veggies Matter

My Food Pyramid

American Dietetic Association

Food and Nutrition Information Center

Mayo Clinic Food & Nutrition Center

NIH: Aim for a Healthy Weight

Nutrition Analysis Tool

Tufts Nutrition Navigator

Physical Fitness

March 29th, 2010 by Noelle

Being fit can be fun!

Getting 30 minutes of exercise in 5 out of 7 days isn’t difficult here on campus.

There are several programs offered such as:

  • Group Exercise classes through the Rec Programs department
  • Venture Center’s SOAR program.
  • Rec Program’s Active Lifestyle Program

Are you lacking the time to get to the gym?

Try doing something in your room for exercise. Here are some 10 minute exercises (3 times a day):

  • Jumping Jacks: do jumping jacks in place for 10 minutes.
  • Jogging in Place: lift your knees and pump your arms to get your heart rate up.
  • Plyometric Lunges: Begin in a basic lunge position. In an explosive movement, jump, switch legs in the air and land with bent knees into lunge.
  • Ski Hops: with feet together, jump from side to side, landing with knees bent. The wider you jump and the lower you squat into the jump, the harder you’ll work.
  • Jump Rope: either with a rope or pretend.
  • Step Jumps: stand in front of step or platform and jump onto it, landing with both feet (harder) or a staggered landing. Step down and repeat.
  • Skipping: You might feel silly doing this, but it’s much harder than you remember!
  • Squat Hops: Stand with feet wide. Lower into a squat and hop forward 4 times, keeping feet wide, legs bent into squat. Walk back and repeat.
  • Dancing (around the house and singing into a fake microphone): Get your friends to join you for this!

Being fit can be fun!

Getting 30 minutes of exercise in 5 out of 7 days isn’t difficult here on campus.

There are several programs offered such as:

Are you lacking the time to get to the gym?

Try doing something in your room for exercise. Here are some 10 minute exercises (3 times a day):

  • Jumping Jacks: do jumping jacks in place for 10 minutes.
  • Jogging in Place: lift your knees and pump your arms to get your heart rate up.
  • Plyometric Lunges: Begin in a basic lunge position. In an explosive movement, jump, switch legs in the air and land with bent knees into lunge.
  • Ski Hops: with feet together, jump from side to side, landing with knees bent. The wider you jump and the lower you squat into the jump, the harder you’ll work.
  • Jump Rope: either with a rope or pretend.
  • Step Jumps: stand in front of step or platform and jump onto it, landing with both feet (harder) or a staggered landing. Step down and repeat.
  • Skipping: You might feel silly doing this, but it’s much harder than you remember!
  • Squat Hops: Stand with feet wide. Lower into a squat and hop forward 4 times, keeping feet wide, legs bent into squat. Walk back and repeat.
  • Dancing (around the house and singing into a fake microphone): Get your friends to join you for this!

Resources

American Heart Association

American University of Sports Medicine

Shape Up America!

ExRx

Cold or Flu?

March 29th, 2010 by Noelle

Are you not feeling very well? Have you been stressed, not sleeping & not eating properly? Do you have a raspy cough, sore throat or nasal congestions? Although the common cold and the flu share many similar symptoms, they are two very different conditions.

Even though both are caused by a virus, it can be important to identify if you are sick with a simple cold or the flu, since there are treatments for the flu. If you have the flu, people around you who have been exposed can take preventative medications so that they don’t get sick too.

Cold or Flu Quiz

March 29th, 2010 by Noelle

Take this quiz in order to find out if you have a cold or flu. If you have a cold, read our Self-Care tips to find out how to take care of it yourself. If you have flu symptoms, please give Health Services a call at 535-2350. Health Services is located in the Hogan House on the corner of Merrill and Langdon Streets.

Complete Part 1 and Part 2, then follow the instructions at the bottom of the page.

Part 1

  1. Do you have a runny nose? If so, is the mucus clear?
  2. Do you have a mild cough, sneeze, or sore throat?
  3. Do you have a mild case of nausea, vomiting or diarrhea?
  4. Have your symptoms lasted less than 24 hours?
  5. Do you have questions about cold medications?

Part 2

  1. Do you have a fever of 101 degrees or more?
  2. Do you have a severe or sudden headache?
  3. Do you have a rash?
  4. Are your tonsils enlarged and red or do they have white patches on them?
  5. Do you have a sore throat causing you severe discomfort, difficulty swallowing, or difficulty sleeping?
  6. Have you had nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea accompanied by abdominal pain or fever or for more than 24 hours?
  7. Have you had a temperature of at least 100 degrees or more for the past 3 days?
  8. Have you had a cough that has lasted 7 days and which does not seem to be getting better?
  9. Do you have chest pain, wheezing or shortness of breath?
  10. Do you cough up greenish-yellow or blood-tinged mucus or sputum?
  11. Do you have enlarged lymph nodes (”glands” or “lumps”) on the front, sides or back of the neck?
  12. Do you have an earache or sinus pain?

Instructions

If you answered yes to any of the questions in Part 1, proceed to the Self Care page to find ways in which you can treat these symptoms yourself. If symptoms persist or worsen, call Health Services.

If you answered yes to any of the questions in Part 2, you should be evaluated by a nurse. Call Health Services, (603) 535-2350 for an appointment. If you have a fever of 101 degrees or more, along with a headache and/or rash, you are at increased risk of significant illness and we strongly recommend that you be seen today for a medical evaluation.

What do your symptoms Mean? Cold or Flu?

March 29th, 2010 by Noelle

Fever

  • Fever is pretty rare with a cold
  • Fever is usually present with the flu. 80% of flu cases include a fever. A temperature of 1000 F or higher for 3 to 4 days is associated with the flu.

Aches

  • Slight body aches and pains can be part of a cold.
  • Severe aches and pains are common with the flu.

Chills

  • Chills are uncommon with a cold.
  • Chills are fairly common in most flu cases. 60% of flu cases include chills. Chills and shivering are a normal reaction to a cold environment, but unexplained chills can also be a sign of the flu.

Tiredness

  • Tiredness is fairly mild with a cold
  • Tiredness is moderate to severe with the flu. It’s normal to feel tired at the end of a long day or when you don’t get adequate sleep, but unexplained tiredness can be a sign of the flu.

Sudden Symptoms

  • Cold symptoms are not sudden and develop over a few days.
  • The flu has a rapid onset within 3-6 hours. The flu hits hard and includes sudden symptoms like high fever, aches and pains.

Coughing

  • A hacking productive (mucus producing) cough is often present with a cold.
  • A nonproductive cough that does not produce mucus is usually present with the flu. Dry cough is present in 80% of flu cases.

Sneezing

  • Sneezing is commonly present with a cold.
  • Sneezing is not commonly present with the flu.

Stuffy Nose

  • A stuffy nose usually accompanies a cold and typically resolves spontaneously within a week.
  • Stuffy nose is not commonly present with the flu.

Sore Throat

  • Sore throat is commonly present with a cold. A sore throat is pain and inflammation in the throat that usually comes with a cold.
  • Sore throat is not commonly present with the flu.

Chest Discomfort

  • Chest discomfort is mild to moderate with a cold.
  • Chest discomfort is often severe with the flu. Chest discomfort is pain or abnormal sensations that you feel anywhere along the front of your body between your neck and upper abdomen.

Headache

  • A headache is fairly uncommon with a cold.
  • A headache is very common with the flu, present in 80% of flu cases.

Alternative Medicines

March 29th, 2010 by Noelle

These are practices that differ from conventional medicine. Some alternative medicine practices are homeopathy, naturopathy, chiropractic and herbal medicine.

Alternative medicine practices may be based on non-traditional belief systems or philosophies, and some may not follow the scientific method. They may incorporate spiritual, metaphysical, or religious underpinnings, untested practices, pre-modern medical traditions, or newly developed approaches to healing.

Massagemassagee

Massage therapy involves the manipulation, rubbing and kneading of the body’s muscle and soft tissue to enhance function of the tissues and promote relaxation. Massage can decrease stress, anxiety, depression, pain and fatigue.

There are many different types of massage such as Swedish, therapeutic, neuromuscular, trigger and point massage.

The Wellness Center offers free massages to our students each week. Stop by or call to find out the times that they are offered.

Acupressure

Acupressure is a treatment in which the acupoints lie along invisible meridians. These meridians are said to be channels for the flow of vital energy or life force called qi (pronounced “Chee”) that is present in all living things. Acupressure and other elements of Asian bodywork have the goal of restoring health and balance to the energy flow. There are claims that acupressure can be used to treat the body, mind, emotions, energy field, and spirit.

Acupuncture

Acupuncture is a technique in which very thin needles of varying lengths are inserted through the skin to treat a variety of conditions. Sonopuncture is an acupuncture technique that uses sound waves to stimulate the acupuncture sites, or acupoints. Electroacupuncture uses tiny electrical charges, with or without needles, to stimulate the same acupoints that are used in traditional acupuncture.

Resources

National Center for Complimentary and Alternative Medicine

The Alternative Medicine Homepage

The American Association of Naturopathic Physicians

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