Reproductive health services are available for men and women and teens at our Public Health Clinic. These services include family planning (contraception), annual pelvic and breast exams and evaluations for concerns related to reproductive health.
Walk-in clients are offered the next available appointment.
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Wednesday: 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Appointments are strongly encouraged, please arrive on time. As a courtesy to our other clients, we will have to reschedule you if you arrive 10 minutes past your scheduled appointment time.
Types of services and when you can schedule an appointment
For lab test results leave a message on our TEST RESULT MESSAGE LINE - 343-4211 and a nurse will get back to you within 24 hours.
The effectiveness of birth control methods is critically important for reducing the risk of unintended pregnancy. Effectiveness can be measured during “perfect use,” when the method is used correctly and consistently as directed, or during “typical use,” which is how effective the method is during actual use (including inconsistent and incorrect use).4 The best way to reduce the risk of unintended pregnancy among women who are sexually active is to use effective birth control correctly and consistently. Among reversible methods of birth control, intrauterine contraception and the contraceptive implant remain highly effective for years once correctly in place. The effectiveness of the contraceptive shot, pills, patch and ring, and barrier and fertility awareness-based methods, depends on correct and consistent use—so these methods have lower effectiveness with typical use.
- Copper T intrauterine device (IUD) —This IUD is a small device that is shaped in the form of a “T.” Your doctor places it inside the uterus to prevent pregnancy. It can stay in your uterus for up to 10 years. Typical use failure rate: 0.8%.
- Levonorgestrel intrauterine system (LNG IUD) —The LNG IUD is a small T-shaped device like the Copper T IUD. It is placed inside the uterus by a doctor. It releases a small amount of progestin each day to keep you from getting pregnant. The LNG IUD stays in your uterus for up to 5 years. Typical use failure rate: 0.2%.
- Implant —The implant is a single, thin rod that is inserted under the skin of a women’s upper arm. The rod contains a progestin that is released into the body over 3 years. Typical use failure rate: 0.05%.
- Injection or “shot” — Women get shots of the hormone progestin in the buttocks or arm every three months from their doctor. Typical use failure rate: 6%.
- Combined oral contraceptives — Also called “the pill,” combined oral contraceptives contain the hormones estrogen and progestin. It is prescribed by a doctor. A pill is taken at the same time each day. If you are older than 35 years and smoke, have a history of blood clots or breast cancer, your doctor may advise you not to take the pill. Typical use failure rate: 9%.
- Progestin only pill — Unlike the combined pill, the progestin-only pill (sometimes called the mini-pill) only has one hormone, progestin, instead of both estrogen and progestin. It is prescribed by a doctor. It is taken at the same time each day. It may be a good option for women who can’t take estrogen. Typical use failure rate: 9%.
- Patch —This skin patch is worn on the lower abdomen, buttocks, or upper body (but not on the breasts). This method is prescribed by a doctor. It releases hormones progestin and estrogen into the bloodstream. You put on a new patch once a week for three weeks. During the fourth week, you do not wear a patch, so you can have a menstrual period. Typical use failure rate: 9%, but may be higher in women who weigh more than 198 pounds.
- Hormonal vaginal contraceptive ring — The ring releases the hormones progestin and estrogen. You place the ring inside your vagina. You wear the ring for three weeks, take it out for the week you have your period, and then put in a new ring. Typical use failure rate: 9%.
- Emergency contraception — Emergency contraception is NOT a regular method of birth control. Emergency contraception can be used after no birth control was used during sex, or if the birth control method failed, such as if a condom broke.
- Women can have the Copper T IUD inserted within five days of unprotected sex.
- Women can take emergency contraceptive pills up to 5 days after unprotected sex, but the sooner the pills are taken, the better they will work. There are three different types of emergency contraceptive pills available in the United States. Some emergency contraceptive pills are available over the counter.
- Diaphragm or cervical cap — Each of these barrier methods are placed inside the vagina to cover the cervix to block sperm. The diaphragm is shaped like a shallow cup. The cervical cap is a thimble-shaped cup. Before sexual intercourse, you insert them with spermicide to block or kill sperm. Visit your doctor for a proper fitting because diaphragms and cervical caps come in different sizes. Typical use failure rate: 12%.
- Male condom — Worn by the man, a male condom keeps sperm from getting into a woman’s body. Latex condoms, the most common type, help prevent pregnancy, and HIV and other STDs, as do the newer synthetic condoms. “Natural” or “lambskin” condoms also help prevent pregnancy, but may not provide protection against STDs, including HIV. Typical use failure rate: 18%. Condoms can only be used once. You can buy condoms, KY jelly, or water-based lubricants at a drug store. Do not use oil-based lubricants such as massage oils, baby oil, lotions, or petroleum jelly with latex condoms. They will weaken the condom, causing it to tear or break.
- Female condom — Worn by the woman, the female condom helps keeps sperm from getting into her body. It is packaged with a lubricant and is available at drug stores. It can be inserted up to eight hours before sexual intercourse. Typical use failure rate: 21%, and also may help prevent STDs.
- Spermicides — These products work by killing sperm and come in several forms—foam, gel, cream, film, suppository, or tablet. They are placed in the vagina no more than one hour before intercourse. You leave them in place at least six to eight hours after intercourse. You can use a spermicide in addition to a male condom, diaphragm, or cervical cap. They can be purchased at drug stores. Typical use failure rate: 28%.
Fertility Awareness-Based Methods
- Natural family planning or fertility awareness —Understanding your monthly fertility pattern can help you plan to get pregnant or avoid getting pregnant. Your fertility pattern is the number of days in the month when you are fertile (able to get pregnant), days when you are infertile, and days when fertility is unlikely, but possible. If you have a regular menstrual cycle, you have about nine or more fertile days each month. If you do not want to get pregnant, you do not have sex on the days you are fertile, or you use a barrier method of birth control on those days. Failure rates vary across these methods. Overall, typical use failure rate: 24%.
Effectiveness of family planning methods
His condom and her birth control
How to use a male condom
Accidents can happen. Emergency Contraception is more effective if started as soon as possible after unprotected sex, however it can be used up to 5 days after. If your birth control method should fail, DHHS has emergency contraception available. If you are unable to make it to our L Street clinic, Emergency contraception is available through your local pharmacy without a prescription.
DHHS offers pregnancy testing along with other sexual health testing including HIV and STDs. Urine pregnancy tests are available in our L. Street Clinic.
Testing and treatment of sexually transmitted infections
Rates of sexually transmitted diseases such as Chlamydia, Gonorrhea and Syphilis remain high within the municipality. DHHS offers testing and treatment at our public health clinic on L Street. Call 343-4799 to make an appointment. Click on any of the below links to learn more:
An estimated 1.1 million people in the United States are living with HIV, including 166,000 people who do not know they are infected. In 2015, nearly 40,000 people were diagnosed with HIV. Thirty percent of new HIV infections are transmitted by people who are living with undiagnosed HIV. For those who are living with undiagnosed HIV, testing is the first step in maintaining a healthy life and reducing the spread of HIV. HIV testing is available in both our L street clinic and many of our outreaches as well.
Importance of HIV Testing for Prevention and Treatment of HIV Infection
People with HIV who know they are infected can get HIV treatment (antiretroviral therapy, or ART) that can keep them healthy for many years. Studies indicate that all people living with HIV, including those with early infection, benefit from ART. Treatment with antiretroviral medications lowers the level of HIV in the blood (viral load), reduces HIV-related illness, and reduces the spread of HIV to others. Taking ART the right way every day can reduce an HIV-positive person’s chance of transmitting HIV by as much as 96%.
People living with HIV who know they are infected can also make other decisions that lower their risk of transmitting HIV to a partner. Studies have shown that many people with HIV who know they are infected avoid behaviors that might spread the infection to others with whom they have sex or share needles.
People who get tested and learn they are HIV-negative can also make decisions about sex, drug use, and health care that can protect them from HIV. For example, taking HIV medications daily, called pre-exposure prophylaxis or PrEP, can prevent HIV infection in persons who are HIV-negative and at very high risk for HIV.
HIV Tests For Screening and Diagnosis
HIV tests are very accurate, but no test can detect the virus immediately after infection. How soon a test can detect infection depends upon different factors, including the type of test being used. There are three types of HIV diagnostic tests: antibody tests, combination or fourth-generation tests, and nucleic acid tests (NATs).
- Antibody tests detect the presence of antibodies, proteins that a person’s body makes against HIV, not HIV itself. Most HIV tests, including most rapid tests and home tests, are antibody tests. It can take 3 to 12 weeks for a person’s body to make enough antibodies for an antibody test to detect HIV infection. In general, antibody tests that use blood can detect HIV slightly sooner after infection than tests done with oral fluid.
- Combination or fourth-generation tests look for both HIV antibodies and antigens. Antigens are a part of the virus itself and are present during acute HIV infection. It can take 2 to 6 weeks for a person’s body to make enough antigens and antibodies for a combination test to detect HIV. Combination tests are now recommended for testing done in labs and are becoming more common in the United States. There is also a rapid combination test available.
- NATs detect HIV the fastest by looking for HIV in the blood. It can take 7 to 28 days for NATs to detect HIV. This test is very expensive and is not routinely used for HIV screening unless the person recently had a high-risk exposure or a possible exposure with early symptoms of HIV infection.
- An initial HIV test will either be an antibody test or combination test. It may involve obtaining blood or oral fluid for a rapid test or sending blood or oral fluid to a laboratory. If the initial HIV test is a rapid test and it is positive, the individual will be directed to get follow-up testing. If the initial HIV test is a laboratory test and is positive, the laboratory will usually conduct follow-up testing on the same blood specimen as the initial test. Although HIV tests are generally very accurate, follow-up testing allows the health care provider to be sure the diagnosis is right.