Student Health Office
Self Help Guide
Common Health Problems
Sport Injuries – Sprains and Bruises
Ice and Heat
During the initial 24 hours after an injury, rest, immobilize, compress (with an ace wrap--not too tight), elevate and ice (RICE) the area. After the initial 24 hours, you can use both ice and heat to make yourself feel better. Ice reduces swelling and lessens pain by numbing the area with cold. Ice also increases blood flow after it is removed from the injury. Heat will increase blood circulation to the sprain or bruise which helps with the healing process. Heat will also decrease pain by relaxing the muscles around the injury.
It is very easy to make your own ice pack. You can use ice cubes from the freezer and place the ice cubes in a bag. A bag of frozen peas or corn works well. You can also freeze water in a styrofoam cup. After it has frozen, you peel the styrofoam off the ice. This can be used to "ice massage" the area. You can also borrow reusable ice packs from SHO or buy them at the drug store. Place a thin towel over the ice or ice pack and place it on the sprain or bruise for about fifteen minutes per hour. You should try to do this at least twice a day.
Moist heat is better than dry heat because moist heat goes deeper into the tissues. A hot bath, a hot shower, a whirlpool bath or jacuzzi are the best sources of moist heat. A special moist heating pad is also good. (Do not get a dry heating pad wet!) An inexpensive way to get moist heat would be to wrap a hot wet towel around a hot water bottle and then place this on the sprain or bruise. You can heat a wet towel in a microwave oven. Moist heat may be applied to the sprain or bruise as often as you like. Please be careful not to burn yourself!
Signs & Symptoms
- Unusual discharge from the penis or vagina
- Pain in the pelvic area (below the stomach)
- Burning or itching in or around the penis or vagina
- Pain during urination
- Pain during sexual intercourse
- Frequent urination
- Sores, bumps or blisters around the genitals, rectum or mouth
If you have any of these signs or symptoms, seek testing and treatment immediately. STIs will not go away by themselves. If left untreated, they could lead to more serious health problems such as damage to the reproductive organs and sterility.
Students are invited to come to Student Health Office for free STI testing, including HIV testing. Please make an appointment by calling x6418. Our service is absolutely confidential.
How to protect yourself
- Not having sex is the best way to protect yourself from STIs.
If you have sex:
- Have sex with only one uninfected partner who only has sex with you.
- Use latex condoms every time during anal, vaginal, or oral intercourse. It’s not 100%, but condoms greatly reduce the risk for STIs. The pill and other types of contraception do not protect against STIs.
- Use plastic (polyurethane) condoms if you are allergic to latex. Both latex and polyurethane condoms are available in the Student Health Office. Various kinds of latex condoms can be found in the OTC medication counter. You may ask the nurse for plastic condoms if you are allergic to latex.
- Discuss openly and honestly with your partner about previous sexual partners and about needle drug use. Do not have sex with someone who you think may have an STI.
- Look closely at your partner and yourself for any signs of STIs – a rash, a sore or discharge. If you see anything you are worried about, don’t have sex to protect yourself and your partner.
- Know the signs and symptoms of STIs. Get checked for STIs regularly.
- Ask your sex partner(s) to get tested and treated, too.
- Many STIs can be cured. Others cannot be cured. But all STIs can and must be treated.
Urinary Tract Infection
Signs & Symptoms
- Urinary tract infection (UTI) often develops on women.
- Most people get at least some symptoms, including
--A frequent urge to urinate
--A bad feeling all over (tired, shaky, washed out)
--Pain even when not urinating
- Often women feel an uncomfortable pressure above the pubic bone, and some men experience a fullness in the rectum.
- Despite the urge to urinate, only a small amount of urine is passed
- The urine itself may look milky or cloudy, even reddish if blood is present.
- When the infection has reached the kidneys, the patient will experience a fever.
- Other symptoms of a kidney infection include pain in the back or side below the ribs, nausea, or vomiting.
- A urinary tract infection is usually caused by bacteria entering the urethra. Bacteria can cause infection in any portion of the urinary tract. Infection of the bladder is called cystitis and infection in the kidney(s) is called pyelonephritis.
- In women, the urethra is short and bacteria from the vagina and rectum can easily enter the urinary tract. Diarrhea, sexual activity, and wiping the rectal area before the urethral area after urinating can transfer bacteria into the urethra.
- In men, the urethra is long and bacteria are less likely to enter the urinary tract. Urinary tract infections in males usually imply an underlying problem.
- Anatomical irregularities in any part of the urinary tract can contribute to development of a urinary tract infection.
- A urinary tract infection is not considered a sexually transmitted disease. It is rarely contagious, and the bacteria that cause it are different from bacteria causing sexually transmitted disease. However, some urinary tract infections may result from sexual activity.
If you experience any symptoms presented above, please call x6148 to make an appointment to be seen. Samples will be collected to determine whether you have UTI and what antibiotic will be effective.
- Drink plenty of water every day. Cranberry juice may help, too.
- Urinate when you feel the need; don't resist the urge to urinate.
- Take showers instead of tub baths.
- Cleanse the genital area before sexual intercourse.
- For women:
--Wipe from front to back to prevent bacteria around the anus from entering the vagina or urethra.
--Avoid using feminine hygiene sprays and scented douches, which may irritate the urethra.
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