Women's Health - Sexual Health

Sexually Transmitted Infections

STDs can complicate your pregnancy and may have serious effects on both you and your developing baby. Some of these problems may be seen at birth; others may not be discovered until months or years later. In addition, it is well known that infection with an STD can make it easier for a person to get infected with HIV. Most of these problems can be prevented if you receive regular medical care during pregnancy. This includes tests for STDs starting early in pregnancy and repeated close to delivery, as needed. Read more about how to protect yourself, your partner, and your baby from sexually transmitted infections in the STDs and Pregnancy Fact Sheet.

Chlamydia Fact Sheet. Chlamydia is a common STD that can infect both men and women and can cause serious, permanent damage to a woman’s reproductive system. This can make it difficult or impossible for her to get pregnant later on. Chlamydia can also cause a potentially fatal ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy that occurs outside the womb). Read more about the most common infections below.

Gonorrhea Fact Sheet. Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) that can infect both men and women. It can cause infections in the genitals, rectum, and throat. It is a very common infection, especially among young people ages 15-24 years. A pregnant woman with gonorrhea can give the infection to her baby during childbirth.

Syphilis Fact Sheet. Syphilis is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) that can have very serious complications when left untreated, but it is simple to cure with the right treatment. Syphilis can spread from an infected mother to her unborn baby.

HSV (Herpes Simplex Virus) Fact Sheet. Genital herpes is a common STD, and most people with genital herpes infection do not know they have it.

Hepatitis B Fact Sheet. Hepatitis B is a liver infection caused by the Hepatitis B virus (HBV). Hepatitis B is transmitted when blood, semen, or another body fluid from a person infected with the Hepatitis B virus enters the body of someone who is not infected. This can happen through sexual contact; sharing needles, syringes, or other drug-injection equipment; or from mother to baby at birth.

STDs and HIV Fact Sheet.  In the United States, people who get syphilis, gonorrhea, and herpes often also have HIV, or are more likely to get HIV in the future.

HIV Services

Minnesota Community Care provides comprehensive and wrap around services for HIV. We offer free, confidential HIV testing and counseling. We have a harm reduction philosophy and encourage all interested patients to consider taking advantage of these services. We value diversity and provide a supportive environment for patients of all sexual and gender orientations. We have several bilingual staff as well as a broad range of interpretive services to meet the needs of a diverse clientele.

We are also a site for Ryan White funding, which allows us to link any new HIV diagnoses immediately into care. This includes access to medical case management services, pharmaceutical services, mental health resources, and a physician team with expertise in the management of HIV. We have a number of mechanisms to provide these services free of charge or through reduced fees for patients who do not have access to health insurance.

Safer Sex

Positive sexual experiences are consensual, respectful, and protected. When we have sex with someone we show intimate parts of our bodies and emotions. Safe sex means keeping our bodies and emotional health safe. You have the right to say no to sex, to stop sexual activity,  and to tell a partner that you will not have sex without birth control or without protection from STIs. If anyone questions your rights to these things, especially a sexual partner, they probably don’t have your best interests in mind.


Personal Safety

Part of a healthy pregnancy and creating space for welcoming your baby is making sure you feel safe in your home and surroundings. Unfortunately, 1 in 4 pregnant women in the USA experience some type of physical or emotional violence. For many women, this happens for the first time or gets worse during pregnancy. If you are struggling with feeling safe, you are not alone.

This wheel helps us think about things that other people can do or say that make us feel unsafe. Have you noticed these things in your life?

Everyone deserves to be safe. We want to help you find the right resources. If you don’t feel safe in your home or in your relationships there is help available.

Minnesota Domestic Violence Crisis Line, available 24-hours. 866-223-1111. (For text, use: 612-399-9995)

St. Paul & Ramsey County Intervention Project. (651) 645-2824.

Bridges to Safety is in the Ramsey County Courthouse at St. Paul City Hall, 15 West Kellogg Boulevard, Room 140 St. Paul, MN 55102. (651) 266-9901. They offer help with restraining orders, legal help, and help to find shelter space all in one place. They even have child care if you need it while you are in their office!

Casa de Esperanza(651) 772-1611. Offers support to women living with domestic violence. Call the crisis line if you need help. It is open 24 hours a day in English and Spanish.

Request an Appointment

(651) 602-7500

You may make an appointment by calling (651) 602-7500, Monday to Friday, 7:30 am to 6 pm.

If you have an urgent medical question after business hours, dial (952) 883-7449 for the 24-hour CareLine

For answers to frequently asked questions, visit our Request an Appointment page.