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Women's Health Service

Baldwin Hall | 845-437-5818 | Monday–Friday
9:00am–12:00pm and 1:00–4:00pm during the academic year

The Women’s Health Service at Vassar College is located on the second floor of Baldwin House above the Health Service. We are open during the academic year but closed on weekends and most holidays. Emergencies after-hours or on weekends can be evaluated at the Health Service by our nursing staff with medical on-call backup from 9am-5pm weekdays and 12 noon-4pm weekends or by going to a local hospital emergency room. See also, Health Emergencies Information.

Our service is staffed by a physician, a nurse-practitioner, and a physician assistant.

  • Irena Balawajder MD
  • Anne Dadarria FNP
  • Mary Lackey PA

Services

  • Diagnosis and treatment of most gynecological problems
  • Routine gynecological examinations including Pap smears and HPV testing
  • Diagnosis and treatment of breast, menstrual and hormonal disorders
  • Contraception counseling and provision of contraception
  • Pregnancy testing and referral
  • Sexually transmitted disease testing and treatment (male Vassar students can be tested in the medical clinic at 845-437-5800 or the County Health Department)
  • Health education
  • Emergency contraception
  • Participation with SAVP (Sexual Assault and Violence Program)
  • HPV immunization

Scheduling an appointment?

To make an appointment, call 845-437-5818 during office hours. Walk-ins are accepted in emergency situations. If you cannot make it at the scheduled time, please call and cancel.

What to expect for your first gynecological exam

Depending on the nature of your visit to the Health Service there will be questions asked about:

  • The reason for your visit
  • Your current health status and past medical or gynecological problems
  • Menstrual periods
  • Sexuality, pregnancy, birth control
  1. During a routine annual gynecological examination, your blood pressure and weight will be determined. The practitioner will examine your thyroid, lungs, heart, abdomen, breasts (and teach breast self-exam), legs, and pelvic exam.
  2. For interval exams (infections, menstrual problems, pain etc.) the questions, exam and testing may be different as indicated by the nature of the problem.

Birth control

Our service provides examinations and counseling for all methods of birth control.

Methods include:

  • Birth control pill (many types available at low cost)
  • Nuva Ring
  • Patch (Ortho Evra)
  • Condoms
  • Emergency contraception (see below)
  • Diaphragm fitting
  • Spermicides
  • IUD (referral to local gynecology group for insertion)
  • Depo-Provera

For more information on methods of contraception visit:
http://www.plannedparenthood.org/health-topics

Emergency Contraception

Emergency Contraception (EC) is a method of preventing pregnancy after unprotected sexual intercourse. This method is sometimes referred to as “morning after pill” but this is misleading as it can be taken up to five days after unprotected sex. EC does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases. EC can be used when a condom breaks, after a sexual assault, or any time unprotected sexual intercourse occurs. Do not use EC as your only source of birth control if you are sexually active because it is not as effective as any ongoing contraceptive method. Please feel free to ask the practitioner at your appointment if you can have EC to take with you for use when needed, especially if condoms are your only method of birth control.

For more information:

Plan B®
Plan B® is an emergency contraceptive that can still prevent a pregnancy after contraceptive failure, unprotected sex, or sexual assault.
http://www.plannedparenthood.org/health-topics/emergency-contraception-morning-after-pill-4363.htm

Women's health links

Information about STD’s and HIV

CDC STD Site
Information about sexual transmitted diseases (STDs) from the Centers for Disease Control
http://www.cdc.gov/std/
American Social Health Association
The ASHA provides information with a focus on preventing sexually transmitted diseases and infections (STDs/STIs) and their harmful consequences.
http://www.ashastd.org/

Information on pregnancy options

Pregnancy Options Workbook
A workbook of options including abortion, adoption and birth.
http://www.pregnancyoptions.info/

Information on human sexuality

SIECUS Publications
The Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States's (SIECUS) website. http://www.siecus.org/pubs/pubs0004.html#FACT
http://cdc.gov/sexualhealth/ (general sexual health)

Additional health-related resources are listed on our Health Links page.