Class now required to obtain contraceptives

By Rob Heselbarth

Students who wish to acquire contraceptives through the University Health Service will now have to take a class before they are allowed to speak with a doctor.

“If a student calls the University Health Service to make an appointment with a doctor about getting contraceptives, they will not be allowed to speak to a doctor until they have taken the class,” said Joanna Deuth, NIU health educator.

The technical term for the class is the “sex and health class,” but it is also known as the “pre-session” class.

“It is a one-time, two hour class,” Deuth said. “We start out

giving an overview on women’s health, then we talk about different birth control methods and give information about birth control pills.”

Michael Haines, coordinator of Health Enhancement Services, said historically the class is a holdover from when it was first considered to offer contraceptives to students.

“The class has three main points that are covered,” Haines said. “First, it is an ideal opportunity to provide information on how students can improve their health.”

“Second, it teaches students about contraceptives and other alternatives that can be used. Third, it provides crucial information on how to prevent STDs and pregnancies,” Haines said.

“Before students go to the class, they say it will most likely be a pain in the neck, but most of them appreciate the class after attending it,” he said.

In the mid-1970s the class was taught by nurses, but in 1982 Health Enhancement Services took over the teaching.

“Everyone who helps with the class works through Health Enhancement,” Deuth said.

Haines said that having health enhancement workers teaching the class not only benefits the students but the University Health Service as well.

“The health enhancement workers free up the nurses’ schedules, so they can have more time with students who are sick,” he said.

The class is held two times a week, all semester long. Each semester about 350 people attend 45 different classes.

Anyone interested in signing up for the class can call the NIU gynecology office at 753-9728 for more information.