By Javier Lopez
Sexual education is fundamental for women.
Being knowledgeable in the subject can reduce chances of an unplanned pregnancy and increase overall health.
Women are often left in the dark when it comes to sexual education and some women are not taught the dangers of unprotected sex.
East Los Angeles College has a health center in G8 room 111.
It provides some services such as family planning, a program which provides birth control, but it has limited resources. At times they don’t even have condoms to give students.
It is time to find outside sources for information and services. AltaMed is the perfect place to go to for health care services such as birth control methods.
Ana Montoya, a Coordinator for Women’s Health at AltaMed, agrees that being educated on sex is important.
Unwanted pregnancies are one of the problems that arise from not being taught about sex.
Unwanted pregnancies create barriers in a woman’s path to a higher education.
After an unwanted pregnancy, if the couple decides to keep the child, “it becomes much harder to go to school,” Montoya said.
Montoya said that she has had cases in which young women are impregnated and as a result have to stop attending school. Luckily, there are services available for women and men when it comes to practicing safe sex.
AltaMed offers a variety of methods that decrease the risk of pregnancy.
“There is birth control pills which are 99 percent effective,” Montoya said
Birth control pills are a form of contraceptive in which the woman takes a pill once a day around the same time in order to reduce her chances of getting pregnant .
If consistently taking a pill at the same time each day is too much work, there are other methods.
There is the Nexplanon method, in which a tiny tube is inserted into the upper arm.
The small tube releases hormones into the body that reduce the chance of pregnancy. This form of birth control is effective for three years.
“If a woman changes their mind, they can have it removed,” Montoya said. The procedure takes about ten minutes.
There are also injections available, which have to be taken every three months. All of these methods are 99 percent effective.
The best part is that all of these services are free of charge at AltaMed and can be provided for anyone under age without their parents’ permission.
Men can also be a part of reducing a woman’s chance of pregnancy. There are contraceptives offered for men.
AltaMed offers free condoms for men, which are 98 percent effective when they are used properly. They also protect against Sexually Transmitted Diseases.
These services can benefit any student at ELAC who needs contraceptives, but cannot afford to pay for them.
In case of a pregnancy, students can also go to AltaMed for help, free of charge.
Students are often afraid or embarrassed to ask for these services. There are some who do not even know that these services are available to them. At AltaMed they make sure that they are always inclusive and kind so that no one feels threatened.
“I make them feel comfortable and give them my support,” Montoya said.
AltaMed also keeps everything about their patients confidential. All of these resources are available to the public.
Montoya said that the services that are provided by AltaMed are free for everyone “as long as you are at risk of getting pregnant.”
AltaMed also has advisers on certain days to teach anyone who wants to learn about sex.
The days vary depending on the location of the facility.
To find your local AltaMed, you can go to AltaMed.com
There are an abundant amount of services that are readily available, which help make sex safer. All it takes is becoming educated on the matter and AltaMed is just one of the places to go to learn.