Reproductive & Sexual Health

The Reproductive and Sexual Health program provides services such as birth control counseling, contraceptive methods, pregnancy testing and referrals, STI/HIV counseling, testing and treatment, breast exams, cervical cancer and HPV screening and referral for colposcopy services to women of childbearing age.

The clinic is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Appointments are required and there are no walk-ins. For appointments, call 410-228-3223.

Dorchester County Health Department
Services Overview

Services available through the Reproductive and Sexual Health program include:

  • Gynecological exams (including breast exam, pap smears)
  • Contraception (birth control) methods and counseling
  • Emergency contraception up to five days after unprotected sex
  • Pregnancy testing, counseling and referral
  • Free condoms
  • Vasectomy and tubal ligation referrals
  • Screening for cervical cancer
  • Colposcopy referrals for abnormal paps
  • Testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections
  • Health promotion/disease prevention

Eligibility:

  • Services are available to both males and females. 
  • Services are available to anyone in need of contraception.
  • Federal law allows teens to get confidential reproductive health services without parental permission. We do encourage teens to involve a parent or guardian in all health care choices.

Location

Dorchester County Health Department
3 Cedar Street
Cambridge, MD 21613

For appointments, call 410-228-3223.
Some services are available in the local School Based Wellness Centers
For more information, call Carla Bromwell BSN, RN at (410) 228-3223, ext. 175

Cost

Fees are based on income. No one will be denied services due to inability to pay.

Visits may be billed to:

  • Medical Assistance
  • Family Planning Medical Assistance (Purple & White Card)
  • Some private insurances
  • Sliding fee pay scale

Maryland Medicaid Information

Maryland Medicaid has expanded family planning insurance coverage for women and men who are 51 or younger and at or below 200% of the federal poverty level.

The expanded coverage now includes:

  • Physical exams such as pelvic and breast exams
  • Screenings for breast and cervical cancer, and sexually transmitted infections
  • Advice about birth control methods
  • Contraceptive management and emergency contraception

Apply online at the Maryland Medicaid Administration or at Maryland Health Connection. Please call the health department at 410-228-3223 if you have any questions.

Dorchester County Health Department
Family Planning

The Family Planning program is intended to assist individuals in determining the number and spacing of their children. This promotes more positive birth outcomes and healthy families. The education, counseling and medical services available in the clinic will assist in achieving this goal. 

The program offers confidential services to teens and women of childbearing age.

You can decide if and when you want to have children. Think about how a child will affect your life:

  • Will you be able to finish school?
  • Will you be able to get or keep a job?
  • Are you ready to be a parent?

There are a number of ways that you can prevent pregnancy.

  • Abstinence, (choosing not to have sex), is the most effective method to protect yourself from pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections. Even if you have been sexually active before, you can choose abstinence.
  • Birth control methods, such as condoms, birth control pills, and IUDs, can help prevent pregnancy but are not 100% effective. Some methods are more effective than others at protecting from sexually transmitted infections.

If you choose to have sex, it is a personal decision. You need to choose a reliable method of birth control and use it the right way, every time.

The family planning staff at the Dorchester County Health Department can help you decide which method is best for you. They will talk to you about how to use each method, how effective they are, and what the common side effects are.

Methods Of Birth Control

  • Abstinence: not having sex.
  • Condoms (male or external): A latex or polyurethane condom is placed over a man’s penis to keep semen from entering a woman’s vagina. Condoms will help protect you from sexually transmitted infections. You can buy condoms without a prescription. Condoms are also available free of charge at the health department.
  • Condoms (female or internal): A polyurethane condom is placed inside the woman’s vagina. The man’s penis goes into the condom.
  • Oral Contraceptives (birth control pills): A pill that should be taken at the same time each day. You need a prescription to get pills.
  • Depo-Provera: A shot/injection that works for 3 months. You must get a shot every 3 months from your health care provider.
  • NuvaRing: Flexible vaginal ring that releases ingredients similar to the pill. You place it in your vagina for 3 weeks.
  • IUD (Intrauterine Device): Must be inserted into a woman’s uterus by a doctor or clinician. Prevents pregnancy for up to 3-10 years depending on the type you choose.
  • Implanon: A flexible, matchstick-sized plastic rod inserted under the skin of a woman’s arm by a doctor or clinician. Prevents pregnancy up to 3 years.
  • Emergency Contraception:   Used within 120 hours of unprotected intercourse. Talk to your health care provider to see if this is an option for you.
  • Sterilization: This method is permanent. Use this method only if you are sure you don’t want any more children. For women, sterilization is a tubal ligation. For men, it is a vasectomy. Sterilization does not affect your ability to have sex.

For more information about family planning and birth control methods, visit the Family Planning Toolkit.

For more information on reproductive health, check out these links:

Dorchester County Health Department
Sexually Transmitted Infections

The sexually transmitted infections program and clinic provides examination and screening for sexually transmitted diseases with contact investigation and follow-up. 

The most common sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are:

  • Syphilis
  • Gonorrhea
  • Chlamydia
  • Trichomoniasis
  • Hepatitis B
  • Herpes simplex virus (HSV or herpes)
  • HIV
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV)

According to the World Health Organization (WHO):

  • STIs are spread predominantly by sexual contact, including vaginal, anal and oral sex. Some STIs can also be transmitted from mother-to-child during pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding.
  • A person can have an STI without showing symptoms of disease. Common symptoms of STIs include vaginal discharge, urethral discharge or burning in men, genital ulcers and abdominal pain.

Anyone requesting screening for an STD is eligible.

Services are offered on a sliding fee scale and insurance is accepted. Services are free of charge for anyone under age 21.

Clinics are held from 9am to 3pm Tuesdays and Thursdays at the health department at 3 Cedar Street. Appointments are requested, but walk-ins are accommodated if possible.

Screenings are available from 9am to 3pm Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. Appointments are requested, but walk-ins are accommodated if possible.

For more information, please contact Pamela Quillen, RN at 410-228-3223.

Dorchester County Health Department
HIV/AIDS

The HIV program offers prevention, education and testing. Medical case management and support services are available to anyone who lives in Maryland and is diagnosed with HIV or AIDS. Case management helps individuals get timely access to health care, encourages medication compliance, and connects clients to other services.

Prevention            

Today, more tools than ever are available to prevent HIV. You can use strategies such as abstinence (not having sex), never sharing needles, and using condoms the right way every time you have sex. 

You may also be able to take advantage of HIV prevention medicines such as (PrEP) and post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP).

If you have HIV, there are many actions you can take to prevent transmitting HIV to others.

Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP)         

PrEP is a daily pill that provides pre-exposure prophylaxis for high-risk individuals to help prevent getting HIV.  

Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis, or PrEP, is an HIV prevention strategy. HIV-negative people take medicine usually used to treat HIV infection to reduce their risk of becoming infected with HIV. Studies show that properly taking PrEP reduces the risk of getting HIV through sex by 90 percent or more.               

People who use PrEP must be able to take the drug every day and return to their health care provider every 3 months for a repeat HIV test, prescription refills, and follow-up.               

Why Take PrEP        

PrEP may help you stay negative if:           

  • you’re not using condoms consistently,             
  • you’ve had a sexually transmitted infections in the past 12 months,             
  • you have an HIV+ partner,             
  • you’re a transgender woman who has sex with men, or             
  • you use injection drugs.               

Even if you are using condoms every time, and you just want to reduce the anxiety of getting HIV, then PrEP can help.              

Cost               

Most insurance covers PrEP. If not, there are several programs to help pay for the medication.

Testing

Free, confidential HIV testing using lab draws and/or rapid testing (results in 1 minute).                

Each client gets pre-test counseling that encourages behavior modification to help reduce the risk of HIV. Persons testing positive are linked to medical care and other services as needed.                 

Testing is available Monday to Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and may be done on a walk-in basis. Testing is also provided to community agencies at their request.

Outreach

The health department offers HIV/AIDS education and outreach in a variety of ways:                              

  • Public presentations are given upon request to community agencies, including churches, social organizations, and places of business.               
  • Participation in community gatherings such as health fairs and other events as a means to provide outreach.               
  • HIV/AIDS information is offered through many other health department programs.               

For more information, call 410-228-3223.

For additional information