Free Chlamydia Testing in Beloit, WI

Our team of caring professionals at Willow Womens Center strives to provide you with high-quality medical services. If you think you might be pregnant, we will offer confidential pregnancy testing at no cost to you. If your pregnancy test is positive, we may also provide sexually transmitted infection (STI) testing for gonorrhea and chlamydia at no cost at the discretion of our medical staff and depending on the information you share with them.

What Is Chlamydia?

Chlamydia is the most commonly reported STI and is transmitted from person to person through sexual contact or childbirth.

Chlamydia is referred to as a “silent” infection because most people infected with it do not experience symptoms; therefore, some people go years not realizing they are infected. If a chlamydia infection continues undiagnosed and untreated, it can cause severe harm to you and your pregnancy. For that reason, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has outlined specific guidelines for STI testing, even if you are symptomless.

Why STI Testing Is Crucial Before an Abortion

If you have an abortion while you have chlamydia, the infection can be pushed further into your reproductive system, causing pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).

PID is a serious infection of a woman’s reproductive organs. It can cause short-term and long-term complications, some of which can be life-threatening:

  • Permanent damage to your reproductive system
  • Scarring, which can cause risk of future ectopic pregnancies
  • Infertility (inability to become pregnant in the future)
  • Long-term chronic pelvic pain

Why STI Testing is Crucial If You Continue Your Pregnancy

If you continue your pregnancy but have an untreated chlamydial infection, you are at increased risk of miscarriage, premature birth, and stillbirth. Chlamydia can also cause low birth weight, eye infections, and pneumonia in newborns. Once you are under the care of an OB/Gyn doctor, you will be tested as part of your pre-natal care.

  • Other Complications of Untreated Chlamydia Infections

    Untreated chlamydia infections can also lead to other serious short-term and long-term complications, some of which can be life-threatening. These complications include:

    • Increased risk of acquiring HIV
    • Inflammation of the upper genital tract (subclinical PID)
    • Liver inflammation (Fitz-Hugh-Curtis Syndrome)
    • Reactive arthritis

  • How We Test for Chlamydia

    Testing for chlamydia is straightforward, requiring only a urine sample. The process is simple:

    • Do not urinate for one hour before the test.
    • Our nurse will give you instructions to provide a first-catch urine sample.
    • Your urine sample will be sent out to a laboratory for testing.
    • We take your privacy seriously, and for that reason, we will make an appointment so you can obtain your test results in person. We cannot give your test results over the phone.
    • Our nurse will review your test results with you and answer any questions you may have.

  • What Happens if Your Test Is Positive

    Chlamydia is curable. If you test positive for chlamydia, our nurse will give you a prescription for antibiotics to take by mouth. It is important to take them exactly as directed and abstain from sex until you have finished the entire course of antibiotics.

    We will also advise you to have your partner tested and treated if necessary, so you are not reinfected. You should both be retested about three months after your treatment. There are free STI Clinics in the Beloit, WI area to get retested.

    Please note that any positive results from an STI test will be automatically reported to the local Public Health Department by the testing lab – this is mandatory for all communicable diseases.

To learn more about free chlamydia testing, schedule your appointment today!

The Importance of STI Screening Even If You Don’t Have Any Symptoms

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are something most of us don’t like to think about. But did you know that you could have an STI without feeling any symptoms? Knowledge is empowering. At Willow Womens Center, our licensed medical professionals provide unbiased information to help you make informed decisions about your health.

Stay Informed

Reported cases of STIs have increased each year since 2001. There are approximately 20 million new STI cases reported each year in the United States alone. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), even though 15-24-year-olds only make up 25% of the population that are sexually active, they account for approximately 66% of new infections each year. Many of these infections have symptoms that are hardly noticeable or even symptomless. Because of this, it is important to be tested even if you are not aware of any symptoms.

Why STI Screening?

Here are some reasons why the CDC recommends yearly STI screening for chlamydia and gonorrhea for any woman under 25 who is sexually active.

1. If you are sexually active, nothing is 100% effective against STIs.

  • You might be thinking, “But I am in a monogamous relationship.” You might be, but is your partner? The tough reality is that many people contract STIs thinking they were in mutually monogamous relationships.

  • Or, maybe you are thinking, “We use condoms every time.” It’s true that the correct use of condoms reduces the chances of getting an STI, but this is not failsafe.

2. The majority of STIs don’t have any noticeable symptoms.

It is hard to imagine that you can have an infection without symptoms, but that is exactly how hidden most STIs can be!

  • Chlamydia: Chlamydia is nicknamed the “silent” infection since most people don’t notice any symptoms. Untreated chlamydia can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease, scar tissue in fallopian tubes, infertility, and future ectopic pregnancies (a pregnancy in a blocked fallopian tube). The good news is that chlamydia is completely curable when it is diagnosed and treated with antibiotics.

  • Gonorrhea: Like chlamydia, most people infected with gonorrhea will not experience any symptoms. Untreated, it can put a person at higher risk of getting HIV and other life-threatening infections in addition to the same risks as untreated chlamydia. Gonorrhea is also curable with antibiotics.

3. There can be serious health risks if STIs are left untreated.

If an STI is left undiagnosed and untreated, it can lead to more people becoming infected, infertility, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), chronic pain, and cancer.

It is very important for a woman’s health to be tested for STIs before an abortion. If a woman has an abortion with an untreated STI, it can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), infertility, and pain. For this reason, we screen for chlamydia and gonorrhea when a woman is considering abortion.

No-Cost Services Available

You can make an appointment at Willow Womens Center for our no-cost services by giving us a call at 608-312-2025. We understand the important decisions you are facing. We walk with you every step of the way, so you feel empowered to make a confident decision for your health and your future.

Real Answers to Your Questions About Abortion

When you find out you’re unexpectedly pregnant, it’s a really chaotic, confusing, and emotional time. You might not know who to talk to, where to turn, or what to do. Once the haze clears a bit and you start processing what is happening, it’s not unusual to seek real answers to your questions about abortion. 

There are far more questions than we can possibly answer here, and the questions each person asks will vary depending on their situation, age, future plans, dreams, and more. Below are the most common questions women ask. If you have any that are not addressed here, we are always available to provide answers at Willow Womens Center

Questions About Abortion 

Q: What is abortion? 

A: Abortion is the termination of pregnancy using either pills or surgery. 

Q: Is abortion safe? 

A: According to the Wisconsin Dept. of Health Services, “An abortion is a medical procedure that always involves risk to the woman. At or prior to eight weeks after the first day of the last normal menstrual period is considered the safest time for a woman to have an abortion. The complication rate doubles with each two-week period after that time.” 

Q: Who are the women that have abortions? 

A: They come from all backgrounds, including race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and religion.

Q: Are there alternatives to abortion? 

A: Yes, adoption and parenting are your other choices. Both involve taking the pregnancy to full term. Adoption means you will not do the parenting yourself, while parenting means you will take on that responsibility. 

Q: Where are abortions performed? 

A: They can be performed in doctor’s offices, hospitals, and non-specialized clinics, but the majority are done in clinics that exist for only that purpose. 

Q: Where can I get an abortion? 

A: Abortion is legal in all 50 states, but the nearest clinic to you could be quite a distance away. Some states only have one provider. 

Q: What is medication abortion? 

Medication abortion is also known as the abortion pill, a combination of two pills taken separately. This procedure is done for women up to 10 weeks pregnant. The first pill blocks progesterone in your body. Two days later you will take the second pill. You will make a final visit a couple of weeks later to the clinic to make sure the abortion was completed.

Q: What is medical abortion? 

A: Two primary procedures are done, depending on gestational age. Aspiration can be done within seven weeks and uses dilators and a suction tube. Suction Curettage is most commonly done, between six and 14 weeks. Again, this uses dilators and a suction machine. 

Let Us Answer Your Other Questions 

At Willow Womens Center, we are here for you. Make an appointment to come in and let us give you a no-cost pregnancy test to confirm your at home results because sometimes those tests are wrong. After that, we will sit down with you, answer your questions, and give you the information you need to make a confident decision for your future.

Signs and Symptoms of an Incomplete Abortion
woman sitting on a couch holding her midsection in pain after an incomplete abortion

At Willow Womens Center, we understand the stress and overwhelm that accompany unplanned pregnancies. On top of deciding the future for your baby, you also have to consider the risk you are accepting for yourself with each option. All options come with inherent risk. Unfortunately, some women who make the difficult choice to terminate their pregnancy end up experiencing an unexpected complication: incomplete abortion.

Women and couples who find out they are expecting typically have three options:

  • Choosing to continue the pregnancy and raise the child, which involves significant responsibility but can be rewarding with the right support and resources
  • Carrying the pregnancy to term and then placing the child with adoptive parents, where you can choose whether to maintain contact with the child or not
  • Terminating the pregnancy through surgical or medical interventions, which is typically only available if the pregnancy is still in early stages

The decision to have an abortion is a complex and deeply personal one based on emotional readiness for parenting, personal beliefs, financial circumstances, and more. Pregnancy options counseling, community support services, and parenting classes can offer tremendous support during the decision-making process. The more you know, the easier it is to make an informed decision.

In this blog, we will explore incomplete abortions in depth. We will discuss what an incomplete abortion is, what causes it, the signs and symptoms, when to see a doctor and more.

What is an Incomplete Abortion?

First, it is important to understand abortion. Abortion refers to the termination of a pregnancy, resulting in the removal or expulsion of the products of conception and preventing further development and potential birth. Abortion can be performed using medication to induce the termination of pregnancy for women who are less than 10 weeks pregnant. It can also be performed surgically through procedures like vacuum aspiration, dilation and curettage (D&C) and dilation and evacuation (D&E).

Just like its name suggests, an incomplete abortion occurs when your medical or surgical abortion fails to fully remove all pregnancy and fetal tissue from your womb. This remaining tissue can lead to problems and complications. In some cases, a viable pregnancy remains.

What Causes an Incomplete Abortion

Incomplete abortions occur most often when the abortion pill – or medications used to induce abortion – are taken too late in pregnancy. This can happen if the pregnancy isn’t confirmed before the abortion pill is prescribed. It can also happen if you take the abortion pill without receiving corresponding medical care. This is most common when the pill is ordered online or received from someone who is not authorized to give it to you.

Incomplete surgical abortions can be caused by anatomical differences that make it more challenging to remove all of the productions of conception. Complications during the procedure can also increase your risk.

It is imperative to have an ultrasound examination before an abortion procedure. Seek guidance from a qualified medical professional to prevent this and other serious complications.

What are the Symptoms of an Incomplete Abortion

After your medical or surgical abortion, follow your provider’s instructions for recovery.

It is normal to experience some cramping and bleeding after a medical or surgical abortion. Symptoms that might indicate there is still some tissue remaining include:

woman placing her hand to her temple, she is grimacing in pain after an incomplete abortion
  • continued or heavy bleeding beyond what is expected after an abortion
  • persistent or increasing abdominal or pelvic pain, which might be accompanied by cramping
  • a fever higher than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit
  • passing large clots or visible tissue that seems to be different from what you expect after an abortion
  • foul-smelling discharge
  • signs of pregnancy after abortion like breast tenderness, fatigue, or nausea that persist after the procedure

What to Do if You are Having These Symptoms

If you think you might have an incomplete abortion, see a doctor as soon as possible. If you develop a fever after a surgical or medical abortion, seek emergency medical attention.

How Likely is an Incomplete Abortion?

Almost half of all abortions are unsafe. Unsafe abortions are most likely to result in serious and life-threatening complications.

The likelihood of incomplete abortion is substantially lowered when you partner with a qualified team to determine the gestational age of the fetus before moving forward with an abortion and, if you choose, plan and carry out the termination of pregnancy. Only take medications prescribed to you by a doctor who is treating you.

Sometimes, anatomical abnormalities lead to this complication in even the safest situations.

Treatment for Incomplete Abortion

First, an ultrasound is required to confirm if tissue remains in the uterus after your procedure. Then, there are three primary approaches to incomplete abortion:

  • monitoring ongoing hCG levels and preparing for a potentially successful pregnancy
  • removing the remnants of the pregnancy through vacuum aspiration, an outpatient procedure
  • removing the remnants of the pregnancy through the administration of medication

In some cases, women go on to have healthy pregnancies and deliveries after a failed abortion. The team at Willow Womens Center has helped women in this situation understand their options, get the care they need and prepare to parent their children.

Do you think you might be pregnant? Willow Womens Center offers free, compassionate services for women and couples facing unplanned pregnancy, including:

  • STI screening and treatment
  • early ultrasounds to confirm pregnancy and gestational age
  • pregnancy options counseling to help you understand the advantages and disadvantages of all of the options available to you
  • parenting classes
  • free disposable diapers for women in need through their Diaper Assistance Program

The more you know about all of the options available to you as you embark on this journey, the more likely you are to make the best option for you and your family. Whether you are considering your options, need information, or are seeking healthcare, we can help. Schedule your free consultation appointment today online or by calling Willow Womens Center at 608-312-2025. Our compassionate team is here to listen and help.

Why Are Prenatal Vitamins Important?
a pregnant woman wearing a yellow dress, taking prenatal vitamins

When you find out that you are expecting, one of the first tasks on your list will be selecting a prenatal vitamin. In this blog post, we discuss what prenatal vitamins are and the most important nutrients during pregnancy.

What are Prenatal Vitamins?

Many patients ask, “Why are prenatal vitamins important?” Just like your own body needs vitamins and minerals to function properly, a fetus needs certain vitamins and minerals to grow properly. A fetus can only get these nutrients through its mother, and its mother can get the nutrients she needs through her diet and supplemental vitamins.

Prenatal vitamins are multivitamins designed with the developing fetus in mind; they help bridge the gap if your diet lacks some of the vitamins and minerals required for development. They are typically bought over-the-counter and taken by mouth daily during pregnancy.

7 Essential Prenatal Vitamins

While having a balanced diet that provides as many vitamins and minerals as possible is important, certain nutrients are more critical during pregnancy. Those are folic acid, iron, calcium, vitamin D, omega 3, iodine, and zinc. Here, we explore them in detail to better understand the role they play in pregnancy and some of the risks associated with deficiency.

1. Folic Acid

Folic acid is important in pregnancy because it supports healthy fetal development. This B vitamin is necessary for neural tube formation in the early stages of pregnancy, which eventually becomes the baby’s brain and spinal cord. A folic acid deficiency during the first trimester can cause neural tube defects like spina bifida, a serious genetic condition characterized by a wide range of physical and neurological issues.

Additionally, folic acid aids in DNA and red blood cell production.

2. Iron

Iron, which is responsible for making hemoglobin and transporting oxygen throughout the body, is vital during pregnancy. When you become pregnant, your blood volume will increase and more iron will be required to make more blood and supply your baby with oxygen.

Not getting enough iron through diet and supplements can lead to iron deficiency anemia, which can cause fatigue, breathing problems, fainting, sleep issues, and palpitations for the mother. Anemia also has a negative impact on the baby, increasing the risk of fetal death.

3. Calcium

Calcium is an important nutrient for both mother and baby. Both need calcium for blood clotting, muscle function, and nerve transmission, while the baby also needs adequate calcium to develop strong bones and a functioning nervous system. If the mother’s diet lacks calcium, the mother’s body will draw calcium from her bones to supply it for the baby, leading to maternal bone density loss.

To help increase the likelihood that the baby will have enough calcium, the mother’s digestive system increases absorption of calcium during pregnancy. That means you will absorb more calcium from the foods and supplements that enter your body when you are pregnant than you will from those you eat or take when you are not pregnant. Taking calcium supplements during pregnancy can also help prevent preeclampsia and preterm birth.

4. Vitamin D

Vitamin D is important during pregnancy because it aids in calcium absorption, supports the immune system, regulates cell growth, prevents pregnancy complications like preeclampsia and gestational diabetes, and improves maternal mood and mental health. While you can get some vitamin D from sunlight and foods like fortified cereal and milk, most expectant mothers need to take prenatal vitamins to get enough vitamin D in the diet during pregnancy.

Vitamin D deficiency in pregnancy can impair fetal bone development, reduce maternal bone density, put both mom and baby at higher risk of infection, and increase your risk of preterm birth, preeclampsia, and gestational diabetes.

5. Omega 3

Two omega-3 fatty acids, EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) play a pivotal role in fetal development and maternal and fetal health. These fatty acids are needed for fetal brain and eye development and the mother’s heart health and can reduce the risk of preterm birth. Omega-3 deficiency can lead to reduced behavioral and neurological function for the baby, impaired eye and brain development, and increased risk of preterm birth along with potential mood disorders in the mother.

You can get omega-3 fatty acids in your diet by eating fatty fish like salmon, sardines, trout, and mackerel but many women also need a supplemental prenatal vitamin.

6. Iodine

Iodine is important in pregnancy for a multitude of reasons: it supports the mother’s thyroid hormone production, is essential for fetal brain development, and supports the mother’s overall health and well-being, which is crucial for a healthy pregnancy and delivery.

Most prenatal vitamins contain iodine, but it is still a good idea to check with your healthcare provider to ensure you are getting as much iodine as recommended. Dietary sources of iodine like iodized salt, seafood, and dairy products, can also contribute to daily requirements. Please note, that too much iodine can have adverse effects.

7. Zinc

Zinc aids in maternal health, wound healing, enzyme function, and immune support. Perhaps most importantly, zinc is critical for the formation of DNA and RNA, cell division, and tissue repair which can prevent birth defects like cleft lip, cleft palate, and neural tube defects. You can find zinc in prenatal vitamins and lean meats, seafood, poultry, nuts, legumes, and dairy products.

Schedule an Appointment

the woman has discovered why are prenatal vitamins important

To learn more about prenatal vitamins or work through the difficult decisions that follow an unexpected pregnancy – with compassionate and empathetic support, schedule an appointment at Willow Womens Center today. We offer STI screening, pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, free parenting classes, free diapers, and more. We can also answer questions about your options following an unexpected pregnancy – adoption, abortion, and parenting – and point you toward other agencies and resources who can help.