Gynecology Services

Gynecology and Reproductive Health 

The UCSC Cowell Student Health Center offers a range of gynecological health services to students. This includes routine breast/chest exams and pap smears, birth control and emergency contraception, pregnancy testing, and medication abortion. We provide sexual and reproductive health education, screening and/or treatment of sexually transmitted infections. Go here to make an appointment for any of these services.

Reproductive Well-being Services

Gynecologic exams and pap smears

Comprehensive gynecologic exams and pap smears for cervical cancer screening are considered routine health care. Guidelines for doing pap smears have changed and not everyone needs to have this exam yearly. Follow up on abnormal pap smears will be scheduled when needed. 

Birth control options

Popular methods of birth control (also called contraception) include birth control pills, condoms, IUDs and more. Learn about the types of birth control here and consider which birth control methods work best for your lifestyle.

How to request birth control online

UCSC students can get birth control pills, the vaginal ring, or the birth control patch online—no appointment needed! Just fill out an online form in Health e-Messenger, and within three business days you’ll get a notification to pick up your birth control at the Student Health Center pharmacy. 

For students with the UC Student Health Insurance Plan (UC SHIP), online consultations and contraceptives are covered at 100%. 

For students who have insurance other than UC SHIP, the fees are shown below:

  • Online consult: $30 for students with CruzCare or other insurance.
  • Generic Pill packs: $15 per pack for students with CruzCare or other insurance.
  • Vaginal ring, or Transdermal patch: students with CruzCare or other insurance should check with the pharmacy for the most up to date prices. 
If you have other insurance please check with your plan for what your copay will be at an off-campus pharmacy. Your non-UC SHIP plan may cover your contraceptives at an off-campus pharmacy. Note: Brand name pills have an extra out-of-pocket cost.


When you're filling out the online form, our system will refer to your "appointment." This is not a real, in-person appointment. Don't put it in your calendar! It's just how our system keeps track of your request.

You will need to have had a recent blood pressure check during the past 12 months to complete this online form. If you’ve been seen at the Student Health Center in the past 12 months, you are good to go! If you haven’t, you can use the blood pressure self-check station outside SHOP next door to the Student Health Center, right by the Pharmacy on the first floor; go to a retail pharmacy like Walgreens, or CVS; or use a home blood pressure monitor.

The Process

  1. Log into Health e-Messenger below after reading all seven steps of these instructions. Note: If you have never been to CAPS or the Student Health Center before, you will need to click on “Medical Clearances” first and complete “Notice of Privacy Practices, General Consent, and Assignment of Benefits.”
  2. Click on "Appointments." 
  3. Select "Online Birth Control Request."
  4. Select a time slot and click “Schedule.” Remember: this is NOT an in-person appointment. Select any time and the system will forward you to the online form. 
  5. Complete the online form. 
  6. Look for a secure message from Health e-Messenger within three school days. The message will have your next steps. 
  7. Set up text notifications by adding your cell phone number to "Profile" in Health e-Messenger.

Medication abortion 

The University of California believes all people should have access to affordable and convenient reproductive health care of their choosing. As part of the University’s public service mission, UC is committed to improving the health and wellness of all people in California. This includes helping people access evidence-based health care, such as medication abortions.

Medication abortion (AKA Abortion Pills) is the process of ending an early pregnancy by taking pills. Our caring doctors and nurses are experts at providing safe medication abortion services and follow-up. Patients are given clear information about what to expect throughout the process and are encouraged to ask questions and share concerns in order to make an informed decision.

For more information, call our nurse advice line during business hours at 831-459-2591

Information about other types of birth control

UC SHIP covers all types of birth control at no extra cost. If you want to stock up on EC, pill packs, and condoms, just stop by the Pharmacy or SHOP for support and supplies.  

Questions? Birth Control Patrol Can Help!

birth-control-patrol-logo.jpgBirth Control Patrol is an anonymous drop-in resource offered at SHOP throughout the week. Highly trained students can offer information on contraceptive options and assist students in making appointments at the Student Health Center (with UC SHIP) or assist in finding health clinics off campus if they don't have the Student Health Insurance Plan. Additionally, SHOP is here to support students and their partners around preventing pregnancy. This peer to peer service is here for you! 

BCP peers
The Birth Control Patrol is here for you! 
Pop into SHOP to talk to our Contraceptive Educators.