5 tips for great reproductive health in Manitoba

Skip to:

*Note: Often the phrase “women’s health care” is used. Since “woman” is a gender (how you see yourself) and not a sex (your body), this isn’t the most descriptive phrase.

What is health care for people with a uterus/ovaries/ a vagina?

People share many health concerns; however, some concerns only exist for people with a uterus, ovaries, and a vagina. Health care for these people includes:

  • pre- and post-pregnancy care
  • pelvic floor health (the muscles between your hips) and urinary incontinence (not being able to control peeing)
  • sexually transmitted infections
  • gynecology (vaginal and vulvar health)
  • contraception (birth control) and abortion
  • eating disorders (Eating Disorders Manitoba)

Where can you access health care in Manitoba if you have a uterus/ovaries/a vagina?

You can talk to your doctor about your health concerns. They may refer you to a specialist in vaginal/vulvar health and pregnancy (a gynecologist). In Winnipeg, you can access specialized health care services at the Women’s Health Clinic, Klinic Community Health, and at the Women’s Hospital (at the Health Sciences Centre).

Here are five tips for maintaining great health in Manitoba you have a uterus/ovaries/a vagina:

  1. Get a PAP test

    According to CancerCare Manitoba, people with a vagina who are 21 to 69 years old should have a Pap test every three years to screen for cancer. Those who are pregnant, or who have never had sexual contact, do not need to get a Pap test. You can be tested for sexually transmitted diseases by your family doctor, at Klinic Community Health, or at the Women’s Health Clinic.

  2. Choose the correct birth control for you

    When family planning, you may decide to use birth control. Birth control can prevent pregnancy, and some types also prevent the transmission of sexually transmitted infections. There are two types of birth control: physical (a condom, or a diaphragm) and chemical/hormonal (a birth control pill, a ring, an implant, a patch, or an IUD). Check out the infographic below about safer sex and birth control methods (from MyHealth.Alberta).

    Poster on safer sex, birth control methods

    Source: MyHealth.Alberta.ca

    You need a prescription for the birth control pill, and other hormonal birth control. You can get a prescription from your doctor, at Klinic Community Health, or at the Women’s Health Clinic.

  3. Know the common STI’s and protect yourself

    There are seven sexually transmitted infections (STI’s) about which the Manitoba government is most concerned:

    • chlamydia
    • gonorrhea
    • syphilis
    • human papillomavirus (HPV)
    • human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
    • hepatitis B virus (HBV)
    • hepatitis C virus (HCV)

    Chlamydia is the most frequently reported STI in Manitoba. Cases have been increasing over the past 10 years both provincially and nationally.

    There is no reason to be ashamed if you think you have an STI, and people who have STI’s aren’t “dirty”. You can have an STI, and have no symptoms. It’s recommended that you get tested when you get a new sexual partner. You can be tested for sexually transmitted diseases by your family doctor, at Klinic Community Health, or at the Women’s Health Clinic.

  4. Be educated about abortion

    Abortions are healthcare, and nearly 1 out of 3 Canadians with a uterus will have an abortion in their lifetime (2014 study). You do not need the permission of a partner, or a referral from a doctor to have an abortion. You can discuss your options, and access abortions at Women’s Health Clinic, at Klinic Community Health, or at Brandon Regional Health Centre.

  5. Get pregnancy support

    Being pregnant is amazing, but also very challenging. Please read our three articles on pregnancy & maternity for more information.

Sources: Northern Health Region website; Canadian Medical Association Journal; Manitoba Sexually Transmitted and Blood-Borne Infections Strategy; Manitoba Cancer Care Screening Guidelines. Accessed September 22,2022.
By Nastashya Wall

Back to top

Community Resources

To improve accessibility and reduce period poverty, the Manitoba government, through a partnership with Shopper’s Drug Mart, will provide free menstrual products in schools and various agencies. Through the agreement, schools, domestic violence shelters, resource centres, and second stage and specialized programs will receive menstrual products to administer to those most in need. Know more about this initiative here: Manitoba Government announces free menstrual products in schools

Back to top

We'd love to hear from you!

Please login to tell us what you think.

Related Learning Activities

Health Workshops

A health care worker holding the hand of a patient

This is a series of workshops related to health. Workshops 1 is geared towards CLB 3-4. Workshop 2 is geared… Read more »

Back to top

CC BY-NC-SAText of this page is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA, unless otherwise marked. Please attribute to English Online Inc. and link back to this page where possible. For images and videos, check the source for licensing information.