Hickory – Summer is a time when families are outside playing in yards, swimming pools and vacationing. It’s also the time of year when the birth rate is at its highest.

With birth announcements on social media and photos of newborns, it may seem like everyone is having children.

mother-baby-paintingFor women who might not be ready to have children yet, there are a number of ways to prevent getting pregnant. A visit to the Women’s Preventive Health Clinic at Catawba County Public Health is one place where women can receive information on women’s health and begin making decisions about their reproductive health.

Women from puberty to menopause can make an appointment, and services are available to women who qualify financially. Services include information on women’s health, birth control, emergency contraception, testing and information on sexually transmitted infections, breast health services and education, and cervical cancer screening and testing (pap smears & colposcopy).

A variety of birth control methods are available to women. These methods include condoms, pills, rings, and long-term options. Even if a woman is not planning to have a baby soon, she is counseled on reproductive and overall health.

A woman’s health needs, as well as family plans are taken into account before birth control methods are decided.

Appointments can also be made for women who need immunizations in the Catawba County Public Health immunization clinic by calling (828) 695-5800. Immunizations are offered for Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, HPV and more.

Spanish interpreters are also available.

Appointments in the Adult Health clinic can be made by calling (828) 695-4445.

Catawba County Public Health promotes and protects the health of all Catawba County residents through preventive services, innovative partnerships, and community health improvement initiatives.

For more information, please call (828) 695-5800 or visit www.catawbacountync.gov/phealth.