MCHD: One-stop Valentine's Day shop
Feb. 14, 2023
By Mary Wade Burnside
Sure, you can’t buy flowers and chocolate at Monongalia County Health Department.
But you could still consider it a one-stop Valentine’s Day shop.
After all, Valentine’s Day is more than just bonbons and bouquets.
Because whatever the origins of this February 14 holiday, it’s now mostly about love, romance and a nice evening out.
At MCHD, we’re here to help, whether it’s through our free and low-cost birth control and free STI testing and treatment; our restaurant inspections for those who want a romantic dinner for two; our radon testing for those who want a cozy night at home; and Botox and chairside teeth whitening that are now offered at MCHD Dentistry.
At MCHD Clinical Services, our nurses are friendly, non-judgmental and approachable, which is very important when it comes to sexually transmitted infection (STI) testing and treatment as well as birth control consultations.
Keep in mind that many STIs are easily treatable with antibiotics if caught early and could otherwise go on to cause fertility and other health issues, some of which can be quite serious.
There is no shame in getting tested for STIs. In fact, consider it a gift to your Valentine, the ultimate illustration that you respect yourself and your partner.
Keep in mind that when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported STI numbers in 2020, the change from 2016 was mostly bad news. Although chlamydia cases were down 1.2%, gonorrhea cases were up 45% and syphilis, which hadn’t been in the forefront for years until recently, was up 52%.
What’s also troubling about the latter is that congenital syphilis, when the infection is passed on to a baby during pregnancy, was up 235%.
Getting tested for STIs and using condoms during sex are both good ways to help get those numbers down.
Another service provided by MCHD Clinical Services is birth control. We offer so many kinds that, during a visit, a nurse can prescribe from a large list of options, including those that come in the form of a pill, a shot, a patch or a ring or more. Of course, condoms are also available, as is emergency contraception. For many individuals, birth control is free or low-cost.
The health department can help in other areas as well. For instance, a nice smile greatly enhances your Valentine’s Day outfit, and MCHD Dentistry can take care of those needs, from regular checkups, same-day crowns, and now, Botox and chairside tooth bleaching.
There is a therapeutic use for Botox in addition to decreasing wrinkles on your forehead and reducing the appearance of crow’s feet — it also can be used to treat the masseter muscle to help reduce teeth grinding. At MCHD Dentistry, we offer Botox for both therapeutic and cosmetic care.
And MCHD Dentistry now offers Boost tooth whitening by Opalescence. Instead of using white strips at home every day for an hour, the patient spends 20 minutes in the chair and walks away with pearly whites that are several shades lighter after one treatment. A sensitivity toothpaste is recommended afterwards.
Finally, when it comes to those dinner plans, remember that all Monongalia County establishments are inspected on a regular basis by MCHD Environmental Health sanitarians.
MCHD Environmental Health inspects many other facilities as well, such as hotels, motels and pools. And in case you want to get a spiffy new Valentine’s tattoo of, say, a cupid holding a bow and arrow, you may be interested to learn that tattoo studios are also on the inspection schedule.
Environmental Health sanitarians also conduct radon testing. It’s good to know your radon levels, including for a cozy, romantic night in. For the rest of February, you can take advantage of our radon testing special of $65, down from $125.
These are just some of the ways Monongalia County Health Department can enhance your Valentine’s Day.
For appointments, call MCHD Clinical Services at 304-598-5119, MCHD Dentistry at 304-598-5108 and MCHD Environmental Health at 304-598-5131.
Mary Wade Burnside is the public information officer at Monongalia County Health Department.