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Common health concerns

All of the health concerns below have been vetted by the Health Services team! If you do not see the health topic you would like to know more about in the list below, search for it on a reliable health website such as Mayo ClinicMedlinePlus or WebMD.

See Addiction and substance-use resources for information and resources.


Overviews of back pain and neck pain from Mayo Clinic, including information about causes, risk factors, treatments, and prevention.

Exercises for back pain

Exercises to prevent back pain

Exercises for neck and shoulders

Resources at Concordia

Overview of Bacterial Vaginosis in several languages including EnglishFrench [PDF], Chinese [PDF], Farsi [PDF], Punjabi [PDF], Korean [PDF], Spanish [PDF] and Vietnamese [PDF]. By HealthLink BC.

Being breast aware means being familiar with how your breasts normally look and feel, and knowing what changes you should discuss with a health care provider. Learn more about breast awareness from, especially the Know Your Normal section.

Consult Health Services' cannabis page for information on cannabis including what it is, how it is used, its effects, consequences of use, signs of problematic use and resources to cut back or quit.

  • The Mayo Clinic website provides information on concussion that includes symptoms and causes and treatment.
  • Return to Play Guidelines [PDF] has information about returning to normal activities, including sports participation.
  • Concordia’s PERFORM Centre offers Concussion Baseline Testing, where someone at risk for a concussion (e.g., athlete) can have baseline testing done. Should they have a concussion in the future, the baseline information can be helpful for diagnosis and to track recovery.

  • Constipation: information on causes, symptoms and constipation management strategies from Medline Plus.
  • Increasing fiber in the diet is one lifestyle treatment approach.  Learn more about fiber.
  • Yakima fruit paste is a "constipation jam" that is served in hospitals and hospices to help patients with their severe constipation. However, you can easily make it at home and get the same benefits.

You can divide this recipe in half if you want, as it makes a large amount. The fruit paste stays fresh in freezer indefinitely.

½ pound (225 grams) prunes            
½ pound (225 grams) raisins      
½ pound (225 grams) dried figs    
½ cup (125 ml) brown sugar (optional; don't use or use less)
2 ounces (60 grams) senna tea leaves or enough tea bags to be close enough (close enough is good enough)
½ cup lemon juice

1. Prepare tea. Use about 1½ cups boiled water added to tea and steep five minutes.
2. Strain tea to remove tea leaves. Add 1 cup of tea to a pan and then add fruit.
3. Boil fruit and tea for five minutes.
4. Remove from heat and add sugar and lemon juice. Allow to cool.
5. Use hand mixer or food processor to stir fruit mixture into smooth paste. Use leftover tea to loosen it up as needed.
6. Place in plastic container and place in freezer (paste will not harden).
7. Spoon out what you require each day.

Dose: 1 to 2 tablespoons per day for a few days while you implement the other constipation management strategies listed above. Enjoy eating fruit paste straight off the spoon, spread it on toast or add hot water and make a drink.

If the fruit paste is not working (no bowel movements), then increase the amount of fruit paste each day.

If the fruit paste induces very loose stools, cut down on the amount of fruit paste intake. Consider taking it every other day.

The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada website has information on contraceptive options. They created the It's a plan section "to help you and your health care provider determine the method that’s best for you."

If you have missed a dose of your hormonal contraceptive you should consult the package insert for the brand of pills that you are taking.

Stay on Schedule is also a good tool to help decide what the next step is.

Alternatively, you can call Info Santé at 8-1-1 (24/7, free) to speak with a nurse.

Your pharmacist can also assist you.

Emergency contraception refers to measures taken shortly after intercourse to prevent pregnancy. These measures are not to be used as a regular method for contraception; rather they are meant to be used in emergency situations such as condom breakage, missed birth control pills or non-consensual sexual intercourse.  

In Canada, two options are available for emergency contraception: Plan B and Ella.  Both contain hormones and require a prescription.

  • You can get a prescription at Concordia Health Services and purchase it at any pharmacy. 
  • At CLSC Metro (one block from Concordia SGW campus) you can receive Plan B for free with a valid RAMQ card, and for a fee with out-of-province and international student health plans.
  • You can consult a pharmacist to get emergency contraception. There will be no additional consultation fee for people with a valid RAMQ card, and there will be a small additional cosultation fee for people with out-of-province and international student health plans. Walk-in to your local pharmacist, or book an appointment on clicsanté (in the drop-down menu, select Youth Clinic Services — no matter what age you are — to find pharmacies near you that offer this service).

Some people prefer a form of contraception that does not contain hormones. Learn more about your options by exploring the SOGC's Non-Hormonal Methods and Natural Methods pages.

Some of these options are a bit more difficult to access, so we've listed a few sources; these are not the only sources, but a place to start.

  • Female condoms can be ordered online from condom specialty shops; this one has free shipping.
  • Caya® diaphragm doesn't requrie fitting, so it can be ordered online.  
  • The Sponge and FemCap reusable cervical cap are currently unavailable.

Fertility Awareness Method (FAM) and Natural Family Planning (NFP)

Fertility awareness and natural birth control methods teach the woman to identify the fertile time of her menstrual cycle. The couple can then avoid unprotected vaginal sex during the fertile time.

The sympto-thermal approach, where the woman tracks her temperature and cervical mucus, is considered the most effective of all the natural birth control methods. You need to thoroughly learn the method and practice it correctly in order for it to work the way it was meant to...but this is true of any form of contraception.

Explore this online guide to get a thorough overview; the content was developed by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Concordia is monitoring developments. Learn more. | L’Université Concordia surveille les développements. En savoir plus.

Diabetes Canada has comprehensive information on diabetes including information to understand the different types of diabetes, signs and symptoms, and treatments and medications.

Are you at risk of developing type 2 diabetes?

In many cases, type 2 diabetes can be prevented. It starts with knowing your risks. Complete the Diabetes Canada Risk Questionnaire to identify your level of risk. If you learn that your risk is moderate or high, drop in to see a nurse at Health Services to learn about strategies that can help lower your risk.

Concordia students insured with the CSU or GSA health plans can consult a network of dentists and other professionals who offer discounted prices to students covered by Studentcare.

Portail Santé Québec has all the information you need on symptoms, treatments and prevention of gastroenteritis. Includes instructions for rehydrating when you have diarrhea or vomiting, including a recipe for homemade rehydration solution.

It's important to wash your hands regularly. Learn the proper way to wash your hands.

The Hepatitis B Foundation has plenty of information about Hepatitis B, including information on preventing transmission to others for those who have been diagnosed with it.

Overview of H. pylori from WebMD.

Overview of head lice from Mayo Clinic.

When to seek medical help


If you have symptoms similar to those of monkeypox and would like to be tested, please call: 

  • 514-766-3974, option 3
  • Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. – 8 p.m., Saturday - Sunday, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
  • Testing is subject to a fee for those who don’t have Quebec (RAMQ) health insurance.


  • For eligibility criteria and to book an appointment, visit Clic Santé
  • Some walk-in clinics are also available, visit Santé Montreal for more information

Overview of mononucleosis from Mayo Clinic.

Consult the healthy eating pages in the health topics section of our website.

Consult the physical activity pages in the health topics section of our website.

Overview of PCOS from Mayo Clinic. Scroll down the page: lots of useful information on both medication and lifestyle treatments, questions to ask your doctor, and more.

  • Health Services nurses can help support you through your pregnancy, from the first pregnancy test to healthy lifestyle counselling
  • You do not need a referral to see a midwife or general practitioner for your pregnancy. However, if you want to see an obstetrician-gynecologist you will need a referral from your physician.
  • The Ma grossesse service helps pregnant women living in Quebec access the information and professionals they need during their pregnancy:
    • If you have not been able to find a professional for the monitoring of your pregnancy;
    • If you are living in a difficult situation and need help;
    • If you need food coupons during your pregnancy;
    • If you want information about free services offered close to your home.
    • Available in 11 languages.
  • Becoming a Parent provides an overview of government programs and services available to new and future parents in Quebec.
  • From Tiny Tot to Toddler: A practical guide for parents from pregnancy to age two (PDF) from the Institut national de la santé publique.
  • The Sensible Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy from the Government of Canada
  • Pregnancy Info: The facts on pregnancy and childbirth from Canada's experts from the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada
  • A series of videos “to accompany you through your pregnacy” from Precare. Video topics include: Pre-conception, 1st Trimester, 2nd & 3rd Trimester, Delivery & Postpartum, and Life at Home. The videos provide subtitles in many different languages.

Consult the sleep pages in the health topics section of our website.

For information on healthy travel consult the following resources:

Montreal travel clinics

The Santé Montréal portal lists clinics in Montreal that provide consultation and travel vaccines.

One clinic that we recommend is:

  • McGill University Health Center’s (MUHC) Pre-Travel clinic. It is by appointment only.

You can also book appointments for Travel Consultation and Vaccination through Clic Santé: select Travel health and put in your postal code. Note that fees are typically associated with travel consultations.

Learn about the vaccines that are recommended to keep you healthy all year long.

  • Do you need help with violence issues at home (physical, mental or emotional)? Contact SOS violence conjugale at 1-800-363-9010 (Montreal area: 514-873-9010). A crisis worker can listen and refer you to appropriate resources. Services are bilingual and available 24/7.
  • The domestic violence website from the Government of Quebec has a lot of useful information for people who are experiencing violence, want to help someone who is experiencing violence or simply want to learn more about the issue.
  • Concordia's Sexual Assault Resource Centre provides confidential and non-judgmental support and services to Concordia University students, staff and faculty of all genders and orientations who have been affected by sexual violence and/or harassment. The Get Help section provides information for those who have been victims of sexual assault, as well as resources within Concordia and in the community.
  • ShelterSafe is an online resource that helps women and their children who are seeking safety from violence and abuse. The clickable map will serve as a quick resource to connect women with the nearest shelter that can offer safety, hope and support.

  • If you have experienced sexual abuse or assault call the Sexual Assault Provincial Helpline at 514-933-9007 (Montreal) or 1-888-933-9007 (Quebec wide). The helpline receives your call, finds out what you need and tells you what to do next. With a list of provincial services, they can guide you to the nearest help and protection available. Services are bilingual, confidential and available 24/7.
  • Concordia's Sexual Assault Resource Center has information on what to do in case of a sexual assault that includes a variety of Concordia and community resources.

Information on yeast infections, including symptoms, what increases your risk and when to see a health professional, from WebMD.

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