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 Clinic, MedlinePlus or WebMD.
- The Pregnancy Options Workbook can help guide you through your decision.
- Call Health Services to speak with a nurse who can discuss your options and provide you with support and appropriate resources.
- In Montreal: Voluntary Interruption of Pregnancy - Therapeutic Abortion (TAB): For a free appointment call the Abortion Appointment Center at 514-380-8299.
- In Canada: Another resource for therapeutic abortion is the Morgentaler Clinic.
- Mayo Clinic's website has an informative section on hay fever (seasonal allergies)
- Seasonal allergies: Nip them in the bud, also from Mayo Clinic, outlines tried-and-true techniques to relieve seasonal allergies.
- Overview of Anemia from MedlinePlus.
- What You Need to Know About Vitamin B12, from Dietitians of Canada.
- Iron and Your Health and Iron in Foods from HealthLinkBC
Overviews of back pain and neck pain from Mayo Clinic, including information about causes, risk factors, treatments, and prevention.
Exercises for back pain
- 5 back pain stretches video, from WebMD
- 3 key exercises (curl up, side bridge, bird dog) for low back pain (description with images, video) from Dr. Stuart McGill
Exercises to prevent back pain
- Back exercises from Mayo Clinic
Exercises for neck and shoulders
- Stretching exercises for the office, focusing on upper body; from McGill's School of Physical and Occupational Therapy
- A 1 Minute Shoulder Stretches video
- If you have a few more minutes: 4-Minute Neck and Shoulders Stretch at Your Desk video with Yoga teacher Rodney Yee
Resources at Concordia
- The athletic therapy interns at PERFORM's Athletic Therapy Clinic (Loyola campus) can advise you on helpful exercises, at an affordable price.
- Office Ergonomics Manual: A booklet from Concordia's Environmental Health & Safety Office. Includes information about proper computer workstation set up, proper posture, and more.
- Concordia's Environmental Health and Safety offers staff and faculty members an Ergonomics Program that includes an ergonomics assessment.
- Let's Fight Bedbugs from the City of Montreal includes information for tenants as well as the landlord's responsibilities. The information is available in 20 languages.
- Québec's Portail santé mieux-être has information on how to recognise bed bugs and prevent infestation and how to exterminate (get rid of) bed bugs.
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 KnowYourGirls.org, 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.
- What you need to know about cholesterol from Health Services includes strategies to improve “good” cholesterol (HDL) and strategies to reduce “bad” cholesterol (LDL)
- More information on high cholesterol from Mayo Clinic
- Cholesterol information from the Harvard School of Public Health
- How to protect yourself and others from cold and flu and how to take care of yourself from Concordia Health Services.
- See gastroenteritis (stomach flu)
- 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.
- 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.
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.
- Medicinenet has comprehensive information on headaches and migraines
- Printable migraine and headache diary
- The Heartburn/GERD Health Center from WebMD
- Understanding Gastroesophogeal Reflux Disease (GERD) from the Canadian Digestive Health Foundation
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 HPV from the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada (SOGC).
- Information pamphlet offering overview of HPV and prevention from HPV Global Action, in English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Simplified Chinese, Malayalam, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, German, Hindi, and Urdu.
- Video guide to help you understand HPV; from Precare. The video provides subtitles in many different languages.
- Information on the FREE HPV Vaccine for men age 26 or under who have sex with men [PDF] (pamphlet from the ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux du Québec)
- Information on colposcopy; this test may be prescibed by your doctor following an abnormal Pap test result
- Video with practical information to help you prepare for your upcoming examination in the colposcopy clinic; from Precare. The video provides subtitles in many different languages.
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) Health Center from WebMD
- Information on irritable bowel syndrome from the Canadian Digestive Health Foundation
- Healthy eating guidelines for people with IBS from HealthLink BC. This information is also available in French [PDF], Chinese [PDF], Punjabi [PDF] and Spanish [PDF].
- Overview of Lyme disease
- Lyme disease in Quebec
- Consult Health Canada’s webpage for more information
When to seek medical help
- If you have one or more symptoms of Lyme disease in the days, weeks or months following a tick bite, contact Info-Santé 811 or consult with a medical professional.
- The Counselling & Psychological Services section of our website has information on how to access mental health services here at Concordia
- For information on promoting good mental health, consult the mental health information in our health topics section
- View our list of mental health resources for links to self-help tools, listening and referral services, as well as treatment services
- How to help a friend who is experiencing a mental health challenge [PDF]
- Overview of the monkeypox
- Signs and symptoms
- Transmission and Prevention
- What you need to know about monkeypox in Montreal
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
- Find Pap test instructions and recommendations from Concordia Health Services.
- Your first "internal" exam info from The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada (SOGC). You can also watch an informative and realistic video developed by the Government of the Northwest Territories' Health and Social Services department.
- Overview of PAP test from the Canadian Cancer Society including information on abnormal PAP test results.
- A funny and accurate article in the student paper The Concordian about PAP test.
- Information about PAP tests for transgender men, from the Canadian Cancer Society.
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.
- Overview of STIs from the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada
- Quick look at common STIs and their symptoms
- 16 ways to prevent getting or spreading a sexually transmitted infection
- Learn how to prevent HIV infection for at-risk, HIV-negative individuals by using Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) or for individuals who have been exposed to HIV by using Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP). Find out where to obtain PrEP and PEP in Montreal.
- Information from Santé Montréal for preventing STIs, getting tested, getting treated, informing partners and more.
- Health Services offers testing for STIs; learn about the procedure for STI testing and more.
- Find off-campus places to get STI testing in Montreal.
- Partner notification: If you have been diagnosed with an STI, inform your current and previous partner(s) so that they can get tested and treated if necessary. You can get some ideas about how to speak to your previous partner(s) in this brochure [PDF]. If you feel uncomfortable contacting a partner, meet with a nurse at Health Services who can inform the Department of Public Health so they can anonymously contact your previous partners. An online partner notification resource for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections is from the Portail VIH/sida du Quebec (this website is in French only).
- Explore the sexual health and safer sex section in the health topics section of our website to learn more about sexually transmitted infections.
- For quitting tobacco, consult the smoking cessation pages in the healthy topics section of our website.
- For quitting cannabis or cutting down, consult Health Services' information on what you should know about cannabis
- For general information on stress management, consult the stress management pages in the health topics section of our website
- For information specific to exam stress, consult Mastering Exam Anxiety from Athabasca University and the excellent Exam Anxiety Workshop from Concordia University in Edmonton
For information on healthy travel consult the following resources:
- The booklet Well on Your Way: A Canadian’s Guide to Healthy Travel Abroad from the Public Health Agency of Canada and Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada.
- Travel Health Fact Sheets from the Public Health Agency of Canada
- Resources for Travellers from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) in the US
- Travel vaccine recommendations from the Government of Canada (select the country you will be visiting to determine which vaccines are recommended)
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.
- Information on urinary tract infections from Mayo Clinic.
- You can obtain a prescription to treat a UTI from a doctor, including those at Concordia Health Services. If you've had a UTI treated by a doctor in the past year, your pharmacist may be able to treat you without a return visit to your doctor.
- 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.
- For general eye health and vision testing, you may need to see an optometrist (eye specialist).
For Concordia students covered by CSU or GSA health plans, Studentcare has a network of optometrists and other professionals who offer discounted prices to students covered by the plan. Consult your insurance for more information.
- For eye injuries and infections, you can book an appointment with Concordia Health Services.
- Information on treating cuts and scrapes from Mayo Clinic
- Information on caring for stitches from MedicineNet
Information on yeast infections, including symptoms, what increases your risk and when to see a health professional, from WebMD.