Contraception is vital in keeping safe during your time at university. The condom is the only form of contraception that also protects against sexually transmitted infections including HIV.
Condoms and pregnancy testing kits are available free from the Student Advice Centre. They are also available free from CASH clinics and the Terrance Higgins Trust drop-in clinic.
If you need dental dams, then Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Students Assembly (LGBT) can supply these for you.
If you are under 25 you can get a C-Card which allows you to access free condoms, lubricant and dental dams from chemists around London. There are lots of other forms of contraception on offer to best suit your needs.
Emergency contraception can be taken up to 72 hours after intercourse. If you are under 25 you can get emergency contraception for free from various pharmacies in London.
If you think you might be pregnant, the most important thing to do is get a test done as soon as possible and find out for sure. You can pick up free pregnancy test kits from the Student Union, or go to your doctor's surgery or family planning clinic. You can also buy home testing kits over the counter from pharmacies.
If you are pregnant and want confidential advice, contact the student medical centre or VP Welfare.
Sexual Health Testing
STI stands for Sexually Transmitted Infection, which is an infection that can be transmitted during sexual contact. If used correctly condoms can prevent STIs from being passed from an infected person to their sexual partner. Condoms are the only method of contraception that also protect from STIs. In the UK STI rates have increased dramatically in recent years, especially among 16-24 year olds.
Most STIs can be treated easily, but have very serious consequences if they are left untreated. Chlamydia, for example, affects about 1 in 10 students. It usually has no symptoms, so it is difficult to know if you've got it unless you get tested. If left untreated Chlamydia can cause infertility in men and women.
The student medical centre has chlamydia and gonorrhoea tests available to all our students and can be sent in the post, with results coming in a week.
Free Test Me offer free STI tests all year round and are available at www.freetest.me
The website www.condomessentialwear.co.uk/ has information about different types of STI.