Sexual Health

Sexual Health

Contraception is used to prevent unwanted pregnancy and protect you against sexually transmitted infections.  The condom is the only form of contraception that protects against sexually transmitted infections including HIV.

The Advice Service offers a variety of free condoms, including regular, king size and slim fit.  To pick up your free condoms just pop into the Advice Service in the Students’ Union, there is a table near the door with baskets of various condoms.  If you require non-latex condoms, please ask an advisor who will be able to give you some.

The Advice Service also offer free femidoms, dental dams and lube, just ask an advisor.

In addition to condoms, there are other forms of contraception on offer to suit you.  If you would like to talk through your contraception options you can speak to your GP or Nurse or Hathersage Centre


Emergency Contraception

If you've had sex without using contraception or if your method of contraception has failed, you can use emergency contraception to reduce the chance of becoming pregnant. You must act fast though! 

Emergency hormonal contraception needs to be taken within 72 hours (up to 3 days) of unprotected sex but the sooner you take it the better the chance of it working. 

Young women can get emergency hormonal contraception, free of charge, from:

Women of all ages, including young women, can get emergency hormonal contraception, free of charge, from:

If you are concerned that you may be pregnant than the Students’ Union Advice Service provide free pregnancy tests.



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.

This website has information about different types of STI.

If you are sexually active, it's a good idea to be tested for STI’s on a regular basis.  For most people it is recommended that you get checked about once a year. 

The Advice Service offers free STI testing. However, if you have recently had or are expecting to have unprotected sexual contact with a new partner, it is best to get tested as soon as possible. The easiest way to get tested is to go to a GUM (Genito Urinary Medicine) or Contraceptive or Sexual Health Clinic. It's also the best place to go if you are experiencing symptoms and want to get checked out. 

Palatine Contraception and Sexual Health Services have several clinics around the city.



The Advice Service offer free pregnancy testing kits. We understand that any pregnancy planned or unplanned can be a daunting and worrying time for a woman. If you would like to discuss your options or any worries you have then please make an appointment to see one of our advisors. All our advisors are committed to being non-judgemental, impartial, and keeping everything 100% confidential.

There is plenty of support available if you do decide to interrupt your studies to have a baby. The University has an interruptions policy, which means you can interrupt your studies at any time once permission has been given by your School. It is useful to tell someone from the University as early as possible so that arrangements can be made for your progression.

If you are pregnant and considering an abortion you are likely to have many worries and concerns you would like to discuss. One in three women will have an abortion in their lifetime so you are not alone. Abortion in England, Wales and Scotland is completely legal and free on the NHS.

You may wish to discuss this option further with your GP, alternatively the charity Marie Stopes has a 24 hour helpline which you can call to discuss your concerns and options. Their number is 0345 300 8090.

You do not need to inform the University if you are having an abortion, however if it is affecting your studies then you may wish to apply for Mitigating Circumstances. If you would like to discuss this further then please make an appointment to speak with an advisor who can guide you through the process.


Sex Workers

A recent survey found that 38% of sex workers had an undergraduate degree and 17% a postgraduate degree.  Some stated that they had started working in the sex industry whilst at University.

If you are working in this industry, it is important that you do so safely. National Ugly Mugs (NUM) is a pioneering, national organisation which provides greater access to justice and protection for sex workers who are often targeted by dangerous individuals but are frequently reluctant to report these incidents to the police.  These offenders are often serial sexual predators who pose a huge risk to the public as a whole.

Sex workers from all sectors and all genders can sign up to NUM for free to report incidents and receive warnings about danger individuals.  If you report to National Ugly Mugs we will use the information to warn other sex workers and potentially save their lives.

If you want advice and support here are two charities that can assist and