sexual health

Sexual Health

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Contraception

Free Contraception, including condoms, pills, the patch, IUDs, IUSs, injections and implants, are available at the NHS Sexual Health Clinic at St. Andrews Community Hospital.

Contraception is not one-size-fits-all and it’s important to find out which method will work best for your individual lifestyle and body.

Although many forms of birth control are extremely effective for preventing pregnancy, condoms are the only way to protect yourself from STIs. It is important to use condoms, either internal or external, when engaging in vaginal, anal or oral sex. Dams can also be used as a barrier during contact between mouth and vagina, or the mouth and anus.

You can get free condoms from:

  • Director of Wellbeing– Middle floor of the Union, day-time.
  • Iain Cupples-  Middle floor of the Union, day-time.
  • Union Reception- Ground floor of the Union, night-time.
  • Student Services- Eden Court, day-time.
  • Condom Reps- In every hall!
  • GUM Clinics and Sexual Health Clinics
  • Contraceptive Clinics
  • Some GPs
  • If you’re a man who has sex with other men, you can get free condoms by post through Terrence Higgins Trust (THT)!

Condoms are extremely effective if used properly. For information on how to properly use a condom for maximum effectiveness, Brook and Planned Parenthood have step by step instructions.

Anyone can get an STI, regardless of sexuality. Using a condom or another barrier keeps you and your partner(s) safe. Here is a good guide on how to talk about using contraception, specifically condoms and another from the NHS.

Look after yourself by looking after your condoms. Condoms should be stored in a cool, dry place where it’s not likely to get punctured or mangled. Condoms should not be stored in wallets as a combination of body heat and friction can cause damage to the condom.

For more information about contraception:

 

 

Emergency Contraception

There are two forms of emergency contraception:

  • The Emergency Contraceptive Pill
    • Levonelle- must be taken within 72 hours of sex
    • ellaOne- must be taken within 120 hours of sex
  • The IUD- can be inserted up to five days after sex.

The emergency contraceptive pill is available at the Sexual Health Clinic, from your GP practice, or alternatively at any chemist.

For more information on emergency contraception see the NHS and Brook pages.

 

 

STIs & Testing

There are two sexual health clinics located in St. Andrews. If you are exhibiting symptoms or if you have had unprotected vaginal, anal or oral sex; you can visit either:

  • St. Andrews Community Hospital / Appointment Only

Fridays, 9am-12:30 pm. To make an appointment: Call 01592 647979 between 8:30 am and 1:20 pm, Monday- Friday.

Friday afternoon between 1.30pm and 5pm during term time and is an appointment only clinic. 

To make an appointment please telephone 01592 647979 between 8.30am - 1.30pm Monday to Friday. There will be no student clinics on Friday, 16th November 2018 or Friday, 7th December 2018.

Friday between 9am and 12.30pm and is an appointment only clinic.  To make an appointment please telephone 01592 647979 between 8.30am - 1.30pm, Monday to Friday. 

You can also get free, confidential, safe and discreet HIV and Sexual Health testing by post from Terrence Higgins Trust.

For information about what a STI test involves, look here.

If you experiencing any of the following symptoms you should seek advice:

  • Unusual discharge from the vagina
  • Discharge from the penis
  • Pain or burning when you pass urine
  • Itches, rashes, lumps or blisters around the genitals or anus
  • Pain and/or bleeding during sex
  • Bleeding between periods (including people who are using hormonal contraception)
  • Bleeding after sex
  • Pain in the testicles
  • Pain in the lower abdomen

For more information about particular STIs, FPA and the NHS have more information.

STIs don’t always have noticeable symptoms; if you have had unprotected sex with a new partner, you or a partner have had sex with other people without using a condom, a sexual partner has any symptoms or if you are planning a pregnancy and may be at risk of infection; get tested in order to prevent long term damage or passing infection onto another person. Regularly get tested for STIs to make sure that you stay safe. All sexual activities have risks. No sex is totally safe unless:

  • All participants have tested negative for all STIs
  • Participants have not had sex with anyone else since negative test results
  • Participants have had no contact with blood, semen, breast milk or vaginal fluids from anyone else since negative test results.

Even without the risk of an STI there are other risks, like pregnancy or an impact on you emotionally. Only have sex with someone if you are ready to have sex with them, never feel obligated to have sex with anyone.

For more information on safer sex, STIs and testing:

 

 

HIV

If you are experiencing symptoms of HIV;  have had had unprotected anal, oral, or vaginal sex; or if you think you have put yourself at risk of HIV infection, you can get tested at:

  • St. Andrews Community Hospital / Appointment Only

Fridays, 9am-12:30 pm. To make an appointment: Call 01592 647979 between 8:30 am and 1:20 pm, Monday- Friday.

 

You can also get free, confidential, safe and discreet HIV and Sexual Health testing by post from Terrence Higgins Trust.

If you know you have put yourself at risk and it is within 72 hours of possible exposure to HIV, you can ask for Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) from a Sexual Health or HIV clinic or from Accident & Emergency Departments.

Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is a course of HIV drugs taken before sex to reduce the risk of getting HIV. PrEP is available in Scotland from the NHS and if you are eligible you can get it from the Sexual Health Clinic.

Anyone, regardless of sexual preference, gender, age or race, can be infected with HIV. With modern HIV treatment, people who are HIV positive are living long and healthy lives. Furthermore, people on effective HIV treatment cannot pass on the virus.

Despite this, there is stigma around being HIV positive and if you would like to talk to someone about any problems you may be having, you are welcome to come to Student Services to talk to one of our Advisers or Counsellors. You can drop in to make an appointment either at The ASC (the Advice and Support Centre) at 79 North Street, or our offices at Eden Court on The Scores. Alternatively; you can email, book an appointment online or phone at 01334 462020.

For more information and support: