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Sexual Health

Here at Student Health, we pride ourselves on inclusion, diversity, and everything in between, because the health and safety of our students is our number one priority. Our staff strive to be consistent, open, and willing to engage and go the extra mile for students regardless of gender identity, sexuality, religious, and/or cultural beliefs. We believe that sexual health is important for everyone and acknowledge that this may be a sensitive topic for some. 

If this is the case for you, we would welcome students to contact us prior to their appointment. This will allow you to discuss and disclose any information that would make you feel more comfortable. This could include sharing any sensitive information relating to sexual health to ensure respect, confidentiality and trust. Personal information is treated with care and respect, including personal identities and pronouns, along with all other personal information. If you have further concerns, please feel free speak to us or refer to our Privacy/Confidentiality statement. 

When undergoing STI screening and treatment, our staff will have to discuss and refer to physical anatomy and we recognise that this could be uncomfortable for our students within the rainbow and gender diverse communities. While we will do our best to make you feel comfortable, if you would like further support you can bring someone with you, talk to the Queer Support Coordinator, and/or one of the advocates at Student Support. 

Our staff have completed Queer Support Training from OUSA.  We always welcome feedback on ways that we can make this process safer, easier, and more comfortable for all students.

Make an Appointment

Phone Student Health on Free phone 0800 479 821 to book a 30 minute nurse appointment. Please advise reception that you need an appointment on the day if you have symptoms. Routine screening appointments (with no specific concerns or symptoms) may not be on the day.

Appointments to screen the penis and testes:

It is very important for those with a penis and/or testes to remember not to pee for at least 1 hour before their appointment.

Appointments to screen the cervix and vagina:

If you have a cervix and/or a vagina and are wanting a routine STI check, this can be done with any of the nurses at Student Health. STI checks are also done routinely with cervical screening.

We acknowledge that anatomy is naturally diverse and recognise that some may have different reproductive systems and/or may belong to the intersex community. If you require different or combinations of different screening methods please let us know before or during your appointment. We only ask so we can give you the best support and healthcare we can, and will not pass judgement.

STI testing

Over recent years, there has been a rise in the number of sexually transmitted infections (STI’s). The most common STI seen at Student Health Services is chlamydia followed by genital herpes and warts.

The majority of STI’s are caused by micro-organisms such as bacteria or viruses. These infections can be passed between people engaging in intimate physical contact, such as non-penetrative genital contact, sharing sex toys, oral sex, and sexual intercourse.

We are able to test for chlamydia and gonorrhoea, HIV, syphilis, hepatitis A, B and C. There are no screening tests available for genital warts (HPV) or genital herpes (HSV). These infections are common and do not always have symptoms.

For those with a vagina and/or cervix, screening for chlamydia and gonorrhoea is done with swabs taken either by the nurse or doctor; or self-taken. For those with a penis, screening for chlamydia and gonorrhoea is a first void urine sample. It is important that they don’t pee for at least 1 hour prior to their appointment. Additional swabs are only needed for those also experiencing penile discharge.

With all STIs there are “window periods” in which the infection is incubating, and testing may not detect it.

For chlamydia this is 14 days. So if you have recently had unprotected sexual contact of any kind, and you would like to be checked, please book an appointment for 2 weeks after the date to rule out the risk of a false negative test. However, if you have symptoms, which could include penile or vaginal pain while peeing, penilel or vaginal discharge, bleeding between periods, pain with sex, tummy pain, then you should ask for an appointment the same day.

We offer blood tests to screen for HIV, syphilis, hepatitis B (and in some cases hepatitis A & C). The window period for routine screening is 3 months. However, if you are concerned that you may be at risk of one or more of these infections, please make an appointment to discuss options with one of the sexual health team.

Results

 The nurse or doctor will discuss options for getting your results with you. You will always be contacted with your sexual health blood test results. Please contact us if you have not heard from us within two weeks of the test.

 Links that may be helpful (in addition to those on website under health advice>related health links):