Sexual Health

Keep reading for information on sexual health supplies, check ups, contraception, HIV/AIDS, emergency contraception and pregnancy.


You can get the following items free of charge from the SSCSU Welfare Officers:

– Condoms (regular, large, trim and latex free)
– Pregnancy tests
– Lube
– Dental Dams (Strawberry, Mint Tingle or Chocolate)
– Chlamydia tests

Send us a text on the welfare phone (07437922574), send us an email (welfarejosh@sscsu.org.uk or welfareimi@sscsu.org.uk) or pop a note in the welfare pidge to request your items. 

If you use the phone, just tell us how many of each item you would like and we will text back confirming your request and providing you with a code word. The items will be placed ASAP in a brown envelope marked with your code word in the welfare pidge (on the left as you walk into the post room.)

We will also leave an envelope marked “help yourself” in the welfare pidge with some condoms and lube that anyone is welcome to take. 

The College Nurse runs a C-Card scheme so get in touch with her if you would like an alternative way to get free condoms.

Sexual Health Check-Ups

For everyone who is sexually active, it's so important to go for regular sexual health checks even if you don't have any symptoms.

Chlamydia is the most common STI, with 1 in 12 young people infected, and it’s a good idea to get checked up if you are, or have been sexually active. It’s fairly easy to treat and you can take a test in the privacy of your own room. 70% of women and 50% of men who have chlamydia have NO symptoms and without proper treatment the infection can spread to other parts of the body causing damage and serious long-term complications, including potential infertility. 

The nearest sexual health clinic is Lime Tree Clinic, easily accessible on the Citi 2 bus. All treatment is free and confidential, you can even use a fake name if you feel more comfortable.

To find out more or book an appointment call 0300 300 3030 or visit www.icash.nhs.uk/cambs

Opening times and drop in sessions are on the website.

Address: Lime Tree Clinic, Brookfields Hospital, 351 Mill Road, Cambridge,CB1 3DF.


If you’re nervous about your visit or are unsure what to expect, check out this page for some useful information on what happens when you go to a sexual health clinic: http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/STIs/Pages/VisitinganSTIclinic.aspx

If you’re worried about your symptoms or want to learn more about STI’s, you can find out more information here:



You may also be offered a chlamydia test at your GP surgery and can request one from the Social Welfare Officers at any time.


You can request free condoms at any time from the Social Welfare Officers but remember that there are 15 different methods of contraception available on the NHS. 

The NHS page on contraception is an extremely helpful and comprehensive resource, containing information on all the different methods:


There are also useful sections on all aspects of sexual health, from how to put on a condom to what to do if you miss a pill.

To chat about contraception, get in touch with the College Nurse or the Social Welfare Officers.

To access contraception, contact your GP or visit Lime Tree Clinic. Your GP will be able to offer a limited range of contraceptives such as the pill whereas Lime Tree Clinic offers the full range, including fittings of contraceptive implants, injections and IUD’s. (http://www.icash.nhs.uk/).


DHIVERSE, the local HIV and sexual health charity provide a range of confidential services for people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS including counselling, peer support groups, information and advocacy. In addition, DHIVERSE run a HIV Support group for students, which is separate to the University.

You can contact them through their website at www.dhiverse.org.uk

Student Advice Service

CUSU run the Student Advice Service and you can go to them with any sexual health concerns that you may have. The Service employs a full time professional Student Advisor whose primary role is providing confidential support to students.

The Student Advice Service is based at CUSU/Graduate Union at 17 Mill Lane. Feel free to drop in and chat to a member of the Service at any time, Monday to Friday, 9.00 am – 5.00 pm. You can also make an appointment by email (advice@studentadvice.cam.ac.uk) or telephone (01223 746999).

Emergency Contraception

If you have had unprotected sex and are worried about pregnancy, you can take emergency contraception within 120 hours (5 days) of sex. It is, however, significantly more effective if taken within the first 24 hours. It’s therefore important that you act quickly.

There are two main types of emergency contraception:

–       The ‘morning-after’ pill

–       The IUD (intrauterine device, a coil). 

There are two kinds of emergency contraceptive pill. Levonelle has to be taken within 72 hours (three days) of sex, and ellaOne has to be taken within 120 hours (five days) of sex. Both pills work by preventing or delaying ovulation (release of an egg).

You can have the IUD (Intrauterine Device) fitted up to 120 hours (5 days) after unprotected sex. The IUD (or the coil) is a small T-shaped frame with a thin copper coil around the stem which is inserted into the neck of the womb. It has to be fitted by a trained healthcare professional. It is normally used as a method of long-term birth control but can also be used to prevent pregnancy in an emergency.

Remember that emergency contraception offers no protection from Sexually Transmitted Infections, so if you have had unprotected sex you may wish to consider having a sexual health check-up.

Where can I get the emergency contraceptive pill?

Some pharmacies now will give it free as long as you’re registered with a Cambridge GP. The pharmacist will ask you some questions and give you the pill as well as further information. The following pharmacies are part of this scheme, the nearest being Superdrug – a minute’s walk from college:

  • Boots, Newmarket Road
  • Boots, Cherry Hinton Road
  • Boots, Grafton Centre
  • Boots, Petty Cury
  • Kays Chemist, Wulfstan Way
  • Lloyds, Arbury Court
  • Lloyds, Trumpington Street
  • Co-operative, Barnwell Road
  • Superdrug, Fitzroy Street

Other pharmacies will give you the same information and ask the same questions but you will have to pay for the pill. It usually costs about £25.

Your GP– Your GP will ask you some questions to decide if emergency contraception is the right choice for you as well as explaining side effects, contraception and any emotions you may be feeling. You can then get a free prescription to take to a pharmacy.

Lime Tree Clinic on Mill Road offers emergency contraception without appointment.


Where Can I Get the IUD From?

Your GP or Lime Tree Clinic.


The most obvious sign of pregnancy is a missed period (although a missed period does not necessarily mean you are pregnant). Breast tenderness, nausea, tiredness and frequent urination are also common signs of pregnancy. If you have missed a period and think there is a chance you may be pregnant, get tested. If you are pregnant, the sooner you know, the more time you have to think about the options that are available to you.

You can obtain a free and anonymous pregnancy test via one of your Social Welfare Officers by contacting one of us by text, email or pigeonhole.

CUSU also provide pregnancy tests which they will send to you in college in an unmarked envelope (http://www.studentadvice.cam.ac.uk/welfare/pregnancy/test/)

Need advice?

If you are pregnant and are unsure what to do, you can talk confidentially to the Social Welfare Officers, College Nurse, Tutor, GP or the Student Advice Service.

If you are pregnant and don’t want to be, you have three options:

  • Continuing the pregnancy and raising the child
  • Continuing the pregnancy and putting the child up for adoption
  • Ending the pregnancy with an abortion

All of these options are ones you have the right to choose and you can find support with all of them. 

Whether you are confused or completely sure of which option you wish to take, it’s important to get advice and support from the right people.

Continuing the pregnancy

If you want to have a child, it’s possible you are eligible for benefits to help with the costs, and you can contact the Citizens Advice Bureau for help with this. If you need time out to have the child, you can contact the Student Advice Service to help you navigate the University’s rules about maternity and intermitting. Maternity and pregnancy are protected characteristics under the law and you should not suffer discrimination because of any of your choices.

Find out about support for student parents here: http://www.studentadvice.cam.ac.uk/welfare/childcare/

Brook, a charity devoted to providing support on pregnancy for young people, also has a useful website: http://www.brook.org.uk/

To find out more about having your child adopted, follow this link: http://www.baaf.org.uk/info/pregnant


If you’re pregnant and considering abortion it’s important to know that you’re not alone. 1 in 3 women in the UK will have an abortion by the time they are 45 years old.

Have a look at the British Pregnancy Advisory Service website for more information on abortion, including information on abortion counselling, what happens on the day and supporting a friend through abortion.


Your GP, College Nurse or organisations such as Brook (http://www.brook.org.uk/your-life/category/pregnancy) will be able to offer advice and support with your decision.

Abortion Clinics in Cambridge:

Marie Stopes UK Cambridge
The Woodlands Surgery
Eden House
48-49 Bateman Street
Tel: 0345 300 8090