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  1. Health Service
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  3. Sexual health
Current students

Sexual health

These pages are designed to give you information about all aspects of sexual health including contraception, sexually transmitted infections, pregnancy and abortion.

You may also find the following services useful:

  • Sexwise confidential advice line 0800 282 930 (7:00-00:00)
  • Embarrassing Problems - Advice on sexual health and other conditions of a personal nature
  • Brook - advisory service


Contraception is free via your GP or Family Planning Clinic. There are many different methods of contraception available.

Contraceptive services available to all City students at the Health Centre:

  • Free condoms
  • Emergency contraception.

You can also get help and advice from your GP or local Family Planning Clinic. Contraception is free to all women on the NHS.

Free condoms

Free condoms are available from the Health Centre reception for all City, University of London students.

Family Planning Clinic

Family Planning Clinics can prescribe a range of contraceptive methods. The clinics can be used by any woman.

Family Planning Association Information Service: 0845 122 8690

This helpline is able to give advice on local clinics' opening times, as well as general advice about contraception and sexual health.

The nearest clinics to City, University of London are:

Finsbury Health Centre, Pine Street, London EC1R 0LP. 020 7530 4200

Margaret Pyke Clinic, 73 Charlotte Street, London W1T 4PL 0203317 3737

Emergency contraception

Emergency contraception is the term used for preventing conception (pregnancy) after intercourse (sex). You may need to use emergency contraception if:

  • you used a condom which burst or came off
  • your diaphragm was not in the right place or was damaged
  • you forgot a contraceptive pill or forgot to start a new pack of the pill at the right time
  • you had sex without using any contraception.

Two kinds of emergency contraception are currently available:

  • The emergency contraceptive pill (morning after pill): The emergency contraceptive pill should be taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex. It is most effective if taken in the first 24 hours. The pill is available to all students from the Student Health Service.
  • The IUD: An intrauterine contraceptive device or coil can be inserted up to five days after unprotected sex and is very effective in preventing pregnancy. You will need to visit a Family Planning Clinic for this service.

Please note that both these methods are used to prevent pregnancy in case of an accident and should not be considered as an alternative to regular methods of contraception.

Further information is available at the Health Centre.


How do I know if I am pregnant?

You may be pregnant if:

  • your period is late
  • your breasts are swollen
  • you feel sick in the morning when you get up
  • you have gained weight.

Pregnancy tests

  • Home pregnancy tests can be bought at any pharmacy shop
  • The Student Health Service offers free pregnancy testing. Please bring an early morning urine specimen to the Nurse Advisor.
  • Visit your local Family Planning Clinic.

What do I do if I am pregnant?

Your GP can refer you for maternity care which is usually shared with a hospital, if that is what you wish.

If your pregnancy was unplanned you can contact the Student Health Service who will offer non-judgmental advice about the choices you have if you are pregnant.

Alternatively you may wish to use an agency external to City. We recommend:

  • The Family Planning Association helpline 0845 122 8690 (9:00 - 19:00)
  • Brook Advisory Centre 0800 0185 023.

Information about abortion

Lesbian and gay

London Lesbian and Gay Switchboard is a voluntary organisation which aims to provide a 24-hour information, support and referral service for lesbians and gay men from all backgrounds throughout the United Kingdom.

Sexually transmitted infection (STI)

Concerned about HIV? Pick up a self-test kit from the Student Health Service in confidence.

How do I know if I have a sexually transmitted infection (also known as STI, STD or VD)?

  • You may have difficulty or discomfort passing urine.
  • You may have a vaginal discharge in women or discharge from the penis in men.
  • You may have a rash around the genital area (e.g. with blisters or sores).
  • Women may get lower abdominal pain.

If you have any of the above symptoms and have had unprotected sex you should consider being tested for a STIs.

How do I get tested for an STI?

You can see your GP or visit a sexual health clinic for confidential advice on all aspects of sexual health and treatment for STIs.

Clinics close to City, University of London

Barts Sexual Health Centre

A: Barts Sexual Health Centre, Kenton and Lucas Wing, St Bartholomew's Hospital, West Smithfield, London, EC1A 7BE

T: 020 7601 8090.

Barts Sexual Health Centre clinic times have changed to the below, this will be until March 2018:

Monday 9am-4pm

Tuesday 9am-6.30pm (from 4pm bookable online only)

Wednesday 12.00noon-6.30pm (from 4pm bookable online only)

Thursday 9am-4pm

Friday 9am-4pm

Updated information is available on their website:

Mortimer Market Centre

A: Mortimer Market (off Capper Street), London, WC1E 6AU

T: 020 3317 5100

You may also find information about the following useful: