How to access services and support
You can get sexual health, contraception and pregnancy advice and guidance from your GP, including the Student Medical Centre on Talbot Campus. Alternatively, the following external services offer a range of support:
- How to contact sexual health clinics or order free STI tests
- Cervical screening tests
- Breast and testicular self-examination
- Staying safe online and sexting
- Relationships and saying "No"
Access urgent support
Sexual health clinics
Sexual Health Dorset provides contraceptive and sexual health services across the county. Visit their website to book an appointment at a local sexual health clinic and get information on contraception, sexually transmitted diseases (STIs), plus lots of help and advice.
- Call 0300 303 1948
Get in touch via social media:
You can also check the Sexwise website for useful contraception information and book direct with a nurse to discuss options.
Find your local NHS clinics for STI testing and treatment. You can also order a free full STI screening kit online from SH:24. This is for asymptomatic screening and includes self-finger prick blood testing.
Cervical screening tests
All women over the age of 25 will receive a letter from the NHS Screening Service to remind them to book an appointment for their test, with further reminders by text from your GP practice. It's really important to register with a doctor and keep your details up to date so that you can ensure you get regular tests.
Find out more about the NHS Cervical Screening Programme.
Breast and testicular self-examination
Get into the habit of checking yourself on a monthly basis to look for any changes, swelling, pain, lumps or bumps. For more information visit:
Relationships and saying "No"
Whatever gender or sexual orientation you identify as, if you feel that you're being pressured into having sex, remember that it is always your choice. Please also be aware that pressuring someone into sex is a serious offence. Non-consensual sex is either rape or sexual assault. Remember, if you’re planning to do anything sexual, then both of you must give consent. Find out more:
If you, or someone you know, has been affected by sexual assault or harassment, there is specific support available, including how to report this online.
Staying safe online and sexting
Be aware that everything you share online can be available pretty much forever. Choose your friends wisely - don't feel pressured into sending pictures or messages. You can use the settings on websites and apps to control your privacy. Find more information and support on the Brook, Thinkuknow and Victim Support websites.
Access urgent support
If you need emergency contraception:
The NHS can provide most contraception for free. Find out about the different types of contraception available.
If you think you're pregnant it's important to talk to your GP as soon as possible to discuss your options. Find out about the support available both at BU and externally, and visit the NHS website for more detailed information and guidance. The British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) can also provide support and advice, including around unwanted pregnancy.
Sexual assault or harassment
If you've experienced sexual assault or harassment, the Dorset Sexual Trauma And Recovery Service (STARS) provides free practical and emotional support, as well as counselling.
If you, or someone you know, needs to report sexual assault or harassment: