SHAG - Sexual Health Awareness and Guidance logo

What is SHAG?

SHAG stands for Sexual Health, Awareness and Guidance.

It’s useful bits of information intended to help you with your sexual health. That is anything from contraception, to pregnancy information. Here you’ll find videos, and tips from current students and staff members.

There is also an annual SHAG week (22nd – 26th October 2018) that will campaign around a specific part of sexual health. This year’s theme is all about reducing the number of Sexually Transmitted Infections on campus with the strapline Catch Feel[ing]s, not STIs.

SHAG Week (22nd - 26th October)

Monday

Free condoms Outside NUSU 11:00am - 2:30pm
STI Testing Opposite Reception, NUSU Floor 0 11:00am - 3:00pm

Tuesday

Free condoms Robinson Library, Reception 11:00am - 2:30pm
STI Testing Opposite Reception, NUSU Floor 0 11:00am - 3:00pm
SHAG Pub Quiz Luther's Bar, NUSU Floor -1 7:00pm - 10:00pm

Wednesday

Free condoms Business School, Cafe 11:00am - 2:00pm
STI Testing Opposite Reception, NUSU Floor 0 11:00am - 3:00pm
Bingo Revolution: SHAG Special Venue, NUSU Floor -2 7:00pm - 11:00pm

Find out more via the Facebook event!

Thursday

LGBT+ Sexual Health (LGBT+ Society) Outside NUSU 11:00am - 4:00pm
STI Testing Opposite Reception, NUSU Floor 0 11:00am - 3:00pm

Friday

STI Testing Opposite Reception, NUSU Floor 0 11:00am - 3:00pm

Sexually Transmitted Infections

Up to a quarter of students may catch an STI during their time at university, and many of these - such as chlamydia - commonly show no symptoms. Left untreated, STIs can severely impact your health and even cause fertility problems in later life.

It doesn't matter what your gender or sexual orientation is. STIs are transferred through physical contact and bodily fluids, meaning that as long as you're sexually active, you can catch and transmit an STI. You can find out more about the different types of STIs and how they are transmitted at the NHS website: here.

If you’ve recently had sex and notice something feels off -- such as discomfort, irritation or sores -- it’s essential you talk to a doctor or nurse as soon as possible. But since many STIs show no symptoms, you can’t ever be 100% sure you’re not infected just by how you look or feel. That’s why it’s essential to always use protection and get regularly tested at your local sexual health clinic.

Getting tested might sound intimidating, but don’t worry! Most common STIs can be easily cured or managed with antibiotics and treatment. The longer you put it off, however, the more you risk your health, and the health of your partners.

Contraception

The best way to avoid catching or passing on an infection is to use protection every time you have sex -- that includes all kinds of sexual activity, including oral and skin-to-skin contact. While other contraceptives such as the implant or the pill are great for preventing unwanted pregnancy, they don’t help you to avoid catching an STI. Using condoms, femidoms or dental dams during all kinds of sex makes a huge difference in reducing your risk of infection.

Currently, 89% of students admit they don’t usually use a condom during casual sex, meaning a high likelihood of catching STIs such as herpes, chlamydia, gonorrhea and even HIV.

Getting access to protection doesn’t need to be costly or time-consuming. If you’re under 25, you’re entitled to a C-Card, meaning that you can get free condoms and useful information any time from your local sexual health clinic. Find out more about how to get a C-Card here.

Protection not only helps to keep you and your partners safe, it can even make sex better! Keep an eye out for our SHAG stalls on campus for lots of exciting freebies.

Local Services

Your nearest Sexual Health clinic is the New Croft Centre, just a ten minute walk from NUSU. Open Monday to Friday 9AM-7PM, the New Croft Centre provides a wide range of sexual health services such as:

  • Contraception
  • Testing for sexually transmitted infections (STIs or STDs)
  • Information on pregnancy services and support with pregnancy termination
  • Walk-in clinics
  • Booked appointments

NHS Sexual Health Clinics are confidential and do not tell your GP about your visit if you don't want them to. So long as they can contact you, you don't even have to use your real name. If you're taking tests, you can choose to receive your results over text, by a phone call, or in a discrete, unmarked letter.

Find out more about the New Croft Centre and more NHS services here.