Your sexual health needs and wellbeing are important. Looking after your sexual health can have a positive impact on your mental and overall physical health and because people under 25 are one of the groups at increased risk of being infected with an STI. Below you can read some more about the different types of STI you should be aware of. 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. If you're worried you have got an STI, go for a check-up at a sexual health clinic as soon as you can and don't have sex, including oral sex, without a condom until you have had a check-up.
You can find the Welfare & Support Centre in the Support & Advice Hub (Ground Floor at the Students' Union) where you can come in and talk to a member of staff, as well as pick up free STI tests, condoms, pregnancy tests, and other handy resources.
Not on campus? HIV and DIY STI kit offer is available by post. The organisation Shine is also able to drop off to any women in the city condoms, lube, and sanitary products. They are also offering one to support and advise, just by phone or online. You can visit their websites here: MESMAC & Shine. You can find the full list of services that can also operate virtually in Newcastle here.
If you're worried because you think you've got an STI, go for a check-up at a sexual health clinic as soon as you can. Do not have sex, including oral sex, without using a condom until you've had a check-up. You can have an STI without knowing it and infect your partner during sex. Call a sexual health clinic if you need help or advice, but only go to a clinic if you've been told to - you can find sexual health clinic contact detail here.
What types of STIs are there?
Below is a breakdown of some of the sex-related conditions that can affect all people who are sexually active. One golden take-away is that getting tested routinely and whenever you think you may have been infected means treatment is much easier. Find out more about Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Trichomoniasis, Genital warts, Genital herpes, Pubic lice, Scabies, Syphilis, and Human papillomavirus (HPV).
What are the Symptoms?
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 - you can find sexual health clinic contact detail here. Many STIs show no symptoms, so 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 contraception/protection and get regularly tested at your local sexual health clinic. Your local center in Newcastle is New Croft House.
Getting tested might sound intimidating, but don’t worry! The 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.
Sexuality & STI's
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.
Free Contraception at the Students' Union
As part of our sexual health initiative, we have made free contraception available at the Students' Union. You can find the Welfare & Support Centre in the Support & Advice Hub (Ground Floor at the Students' Union) where you can come in and talk to a friendly member of staff, as well as pick up free STI tests, condoms, pregnancy tests, and other handy resources. If you have any questions, you can email us here.
Accessing Emergency Contraception
If you have had unprotected sex where there is a risk of pregnancy, or you think your contraception might have failed, you can use emergency contraception up to 5 days afterward to prevent pregnancy.
Plan B in the Community: You can access free emergency contraception from most community pharmacies in Newcastle. Ask for Plan B to ensure that you are not charged. This is for those at risk of pregnancy at any age - including those over 25. You can get details of your nearest pharmacist by visiting the NHS Choices website. All of the pharmacies that offer Plan B (free emergency contraception) are listed here.
New Croft Centre: You can access free emergency contraception from the New Croft Centre. They are also doing telephone consultations to issue emergency contraception. Call 0191 229 2999 between 8.30am and 4pm Monday-Friday. You will either be able to have the emergency contraception delivered to you or you will be given a time slot for you to pick it up from the New Croft Centre or from one of the Community Family Hubs. If you are a young person under 25, Streetwise may be able to deliver it to your home once it has been issued by a nurse.
Ponteland Road Urgent Treatment Centre: You can access free emergency contraception and pregnancy testing with no need for an appointment at the Urgent Treatment Centre (UTC). Find all of their details, opening times and contacts here. Please note that this is the only walk-in / urgent treatment centre currently operating a service in Newcastle, so it may be very busy.
If you are pregnant and are considering your choices there are support services available. You can book in with your GP to have the pregnancy confirmed and plan your pregnancy care. If you are considering a termination of pregnancy, you can contact the services below to talk through your options.
Resources and contacts.
Newcroft Sexual Health Clinic
Your nearest Sexual Health clinic is the New Croft Centre, just a ten minute walk from NUSU providing a wide range of sexual health services such as:
- 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.
MESMAC - MESMAC Newcastle works with gay and bisexual men and other men who have sex with men to increase the range of choices open to them.
SHINE - Shine (Sexual Health In Newcastle) is a community women’s health project based in Newcastle Upon Tyne offering support and services for women 16 and over.
Mermaids - Support for trans, including nonbinary and gender diverse students aged 18 – 25
#UndressingDisability - Targeted relationships and sex education for young disabled people from Enhance the UK.
Fumble create exciting, reliable, relatable digital content on intimacy, relationships, identity, health and wellbeing. A happy, healthy digital world of sex ed: by young people, for young people. Supporting young people up to the age of 25 in the UK, of all genders, sexualities and backgrounds.
Newcastle University Student Societies
- Sexpression – A society that advocates safe and consensual sex.
- Youth Stop Aids – A youth-led movement campaigning for a world without AIDS.
- It Happens Here (IHH) - It Happens Here works to support all survivors and allies on campus, and raise awareness of issues around sexual violence.