Students told us the truth and sex...and here are the results!


Students are renowned for being horny. But is this just a stereotype or are students really engaging in copious amounts of unprotected sex? 

Recently, we asked you to tell us the truth about students and sex. 

After surveying 1,200 students, we found out what's really going on under the sheets...
 

50% of students have never bought condoms

Buying condoms can be a bit embarrassing at times, particularly if you bump into someone you know in the shop- just remember, most people buy them! There are loads of easy ways to get your hands on protection so there's no excuse to not strap up! 

You can get condoms from:

- Supermarkets
- Online
- GP surgeries (for free)
- GUM clinics (for free)
- Sexual health clinics (for free)
- Some youth services (for free)
 

Sex education isn't quite cutting it

67% of students said the sex education they received was average or below. David Cameron's decision to block compulsory sex education isn't likely to help make improvements in this area so now students are turning to other resources, mainly the internet (87%), for advice on sex and sexual health.

Good sites to check out for info on sexual health are the family planning association (fpa) and the NHS has a student sex site which is also helpful. Both give information about sexual health as well as contraception. 

What's it like going to get tested?

Getting tested can seem pretty daunting and 53% of the surveyed students had never gotten tested! 
63% of males never get tested for STIs compared to 48% of females which is highlighted in 5% of girls being diagnosed with an STI compared to just 1% for guys. But we're all susceptible to catching them if we're bonking under the covers- getting tested is not as bad as you might think though, here is some students' experience:

Inbetweeners

Anonymous 1 
"I was diagnosed with Chlamydia and given antibiotics by GUM clinic. The clinic was very helpful and also spoke to best friends. Felt anxious that it could be something else and then nervous about telling previous sexual partners. The clinic offered a service to contact partners anonymously, which was fantastic! 

I did also get initially diagnosed with herpes - however, the test was negative and the presentation was abnormal. The clinic were great at reassuring me and giving me treatment, just in case. They also gave me a really useful leaflet which I have since shared with friends who had concerns over Herpes as well. I was very worried before consolation because of the stigma and lack of clear info on the internet about Herpes."
 

Anonymous 2 
“Although I never had any symptoms I have always got myself checked out. Especially every time I had a new partner, I always made sure they did too. It just gave me peace of mind that we were both being safe and once we had the results we could relax and enjoy sex. 

The nurses are always really kind and do their best to keep you relaxed when you arrive at the clinic, the self-swabs for chlamydia testing are also really easy to use and you get the results generally within a week. If you feel really nervous about going, get your partner or one of your best friends to come along to the clinic for you."
 

When is it safe to have unprotected sex?

Unprotected sex is defined as "an act of sexual intercourse performed without the use of a condom, thus involving the risk of sexually transmitted diseases." so whether you're in a relationship or having a one night stand, not using a condom could leave you at risk.

However, there are some exceptions to when it is reasonably safe to have unprotected sex:

- if you and your partner are both virgins (though some STIs can be transmitted through oral etc)

- if yourself and your partner have both been tested and cleared between your last sexual interactions and the first time you have sex with each other.

ALWAYS remember that there is also a risk of pregnancy when not using a condom, so unless you are trying for a baby, be sure to use another type of contraception! 

I've had unprotected sex, what should I do now?

First of all, don’t panic. There are tons of services and support that can help you- if you’ve had sex without a condom the best thing to do is to go and see your GP or visit a GUM or sexual health clinic. You can also get emergency contraception at your local pharmacy.

Clinics such as Marie Stopes are friendly professionals are there to help if you’re worried about an unexpected pregnancy and can advise you on all the available options without judgement. You can find your nearest clinic on the site here: https://www.mariestopes.org.uk/ 
If you've got a question about sexual health, you can check out our dedicated forum here or speak to a Marie Stopes Official Rep here.