Sexual Health

Sexual Health

Contraception

Contraception is available free from a number of sources: within college there are free condom dispensers in every laundry room; an online form to request contraception to your pidge, as well as a one-click button for an easier and quicker way to get a standard pack of condoms pidged to you; by contacting your welfare reps for information about signing up for the c-card scheme.  Do let your Welfare reps know if stocks are running low in the laundry rooms, and please check the boxes and sachets carefully for signs of tampering or damage, double-checking they aren’t out of date; dispose if you are unsure. If you have concerns, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Instructions for use should be found within the packaging or in literature about the laundry rooms, but if you want further information or instruction on condoms – including not only basic instructions for use, but also why they might break, or what safety certifications to look out for on the boxes – look at this NHS website. For information on other types of contraception, check out some of the links at the bottom of this page.

Emergency contraception is available from your GP, though if you are concerned that you will not get an appointment in time, check out the GUM Dept of the Churchill Hospital ( which has a daily drop-in clinic: see below, under “Reproductive Health Tests”, for details). Click here to find the Churchill Hospital on a map.

Please also be aware that you can get the morning after pill from many chemists for free by showing them your BOD (Student) card- speak to your welfare reps for more information on this.

Contraception Request Form

Say yes to the test – chlamydia testing

A free chlamydia screening postal pack is available from Oxfordshire sexual health that is discreetly posted to you: click here to request a pack, or here for details about getting a test in the clinic. Unfortunately this service is only available to 18-24 year olds – if you’re 25 or over and are worried about Chlamydia, see below for details of where to go to get tested in Oxford.

Chlamydia is a very serious STD, which can cause long-term health problems including infertility, and is also the most common in the UK, with 1 in 12 young people infected. It shows no symptoms whatsoever in 50% of men and 70-80% of women, so usually the only way of finding out if you have it is to take a test. However, if detected reasonably early, it can be successfully treated with a short course of anti-biotics. For more information on chlamydia, see the links below.

The self-test available is simple and non-invasive – just a urine sample for men, and a lower vaginal swab for women (no more invasive than using a tampon). Clear instructions are given on a leaflet inside the self-test packs to explain how to collect your sample, fill in the simple forms and package it into the prepaid envelope.

Your results will be sent to you in complete confidentiality, directly from the NHS centre, so nobody at college will know the results. You can choose to receive the results by post, phone call or text. Please note, however, that it takes 2-3 weeks after infection for chlamydia to show up on the test, so if you’ve had unprotected sex recently and are worried, you should consider completing another self-test in a few more weeks. For further details get in touch with the JCR welfare reps (welfare@mertonjcr.org), the College Nurse, or the GUM clinic (see the bottom of the page).

Oxfordshire Chlamydia Screening Program

Oxfordshire Sexual Health

NHS Chlamydia Screening Programme site

NHS information page about Chlamydia

Pregnancy Tests

‘Mid-stream’ Pregnancy Tests from Pasante Healthcare Ltd. are available free of charge from either one of your Welfare reps, who will treat your request in absolute confidence. The instructions are somewhat clinical but please do not be put off (for instance, they deem it appropriate to inform that false positives may be generated in those with testicular tumours or prostate cancer…). Follow them carefully and ask the College nurse or doctors for further guidance.

You can also take a pregnancy test at the GUM Clinic (see below, under “Reproductive Health Tests” for details).

Chlamydia and other Reproductive Health Tests

The GUM (Genitourinary Medicine) department of the Churchill Hospital provide a comprehensive service of sexual health tests, including free Chlamydia testing. See sexualhealthoxfordshire.nhs.uk for more details. A drop-in mini screening clinic is available, taking place at the GU Medicine Department, Churchill Hospital, Monday to Friday 12.15pm to 3.15pm & Saturday 9am to 12 noon. You can also call for a routine appointment: 01865 231231. For details on bus routes to the GUM clinic click here.

Dental Dams are available on request from either Welfare rep, or from the LGBTQ rep.