Being at university and away from home will inevitably provide opportunities to explore yourself and your sexuality. When doing so, it’s extremely important to take care of your sexual health throughout your university years – and it’s even more important to start doing so as soon as possible. UW offers many resources to students, and we’ve outlined a couple of them below:
Contraceptives. Also known as birth control, contraceptives are necessary for sex when wanting to avoid pregnancy. UW offers oral contraceptives (the pill) at no cost to female students through Health Services (all you have to do is make an appointment!). Condoms are available for free from GLOW, the Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity. Of course, there are also countless other contraceptives that are available, but be wary of methods such as the pull out method that have relatively high failure rates. Regardless, contraception is the responsibility of men AND women, so find out what works best for you.
STI prevention. Regularly screen for STIs, or Sexually Transmitted Infections. Not all STIs will be symptomatic but can still cause irreparable damage to your reproductive organs, so they shouldn’t ever be ignored. There is no shame in getting tested, so get tested on a consistent basis. UW offers free STI screening to students through Health Services.
Educational resources. UW’s Campus Wellness blog has tons of information regarding safe sex practices and sexual health. You can also ask your doctor (regardless if he or she is from UW Health Services) about any specific questions that may pertain to you. Don’t be afraid or ashamed to ask questions because being well-educated about your sexual health is SO important.