Check what you need to know about contraception and pregnancy, and see the support available.
Contraception is free to most people in the UK. There are lots of different contraceptive options available, and different ones will suit different people.
For more information on contraception, read more from Sexwise and the NHS.
Important: If you’ve had unprotected sex within the last 120 hours (five days) and you want to avoid pregnancy, you can get emergency contraception (see below).
Free condoms on campus
The X-Card scheme gives you access to free condoms on campus.
No intrusive or embarrassing questions – this scheme provides a fair way of distributing condoms and other sexual health resources, as well as answering sexual health queries and signposting to other specialist services.
Drop-ins are free, confidential and run by trained Sussex students. Details of drop-ins will be published when available.
You can get a range of condoms, vaginal condoms, lubricant, chlamydia and gonorrhoea self-testing kits and pregnancy tests from:
- the Student Centre welcome desk
- Students' Union reception in Falmer House
- York House 24-hour reception (regular condoms only).
Accessing contraception in the local area
Brighton & Hove have excellent Sexual Health and Contraception (SHAC) services where you can speak to trained professionals about what contraception might suit you best, and get prescriptions/fittings for contraception. Visit the Brighton Sexual Health website for more about contraception.
You can also speak to your GP about contraception.
Emergency contraception can be taken after unprotected sex (condom split, missed pill, didn’t use any contraception) and can prevent pregnancy.
It is sometimes called the “morning after pill” but can be taken up to 72-hours (three days) or 120-hours (five days) after unprotected sex, depending on the method used.
The sooner emergency contraception is taken after unprotected sex, the more likely it is to be effective at preventing pregnancy, so you should access it as soon as possible.
Where to access emergency contraception
- within 72-hours (three days) of unprotected sex you can use Levonelle (pill). It is available from your GP, pharmacies (sometimes there is a charge), SHAC services and A&E.
- within 120–hours (five days) of unprotected sex you can use ellaOne (pill) or an emergency IUD (coil); available from SHAC services and A&E.
Find advice on accessing emergency contraception.
Check out pharmacies that offer free emergency contraception [PDF 489KB] to under 25’s in Brighton and Hove.
If you are hoping to become pregnant find more information about planning a pregnancy.
What to do if you think you might be pregnant
If you think that you might be pregnant:
- take a pregnancy test – pregnancy tests are available to buy on campus in the Campus Pharmacy next to the Health Centre, or more cheaply at the Students’ Union shop. Free pregnancy tests are available from the Student Centre, and from the X-Card drop-in.
- if the test gives a positive result then you can get the result confirmed by a professional. You can go to Brighton & Hove SHAC services to have it confirmed; they offer free pregnancy testing and advice.
If you are pregnant, you can find more information from:
- So you think you might be pregnant? [PDF 2033KB] from British Pregnancy Advisory Service
- brightonsexualhealth.com on pregnancy testing, advice and referrals.
If you’re unsure what you want to do about your pregnancy, then you don’t need to make this decision alone. The following things may help you make a decision:
- take time to talk things through with a friend or family member
- talk to a Student Advisor or a counsellor in confidence
- talk to a counsellor at your nearest British Pregnancy Advisory Service clinic
- speak to someone from Brighton SHAC services, who offer pregnancy advice
- you can contact Sexwise for advice and support.
Remember that no one has the right to tell you what to do about this – the decision is yours.
Pregnancy and your studies
Whether or not you decide to continue with your pregnancy, your situation may affect your studies and you may need advice on mitigating evidence. A Student Advisor can talk you through this procedure.
There is a whole range of support that the University is able to offer to pregnant students including allowing you to take time out from your course, considering any health and safety risks posed by your course and finding alternative arrangements for your assessments.
It is advisable to inform the University of your pregnancy as early as possible so that action can be taken to ensure that you are adequately supported. The University has a comprehensive pregnancy procedure and it would be advisable to make an appointment at the Student Centre to make sure that you are being supported accordingly.
Find out more about support for students with families.