The Galleon - Portsmouth's Student Newspaper


Sex and Relationships

The Importance of Protection

Engaging in sexual activity whilst at Uni? Here's some things you need to consider...


University is a time of change and exploration for many people. Whether it be discovering the perfect course for you or finding a partner and learning new things that arouse you sexually, University is a great place to do these things. However, as with any new adventure you find yourself on, there are dangers that come with these new opportunities. When it comes to sex at University, protection is paramount.

“Sex is tremendous fun, of that there’s no doubt”

A study of single University students, somewhat ironically conducted by, was undertaken in 2013 and found that 89% of the students surveyed did not use a condom when participating in casual sex. 67% of the students who openly admitted to having contracted an STI during their time at University also said that they would rather risk having another one than use a condom during sex. The widespread threat of sexual infections whilst at University does nothing to prevent students from choosing to have unprotected sex, it seems.

Sex is tremendous fun, of that there’s no doubt. What’s less fun is waking up the following morning with inexplicable pains and finding out that you’ve contracted an infection because protection wasn’t used. There are a number of contraceptives out there to help protect yourself and your partner during sex, but the most commonly used is a condom.

Pregnancy is another danger that presents itself at University. Whilst there are many forms of contraception out there, males cannot simply rely on the female counterparts taking birth control pills. Condoms are an effective form of protection against STI’s and unwanted pregnancies whilst at University. Pregnancies can force huge changes, not just to your lifestyle, but also to your University career. Chronic morning sickness can often hinder getting to lectures, and some may choose instead to study at home, cramming revision in when it comes to exam season.

Pregnancies aren’t the end of the world though, for many student mums-to-be. There are a variety of options and services out there to help with decision-making, and they are easily accessible. In 2014, The Telegraph spoke with Isobel Dixon who fell pregnant during her second year whilst studying at Lancaster University. Dixon goes on to talk about juggling a new-born child with the stresses of completing her third-year studies, but also the support she received from her university tutor and a hardship grant she was able to apply for and receive.

As for the University of Portsmouth, there is the Student Wellbeing Service, and the Students’ Union Advice Service. Both of these services provide a safe space to talk about issues regarding sexual wellbeing, pregnancies, STI’s, or any other issues you may have come across in your sexual encounters.

Sex can be a pleasurable experience for all parties involved, and it can provide a great release from the stresses of University life. Protection against STI’s and unwanted pregnancies can help keep that stress of your chest, and is definitely something to bear in mind.