Welcome to the Sexual and Relationship Health page!  Are you looking for workshops on topics like healthy relationships, negotiating safer sex, HIV/AIDS or other STIs, or birth control?  Or perhaps you would like a confidential consultation to discuss relationship issues, birth control options or  STI testing and where you can go to get tested.

Well…you have come to the right place and we are happy to assist you with anything you need to stay safer, healthier and informed.  We have Sexual Health Peer Educators who can come to you and present workshops (see Healthy Tune-Up Request form below), and you can make an appointment with our Sexual & Relationship Health Programs Manager for HIV testing or to talk about anything you are comfortable sharing or asking by contacting Beth England-Mackie at englandb@uci.edu.

Sexual Health Consultations

Sexual health consultations are available upon request.

Consultation topics:

  • HIV/AIDS + HIV Testing
  • STDs/STIs
  • Contraception
  • Negotiating Safer Sex

Workshops

Are you interested in scheduling a fun and interactive workshop for a group of 25 or more on sexual health or healthy relationships? Fill out the workshop request form here. Additionally, you may email studentwellness@uci.edu for more information about our Health & Wellness Workshops.

Frequently Asked Questions

What STDs can be transmitted during oral sex?

Infections such as herpes, gonorrhea, syphilis, chlamydia, HPV, and HIV/AIDS can be transmitted during oral sex.

What can I do to protect myself from orally transmitted infections?

Dental dams are latex or polyurethane sheets used between the mouth and vagina or anus during oral sex.  Dental dams protect against STDs and are available at CSWHP.  An external (or male condom) can  also be used over the penis during oral sex to protect against STDs.  It is important to maintain open communication with your partner. It is highly recommended for you and your partner to get STD-tested before engaging in any sexual activity, including oral sex.

What happens if STDs are untreated for long periods of time?

Untreated STDs like chlamydia and gonorrhea can have  long-term consequences for women, including infertility, Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID), ectopic pregnancy and chronic pelvic pain.  In men, these STDs can cause urethritis and proctitis, which untreated can cause blockage of the urethra or scarring.

Are most STDs curable?

Some STDs are treatable and curable, like chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis and trichomoniasis, but are also repeatable. STDs such as Hepatitis B, HPV/Genital Warts, Herpes, and HIV/AIDs are not curable but can be managed with treatment. Hepatitis B and certain cancer-related strains of HPV can be prevented through vaccinations.  For more information visit https://www.cdc.gov/std/.  

What would you say are common ``red flags`` when starting a relationship?

Common red flags when starting a relationship include constant bickering, jealousy, disrespect, co-dependence, dishonesty, distrust, manipulation, controlling, and abusive behavior (verbal, sexual, emotional, mental, physical).

How do internal condoms work?

Internal condoms (female condoms) are inserted inside of the vagina or anus. They cover more skin area compared to external condoms which increases STD protection.  Internal condoms can be inserted up to 8 hours before sexual activity. They should not be used at the same time as external condoms because the friction can cause both condoms to break.

More information regarding internal condoms: https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/birth-control/female-condom/how-do-i-use-a-female-condom

How do I bring up STI testing and sexual history?

It is important to bring up the topic of STI testing and sexual history BEFORE engaging in any sexual activity. It is also important to establish open communication with your partner. One way to bring up sexual history and STI-testing with your partner is to emphasize that you care about both your health AND your partner’s health. Another way to bring it up is to suggest that you and your partner get tested together, which starts the relationship off with trust. There is no perfect way to start this conversation and it may feel awkward but it is far more awkward to get pregnant or contract an STI.  If you would like to talk to someone about having this conversation, please contact Beth at englandb@uci.edu. 

Can your partner feel the IUD? Facts about IUD.

It is possible for your partner to feel the strings of the IUD. However, neither you or your partner should feel the IUD itself. If any concerns arise, contact your health care provider to ensure the IUD is placed properly. 

There are two types of paraguards which are copper non-hormonal IUDs(Paraguard) and hormonal IUDs (Mirena, Kyleena, Liletta, and Skyla).

The copper IUD can last for up to 12 years. For hormonal IUDs, Mirena can last up to 6 years, Kyleena can last up to 5 years, Liletta can last up to 4 years, and Skyla can last up to 3 years.

The non-hormonal IUD is made of copper, which repels sperm from getting to the egg in the uterus. The hormonal IUDs prevent pregnancy by thickening the cervical mucus to block and trap sperm or by stopping eggs from leaving the ovaries.

Where am I able to get birth control? Can I get it for free? Is a prescription necessary?

You can get birth control from the Student Health Center with USHIP, from your healthcare provider, or from clinics such as Planned Parenthood or Laguna Beach Community Clinic. Most insurance plans cover birth control for free, but some may not cover all types of birth control. A prescription is necessary for birth control. Please check with your insurance plan and talk to your provider about what birth control method is best for you and if it is fully covered under your plan.

Can I store condom in my wallet? Where is the best place to store condoms?

A condom should not be stored in a wallet as it can cause the condom to be more vulnerable to heat and friction which can cause deterioration. The best place to store condoms is in a cool, dry area at or below room temperature or in condom case if you were to bring them with you.  Always check the expiration date on the condom and do not use them if they are expired!  For free condoms, including dental dams and lube, visit the CSWHP’s Condom Co-Op on the third floor of the Student Center, G319.  

What free community resources provide STI screening, birth control and well/physical exams?

Planned Parenthood in Santa Ana
1421 E. 17th St, Santa Ana, CA 92705

Planned Parenthood in Costa Mesa
601 W. 19th St, Costa Mesa, CA 92627

FPA Women’s Health
1901 N Tustin Ave, Santa Ana, CA 92705

*Ask Planned Parenthood and FPA Women’s Health about Family PACT
http://www.familypact.org/Get%20Covered/what-does-family-pact-cover

Orange County Health Care Agency
1725 W 17th St, Santa Ana, CA 92706
*Free STI testing (no health insurance required)

Laguna Beach Community Clinic
362 Third Street, Laguna Beach, CA 92651
*Free HIV testing only

What are some side effects of the implant and IUD?

It is important to remember that everyone reacts differently to birth control and that with all birth control comes the possibility of side effects. For implants, the side effects include irregular bleeding (spotting), longer and heavier periods, temporary pain at the site where the implant was inserted, and mild headache or mood changes.  Some of the side effects for the IUD include irregular bleeding, missed periods, heavier bleeding, and back pain.  The advantage of these long-term methods is that they are 99% effective in preventing pregnancy.

If there are no symptoms for STIs, how are they detected?

STIs can be detected through a urine test, blood test, throat swab or anal swab, which is why it is highly recommended to get checked regularly for STIs.  The recommendation is to get test annually if you are sexually active, and especially if you are not using barriers regularly.  If you have unprotected sex (vaginal or anal), multiple partners, use intravenous drugs, have been diagnosed with other STIs, or a in the MSM (men having sex with men) population, it is recommended to get tested every 3-6 months.

How do you seek help in a situation involving sexual assault?

There are many resources on campus to help handle situations involving sexual assault.

UCI CARE
G320 Student Center Irvine, CA 92697
(949) 824‐7273
care@uci.edu

UCI Counseling
203 Student Services 1, Irvine, CA 92697
(949) 824-6457

UCI Public Safety
410 E Peltason Dr, Irvine, CA 92697
(949) 824-5223

I have trouble communicating to my partner what will be enjoyable for me.

Clear, straightforward communication is the best way to ensure that your partner understands what gets you hot. If verbal conversations during sex are not ideal for you, nonverbal acts such as guiding your partner’s hand to a specific location can do the trick or you can always reserve time for pillow talk after things have cooled down. If you want to improvise, you can always “sext” suggestions during the day describing what you want to do later that night.

It hurts when we have sex.

Painful sex can occur due to a number of factors ranging from structural to emotional issues. Treatment options range from simply adding vaginal lubricant to the completion of sex therapy. If painful sex persists, it may be wise to visit FPA in order to pinpoint the exact cause and to develop an agreeable treatment regimen. Sex should be enjoyable not painful!

Plan B Facts

Emergency contraception can be used to prevent pregnancy but will not interfere with an existing pregnancy (will not cause an abortion).

It’s recommended that women take Plan B within 72 hours of unprotected sex, but it is most effective when taken within 12 hours (up to 85% effective). Plan B can be purchased without a prescription and at any age.  Ella, on the other hand, can be taken up to five days after unprotected intercourse without losing its effectiveness. Ella prevents 80-85% of pregnancies, but a prescription is needed from a nurse or doctor.

Plan B IS NOT a birth control method and should only be used in an emergency situation.  You can still get pregnant and it is expensive.

Reasons to use emergency contraception are as follows:

  • You did not use a condom (external condom) or other method when you had vaginal sex
  • You did not take your regular birth control as prescribed (the Pill, Patch, Ring) or on time (Depo Provera shot) and had unprotected sex
  • Your condom broke or slipped off during sexual intercourse
  • Your partner did not pull out in time
  • You were forced to have unprotected sex (please contact CARE for free and confidential support at https://care.uci.edu/ or call 824-7273)

Please consider using an effective short or long-term birth control method.  Please contact Beth England-Mackie at englandb@uci.edu if you would like a birth control consultation.

Plan B is available at The UCI Student Health Center, stores like Target, CVS and Walmart, and at community clinics like Planned Parenthood or the Laguna Beach Community Clinic

Online Tools

Resources

UCI Student Health Center

  • On campus resources
  • UCI Student Health Center
  • For medical concerns




(949) 824-5301
501 Student Health
https://shc.uci.edu
Mon-Fri, 8am-5pm

UCI Counseling Center

  • On-campus resource, located in Student Services 1, across Ring Road from Starbucks
  • Counselors available to provide emotional support
  • Student can walk over to meet with someone for a “same-day” appointment




(949) 824‑6457
203 Student Services 1
https://counseling.uci.edu
Mon-Fri, 8:30am-4pm Summer Hours

UCI Campus Police

  • UCI Campus Police
  • Open 24 Hours




(949) 824-5223
410 East Peltason Drive
http://www.police.uci.edu
Open 24 Hours

UCI CARE - Campus Assault Resources and Education

  • On-campus resource, located on the 3rd floor of the Student Center, around to the right after exiting the elevator
  • Will walk over to meet with the student in-person
  • Provides confidential services: identifying options for reporting and medical treatment, peer services,group counseling and, emotional support




(949) 824‑7273
G320 Student Center
https://care.uci.edu
Mon–Fri 8 am-5 pm.

UCI LGBT Resource Center

  • On-campus resource, located on the 3rd floor of the Student Center
  • Provides a safe space and resources for people of all identities.




(949) 824-3277
G301 Student Center
https://lgbtrc.uci.edu
Mon–Fri 9 am-5 pm.

Laguna Beach Community Clinic

  • Off-campus resource
  • Accept walk-in visits without appointments



(949) 494-0761
362 Third St, Laguna Beach CA
https://lbclinic.org

Planned Parenthood

  • Off-campus resource
  • Provides Family Pact, STD Screening, Birth Control
  • Multiple locations in Orange County



(714) 922-4100
601 W 19th St, Costa Mesa CA
https://plannedparenthood.org

Orange County Health Care Agency

  • Off-campus resource
  • STD Screening



(714) 834-8787
1725 W 17th St, Santa Ana CA
http://www.ochealthinfo.com

Waymakers (formerly Community Service Programs, Inc.) 24-hour hotline

  • Community resource, available 24 hours over the phone
  • Provides confidential services including options for reporting and medical treatment, emergency and victim witness funding, advocacy



(949) 831‑9110
https://waymakersoc.org/
24/7

In-Home Testing Kit

myLAB Box lets you test for STDs in the privacy of your own home and get lab-certified results in 3-5 days.

  1. Order online and test at home
  2. Collect and mail in your sample in 5 minutes
  3. Get lab-certified results in 3-5 days