What to Do after You’ve Had Unprotected Sex
When it comes to unprotected sex, it’s easy to judge others. But most of us aren’t perfect. In fact, few people have not had some type of scare whether it is forgetting to use protection, a condom breakage or slippage, or some other situation. The first thing to do is to remain calm. Panicking is not going to help. Consider whether or not you have any symptoms. For men a discharge, pain when urinating and any sores or rashes in and around the genital area should be seen by a doctor. For women painful urination, a discharge, sores, itching and unexpected bleeding are symptoms that could indicate an infection. If your partner has symptoms and you don’t, get tested anyway. Chances are you have it too but aren’t showing symptoms yet. Remember that no matter where a woman is in her cycle, unprotected sex always has the risk of pregnancy. The rhythm method does not protect against it. For those who are concerned, emergency contraception is available at many clinics, hospitals, doctor’s offices and pharmacies.
Preparation is a good way to avoid this from happening in the future. Be sure to select condoms that fit. It is not as many believe one-size-fits-all. For those who incorporate sex toys or engage in oral sex, these too can spread sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Wash toys before and after using them with a gentle, hypoallergenic soap and warm water. For oral sex, use a dental dam. Don’t think just because you don’t have symptoms that you don’t have an STI. Half of men and 70-80% of women with chlamydia don’t experience any kind of symptoms. Many other STIs such as HIV and herpes can hide in the body for years, even decades without the person knowing they have it. After unprotected sex, get tested. It generally takes between two weeks and three months after exposure for an STI to show up on a diagnostic test. There’s no excuse for not protecting yourself. Everyone slips up now and then. It isn’t the end of the world. But be prepared, be vigilant and safeguard yourself against unwanted pregnancy and STIs.