You engaged in sexual activity without the use of a condom or other barrier. In the heat of the moment, you might have forgotten about the condom entirely, or the condom may have slid or broken. These occurrences really occur, and they can be terrifying. You can be concerned about getting pregnant, getting an STI, or having both. Having a game plan for the morning after is crucial for this reason. Here are the things you need to know to manage your health after it deteriorates.
After-sex care without condoms contraception: what to do
It makes sense that you might be concerned about getting pregnant or getting an STI right after having sex without condom or another barrier device. However, concentrating on the steps, you can take may be helpful. Head to the bathroom.
Peeing may lower your risk of a UTI but won’t lower your risk of getting an STI. One of the best strategies for anyone to prevent a UTI is to urinate soon after sex, according to Kat Van Kirk, Ph.D., a certified marriage and family therapist, and clinical sexologist. “Some women are simply more prone to developing an infection,” she adds. It removes bacteria from the urethra while it does so. To help you feel the urge to pee, drink some water.
Plan for the following day.
You may have enjoyed an afternoon pleasure, but sex without condom frequently takes place after dark. That implies that you could not immediately have access to a drugstore or your doctor.
Although a long night ahead may cause anxiety, calm it down by regaining some control. Making a plan is one method to do it. Make a call to your healthcare practitioner as soon as you can by setting a phone notification.
Additionally, keep an eye out for any changes down there. To keep track of any changes and, if required, report them to a healthcare professional, jot down how you are feeling.
This involves unusual discharge in women. Has the amount, consistency, or color changed? Is there a peculiar smell about it? Are you itching or in pain?
The majority of STIs are asymptomatic, but other illnesses, including yeast infections, bacterial vaginosis, and UTIs, might manifest symptoms up to a week after hooking up.
Here are some STI symptoms for those with the vagina. Check any strange symptoms you experience with your penis and testicles against this list. Inform your doctor of any problems that develop.
What to do the following morning
Your next course of action will be determined by your circumstances and if you are using birth control. Think about using emergency contraception. If you are not using birth control and pregnancy is a worry, you should start using it right away.
Purchasing the morning-after pill is one alternative. Plan B One-Step, Take Action, My Way, AfterPill, and other over-the-counter (OTC) options are available.
You can use these emergency contraceptives up to 120 hours (5 days) after sex, but they work best when taken within 72 hours of sex without using a condom or another barrier device.
Planned Parenthood claims that Ella, a different morning-after medication that can only be obtained with a prescription, is the most successful. Additionally, it functions equally effectively whether you take it within 24 hours of having sex or up to 120 hours later.
OTC birth control alternatives might be a better option than Ella in order to prevent any interactions if you messed up with your regular hormonal birth control approach — hey, it happens.
Women with a BMI of 30 or higher do experience a modest decline in the morning-after pill’s efficacy, whether it is OTC or prescribed. Reliable Source
An IUD made of copper can be used as emergency contraception. If you can have the Paragard IUD implanted within five days of your appointment, it will prevent conception in 99.9% of cases. Reliable Source
You’ll need to schedule a consultation with your doctor or a Planned Parenthood office. Paragard will also continue to prevent pregnancy for up to 12 years as an added benefit.
Consult your physician regarding STI exposure.
Inform your healthcare provider or a doctor in an emergency department or walk-in clinic if you believe there is even a remote chance that you may have been exposed to HIV.
Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP), a 28-day medication that may stop an HIV infection from taking hold, could be provided to you.
One study also linked a single dose of PEP given within 24 hours of sex condom or other barrier technique with a lower risk of bacterial STIs, while further research is required in this area. Reliable Source
Check your mental health.
After having intercourse without using a condom or another type of barrier, it’s normal to feel a little depressed. If you’re having a bad day, confide in a close buddy. There’s a chance that they’ve experienced something comparable.
Only 20% of men and women between the ages of 15 and 44 report using condoms each time they had sex during that month. Reliable Source
Don’t allow anxiety to prevent you from taking crucial next actions, including being tested for pregnancy or STIs. It might be beneficial to speak with a counselor or therapist if you’re still processing the event.
Things to do two weeks later
You have exercised due diligence if you have followed the aforementioned steps. The following steps could involve waiting for your period to arrive or investigating any STI concerns you may have.
Test for pregnancy
Many manufacturers provide tests that are more than 99 percent accurate, even earlier than the week after your missed period, when an at-home pregnancy test is most accurate.
For instance, the First Response Early Result test will inform you of the result six days before your missed period.
To find out for sure and as soon as possible, make an appointment with your doctor so they can check your blood for the indicators. Additionally, services at Planned Parenthood are available, typically on a sliding scale and occasionally for no cost.
Consult your OB-GYN or family doctor.
Fahimeh Sasan, DO, assistant professor of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive science at Mount Sinai Health System in New York City, advises getting tested two weeks after hooking up. At that point, you can receive a preliminary STI all-clear.
The majority of STI tests search for antibodies, which your immune system might not have created 14 days later.
A negative outcome, however, gives you some mental comfort to get you through to your follow-up appointment a few weeks later.
Observe for signs
Numerous STIs don’t always have overt symptoms. However, a herpes sore eruption is one symptom to watch out for.
According to Van Kirk, this could happen anywhere between 10 days and 10 years after contracting the infectious agent, therefore it’s important to visit the doctor as soon as you notice one.
Since there is nothing to test for once the sore heals, which can happen in only a few days, she notes that in order to prove that it is herpes, you must really swab an open lesion.
Call your doctor that day if a suspicious bump appears there or around your mouth. She continues, “If you tell them you’re worried you have herpes sore, most clinics will fit you in.”
Contacting your doctor is also necessary if you experience any unusual bleeding, painful urination, genital itching, or discharge that is not connected to your monthly cycle.
What to do after a month (and beyond)
The encounter may seem like nothing more than a pothole in your rearview mirror several weeks or months after you’ve engaged in intercourse without using a condom or another barrier device, particularly once the results of a pregnancy test are in.
Unfortunately, you might not receive the same prompt response regarding STIs. According to Sasan, “people might have contact and be exposed to an STI without it manifesting. At your 2-week visit, if your test results are negative, returning a month later will confirm this information. You should have another check even though you are probably alright.
Your body takes longer to produce antibodies, particularly against HIV. The possibility that, if the virus is in your body, your immune system will have sufficiently responded for a test to detect it grows with more time.
The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services states that an antibody test can identify HIV as early as three weeks after exposure. Additionally, if you receive the all-clear after three months, you may be sure you don’t have it.
When will you be assured that all of your worries are unfounded? You truly don’t. (Sorry!) It’s important to screen for STIs at every annual checkup and use condoms or other barrier techniques with all potential partners because some STIs can remain dormant in your body for years.
What ought you do differently the next time? The morning-after pill could be useful to have on hand in case there is another accident. Just make sure to check the expiration date. It has a lengthy shelf life. Additionally, keep condoms or other barrier contraceptives on hand at all times. For information on dental dams, as well as condom sizing, see here. Never be afraid to insist that you and your sexual partners use a condom or another sort of barrier contraception. Here’s additional assistance for sex without condom to ensure your sexual health. You can use our top-notch text templates to conduct the STI conversation with potential partners. An essential thing is to not panic.