Sometimes you might have used a condom and it broke or forgotten to use one, don’t panic, here’s what to do after having unprotected sex.
P.s: This shouldn’t stop you from seeking out professional help.
1. Pee within 30 minutes
Peeing after sex is very important. Sometimes, your bladder might feel empty but still go to the bathroom, you’d be surprised. Peeing helps flush out any bacteria which could cause an infection you might have been exposed to during sex. Remember that peeing won’t remove the risk of pregnancy.
2. Do not douche, do wash up
In your panic thinking about what to do after having unprotected sex, always remember that your genital’s do not need a thorough cleanse after sexual activities. While washing or douching might make you feel more comfortable, vaginal or anal douching can put you at increased risk of infection because douching products can irritate.
3. Check in with yourself
Make sure you make space to check in with yourself and your partner if need be. It’s okay to feel worried, angry or sad after having unprotected sex. You don’t have to deal with the burden of this, talk to friends or family about it so they support and you. If you aren’t comfortable speaking to anyone you know, consider talking to an expert.
4. Take the emergency contraceptive pill
Emergency contraceptives need to be taken within 72 hours of sex without a condom. It’s vital to take preventive medication for HIV within the same timeframe. The sooner you take it, the better. Make an appointment at Family Planning or with your doctor as soon as possible.
5. Get checked for STIs two weeks after
Unusual discharge and pain when urinating are common symptoms of both gonorrhoea and chlamydia, also look out for bleeding after sex and between periods. This is one of the most important things to do after having unprotected sex. So, get tested, remember that it is treatable and avoid having sex until the infection clears up.
6. Do a pregnancy test three weeks after
Even after taking all these precautions, if you are convinced you might be pregnant, take the test after three weeks. As pregnancy tests work by detecting a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin. It can take a while for enough HCG to build up in your body, so you should wait to take a test until 3 weeks after sex. If your test is positive, book an appointment with a professional to discuss your options.
7. Make sure you use contraceptives next time
Next time you’re thinking about what to do after having unprotected sex, remember that there are long-lasting contraceptives like the IUD and implant that are effective at preventing unintended pregnancies and they last for 3 to 10 years. Using a condom plus your regular method of contraception will help protect you from unintended pregnancies and STIs. Stay safe.