If you have just recently had sex without using a condom, there may be a lot going through your mind. There are a lot of things to be worried about after having unprotected sex, especially with someone you do not know too well. The thought of getting pregnant or contracting an STI could cause you to deeply worry. But there is no need to panic or spend too much time brooding. Knowing the next steps to take can save you from a lot of things. This article discusses some crucial things to do after having unprotected sex.
1. Use the bathroom
The first thing you should immediately do is to pee. This helps to flush out germs and bacteria and limits your chances of getting a urinary tract infection (UTI). If you do not feel pressed enough, you should drink lots of water to fill your bladder up.
After that, you should spend a good time washing around your genitals. This applies to both men and women. You can use water alone but if you must use soap, make sure it is mild, to avoid skin irritation. Also, for women, you should avoid douching or sticking any fluid into your vagina. Just leave it the way it is. It is not necessary to overdo or take extreme measures at this point, as they may end up having adverse effects.
Use a contraceptive pill
You may have been using contraceptive pills or any form of birth control for some time or even on that day that you had unprotected sex. This would greatly limit your chances of getting pregnant. But if you have not been taking any contraceptives, then the best time to do so is immediately after having unprotected sex.
Some pills may be taken within 48, 72, or even up to 120 hours after having unprotected sex, giving you enough time to protect yourself. But it is highly advised that you take one as soon as you can, at least within the first 12 hours, to reduce your likely hood of conceiving. make sure to get your contraceptives from a reputable store.
PEP stands for post-exposure prophylaxis. PEP is a short-term treatment for people who have been exposed to HIV within the past 72 hours. Since HIV is one of the most common diseases that is transferred from unprotected sex, it is advisable to take PEP after having unprotected sex. PEP medication must be taken within 72 hours after you were exposed to HIV, or it won’t work.
You need to visit your doctor to prescribe PEP for you. After you have been prescribed PEP, you will need to take the medicines every day for 28 days. PEP is capable of preventing HIV infection, but it has to be taken correctly, although it’s not 100% effective. The sooner you start taking PEP after a possible HIV exposure, the better for you.
The only way to know if you have been infected with an STI is to get tested. You might not notice any symptoms, especially for men, and the infection may be in you, causing damage to your system. Visit a primary health centre or clinic around you to get tested. They would test you for a range of STIs, including yeast, UTIs, herpes, and even HIV. Early detection of an STI can help you start treatment early, which reduces the chances of the STI getting worse and its effect on your body. You may need to take different tests for different STIs.
If your test results come back positive, you should begin treatment immediately. If they come back as negative, you should endeavour to test again in about two weeks just to be quite certain. Some infections do not start showing signs till about two to three weeks after being infected.
Remember, it only takes one meeting for you to get an STI, so do not dismiss the need to go for a test because you only had unprotected sex once.
Do Not Panic
There is often the tendency to panic after having unprotected sex. Your mind may play tricks with you, and you may feel signs and symptoms for nonexistent issues. So, you should try to relax your mind and assume everything is okay, while still being proactive about things. Go about your daily activities as usual but take not of unusual happenings in your body.