Thousands of campaigns are rolled out every year to encourage both men and women to practice safe sexual intercourse. These campaigns are especially introduced to teenagers as sexual interactions with a partner is quite new to them, thus they need to be well-prepared before starting to have intercourse. Unfortunately, a large number of individuals – both teens and adults – continue to have unprotected sex even after they are educated about safe sex practices. WebMD reports that a recent survey found teenage girls 30% more likely to have unprotected sex when compared to teenage boys. They report that, among the 5,012 teenagers surveyed, 13% reported they had sex without using any type of protection. They also report that teenagers who were raised without a religion were found to be 14% more likely to partake in unprotected sexual intercourse.
It is important to understand there are several risks that you face when having unprotected sex, especially with a stranger who you know nothing about. In couples who are married and have been in a relationship for a long time, unprotected sex could be considered to be safer as they usually know about each other’s medical history – and if both of the individuals have no risks to put on the table, then the risks for “damage” to the body through unprotected sex is significantly lower. It is reported that some of the highest risks that teenagers face when partaking in unprotected sex includes obtaining sexually transmitted diseases, including herpes and the dreaded HIV virus.
Step 1: Get Tested For HIV
The very first step you should take after you have had unprotected sex is to get tested for the HIV virus. Mayo Clinic confirms that two types of tests are available. One test analyzes blood or saliva samples to see if any antibodies have been created to fight against the virus. This test will not provide accurate results within the first 12 weeks as the antibodies takes some time in order to develop. Another test can provide more accurate results for early diagnoses of the disease by checking for HIV antigen. This is a protein that is immediately produced by the body after the infection is obtained.
Step 2: Get Tested For STDs
Apart from the HIV virus, several other infections can also be obtained through unprotected sex. It is vital to get tested for STDs after having sex without using proper protection as these diseases may cause unpleasant symptoms. Planned Parenthood reports that there are different types of tests for different types of STDs. You can obtain these tests from a pharmacy or visit a clinic in your local area for a professional test to rule out all types of STDs.
Step 3: Pregnancy Test
If you are a woman, then getting a pregnancy test after having unprotected sex is essential. While pregnancy cannot be detected immediately, you should look out for signs – such as a delayed period. If any of the signs of pregnancy is present, then be sure to get tested. A pregnancy test can be purchased at your local pharmacy and is relatively easy to do.
Step 4: Visit the Bathroom
This step should be done within the first 30 minutes after having unprotected sex – and is mostly focused on women. Remember that you cannot test for HIV, STDs or pregnancy directly after having sex without using protection, but you can help reduce* the risk of obtaining a urinary tract infection. Everyday Health reports that up to 80% of women with urinary tract infections report to have had sex in the past 24 hours following the diagnosis of the infection. It is recommended to urinate within the first 30 minutes after having unprotected sex in order to minimize the risk.
Step 5: Plan B
If you are a woman and had unprotected sex, but do not want to get pregnant, then you should take plan b pills in order to avoid pregnancy. This is mostly only necessary if you aren’t already on birth control. WebMD recommends taking a plan b pill within 24 hours following sexual intercourse as the success rate is 95% in the first 24 hours. The success rate is still relatively high within the next two days – reported to be 89% effective within between 24 and 72 hours following sexual intercourse.
Step 6: Emergency Contraception
If you had unprotected sex, are of female gender and didn’t take plan b pills within the first 72 hours following your intercourse, then know that there are emergency contraception options that can be implemented within the first five days following your intercourse session. Copper IUD is one such an emergency contraception that repels sperm, but has to be inserted by a doctor.
Step 7: Be Prepared For Next Time
Now that you have had a sexual encounter without using protection, you should realize the dangers that accompany your action – especially in cases where two strangers have sex as a one-night-stand. It is essential to be prepared for the next time. You can prepare by buying condoms and keeping them at hand (if you are a guy) or making sure you have a supply of plan b pills (if you are a girl) – note that you do get both male and female condoms.
Even though multiple campaigns are put into action frequently in order to educate individuals about the dangers of having sex without protection, the rate at which people have unprotected sex still does not seem to fall. It is important to realize that there are risks involved with this type of action and that many diseases that can be transferred via sexual activity cannot be healed. It’s better to be safe than sorry, so be sure to take these steps into account and to properly prepare for the next time.