Unprotected sex is an act of sexual intercourse without the use of condoms. In some situations, the condom may slip out or get torn and that too is part of unprotected sex. It is not very uncommon for people to participate in unprotected sex due to various reasons such as lack of knowledge, desire for heightened sexual feelings, ignorance, not planning the sexual act, etc. However, one must understand that there are various risks associated with such negligent acts and may have a deep impact on a person’s life.
Risks Associated with Unprotected Sex
While it may thrill and excite people to go for unprotected sex, the consequence can bring unintended havoc in their lives. Some of the risks involved include:
- Pregnancy: When you indulge in unprotected sex and do not take birth control pills, you may put yourself at a greater risk of pregnancy. To avoid pregnancy, you must never rely fully on your partner’s menstrual cycle, sexual positions or withdrawal methods.
- Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs): If you go for unprotected sex, there is a higher chance that if your partner has an infection, it will pass on to you. Some of the most commonly observed STIs include syphilis, gonorrhea, hepatitis B, HIV, etc.
Steps to Take After an Unprotected Sex
- Do not panic: Take a deep breath and communicate with your partner. Do not think about what happened, rather focus on what steps can be taken from here on. You must stay in touch with your partner and try to calm each other.
- Use emergency contraceptives: There are certain Intrauterine devices (IUDs) that can be inserted within 5 days of unprotected sex and help avoid pregnancy. Along with this, there are various emergency contraceptive pills which are also known as morning-after pills that help keep you away from pregnancy.
- Get in touch with a healthcare provider: If you are confused, worried and tense, it’s better to seek the help of a professional. They will not only guide you but will even provide essential knowledge that will make you calm and relaxed. They may also suggest the best possible step that you can take after the incident.
Myths Associated with Sex
There are numerous myths associated with sex, the use of protection, ejaculation, etc. Some of them have been discussed below:
- Condoms provide protection against all STDs: The use of condoms surely helps prevent STDs but they are not 100% effective all the time. It is a big misconception that using condoms will protect the person from unwanted pregnancy and all STDs. There are various types of STDs that be caused due to skin-to-skin contact. However, condoms do prevent 95 percent of STDs from getting transmitted.
- The withdrawal method will prevent pregnancy: There are many individuals who believe that the pull-out method will help them prevent pregnancy. However, you need to understand that while having sex, men secrete pre-ejaculatory fluid that might contain sperm. Moreover, there are many individuals who are not able to control their ejaculation as people don’t want to stop having sex because it is not a very satisfying experience.
- Oral sex doesn’t cause STIs: While it may be a safer option, STIs can still be transmitted by oral sex through the exchange of fluids.
- Real-life sex is like pornography: The people who participate in porn movies are paid actors and they don’t do sex for the sake of it but for the audience. Hence, one must not try to imitate pornographic content in real life.
- You cannot get pregnant if you have sex while bathing, while standing up or if it is your first time
Taking a Pregnancy Test
If you’ve missed your period after unprotected sex, you should certainly go for a pregnancy test. These test kits are easily available at your local medical stores. But make sure to wait for another week after you have missed your periods as it will provide a more accurate result.
Getting tested for STDs
After having unprotected sex, make sure to get tested for STDs within three to five days. These tests can be conducted at your healthcare provider’s clinic. Tests for STDs may involve blood tests, urine tests, swab tests, etc.
Signs of STIs
There are various types of STIs and the symptoms may depend on the type. There are certain symptoms that may appear within a few days after unprotected sex while others may show up after months. Some of the commonly seen symptoms include:
- Unusual discharge of fluids from the vagina or the penis
- Wounds, pain, itching, etc. in and around your genital area
- Pain while peeing
- Bad odor from the vagina
- Pain in the abdomen
Guide Towards Safer Sex
- Communicate with your partner about your sexual desires and preferences.
- Discuss the contraceptive methods to be used
- Do not have sex with multiple partners
- If you have an STI, communicate that to your partner and avoid sexual contact
Keep in mind that sex without condoms may increase your risk of pregnancy and STDs. And therefore, do not rely on the popular advice of your friends while having sex. Ensure that you take full responsibility for your acts and whatever happens later, do not run away from your problems.
This blog has been written after performing in-depth secondary research related to the topic from various articles, blogs, and journals with expertise in writing for healthcare. The content on this page should not be considered a substitute for medical expertise.