• Her Health Women's Center

What Should I Do After Unprotected Sex? FREE Women's Services in Sioux City and Le Mars, IA

If you’ve had unprotected sex recently, you might be worried about what to do next. Read below for suggestions of next steps.

24 HOURS AFTER

Don’t panic. It’s possible that even though you’ve had unprotected sex, the sperm didn’t fertilize the egg, meaning pregnancy will not occur. It’s best to stay calm and give yourself time for clearer signs, like a missed period or other early symptoms of pregnancy.

2-4 WEEKS AFTER

Check for early signs of pregnancy…

  • Is your period more than 2 days late?

  • Have you felt any changes in your breasts? (Soreness, heaviness, nipple changes)

  • Do any smells bother you?

  • Have you experienced spotting?

  • Sleeping regularly but still feeling wiped out?

  • Do you have a metallic taste in your mouth?​

  • Do you have a combination of other symptoms? (headaches, nausea, food aversions)

In this time frame, it’s also wise to get tested for sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

Some STIs do not show up as soon as others. For example, HIV, Hepatitis B and C, and Syphilis can take up to three months to be detected, while Chlamydia and Gonorrhea may show in 1 week. If you do have an STI and it goes untreated, it could cause serious harm to your body and infect your partners as well. It can also cause problems with a pregnancy. Many STIs don’t even cause symptoms at first, so it is a good idea to get tested.

THE NEXT STEP

Visit Her Health Women’s Center to receive a free and confidential pregnancy test. We also offer testing for chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis at no cost for our pregnancy related clients. If a pregnancy is confirmed, further support and an options consultation will be offered to you. Her Health Women’s Center is your best first step when facing an unplanned pregnancy.

At any point in this time period, reach out to someone you trust. Unprotected sex can leave you feeling afraid and uncertain about what the future holds. Make sure you have someone that you feel comfortable talking with to help you process what you’re feeling and support you through your next steps.

LOOKING FORWARD

There are many ways to prevent an unplanned pregnancy or STD, but the only one that is 100% effective is abstinence, which means not engaging in sexual activity. Consider abstinence until you’re ready for marriage. Talk to your partner about your concerns about unprotected sex. Make your intentions clear so your partner can be respectful of your choice and not pressure you into something you’re not comfortable with.

Finally, always remember you are worth the wait, and you are worth having the best life possible. By making the decisions that you know will help you reach your goals in life, you are choosing to make those goals possible.

Sources:

https://www.kidspot.com.au/birth/pregnancy/signs-and-symptoms/first-symptoms-of-pregnancy-

what-happens-right-away/news-story/2683c7eed8bb3fe71f95599078bddea5

https://www.avawomen.com/avaworld/how-soon-can-you-take-a-pregnancy-test/

https://www.cdc.gov/std/chlamydia/stdfact-chlamydia.htm

https://www.cdc.gov/std/gonorrhea/stdfact-gonorrhea.htm

https://www.cdc.gov/std/syphilis/stdfact-syphilis.htm


*Disclaimer: The sources cited for this blog are found to be reliable; however, Her Health Women’s Center cannot endorse or oppose the entire content of the websites listed. The content of this blog is meant to be used for informational purposes and is not a substitute for medical care.


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