By Kathy Wentz, R.N, Nurse Manager
If you’ve had unprotected sex recently, you might be worried about what to do next. We can help! Read below for a timeline of the steps you can take when things didn’t go the way you planned.
- 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.
- 1-2+ weeks after
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. Many STIs don’t even cause symptoms at first, so it is a good idea to get tested.
If you need STI testing, Her Health Women’s Center offers free and confidential testing for Chlamydia and Gonorrhea.
- 2-4 weeks after
Check for early signs of pregnancy, which are listed below.
- Missed period, which may seem obvious, but remember there are other reasons someone could miss their period. https://herhealthwomenscenter.org/reasons-you-might-miss-a-period/
But, if you’re regular with your period and it’s 3-4 days late, it could be a sign of pregnancy.
- During early pregnancy, there is an increase in progesterone, which can cause fatigue and constipation. Swollen breasts, headaches, nausea and dizziness are also signs of early pregnancy.
- What to do next
Visit Her Health to receive a free and confidential pregnancy test. A good time to take a test is around the time your period is supposed to start, which is also about 2 weeks after ovulation.
At Her Health Women’s Center we care about YOU. We are the best first step for women who think they might be pregnant, offering all our services at no-cost to you. We provide a free pregnancy test and ultrasound, along with information from a medical professional about all of your options. If you are considering abortion, you need an ultrasound to determine how far along you are and what type of procedure is available to you.
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.
By making the decisions that you know will help you reach your goals in life, you are choosing to make those goals possible. You are worth the wait, and you are worth having the best life possible.
Schedule a Free Appointment by calling 712-224-2000. We care about you!
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.