After you have unprotected sex, so many questions may begin to race through your mind: Did I get an STI? Can I be pregnant? Now that I’ve had sex with him, will he leave me? Most importantly, What do I do now?
CAPS Pregnancy Clinics are a safe place for women and couples to visit after unprotected or unsafe sex. Our nurses are here to answer questions and offer help during times that may be stressful, intimidating, and scary. If you are in a situation where you are wondering if you may be pregnant, here are four things you should do.
Have a conversation with your partner.
Hopefully, you are comfortable enough with your partner to have a conversation about your options and next steps forward. Some questions you should be able to answer together are:
- Should we go get tested for STIs?
- Are we committed to each other, and is sex something we should continue to do?
- Do we need to challenge ourselves to abstain from sex?
- Can we parent together if I do become pregnant?
- Does or will this incident of unprotected sex affect or change our relationship?
Whether you’re worried about an unplanned pregnancy, contracting an STI, or your lifestyle choices in general, those are concerns you should be able to share. Our CAPS nurses are also available to help you have this conversation if you’re not sure how to bring it up or what to say.
Get tested for STIs.
Symptoms for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) typically don’t show up right away; gonorrhea and chlamydia usually take about 1-2 weeks to incubate, and hepatitis, herpes, and syphilis take longer. For the most accurate results, it’s best to wait 2-4 weeks after unprotected sex to get tested. However, if symptoms like unexplained bleeding, pain with urination, vaginal itching, increased discharge, rashes, or sores begin to appear, you should be tested immediately.
Take a Pregnancy Test
Usually, the first thing a woman worries about is if she’s pregnant. Even if you’ve taken the morning-after pill, there’s still a chance you can become pregnant. You can take a pregnancy test 1-2 weeks after having unprotected sex; the test should show positive (or negative) around the time of your missed period. You can take an at-home test, or visit CAPS for a nurse-verified test.
Reflect on if you’re comfortable having sex, and if you are ready to be pregnant.
The hours following unprotected sex might feel like a wake-up call. The uncertainty, concern, and even fear are typically enough to not want to let the situation happen again. Every time you have sex, there’s a chance of pregnancy. Conversations about prevention of STI and pregnancy can start with your partner and/or with a medical professional. Our nurses and doctors are ready to answer your questions and help you to take steps for a healthier future.
We are available at three CAPS Pregnancy Clinics locations and can provide pregnancy testing, education on pregnancy and STI risks, resources and support to help you find your voice and decide on the next best actions to take. Visit CAPS Pregnancy Clinics online or call us at 619-337-8080 to schedule an appointment.