Updated on 21 March 2023
Did you recently have unprotected sex? Maybe the condom you used was ineffective, or you missed taking a morning-after pill. If you are frantically searching on the internet about how to prevent pregnancy after sex, take a deep breath and don’t panic. You are at the right place.
First, let us understand what unprotected sex is. It refers to engaging in sexual activity without using any forms of contraception before, during, or after sex. Irrespective of which day of the menstrual cycle it was and whether or not ejaculation took place, unprotected sex can lead to pregnancy.
Of course, nobody should have to face an unwanted pregnancy. That is why this blog tells you how to avoid pregnancy after unprotected sex.
You are recommended to urinate before and after having sex. Peeing after sex does not just help get rid of traces of semen; it also prevents you from contracting a UTI. Remember to wipe yourself clean down there - front to back - after using the washroom post-sex.
Taking an emergency contraceptive pill (also known as the ‘morning after’ pill, or Plan B) after sex can also keep an unwanted pregnancy at bay. If you opt for this, make sure you take the pill between 72 hours of having unprotected sex. The pill might not be completely effective if taken after this window of time.
The pill can have mild side effects, such as spotting, nausea, body ache, and bloating. It can also disrupt your normal menstrual cycle, and you might get your next period a little early.
However, keep in mind that these are emergency contraceptives and should not be used in place of your regular birth control pills (which are prescribed for daily intake).
An Intrauterine Device is a small device made of copper and plastic. Shaped like a ‘T’, it is placed inside the uterus and helps prevent unwanted pregnancy. You can get an IUD inserted up to five days after unprotected sex.
Using an IUD is one of the most potent contraceptive methods. Once inserted, it also acts as a continuous contraceptive method, which means you will not have to worry about an unplanned pregnancy for a while, at least.
However, IUDs are not the best option for women with a history of fibroid, copper allergies, and Wilson’s disease (a disorder which makes it difficult for the blood to clot). Always consult your doctor to know if an IUD is a good option for you.
An unplanned pregnancy can cause a lot of fear, anxiety, and stress. Hence, it is really important to check in with yourself. Communicate with your partner to share your emotions and vent out, and remember that you are not alone in this.
You can also talk to a family member or friend who you are comfortable with and who will be able to understand your situation. If you feel like there is nobody you can talk to, you can also reach out to a therapist.
Finally, speaking to a gynaecologist can be very helpful; they can also support you by sharing appropriate medical advice.
Now that you have an answer to your question — how to avoid pregnancy after sex, you may want to know the right time for a pregnancy test after unprotected sex.
You should take a pregnancy test 2-3 weeks after having unprotected sex. It is not advisable to run a pregnancy test earlier than two weeks because the hormone levels in the body may not be high enough to detect the pregnancy.
It is important to take the necessary precautions to avoid pregnancy after sex. If the condom breaks or slips during sex, make sure you take an emergency contraceptive pill after intercourse.
Talk to your doctor first if you are considering other contraceptive methods, such as an IUD or regular birth control pills. Get any tests done (if needed) before taking the final call.
However, always remember that condoms offer the best protection from sexually transmitted diseases. They are also far more inexpensive and accessible than pills and do not affect your hormones in any way.
You may also like: https://mylofamily.com/articles/163522
So, all in all, they are the best way to prevent an unplanned pregnancy and practice safe sex!
1. (1998). Emergency contraception: Preventing pregnancy after you have had sex. NCBI
2. P. Frank-Herrmann, J. Heil, C. Gnoth, E. Toledo, S. Baur, C. Pyper, E. Jenetzky, T. Strowitzki, G. Freundl. (2007). The effectiveness of a fertility awareness based method to avoid pregnancy in relation to a couple's sexual behaviour during the fertile time: a prospective longitudinal study, Human Reproduction. academic.oup.com
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