OOPS! You’ve had unprotected sex and now there’s only one thing you can think about. What if I’m pregnant? If a baby wasn’t in the plans, you’re probably feeling worried and anxious. And you probably want an answer as soon as possible.
Am I pregnant or not?
There is no reliable way to know if you’re pregnant the day after having unprotected sex. It’s best to wait until you miss a period before getting tested. That’s because it can take a while for hCG (that’s the hormone that we test for to determine if you are pregnant) to build up to high enough levels that it can be detected in urine. You might have some early signs of pregnancy like tender breasts, fatigue, or nausea. If you haven’t gotten your period, and you’re feeling these type of symptoms, then you should definitely make an appointment.
Unprotected sex carries more than just pregnancy as a risk. Sexually transmitted infections (STI) can also be the unwelcome result of unprotected sex. Unfortunately, the chance of contracting an STI is high. In fact, half of all new cases are contracted by people ages 15-24.
The surest way to avoid STDs is to not have sex. To reduce your risk, agree to have sex with only one, committed, long-term partner who agrees to only have sex with you. Make sure you both get tested to know for sure that neither of you has an STD. Talk with your partner about STDs before having sex. This might not be a comfortable conversation but having this conversation is important.
Get vaccinated for HPV. HPV is the most common STD. The HPV vaccine is safe, effective and can help you avoid HPV-related health problems like genital warts and some cancers.
If you test positive, getting an STD is not the end! Many STDS are curable and all are treatable.
Cervical cancer is one of five main types of cancer that affect a woman’s reproductive organs. Cancer is a disease in which cells in the body grow out of control. Cancer is always named for the part of the body where it starts.
There are two tests that can help prevent cervical cancer or find it early:
Pap smears – The Pap smear looks for precancers, cell changes, on the cervix that can be treated. Finding cell changes early and seeking treatment can prevent cervical cancer. Pap smears can also find cervical cancer early, when treatment is most effective.
HPV tests – These tests look for HPV, Human Papillomavirus. HPV is the virus that can cause precancerous cell changes and cervical cancer.
There may not be any symptoms early on, which is why testing is so important.
Later on, cervical cancer may cause bleeding. It could also cause vaginal discharge that is not normal for you, such as bleeding after sex. Other things can also cause these symptoms so the only way to know is to get tested.