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What to do if you have had unprotected sex

Unprotected sex is something most gynos would advise against, however, there are steps to re-protect yourself if in fact this happens to you.

Most women are prepared and thoughtful about risk of STDs and risk of pregnancy in their essentially planned sexual encounters. And don’t just think ‘what are the chances,’ about pregnancy or STD.

But if you do have unplanned sex, and don’t really know the STD status of your partner, we want to encourage you to go to come in to see us, and ask what tests or treatments you might need to consider.

There are treatments for prophylaxis against sexually transmitted infections, catch up vaccinations should you not yet be immune to those infections including hepatitis vaccination, tetanus prophylaxis, medications to protect against herpes, HIV and urinary tract infections, as well as a prevention of pregnancy.

Pregnancy encounters are somewhere between 8-25% risk, STD acquisition depends on the virus or bacteria, and your susceptibility, so harder to estimate. For the prevention of pregnancy that you can take for up to 5 days after sex you can use Ella. For an over the counter morning after pill you can take Plan B.

For women without active pelvic infections currently you can consider getting the copper IUD as an emergency contraceptive.

There are many sites for resources on the internet that discuss emergency contraception. Whether you need to go to the extent of vaccinations and antibiotics depends upon you and your individual risk status and risk tolerance, so it has to be a discussion between you and your gyno.


Suzanne Trupin, MD, Board Certified Obstetrician and Gynecologist and owner of Women's Health Practice, Hada Cosmetic Medicine, and Hatha Yoga and Fitness

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