Having sex without the use of protection is risky. You might have forgotten to use contraception, or the contraception might not have worked. Sometimes a condom can split, exposing both partners to the risks of unprotected sex such as pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) such as HIV, and stress.
People are advised to always use protection during a one-night stand. Anywhere from 50 to 72 per cent of people admit to sleeping with a person they’ve just met, so you are in the majority if do. If you have had a one-night stand and are worried about unprotected sex, the NHS has helpful advice.
Go to the toilet
Around 80 per cent of women who get urinary tract infections (UTIs) have had sex 24 hours earlier. Urinating just after sex can lower your chances of getting UTIs as it clears out the urethra, removing bacteria with it.
Women who are not on birth control should take an emergency contraceptive as soon as possible. More commonly known as “the morning after pill”, you can take it up to 72 hours after sex, although emergency contraceptive is more effective the sooner you take it. The morning after pill is available for free at a number of health centres and online.
Check and test yourself for STIs
If you notice any changes in your genitals or anus after sex, there is a chance you may have an STI. Discharge from the penis, vagina or anus, pain during urination, blisters, ulcers or warts in the genital area and itchiness or irritation are symptoms of an STI. There are several quick and easy ways to test yourself for a sexually transmitted infection. If you live in London STI testing kits are available at sites like https://www.checkurself.org.uk/order-a-test-kit/. Your local health clinic and GP will also be able to test and treat any STI.
Most at-home pregnancy tests are 99 per cent accurate within a week of having sex. If you want to know for sure, schedule an appointment to see your GP, who can test your blood for markers.
You should always use protection when having sex. Be sure to carry your own supply of condoms, and be vocal about the need for your partner to wear protection during sex.