What can go wrong and what can you do?
Sometimes, things can go wrong when you are having sex. You're risking pregnancy, getting a sexually transmitted infection (STI), including HIV, and possibly stress. So, what can go wrong?
What can go wrong?
- You have unprotected sex. This means any sex without contraception or a condom.
- During sex, the condom tears. This happens when the tip of the condom is not squeezed properly when putting on the condom and air has entered.
- During sex the condoms slips off. This can happen if you wait too long to withdraw the penis form the vagina or anus. The penis becomes flaccid (soft) again. Therefore, hold the condom edge firmly when pulling out so that the condom does not slip off.
This still counts as unprotected sex, and you're at risk of STIs and pregnancy.
What can you do?
- STI test
Go for a check-up if you have had unprotected sex. You have any unusual symptoms around your genitals (vagina or penis), such as:
- pain when you pee
- an unusual or smelly discharge
- unexplained bleeding
Some people don't notice any symptoms when they have an STI. If you think you might be at risk, it's important that you get tested, even if you don't have any symptoms. [link to the website page with information on sti testing]
You can find your nearest health facility here
- Emergency contraception
Emergency contraception can help prevent pregnancy after you have had unprotected sex.
Emergency contraception is more effective the sooner it's taken.
Emergency contraception only needs to be taken if you are not using any other form of contraception, such as the pill.
There are 2 types of emergency contraception:
- The emergency contraceptive pill - sometimes called the "morning-after" pill.
There are two kinds of emergency contraceptive pill:
> Levonelle: Has to be taken within 72 hours (3 days) after unprotected sex.
> ellaOne: has to be taken within 120 hours (5 days) after unprotected sex.
- The intrauterine device, or IUD (sometimes called a coil)
- Pregnancy test
If a man and woman have unprotected sex, the woman can get pregnant.
It doesn't matter what position she has sex in, what time of the month it is, or whether it's her first time.
There's always a risk of unwanted pregnancy, but using contraception and a condom can help to protect against it.
If you think you're pregnant after having unprotected sex, do a pregnancy test.[link to page on website with more info on pregnancy test]. As a guy, if you think your girlfriend is pregnant, have her do a pregnancy test.
Usually, the first sign of pregnancy is a missed period. The only way to find out for sure is to do a pregnancy test.
You can buy a test at a pharmacy
If you're pregnant, talk to a doctor or nurse as soon as possible so you can discuss your choices and any difficult questions you may have. They can help you make the decision that's right for you.[link to website page on pregnancy options]