Unprotected sex is a term used to describe sexual activity; whether vaginal, anal or oral sex, engaged in by people who have taken no precaution to protect themselves from sexually transmitted infections (STI) or pregnancy. Most times, unprotected sex means sexual intercourse without the use of a barrier method of contraception, such as the male or female condom, but safer or protected sex could be practiced using other means or devices. More young people than adults partake in unprotected sex due to ignorance of the adverse effects, sheer recklessness and irresponsibility, an expectation or assumption of greater pleasure, peer pressure and uncontrollable youthful curiosity about life. Generally, unprotected sex is more often an action driven by impulses of the moment than a well thought-out decision based on sound reasoning.
The Risk and Implication of Unprotected Sex
Unprotected sexual intercourse increases the risk of contracting or transmitting HIV, STIs and unwanted pregnancy. When engaged in an unprotected sex, any STI infections in the bodily fluids of an infected person can pass to the uninfected sex partner. On the other hand, pregnancy occurs when semen from a man enters a woman’s vaginal canal, and sperm swimming through the cervix into the fallopian tubes and penetrates the surface of an egg to fertilize it leading to conception. After conception, the fertilized egg travels to the uterus and implants into the uterine wall. The chance of pregnancy is high whenever sperm enters the vagina shortly before or after ovulation. It is better that STIs and unwanted pregnancy are avoided as they threaten our well-being and peace and have the potential to negatively alter or even cut short the course of our lives.
What to do after Unprotected Sex!
It is smart to apply reliable protection during sex for those who do not intend for sex to lead to pregnancy and to guard against the possibility of contracting STIs. This is more advisable for unmarried people who cannot abstain fully and for the sexually active person with multiple partners. Condoms are very effective in achieving this and you should endeavour to wear one before any sexual contact. Using other methods of protection in addition to condoms is the best way to practice the safest kind of sex. These include lubricants, dental dams, and hormonal birth control pills. However, after unprotected sex happens, rather than get overwhelmed by anxiety and take certain untoward actions capable of leading to greater risks, the following options may be considered - taking emergency contraceptive (morning-after) pills, getting the doctor to insert an Intra-Uterine Device (IUD) and testing for STIs. Having done all of these, all that is left may just be to keep calm and watch for symptoms of both STIs or pregnancy.