I had sex last night without precaution. What should I do now?

Girl taking a pillIf you’ve had sex without using protection, you’ll need to be concerned about two things: preventing pregnancy and getting screened for sexually transmitted infections.

Emergency contraception (EC) typically called the “morning after pill” can actually be used within 5 days (120 hours) of unprotected intercourse but EC works better the sooner you take it.

  • Some types of EC (Plan B One-Step™ and Next Choice®) are available over-the-counter (without a prescription), for young women age 17 and over in the United States.
  • Girls who are 16 and under can get emergency contraception with a prescription from their health care provider.
  • A new brand of EC called Ella™ (Ulipristal acetate) requires a prescription from a health care provider.

Contact your health care provider and get screened for sexually transmitted infections right away.

  • If you or your health care provider feel you may have been exposed to HIV, you need to get seen right away and discuss whether you should consider taking PEP (post exposure prophylaxis) medication
  • You should get screened for STIs such as chlamydia and gonorrhea.