How Unprotected Sex Affects Your Health: A Psychologist’s Perspective
The Hidden Threat: Silent STIs and Their Psychological Impact
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) such as mycoplasma, ureaplasma, chlamydia, human papillomavirus (HPV), herpes, and even HIV often unfold unnoticed, lurking within the human body without the individual’s awareness. These pathogens can persist in the system for an extended period, evading detection. Moreover, not all STIs are exclusively transmitted through sexual intercourse; for instance, syphilis or gonorrhea can be contracted through contact with an infected person or their belongings. This underlines the importance of regular STI screenings, ideally conducted twice a year.
When and Where: The Importance of Protected Sex During Pregnancy
During pregnancy, using condoms becomes crucial. In the first trimester, the expectant mother’s immune system weakens significantly, and the vaginal environment becomes conducive to the proliferation of microorganisms. Introduction of fungi or bacteria during this vulnerable period can lead to infections, emphasizing the necessity of protected intercourse.
According to Dr. Ekaterina Makarova, a medical professional:
“Protected sex with condoms during pregnancy is imperative to safeguard both the mother and the developing fetus.”
What to Do After Unprotected Intercourse
Any instance of unprotected sex may lead to undesirable consequences, including unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases. However, there are ways to mitigate the risks.
Following unprotected intercourse, women commonly turn to emergency contraceptives. Well-known options include Escapelle and Postinor. Classified as progestin-based drugs, these contraceptives contain levonorgestrel, which affects the cervix and endometrium, hindering sperm from entering the uterus and impeding embryo attachment. While Postinor can disrupt hormonal balance and menstrual cycles, it is relatively effective. Escapelle, a more modern alternative, achieves the same outcomes with less harm to the body.
Research indicates that non-hormonal contraceptives based on mifepristone, categorized as antigestagenic, can also be effective. Medications like Ginepriston and Agesta alter the endometrium, making it challenging for a fertilized egg to attach to the uterus. In case of implantation, these drugs induce uterine contractions, expelling the embryo. Additionally, antigestagenic contraceptives can block the release of the egg, proving effective when unprotected sex occurs near ovulation.
Postinor remains one of the most popular emergency contraceptive options.
Emergency contraceptives should be taken within 72 hours of sexual activity, and consultation with a healthcare professional is recommended. In certain circumstances, mifepristone is used for medical abortion up to the 42nd day of pregnancy.
Another alternative involves the insertion of a copper-containing intrauterine device (IUD). Copper exhibits spermicidal effects, preventing the implantation of the egg. This contraceptive method poses minimal harm to a woman’s body and remains effective for several years. IUD placement is feasible within five days of unprotected intercourse and should be performed in a medical setting.
In conclusion, protecting against the psychological and physical consequences of unprotected sex requires a proactive approach. Whether through regular screenings, conscientious condom use, or timely emergency contraception, individuals can empower themselves to make informed decisions about their sexual health. Remember, awareness is the key to a healthier and happier life.
Note: This article is for informational purposes only and does not substitute professional medical advice. Consult with a healthcare provider for personalized guidance.
How often should one undergo STI screenings?
It is advisable to undergo STI screenings twice a year to ensure timely detection of any infections that may be present in the body.
Where can syphilis or gonorrhea be contracted, besides through sexual intercourse?
Syphilis or gonorrhea can be contracted through contact with an infected person or their belongings, emphasizing the importance of awareness beyond sexual encounters.
What precautions are crucial during pregnancy to prevent infections?
Using condoms during pregnancy, especially in the first trimester, is crucial as the immune system weakens, and the vaginal environment becomes conducive to infections.
When is the most vulnerable period for pregnant women regarding infections?
The first trimester of pregnancy is the most vulnerable period, as the immune system is significantly weakened, increasing susceptibility to infections.
How do emergency contraceptives like Postinor and Escapelle work?
Emergency contraceptives like Postinor and Escapelle, containing levonorgestrel, affect the cervix and endometrium, hindering sperm from entering the uterus and impeding embryo attachment.