You know this reality all too well: accidents happen. Even in moments of intimacy, a condom that's not worn correctly can break and put you at risk for either pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). What do you do if the condom breaks? Do you go wild and freak out for the next 24 hours? Or do you find the sensible solution to this accident. Here's what you can do.
Morning-After HIV Prevention
After you have this accident, it's very important for you and your partner to be tested for STDs including HIV (human immunodeficiency virus). HIV brings AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome), which is a potentially fatal disease that weakens the immune system over time.
• Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP)
If the result is positive for HIV, you need to ask for postexposure prophylaxis (PEP). This is a morning-after treatment for HIV that can possibly prevent infection.
- The duration for the treatment is for a month. During the treatment course, you will be given HIV (antiretroviral) medications.
- The effectiveness rate of the medication is higher if you start them right away.
- They can still be effective up to 72 hours after exposure to the virus.
- Take note that there can be side effects to this medication such as fatigue and extreme nausea.
It's imperative to call up your doctor, health clinic, health department, or an AIDS service organization to get hold of this medication. You can also visit your local emergency room.
Morning-After Pregnancy Prevention
• High-Dose Birth Control Pill, a.k.a Emergency Contraception (EC)
If you are a woman and you're worried that you might become pregnant after the condom has broken and it is not yet your plan to have a baby, you can take a high-dose birth control pill available over-the-counter. This morning-after contraceptive pill is also known as emergency contraception (EC). It can effectively prevent pregnancy if it is taken within the next 72 hours.
- It's a good practice to purchase one even before you need it so that when accidents like this happen, you already have a pill that you can take right away.
- If not, you must call your doctor or visit a health clinic or pharmacy to purchase it.
- You can also buy the pill by placing an overnight order in online pharmacies.
- The side effects of morning-after pill include vomiting, abdominal pain, fatigue, headache, nausea and menstrual changes.
- In case you experience severe or unbearable abdominal pain, you must call your doctor immediately.
Of course, prevention is still best. In the future, make sure that you avoid such accidents. For one, you and your partner should use a condom correctly. Also, you shouldn't use anything that's already old or expired. It would help a lot to determine the cause of the breakage so you can avoid it next time. For example, if the cause is due to incorrect usage of the condom, you and your partner should carefully follow the instructions so that it won't break the next time you use it.