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What Should You Do If You've Had Unprotected Sex?
What Should You Do If You've Had Unprotected Sex?
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What Should You Do If You've Had Unprotected Sex?

This video outlines the possible consequences of unprotected sex, reasons why some people might have unprotected sex, and what you can do if you’ve had unprotected sex, such as use emergency contraception, Post-Exposure Prophylaxis, and taking a pregnancy test. The video also goes over what to do if you take a pregnancy test and it’s positive or negative, suggesting going to a family planning clinic to figure out next steps. It also emphasizes that you should use a condom during penile vaginal sex to safely prevent against both pregnancy and STIs. [AMZ-053]


When two people are both ready and agree to have sex, it is important that they communicate about how to prevent an unplanned pregnancy and/or how to reduce their risk of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), also called sexually transmitted infections (STIs). If people have sex without condoms, they put themselves at risk for an unplanned pregnancy and/or STDs, including HIV. It’s important to note that condoms are the only form of birth control that reduce the risk of both an unplanned pregnancy and STDs. Other forms of birth control, like the Pill, the Patch or the Shot only reduce the risk of an unplanned pregnancy—not STDs.


Sometimes people may make a mistake when using birth control, and it doesn’t work correctly. Or perhaps a person was sexually assaulted, and no birth control method was used. There are some things that a person can do after they have had sex and either didn’t use condoms or other birth control or the birth control method they used didn’t work. Emergency contraception (EC), which is also known as the “morning-after pill,” is a medication that can help prevent pregnancy when taken up to five days after unprotected sex. The sooner it’s taken, the better it works to prevent pregnancy. Another option to prevent pregnancy is to have a health care provider insert a form of birth control called an intrauterine device (IUD) after unprotected sex. If a person may have been exposed to HIV, post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) is a medication that can be taken within 72 hours after unprotected sex to reduce the transmission of the STD HIV.


If a young person has had unprotected sex, it is important for them to talk with a trusted adult. A trusted adult can provide support in taking a pregnancy test and/or getting tested for STDs. A person can also go to a family planning clinic to get help. It is important to make sure the clinic has actual nurses and doctors working there because some places that offer free pregnancy testing do not provide accurate information.


Abstinence, or choosing to not have or delay having sex, is the most effective form of birth control. If people choose to have sex, using contraception and condoms every time they have sex is the best way to prevent an unplanned pregnancy and reduce the risk of STDs, including HIV.


Can someone my age really get pregnant or get someone pregnant?

There are a lot of myths out there about if, how and when someone can or can’t get pregnant. The truth is, once you start to go through puberty, it’s possible to get pregnant or get someone pregnant. That’s why it’s so important to know how pregnancy happens and how to prevent it if you or your partner are not ready.

How can you avoid getting a sexually transmitted disease?

The only 100-percent effective way to avoid getting an STD is to abstain from sexual touching below the waist, such as rubbing bodies without clothes, vaginal-penile sex, oral sex and anal sex. Your next best bet is to practice safer sex, such as using either a male or female (internal) condom and/or dental dam every time you have any type of sex. Once you start having sex, it’s also important to get tested regularly for STDs and to ask your partners to do the same.




Parents or guardians can start talking with their children about pregnancy and how to prevent it before their children become sexually active. When parents and guardians talk with their children about these topics, children learn that they can come to their parents if and when they have questions. Below are some ways to start these conversations:

Using current events, TV shows and movies to discuss emergency contraception

If you come across a TV show, movie or current event that discusses contraception or unintended pregnancy, it can serve as a teachable moment. You can discuss the characters’ choices, consequences, and the availability of emergency contraception as an option in such situations.

Before or during healthcare or doctor’s visits

If your young person has a routine healthcare appointment, it’s an opportunity to discuss sexual health and emergency contraception. Encourage them to ask questions or address any concerns they may have with their healthcare provider.

Creating an open and non-judgmental space is key to fostering a healthy dialogue:

Here are a few conversation prompts to begin the conversation:

  • “I wanted to talk to you about an important topic related to your sexual health called emergency contraception. Have you heard of it before?”
  • “I came across some information about emergency contraception and thought it would be helpful for us to discuss it. Can we talk about how it works and when it can be used?”
  • “Sometimes, even when we’re careful, contraceptive methods can fail. That’s why it’s important to know about emergency contraception as a backup option. Would you like to learn more about it?”
  • “I want to make sure you have accurate information about emergency contraception. Let’s talk about it and address any questions or concerns you may have.”



National Sex Education Standards

SH.8.CC.8 - Current Biomedical Approaches to Prevent STDs

Discuss current biomedical approaches to prevent STDs (e.g., hepatitis B vaccine, HPV vaccine) and HIV (e.g., PrEP, PEP)

View all SH.8.CC.8 Videos

SH.8.CC.2 - Short and Long-Term Contraception

Explain there are many methods of short- and long-term contraception that are safe and effective and describe how to access them

View all SH.8.CC.2 Videos

SH.8.GS.1 - A Plan to Eliminate or Reduce Risk of Unintended Pregnancy or STDs

Develop a plan to eliminate or reduce risk of unintended pregnancy or STDs (including HIV)

View all SH.8.GS.1 Videos

SH.8.AI.1 - Medically Accurate Sources of Information about STDs

Identify medically accurate sources of information about STDs, including HIV, such as local STD/HIV prevention, testing, and treatment resources

View all SH.8.AI.1 Videos

SH.10.AI.1 - Determine Whether a Resource or Service is Medically Accurate or Credible

Demonstrate the ability to determine whether a resource or service is medically accurate or credible

View all SH.10.AI.1 Videos

SH.10.AI.3 - Medically Accurate Sources of Information about and Local Services that Provide Prevention, Testing, Care, and Treatment of STDs

Identify medically accurate sources of information about and local services that provide prevention, testing, care, and treatment of STDs, including HIV, including the steps to obtain PrEP and PEP

View all SH.10.AI.3 Videos

SH.10.IC.1 - Effectively Communicate with a Partner

Demonstrate the ability to effectively communicate with a partner about abstaining from sexual behavior, using condoms and/or contraception, and preventing, getting testing, and seeking treatment for STDs (including HIV)

View all SH.10.IC.1 Videos

SH.10.CC.2 - Factors that Impact the Risk of Unintended Pregnancy and Potential Transmission of STDs

Identify factors that impact the risk of unintended pregnancy and potential transmission of STDs, including HIV, from a variety of sexual behaviors, including vaginal, oral, and anal sex

View all SH.10.CC.2 Videos

5.2, ages 12-15
5.5, ages 12-15

Finding Help and Support

View videos for 5.5 (ages 12-15)

8.1, ages 12-15

Pregnancy and Pregnancy Prevention

View videos for 8.1 (ages 12-15)

8.3, ages 12-15

Understanding, Recognizing and Reducing the Risk of STIs, including HIV

View videos for 8.3 (ages 12-15)

After watching the video with your class, process it using the following discussion questions:
  • From the video, what did you learn about emergency contraception?
  • Where are some locations where a person can get emergency contraception?
  • What is one thing that you learned from this video that surprised you?