Don’t worry. In fact, remaining calm can help prevent any unintended consequences. Read on to learn what to do.
Consider Emergency Contraception
You’re probably heard of Plan B, also known as the morning-after pill. There are a few brands available now, but they all work similarly.
The morning after pill is not an abortion pill. It’s just a concentrated dose of the hormones that are in regular birth control pills. You can take it up to 3 days after sex when the condom has slipped off. But the sooner you take it, the more effective it will be.
Beware that this mega dose of hormones can have more side effects on your body than a normal dose. This includes:
- Breast tenderness
The morning after pill can also alter your menstrual cycle.
Another option is the emergency placement of an intrauterine device or IUD. This type of birth control sits in your cervix and prevents pregnancy from occurring, even if you’ve already had unprotected sex.
IUDs can be expensive and require a placement appointment with your doctor so it may be easier to simply buy the morning after pill, which is available at most pharmacies.
However, an emergency IUD can be placed up to five days after unprotected sex, and depending on the type, can provide up to 12 years of pregnancy protection. So that’s something to consider.
If you do think you’re pregnant, you can take a test approximately one week before your period. Taking a test as soon as you’ve missed your period will clear up any ambiguity. If it’s positive, talk to your doctor.
It’s important to remember that there are options, and just because the condom slipped off doesn’t mean you’ll get pregnant. There’s around a 25% chance that you’ll get pregnant during sex even without protection, and where you are in your cycle decreases the likelihood.
You’re more likely to get pregnant just before you’d get your period because the egg has descended from your fallopian tube and is waiting for fertilization. This doesn’t mean you can’t get pregnant during your period or other times of your cycle, however.
It’s also less likely that you’ll become pregnant if your partner hasn’t orgasmed. He should pull out as soon as he realizes the condom has come off. Condoms are one-time use only, which means that he should switch to a new one if he realizes it’s fallen off inside you.
And don’t worry that it will become lost! Unless you’ve had a hysterectomy, your vagina ends with your cervix, which is way too small for a condom to fit through! Simply use your fingers or ask for your partner’s help to fish it out.
Condoms not only protect against pregnancy — they prevent STI transmission (if you’re monogamous and recently tested, this may not be a concern). If the condom came off, you could be at risk, even if your partner doesn’t know he’s infected. It’s smart to get an STI panel completed. Talk to your doctor.
Not all STIs have symptoms or show up right away, so schedule your test with these time frames in mind.
- 14 days: gonorrhea and chlamydia
- 7 days to 3 months: syphilis
- 35 days to 3 months: HIV, hepatitis C, and B
You may need to test as multiple times to make sure you’re infection-free.
Many times, you’ll get your period and find that you have a clean bill of health after a condom has come off inside you. But thinking rationally helps you deal with unintended outcomes and prevent the situation from becoming worse.