TAKING ANTIBIOTICS AFTER UNPROTECTED SEX; DOES IT PREVENT SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED INFECTIONS?

Antibiotics, also known as antibacterials, are medications that destroy or slow down the growth of bacteria. They include a range of powerful drugs and are used to treat diseases caused by bacteria.
The spread of some sexually transmitted infections could be dramatically reduced by instructing people who have had unprotected sex to take antibiotics within 24 hours after intercourse, a new study suggests.
Currently, after-sex antibiotics are not used for preventing bacterial sexually-transmitted infections (STIs), but research has been encouraging at least for Syphilis and Chlamydia

The study was presented at the 2017 Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections. It involved 232 MSM who were participants in an HIV-prevention trial. Half of the men were instructed to take an antibiotic called doxycycline within 72 hours of condomless sex. The other half were not given any antibiotics. All of the men were advised on safe sex practices and provided with condoms.


Over the next several months, the men were tested for syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia, and HIV every eight weeks Overall, almost a quarter of the men in the doxycycline group developed an STI. The rate was 39% for the men who took no antibiotics. Seventy-one percent of the STIs did not have any symptoms.
Rates of syphilis and chlamydia were lower for the men who took doxycycline. But gonorrhea rates were about the same for the two groups.
The researchers concluded that STI risk decreased by 47% for men in the doxycycline group.

While these results are encouraging, there is more research to be done. Experts are still not sure how well this method would work for the long term or whether antibiotic resistance would be a problem.

Not all STIs are caused by bacteria. Other infections, like herpes, hepatitis, HIV, and human papillomavirus (HPV) are viral infections and would not be respond to antibiotics.


WHAT DO I NEED TO DO AFTER UNPROTECTED SEX OR CONDOM FAILURE?

If you’ve had sex without a condom or a sexual experience where the condom broke, try not to panic. Things happen, and you’re far from the only person to go through either of these experiences.
What you do need to remember, though, is that there are a few risks associated with these sexual events. The steps you can take to address those risks are highlighted as follows.

Immediately after
If you noticed that the condom broke, stop any sexual activity and move away from your lover. If you’ve had sex without a condom, remember that there are a few things you can do immediately to help.

Use the bathroom
First, head to the bathroom to remove lingering fluids from the vagina, penis, or anus.
This can make you feel more comfortable and help remove bacteria that could result in urinary tract infections (UTIs).
You can sit on the toilet and push down with your genital or anal muscles to push out any remaining fluid. Peeing can also help.
Just know that if you have a vulva and have had penis-in-vagina sex, peeing won’t remove the risk of pregnancy. That’s because sperm has already traveled toward the egg.

Don’t douche, but do wash up
It’s a myth that genital areas need a thorough cleanse after sexual activity.
While washing and drying genital areas can further increase your comfort, vaginal or anal douching can actually put you at increased risk of an infection. This is because douching products can cause irritation and inflammation.
So if you want to wash, simply have a shower or use lukewarm water to splash the area.


Watch for symptoms
While some STIs can be symptomless, others may show up in the form of sores, itchiness, smelly discharge, or pain when urinating.
Keep an eye on your genitals, anus, and mouth area, and schedule an STI test if you notice anything unusual.

Conclusion
If you’re at all worried about the potential consequences, prepare yourself by considering the following.

Regular STI screening
Getting tested for STIs on a regular basis is vital for your sexual health. You can book a test with a healthcare professional or through a sexual health clinic.
It’s wise to get tested at least once a year. If you have multiple partners, consider upping this trusted Source to every 3 or 6 months.
Remember to be honest and open with your partners, too.

• Reduce your risk of contracting an STI with a barrier method.
This includes condoms, gloves, and dental dams for oral sex.

When using condoms, check that they aren’t expired and avoid opening the packaging with sharp objects to prevent accidental nicks or cuts on the surface

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