Though there are multiple forms of birth control to choose from, none of them are truly 100% fool-proof. The same goes for condoms, arguably the most popular form of birth control out there. With perfect use, condoms are 98% effective. However, there’s always a chance that a condom may slip off or break during sexual intercourse which may lower its effectiveness.
In this article, we’ll walk you through the steps you need to take in the event that the condom breaks or slips off during sexual intercourse, the types of backup contraception you can consider using if you’d like to prevent pregnancy, and how to get tested if you’d like to check for STIs.
So you’re engaging in sexual activity with a partner, and you notice that the condom has broken or slipped off. Don’t panic! Immediately after spotting this, stop all sexual activity and avoid any further physical contact with your partner, especially around the genital area. This will prevent more bodily fluids from your partner coming into contact with your genital area.
Within 2 days
If you do not wish to get pregnant, now’s the time to get emergency contraception. Emergency contraception can be effective for up to 3 or 5 days, depending on the brand you get, but the sooner you take it, the more effective it is. You can read more about the different types of emergency contraception out there in this article. In Singapore, you can either proceed to a clinic to get emergency contraception (although note that not all clinics carry emergency contraception) or you can consult a doctor online and have emergency contraception delivered to you within 4hrs with Ease.
Within 2 weeks
Whilst taking emergency contraception may prevent an unwanted pregnancy from occurring, it does not prevent you from contracting a sexually transmitted infection (STI). During the first 2 weeks after having unprotected sex, it is especially important to monitor your sexual health and take note of any changes which may be symptoms of an STI. For example, unusual discharge or pain while urinating could be indicators of an STI. You may download the Ease app here to track unusual symptoms. This will help you identify a potential STI and share your symptom patterns with a doctor.
Even if you do not notice any changes in your sexual health, take note that you may still contract an STI and not experience any symptoms at all. The best step you can take for your sexual health – and any future partners’ sexual health – is to get tested for STIs.
In Singapore you can get tested for STIs in a clinic or book a private and hassle-free at-home STI test with Ease. At Ease, STI testing kits start at $49 and we offer a range of comprehensive test packages that test for a variety of STIs. If you’re unsure of which test you should go for, you can always book an STI teleconsultation for $20 with one of our doctors, who will be able to advise you.
What happens next?
If you’re worried about the risks of condom protection failure, you may want to consider using extra protection, such as hormonal birth control pills or patches. These act as a second layer of protection in the event that the condom breaks. There is a variety of birth control methods out there, so make sure you do your research! You can start by checking out other articles on our blog, which explore topics on hormonal contraception, the birth control patch, and more. If you’re keen to get started, you may also purchase birth control pills or patches via Ease (starting at just $20 per pack) and get them delivered within 4 hrs or sign up for a birth control teleconsultation to discuss different options and brands with one of our doctors if you’re undecided on what would work best for you.
Remember – that while hormonal birth control can prevent unwanted pregnancies, it cannot prevent STIs. To address any anxieties concerning STI transmission and to be a responsible sexual partner, make sure to get regularly tested for STIs and use a condom for extra protection!
The bottom line
Accidents can happen – if you ever find yourself in this situation, stay calm, and remember the steps that you can take to stay protected and on top of your sexual health. If you need extra guidance and someone to talk to you can always contact us via the live chat of the website and a member of the Ease Care Team will help you out!