Is Taking a Pill After Getting It On Unprotected the Future of Safer Sex?

For a very long time, condoms have been a reality of life for individuals who need to interact in safer intercourse.

Unless you’re comfy rolling the cube on presumably getting a sexually transmitted an infection — and let’s face it, some individuals do make this alternative — if you wish to be assured a hookup received’t depart you with an disagreeable an infection, a high-quality condom is the perfect method.

However, it’s no secret that, given the choice, individuals are inclined to favor condomless intercourse. There merely hasn’t been a very good, dependable approach to have unprotected intercourse with out operating the danger of an STI — not to mention of making a being pregnant.

But lately, sure features of these fears have been addressed in significant methods by non-condom options — at the very least for males who’ve intercourse with males. The homosexual group’s relationship to HIV transmission has been fully modified by the arrival available on the market of PrEP, quick for pre-exposure prophylaxis, a every day capsule that radically lowers your possibilities of contracting HIV.

RELATED: 3 Reasons You Should Get an STI Test (and Where to Do It)

PrEP has so considerably altered the HIV transmission panorama that HIV transmission is now extra prone to occur between heterosexual companions than homosexual companions in Scotland, per a 2023 study.

However, as with Tinder following the launch of Grindr, technological developments which have impacted homosexual males’s love lives might now be on the verge of revolutionizing straight individuals’s as effectively.

That’s due to the event of a so-called “morning after pill” for STI prevention. In order to raised perceive how this might impression the way forward for intercourse, AskMen spoke to a few consultants, in addition to reviewing the present information on the topic. Here’s what we realized:

The Development of an STI “Morning After” Pill

At the second, there’s just one product available on the market — DoxyPEP.

“DoxyPEP is a post-exposure preventative treatment for syphilis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea,” says Dr. Laura Purdy, MD, chief medical officer at Wisp, which produces the remedy. “Similar to the traditional morning-after pill that’s taken to prevent unwanted pregnancy after unprotected sex, DoxyPEP can be taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex to stop the spread of certain sexually transmitted infections.”

RELATED: How to Diagnose and Treat Chlamydia

“While Doxycycline has been commonly used to treat multiple types of bacterial infections,” Dr. Purdy provides, “expanding the use cases for this existing drug is an important step in providing sexual wellness solutions for those who have engaged in sexual activity and are concerned about STI risks.”

RELATED: Safer Sex Mistakes That Lead to Sexually Transmitted Infections

In quick, Doxycycline is nothing new — what’s new is the thought of utilizing it as post-exposure prophylaxis for STIs. What we’re seeing is a paradigm shift, at first, moderately than a scientific breakthrough.

It’s a shift that’s occurring partly as a result of STI transmissions haven’t gone away — fairly the alternative. Dr. Purdy notes that data shows that STIs are “currently on the rise in the U.S, with syphilis cases at the highest levels in 70 years.”

“This troubling trend is being exacerbated by a penicillin shortage (a key drug in treating syphilis),” says Dr. Purdy. “In addition to being able to treat chlamydia and gonorrhea, this new offering is vital to filling the gap in treatments available for syphilis, given the nationwide shortage of penicillin.”

How the PEP Pill Could Impact Your Sex Life

So what do the short-term and long-term impacts of a capsule like this being obtainable appear like? Of course, nobody can predict the longer term, in order that’s arduous to say with certainty. Avril Clarke, sexologist and intimacy coordinator at Erika Lust, nevertheless, sees the provision of PEP choices as a very good factor.

“The development of PEP will lead to more positive benefits when it comes to people’s sex lives,” says Clarke. “Barrier methods of contraception, like condoms, were and still are the only way to protect oneself from the transmission of STIs and HIV during sex.”

RELATED: How to Diagnose and Treat Syphilis

However, she says, the introduction of PEP into {the marketplace} doesn’t imply it’s time for a sexual free-for-all the place everybody begins having as a lot condomless intercourse as attainable with zero penalties.

“Through proper comprehensive sex education, it’s important to debunk the myth that having an option like PEP will lead to riskier sexual behaviors,” Clarke says. “PEP comes with side effects and long processes that, although groundbreaking in the fight against HIV/AIDS, need to be taken regularly for 4 weeks.”

“Checking in with a doctor before and after going through the process is crucial,” she provides. “Additionally, depending on your location, it is not always available for free or at a low cost, and often causes harsh side effects, including nausea, rash, headaches, and fatigue. The financial, emotional, and physical distress that might come from needing to take PEP should not be overlooked.”

As effectively, regardless of its potential for lowering STI transmission, nevertheless, it’s essential to notice that, per Dr. Purdy, “DoxyPEP doesn’t protect against Mpox, HIV, herpes, or other viral infections,” or parasite-based infections like crabs.

Still, there stays purpose to be optimistic concerning the potential of post-exposure prophylaxis. 

“While it remains important to follow safe sex practices, DoxyPEP has the potential to offer an important preventive solution for those who are sexually active,” says Dr. Purdy. “By introducing a morning-after pill for STIs, Wisp is helping combat the rise of sexually transmitted infections by providing an accessible and affordable nationwide offering.”

Only time will inform, however PEP might but signify a major change in the way in which we method safer intercourse. 

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