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Birth Control: Myths About Sex and Pregnancy

Topic Overview

Several myths about when a woman can or cannot become pregnant persist, particularly among younger people.

Myths and truths about becoming pregnant
Myth Truth

You can't get pregnant the first time you have vaginal intercourse.

Getting pregnant has nothing to do with how many times you have sex. If you are near the time of ovulation when you have sexual intercourse, you can get pregnant.

You can't get pregnant if you are very young.

If you have started your periods, you can get pregnant, even if your body is not mature enough to handle the stress of pregnancy. In fact, some girls ovulate a couple of weeks before their first-ever period. Girls age 10 or 11 are known to have become pregnant.

You can't get pregnant if you have sex standing up.

Position has nothing to do with getting pregnant. The egg and sperm can move no matter what position your body is in.

You can't get pregnant if you have sex during your period.

Although the chance of getting pregnant at this time is less for most women, if you have short menstrual cycles (fewer than 28 days) or irregular periods, you may be able to get pregnant if you have sex during your period.

You can't get pregnant if you have sex in a hot tub.

You can get pregnant if you have unprotected sex, regardless of where you are.

Douching after sex will prevent pregnancy.

Douching doesn't work. If you have unplanned sex or a condom breaks, use emergency contraception.

Learn how your body works and when pregnancy is most likely to occur. If you choose to have sexual intercourse but want to avoid pregnancy or sexually transmitted infections, use an effective and safe method of birth control.

Related Information

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Femi Olatunbosun, MB, FRCSC - Obstetrics and Gynecology
Last Revised May 3, 2012

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