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Pregnancy myths

Sperm and egg

There are a lot of myths about pregnancy, in terms of when women can or cannot get pregnant. Read on to get the facts.

Myth:

You can’t get pregnant when you have your period.

Fact:

It is definitely possible to get pregnant if you have unprotected sex during your period. This will depend on the length of your menstrual cycle, when you are ovulating and when you had sex. If you have irregular cycles, are not keeping track of the length of your cycle, or have not been trained by a doctor on how to tell when your fertile time is, then it is difficult to know when you might be at risk of pregnancy. For this reason it is best to always use contraception if you do not want to become pregnant.



Myth:

You can’t get pregnant if you have never had a period.

Fact:

Women ovulate approximately two weeks before their period comes, and young girls have especially irregular cycles, so it is definitely possible to get pregnant before you have your first ever period.



Myth:

You can’t get pregnant if you have sex standing up. You can’t get pregnant if you have sex in a bath. You can’t get pregnant on a Tuesday.

Fact:

Regardless of where or how you have sex, once those sperm are inside your body there’s always going to be a possibility of pregnancy.



Myth:

You can’t get pregnant the first time you have sex.

Fact:

Once sperm are inside you, there’s nothing that can be done to get them out so there is always a possibility of pregnancy.



Myth:

You can’t get pregnant if he pulls out before ejaculating.

Fact:

When men have an erection their body produces a fluid called pre-cum, and it is possible that this could contain sperm. This means that even if he pulls out before ejaculating he could still leave sperm behind that could cause a pregnancy. It’s also possible that he will get lost in the moment and not pull out in time.



Myth:

Douching (spraying liquid into your vagina to clean it) can prevent pregnancy.

Fact:

Once the sperm are inside your body there is nothing you can do to get them out.



Myth:

You can’t get pregnant if the girl is on top during sex.

Fact:

If the man’s sperm is inside you, it’s irrelevant what position you are in, gravity will not make any difference.



Myth:

You can’t get pregnant if the woman doesn’t have an orgasm.

Fact:

Orgasm has nothing to do with the ability to conceive.



Myth:

You can’t get pregnant if you pee immediately after sex.

Fact:

The urethra (hole that urine comes out) and vagina are two different holes, so peeing will not change the fact that there is sperm inside the vagina.

Essentially, no matter what the circumstance, how long you have sex, what position you have it in, or where you do it, every time you have sex without a condom (with or without the boy ejaculating) there is always a possibility for you to get pregnant.

If you want to know how pregnancy really happens, read our conception page.

For these reasons it is best to always use some form of contraception if you do not want to have a baby. It is also important to keep in mind that unprotected sex is a good way to catch a sexually transmitted infection. Condoms are the only form of contraception that can prevent pregnancy and also help prevent the transmission of many infections, including HIV.

 

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The Information Standard: Certified member

This article was last reviewed on 18/8/2015 by T. Kelaart

Date due for the next review: 17/8/2018

Content Author: M. Tyson

Current Owner: Clinical Services

More information:

Periods: if you've missed one, BBC Advice (2012)

Am I pregnant?, NHS Choices (2011)

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