Weird & Wonderful : 5 Myths about Preventing Pregnancy
For as long as people have been sex, they have also been trying to avoid unplanned pregnancies.
And although modern contraception does a great job of this, myths about how to avoid pregnancy still persist. Here are 5 of the most common.
1. Myth #1
If a male withdraws (pulls out) or doesn’t cum (ejaculate) during sexual intercourse, a female can’t get pregnant. FALSE!
The withdrawal method, while better than nothing, has a much higher failure rate than other methods for 2 main reasons:
- The problem with withdrawal is that it’s hard to pull perfectly every single. A person has got to have a lot of self-control and accuracy. And if a man doesn’t pull out in time, the consequences could mean an unintended pregnancy.
- If a male has recently ejaculated, there may still be leftover sperm in the urethra. In one study, 1/3 of the men who participated has live sperm in their pre-cum. Therefore, sperm can be released with the drops of fluid that comes out of the penis before ejaculation.
With typical use, which accounts for how it’s actually performed, withdrawal has a failure rate of 22%. But if a guy is able to pull out perfectly every single time (which is pretty hard!), withdrawal has a 4% failure rate.
If a girl has sex durin her period she can’t get pregnant.
Although less likely, it is still possible for a woman to get pregnant while on her period. Women’s menstrual cycles can be between 21-35 days long and it’s possible for them to ovulate at different points from cycle to cycle. Ovulation is when the ovary releases an egg, which is when pregnancy is possible. If a woman ovulates soon after her period ends, it’s possible for her to get pregnant because sperm can live in a woman’s body for up to 5 days after ejaculation!
It’s important to be a safe sex for both partners and try some contraception if you don’t want to be get pregnancy.
You can’t get pregnant the first time you have sex.
This is also untrue. Once a woman begins menstruating, it is possible for her to get pregnant through unprotected sex. In fact, the chances of getting pregnant the first time you have sex are the same as the 100th time you do it!
If females wash out their vaginas or go to the bathroom after sex, they cut down the chance of getting pregnant.
Washing out the vaginal canal does not make it less likely to get pregnant because sperm swim into the uterus very quickly after ejaculation. Going to the bathroom after sex, while it can prevent urinary tract infections, cannot prevent pregnancy since you pee out of the urethra, not the vagina (which is what you have sex with and is where sperm enters).
If the male masturbates before you have intercourse, you can’t get pregnant because the sperm are weakened.
Pregnancy from unprotected sex can actually be more likely to occur after the male has masturbated. This is because if a male has recently ejaculated (past few hours) leftover sperm may still be present in the urethra and will be released in the pre-ejaculate (drops of fluid that comes out of the penis before ejaculation). If you’re not using birth control, and relying on the pull out method, this means that even if the guy pulls out in time, the sperm in pre-cum can still cause a pregnancy.