Common Myths about Pregnancy:
1) I can't get pregnant if I douche after sex.
Douching after sex - whether it's
with Coca-Cola, Pepsi, water, vinegar, or any other substance
- will not prevent pregnancy (nor will urinating). Douching can
cause yeast infections, so it's probably not the best idea anyway.
There's just no reason to use Coca-Cola anywhere near the vagina;
not only is it messy and sticky, but also it might irritate your
skin and cause an allergic reaction. And forcing those tiny little
air bubbles into the body can be dangerous. Sperm are excellent
travelers and can reach the cervix in seconds, so douching is
pointless when it comes to preventing pregnancy. (Jumping up and
down after sex or switching positions doesn't help either.)
The only 100 percent effective
way to prevent pregnancy is to abstain from vaginal intercourse.
If you do decide to have vaginal sex, use birth control - and
use something that has been proven to be safe and effective.
The only effective way to prevent
pregnancy after unprotected intercourse is to take emergency contraception
(EC). EC pills can prevent pregnancy - if taken within 72 hours
of unprotected vaginal intercourse. EC is sometimes known as "morning-after"
2) I can't get pregnant the first time I have sex.
This is not true - the chances
of getting pregnant the first time you have sex are the same as
the 100th time you do it. Some people believe that an intact hymen
- the thin skin that stretches across part of the opening of the
vagina (which, by the way, isn't detectable in all virgins because
it can be stretched by non-sexual physical activity, such as playing
sports) - will keep out sperm and prevent a woman from getting
pregnant. However, the hymen doesn't cover the cervix, and it's
usually stretched during intercourse anyway if it hasn't been
stretched open before. Either way, having intercourse for the
first time doesn't protect against pregnancy.
3) I can't get pregnant if I don't have an orgasm.
The pleasure a woman has during
sex has little to do with her chances of getting pregnant. When
a woman is sexually excited, certain changes in the body happen.
For instance, when sexual arousal is over, a woman's cervix dips
down into the pool of semen that has been ejaculated into the
vagina. This happens whether or not a woman has had an orgasm.
4) I can't get pregnant if he pulls out.
This is not true either. Pulling
out, also known as withdrawal, means that a man pulls his penis
out of the vagina before he "comes" to keep sperm from
joining egg. It is only 81 percent to 96 percent effective in
preventing pregnancy. Pregnancy can happen even if the guy pulls
out, if he doesn't ejaculate, or doesn't put his penis all the
way in. Here's why: when a guy gets aroused, he produces a fluid
called pre-ejaculate ("pre-cum"), which can contain
sperm - particularly if he's had sex or masturbated earlier in
the last couple of days. When the fluid leaks from the penis before
a guy comes, it can cause pregnancy.
Pulling out is not a very reliable
method for young people because some guys lack the experience
and self-control to pull out in time, or they say they will pull
out, and then they get so excited and carried away that they don't.
Also, some guys can't tell when they are going to ejaculate.
5) I can't get pregnant while I have my period.
It is possible to become pregnant
from vaginal intercourse at any time in the menstrual cycle. It's
true that with a lot of learning and months of very careful recordkeeping
and planning some women can figure out when they're most fertile,
which can help if they're trying to get pregnant. But if a woman's
trying to avoid pregnancy, there may be safer times for unprotected
sex, but there is no guaranteed safe time. Most women's cycles
(especially teenagers') are irregular, and some women ovulate
- the time when an egg is released and a woman is most fertile
- very close to the time that they have their periods. Plus, sperm
can live in a woman's body for up to seven days waiting for ovulation
to happen. So just because a woman isn't ovulating when she has
her period doesn't mean she can't get pregnant.
The only 100 percent effective
way of preventing pregnancy is to abstain from vaginal intercourse.
But using condoms, the Pill, or another tried-and-true method
of birth control can also help to prevent pregnancy. Remember,
condoms prevent transmission of sexually
Signs of Pregnancy
If You're Pregnant
Expect From Pregnancy
Rights as a Parent
Coping With Fatigue
Play: A Child's Work
Article - Dr. Stephen