Myth: I can’t get pregnant the first time I have sex or from only having sex once.
Fact: While the odds of becoming pregnant increase the more times unprotected sex occurs, it is definitely possible for a woman to become pregnant the first time she has unprotected sex. Additionally, the younger the woman, the more fertile she is, which results in a higher likelihood of pregnancy for young women having sex for the first time.
Myth: I can’t get pregnant from having sex while I am on my period.
Fact: While pregnancy is more likely to occur mid-cycle, there is still a likelihood of getting pregnant during menstruation. Sperm can remain alive and viable (able to fertilize an egg) in a woman’s body for four to five days.
Myth: If my partner pulls out before he ejaculates, I won’t get pregnant.
Fact: While the pull out (withdrawal) method lowers risk of pregnancy, especially when combined with another birth control method, it is not 100% successful on its own. Pre-ejaculate (pre-cum), a fluid secreted by the penis prior to ejaculation, can contain sperm. The man cannot feel or prevent this fluid from leaving his penis. When vaginal penetration by the penis occurs, there is always a chance it will result in pregnancy.
Myth: Vaginal douches, when used after sex, can prevent pregnancy.
Fact: Vaginal douches will not help prevent pregnancy, because the sperm has already begun to travel from the vagina toward the ovum. Some experts believe douches actually push the sperm farther into the vaginal canal, but this is not a proven fact.
Myth: When I’m on the Pill, I won’t get pregnant or contract sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
Fact: The Pill does not protect against HIV (AIDS) or STIs. When used correctly, the Pill is an effective method of birth control, but no method is 100% successful at pregnancy prevention except abstinence.
Myth: I don’t have sex often enough to use a regular birth control, such as the Pill.
Fact: If a woman’s sexual activity is sporadic, there are other methods that can be used on an as-needed basis. These include condoms (more effective in combination with a spermicide), diaphragms, cervical caps, and the Today Sponge. The sponge remains effective for 24 hours, so a woman can insert it in the morning for an entire day of protection. However, some women appreciate the constant protection afforded by regular birth control such as the Pill, the Patch, the Ring, the Shot, etc. so that they’re always prepared for spontaneous sexual activity.