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You Can Get Pregnant if...

Lately I have been getting inundated with questions from women ending with "Am I pregnant?" so I just want to clear up what needs to happen in order for you to even think there could be a remote possibility that you are preggers.

In order to get pregnant, you must have sex when you are ovulating, about 10-18 days after the first day of your period. During ovulation, your body releases an egg from one of its ovaries (you have two) each month and in order to get pregnant, a sperm has to unite with your egg. Since sperm can live up to 5 days inside a woman's body, technically a sperm could still be swimming inside you in which case it is possible it can fertilize your egg. Stress and taking certain meds can make you ovulate later in your cycle or not at all, which is why your period can be "late," so if you are worried you might be pregnant, take a pregnancy test.

What about if a guy ejaculates outside of your body? To find out,

If a guy ejaculates outside of your body, you can't get pregnant unless his semen comes in contact with your vagina. After he ejaculates, if you're still wanting to continue your intimacy, it's a good idea for both of you to wash your hands and any area where his sperm is present just in case.

Also, having sex while you have your period is usually a "safe" time, but if you don't want to end up a mom, use birth control! Find a method that's right for you. Condoms work well, but the guy MUST put one on before having sex, even if it's for a few minutes. Why? Pre-cum is a liquid that comes out of a man's penis before he ejaculates and it can contain sperm, so you don't want that inside you whatsoever since pre-cum can get you pregnant.

The Pill, the NuvaRing, and other hormonal birth control methods are great too. They prevent you from ovulating in the first place so they are very effective at protecting you against pregnancy, but only when used properly. They don't however protect you from STIs - only condoms can do that.

This can be a confusing subject, so feel free to keep the questions coming. It's better to know the facts than to end up pregnant.


Join The Conversation
reese05 reese05 10 years
We were just thought all the normal stuff about women. These things are mostly only counseled to married women. sad but true! I've learnt all of that from friends...
ninjastarlett ninjastarlett 10 years
They need to teach these things... abstinence-only sex ed is one of the stupidest ideas I've ever heard of... "Let's educate people by withholding information!" Yeah...
oklahoma oklahoma 10 years
I'm glad you posted this.. I am trying to get pregnant, and having a very hard time. I enjoy seeing a post here & there w/ new info. I've been w/ someone for almost 10 years, we've always practiced "when in doubt, pull out", I don't think its luck that has kept us from getting pregnant.
sparklestar sparklestar 10 years
I run a very large website which gives advice to teenagers. It is UNBELIEVABLE that teenagers would have unprotected sex in this day and age but they do. Not to mention the ones who come to the site wanting information in order to get pregnant.. terrifying!
junebrug junebrug 10 years
While it's sad that so many women don't know this, Dear Sugar has nothing to apologize for simple because -- so many women don't know this. It can be hard to believe but it's better to find a post like this than receive one from a teenager months from now crying that she's pregnant.
Muirnea Muirnea 10 years
This is a good post to have. I didn't know everything it said. People should be more understanding of people who don't know all this stuff. Thats partially why this website is help people.
ThePerfectScore ThePerfectScore 10 years
This is why sexual education is so important... Not just teaching abstinence... People need to be informed about every aspect of sex so that they can make an intelligent decision for their lives and understand the fundamental reality of creation... sperm+egg=babies... It's really not that hard to understand and there are soo many pretty reliable (many 99% if used correctly) ways to prevent pregnancy
DulceKisses DulceKisses 10 years
I agree who ever asked those questions should go talk to thier OB/GYN...
KerryG KerryG 10 years
I was homeschooled and around the time I was 11 or 12, puberty/sex ed books started mysteriously appearing on our bookshelves, followed by The Talk from my mom when I was about 13. It's so sad to me that so many girls (and guys) are out there in the world with no idea how to protect themselves. I am all for sex ed that *encourages* abstinence, but as far as I'm concerned, abstinence *only* sex ed is criminal negligence, plain and simple.
ash_marisa ash_marisa 10 years
In the state I grew up in, I got sex ed in 6th grade (elementary), jr high in 8th, and high school in 10th as part of PE and health. I moved to a new state for grad school, and many of the high schoolers here have never had sex ed. It is SHOCKING!
emma- emma- 10 years
"Having sex while you have your period is usually a 'safe' time"? I can't fathom the idea of having sex while on my period.
pinupsweetheart pinupsweetheart 10 years
Thank you for posting this. I have seen too many "I am pregant?" posts lately.
Greggie Greggie 10 years
I take issue with "about 10 to 18 days after the first day of your period." While this may be the average range, by no means do all women fit within that. My cycles range from ovulating within 5 days of the onset of my period to not ovulating for 45 days. I find that part of the explanation to be misleading. I went to Catholic school and was taught full sex ed in 5th grade. ;)
nybella nybella 10 years
wow, i can't believe there needs to be a post on this.
ccsugar ccsugar 10 years
I had NO idea what pre-cum was until I was 15 and had lost my virginity w/my bf, and had a pregnancy scare. AT FIFTEEN. I wish this would've been taught at my school.
LaLaLaurie06 LaLaLaurie06 10 years
most schools teach abstinence only. it's sad, but there are teenagers (and pre-teens) having sex and with a lack of education, they don't know how to protect themselves nor do they really understand what sex is all about in the first place, but that could be due to the sexualization of society in general, which is a whole other topic.
DearSugar DearSugar 10 years
I am glad to hear that most of you know all this information, but unfortunately, there are MANY women out there that were either never taught or aren't sure how and when they can get pregnant. I am sorry if this is repetitive for some of you but other desperately need a re-fresher. -DearSugar
Brians-Girl Brians-Girl 10 years
i learnt this all in school... but i mean you learn it when you like 14... soo your more interested in seein someone naked then really payin attention to what the teacher is tellin you! and i also had one of those teachers, who you can tell just by look at them how UNCOMFORTABLE they are talkin about sex.. so they kinda skim through it... so i think havin this is a good reminder as to EXACTLY how it can happen!
80z-Movie-Queen 80z-Movie-Queen 10 years
I got this talk in Jr. High! Soon, I know, but then again...I knew some people having sex as early at 6th grade!
em1282 em1282 10 years
Hahaha, I'm on the same page as drummerchick. Yes, we were told about menstruation, but that was about it. In high school we had a whole assembly where they showed us microscope slides of STIs--basically, "Don't have sex or you'll end up with gonorrhea!" Everything I know about sexual health I've pretty much had to learn on my own through my doctor and reading materials.
drummerchick1 drummerchick1 10 years
i grew up in the church, so all i ever got was "don't have sex" and i had to go to a christian school (not by choice, but for my safety) so they only said "dont have sex"
brokenbracelet brokenbracelet 10 years
yeah, i didnt learn any of this in school! We didnt have sex ed, the girls just learned about getting their periods and the boys went to another room to learn about "boy stuff" lol! I specifically can recall a time my senior year of HS one of my friends asking me if she could get pregnant without having sex
thehabra thehabra 10 years
eaker eaker 10 years
This is the saddest post I've ever read. Shouldn't people be learning this in school, or from their parents before they become sexually active? I knew all this when I was 10.
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