For some teens, an unexpected pregnancy is a reality. At a time when your biggest decision should be what to watch on Netlix and who to take to formal, finding out your pregnant and deciding what to do next can be all too much.
In many cases, it's unexpected and can come as a shock, which is why it's super-important to be informed on how it could happen in the first place. There are so many myths surrounding how you can (and can't) be pregnant, but it's crucial you know the truth. DOLLY doctor Melissa King, general practitioner and lecturer at Sydney University, sorts nonsense from #fact:
MYTH #1: The first time is a free pass
Nope guys, you may have heard that your eggs take a few years before they can be fertilised but that’s not the case. Your period is your body’s way of preparing itself for pregnancy. You can fall pregnant the very first time that you have sex, just as you can any other time.
MYTH #2: You won't get pregnant if a guy doesn't ejaculate (cum) inside you
The pull-out method (where the guy withdraws his penis before ejaculating) is not a form of birth control. It’s incredibly ineffective. Fluid can come out of a penis even before a guy ejaculates and it may contain sperm.
MYTH #3: Having sex upside-down reduces the chance of pregnancy
Wrong. Same goes for standing on your heads while flying trapeze – whatever position you’re in, it can happen! There’s a reason sperm is nicknamed “swimmers”. They’ve got one job to do – and they’re determined to do it.
MYTH #4: If you wash you vagina or wee after sex, you're lowering your change of getting pregnant
Washing (also known as douching) the inside of your vagina will do the opposite and can increase your chance of getting pregnant. The force of the fluid can push the semen even further up and into the uterus. Urine comes through a small tube called the urethra, which opens just above the vagina (have a look with a mirror). Weeing after sex won’t ‘flush out’ any semen that’s in the vagina since the urethra and vagina are not connected.
MYTH #5: Certain food and drinks can lower his sperm count
Whoever came up with this far-fetched theory probs failed chemistry because the idea that drinking litres and litres of Mountain Dew so the food colouring and caffeine will stop his semen from working properly is not at all true.
MYTH #6: If you have sex during your period, you can't get pregnant
When you have your period, the risk of falling pregnant is only very slightly reduced. An egg can still be in your fallopian tubes and can be fertilised at ANY time.
MYTH #7: Two condoms work better than one
Wearing one condom over the other might sound like pretty good advice, but it isn't. Ever heard of a thing called friction? Two condoms rubbing together are much more likely to break.
MYTH #8: If you take your friend's birth control pills just before having sex, you won't get pregnant
First of all, you should never take prescription medication without chatting with your doctor first. Secondly, you need to be taking the Pill every day from the start of your period for at least seven days before it become effective. It can depend on the type of pill you take, which is why it's important to get your own prescription.
MYTH #9: The only way to not get pregnant is to have anal sex
While most of us can’t get pregnant via anal sex, there was a rare case when one woman did (her uterus was fused to her rectum). However unlikely your chances of that happening (literally one in a million), don’t ever let a guy pressure you into doing it just because you “won’t get pregnant”. The only reason would be if you feel OK trying it.
MYTH #10: If the guy you're sleeping with masturbates before you have sex, his sperm count is weakened
OK he may ejaculate fewer sperm, but we’re talking 200 million instead of 400 million. To become pregnant, you need just one sperm – and they all have the same potency or ‘strength’. So, ejaculating more than once a day is not an effective method of contraception.
MYTH #11: It's impossible to get pregnant if you have sex in water
Nope, this can still lead to pregnancy. Having sex in a bath, shower, ocean, pool, spa, puddle, waterfall or monsoon will not have any effect on whether or not you get pregnant.
So now you're all clued up there should be no surprises (yay!). Remember, no form of birth control is 100 per cent effective. Using condoms is 95-99 per cent effective in preventing pregnancy and protecting against STIs, and the Pill is 95-99 per cent effective - but these stats only ring true when these forms of contraception are used correctly. So if you are having sex, use protection every.single.time the way it should be used.
Stay safe out there, guys. XX