Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Getting Pregnant (Or Avoiding It)

Pregnancy is what happens when a guy’s sperm meets up with a woman’s egg and the fertilized egg sticks to the lining of the woman’s uterus. So any type of sex where semen gets inside the vagina could result in a pregnancy—even if a guy’s penis is near but not inside the woman’s vagina when he ejaculates. It doesn’t matter what position you’re in—reverse cowgirl, missionary, standing, whatever. Sperm + egg + sticking to the uterus = pregnancy.

But just how likely is a woman to get pregnant from unprotected sex? It depends on where she is in her cycle.

Can I really get pregnant during my period?

The short answer is YES! If you have regular periods, you are less likely to get pregnant while on your period than at other times in your cycle—but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. How do I know it’s not impossible? There have been tests of a fertility awareness method called “Standard Days”—where women have unprotected sex at specific times in their cycle, including while on their period. About one in four women using this method get pregnant. The bottom line is that if you really don’t want to be pregnant, use birth control every time you have sex.

How can I tell if my period is “regular”?

A regular period is one that comes at about the same time each month. Most women have cycles lasting between 25 and 28 days, but there is a range. For some women, their regular cycle can be up to 35 days!

Here’s how to figure out whether you have a regular period:

  • Step 1: Start by counting the first day that your period begins as day one.
  • Step 2: Count each day after that until you get your period again.
  • Step 3: Start over with day one. That’s it!

If you count for a few cycles and all your periods are about the same number of days, then you have a regular period. Not every cycle will be the exact same number of days, but don’t sweat it—it’s normal to have a few days more or less each month.

Your period is irregular if it happens at very different times from one cycle to the next—for example, 24 days, then 32 days, then 27 days. If two or more months go by and you don’t have a period, that’s also irregular. It’s common to have irregular periods, especially within the first few years of starting to menstruate. If you have an irregular period, some methods of birth control can help make it more regular.

What does ovulation have to do with it?

In general, if you have any type of period and you’re not on a birth control method that blocks the release of an egg, you ovulate. Ovulation is the release of an egg from a woman’s ovary. A woman is most likely to get pregnant if she has sex without birth control around the time it happens.

If you’ve counted the length of your cycles as described above, you can estimate when you ovulate. It usually happens about halfway through your cycle. So for a 28-day cycle, it happens around day 14.

If you’re really into learning about your body, you can find out more about when you ovulate by checking your cervical mucus and taking your temperature every morning before you get out of bed. Before you try these techniques, I highly recommend taking a class about them or talking to an experienced healthcare provider. There are also ovulation kits you can buy at a drug store to find out exactly when you’re ovulating. Another chance to pee on a stick!

How soon can you test for a pregnancy after unprotected sex?

If you’re worried about a pregnancy, it doesn’t work to take a pregnancy test the day after you had sex. Here’s why:

  • It takes a fertilized egg about a week to implant into the lining of the uterus. Sometimes it can take up to 12 days.
  • Once implantation occurs, your body begins making a pregnancy hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG).
  • Home pregnancy tests measure hCG in urine to determine if you’re pregnant. Clinics can measure hCG in urine or in a blood sample.
  • It takes a little while for there to be enough hCG to measure with any test.

All this means that you have to wait two weeks after unprotected sex to get an accurate pregnancy test result.

It’s too early for a pregnancy test… Is it too late for EC?

If you’re worried about being pregnant and it’s been less than five days since you had unprotected sex, there’s one important thing you can do right away: use emergency contraception (EC).

  • Emergency contraceptive pills block ovulation up to 5 days after unprotected sex, although they are more effective the sooner you take them.
  • If you want emergency contraception plus long-lasting and highly effective birth control, consider a copper IUD. It prevents pregnancy when inserted up to 5 days after unprotected sex, and goes on to provide almost 100% effective birth control for up to 12 years.

As always, if you have questions or want more details, talk to your health care provider!

Related:
When Are Women Most Likely to Get Pregnant?
Forget to Take a Pill? Get a Reminder Text
How Emergency Contraception Works

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Meredith Warden MD, MPH is a Family Planning Clinical Fellow and an Ob/Gyn at the University of California, San Francisco. She lives in San Francisco with her fantastic skateboarding husband and their little mini dachshund named Stretch. She loves being outside doing anything, and reading anywhere, anytime.

 

Originally published on bedsider.org

272 comments

Sandra R.
Sandra R.4 days ago

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Sandra R.
Sandra R.5 days ago

I never knew people still have powers and make things happened this way. My name is Sandra Ruths am from London. my boyfriend Slay Scot left me for another girl for three months' ever since then my life have been filled with pains sorrow and heart break because he was my first love who dis virgin me when i was 21 years old. about two years ago, A friend of mine kido matthew told me he saw some testimonies of this great Dr osauyi that he can bring back lover within some few days, i laugh it out and said i am not interested but because of the love my friend had for me, she consulted the great priest on my behalf and to my greatest surprise after three days my boyfriend is going to call me for the very first time after three months that he is missing me and that he is so sorry for every thing he made me went through. i still can't believe it, because it highly unbelievable it just too real to be real. Thank you Dr osauyi for bringing back my lover and also to my lovely friend who interceded on my behalf, for any one who might need the help of this great priest here is the email address Osauyilovespellhelp@gmail.com or you can call the great man on +2347064294395

SEND
 .
.11 days ago

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.13 days ago

Now that i got my man back it's would be unfair if I don't share my experience to the whole world on how i got him back.That is why I am here this day to let the world know that there are real powers in spell casting as DR OCUSODO has proven to me by bringing joy and happiness to my relationship and my family in just 2days after i got him contacted . I never believed in any of these things until i loosed my boyfriend, I required help until i found drocusodospellcaster@gmail.com or drocusodospellcaster@gmail.com A great spell caster,who cast a love spell for me, and he assured me that I will get my boyfriend back in two days after the spell has been cast. two days later, my phone rang, and so shockingly, it was my boyfriend who has not called me for past 4 months now, and made an apology for the heart break, and told me that he is ready to be my back bone till the rest of his life with me.Dr OCUSODO released him up to know how much i loved and wanted him. And opened his eyes to picture how much we have share together. As I'm writing this testimony right now I'm the most happiest girl on earth and me and my boyfriend is living a happy life and our love is now stronger than how it were even before our break up. So that's why I promised to share my testimony all over the universe.All thanks goes to Dr OCUSODO for the excessive work that he has done for me. Below is the email address in situation you are undergoing a heart break, and I assuring the whole univ

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 .
.13 days ago

Now that i got my man back it's would be unfair if I don't share my experience to the whole world on how i got him back.That is why I am here this day to let the world know that there are real powers in spell casting as DR OCUSODO has proven to me by bringing joy and happiness to my relationship and my family in just 2days after i got him contacted . I never believed in any of these things until i loosed my boyfriend, I required help until i found drocusodospellcaster@gmail.com or drocusodospellcaster@gmail.com A great spell caster,who cast a love spell for me, and he assured me that I will get my boyfriend back in two days after the spell has been cast. two days later, my phone rang, and so shockingly, it was my boyfriend who has not called me for past 4 months now, and made an apology for the heart break, and told me that he is ready to be my back bone till the rest of his life with me.Dr OCUSODO released him up to know how much i loved and wanted him. And opened his eyes to picture how much we have share together. As I'm writing this testimony right now I'm the most happiest girl on earth and me and my boyfriend is living a happy life and our love is now stronger than how it were even before our break up. So that's why I promised to share my testimony all over the universe.All thanks goes to Dr OCUSODO for the excessive work that he has done for me. Below is the email address in situation you are undergoing a heart break, and I assuring the whole univ

SEND
Gloria A
Gloria A14 days ago

Happy to tell the world how wonderful Dr Otoide has restore my dignity as a woman back to me. it been 2years in marriage with my husband and i have never conceive i wonder what was wrong wih me, so i searched out for a remedy and fortunately i met with the great spell caster Dr Otoide who has helped severally others with the same issues and i was very glad when i wrote to him on his email he told me to calm down that everything will fine once he is done casting spell for me that i will be pregnant again, and h gave me the instruction on how he spell worked and i agreed with his terms and i gave him all that he needed to cast my spell, and indeed after 48hours he was done and told me that the next morning i will be pregnant and i believed him and that was how i got pregnant by the help of Dr Otoide a very great spell caster that can help you too on any challenges that you might be passing through. just contact him today on his Email:drotoidespelltemple@gmail.com or his phone number:+2347089081873 or his websites:https://drotoidesolutionte.wixsite.com/dr-otoide

SEND
 .
.14 days ago

Now that i got my man back it's would be unfair if I don't share my experience to the whole world on how i got him back.That is why I am here this day to let the world know that there are real powers in spell casting as DR OCUSODO has proven to me by bringing joy and happiness to my relationship and my family in just 2days after i got him contacted . I never believed in any of these things until i loosed my boyfriend, I required help until i found drocusodospellcaster@gmail.com or drocusodospellcaster@gmail.com A great spell caster,who cast a love spell for me, and he assured me that I will get my boyfriend back in two days after the spell has been cast. two days later, my phone rang, and so shockingly, it was my boyfriend who has not called me for past 4 months now, and made an apology for the heart break, and told me that he is ready to be my back bone till the rest of his life with me.Dr OCUSODO released him up to know how much i loved and wanted him. And opened his eyes to picture how much we have share together. As I'm writing this testimony right now I'm the most happiest girl on earth and me and my boyfriend is living a happy life and our love is now stronger than how it were even before our break up. So that's why I promised to share my testimony all over the universe.All thanks goes to Dr OCUSODO for the excessive work that he has done for me. Below is the email address in situation you are undergoing a heart break, and I assuring the whole univ

SEND
 .
.14 days ago

Now that i got my man back it's would be unfair if I don't share my experience to the whole world on how i got him back.That is why I am here this day to let the world know that there are real powers in spell casting as DR OCUSODO has proven to me by bringing joy and happiness to my relationship and my family in just 2days after i got him contacted . I never believed in any of these things until i loosed my boyfriend, I required help until i found drocusodospellcaster@gmail.com or drocusodospellcaster@gmail.com A great spell caster,who cast a love spell for me, and he assured me that I will get my boyfriend back in two days after the spell has been cast. two days later, my phone rang, and so shockingly, it was my boyfriend who has not called me for past 4 months now, and made an apology for the heart break, and told me that he is ready to be my back bone till the rest of his life with me.Dr OCUSODO released him up to know how much i loved and wanted him. And opened his eyes to picture how much we have share together. As I'm writing this testimony right now I'm the most happiest girl on earth and me and my boyfriend is living a happy life and our love is now stronger than how it were even before our break up. So that's why I promised to share my testimony all over the universe.All thanks goes to Dr OCUSODO for the excessive work that he has done for me. Below is the email address in situation you are undergoing a heart break, and I assuring the whole univ

SEND
Twanna C.
Twanna C.14 days ago

Hi My name is 'Michael Shane' just want to share my experience with the world on how i got my love back and saved my marriage... I was married for 7years with 2kids and we lived happily until things started getting ugly and we had fights and arguments almost every time... it got worse at a point that she filed for divorce... I tried my best to make her change her mind & stay with me cause i loved her with all my heart and didn't want to loose her but everything just didn't work out... she moved out of the house and still went ahead to file for divorce... I pleaded and tried everything but still nothing worked. The breakthrough came when someone introduced me to this wonderful, great spell caster who eventually helped me out... I have never been a fan of things like this but just decided to try reluctantly cause I was desperate and left with no choice... He did special prayers and used roots and herbs... Within 7 days she called me and was sorry for all the emotional trauma she had cost me, moved back to the house and we continue to live happily, the kids are happy too and we are expecting our third child. I have introduced him to a lot of couples with problems across the world and they have had good news... Just thought I should share my experience cause I strongly believe someone out there need's it... You can email him via eromosalelovespell@outlook.com Don't give up just yet, the different between 'Ordinary' & 'Extra-Ordinary' is the 'Extra' so make extra eff

SEND
Gloria A
Gloria A17 days ago

Happy to tell the world how wonderful Dr Otoide has restore my dignity as a woman back to me. it been 2years in marriage with my husband and i have never conceive i wonder what was wrong wih me, so i searched out for a remedy and fortunately i met with the great spell caster Dr Otoide who has helped severally others with the same issues and i was very glad when i wrote to him on his email he told me to calm down that everything will fine once he is done casting spell for me that i will be pregnant again, and h gave me the instruction on how he spell worked and i agreed with his terms and i gave him all that he needed to cast my spell, and indeed after 48hours he was done and told me that the next morning i will be pregnant and i believed him and that was how i got pregnant by the help of Dr Otoide a very great spell caster that can help you too on any challenges that you might be passing through. just contact him today on his Email:drotoidespelltemple@gmail.com or his phone number:+2347089081873 or his websites:https://drotoidesolutionte.wixsite.com/dr-otoide

SEND