Throughout our lives, women and girls share information on when the best time of the month is to get pregnant, and when it is safe to be intimate without worrying about getting pregnant. But many of these theories are false and end up causing unwanted and unplanned pregnancies. The following are five common myths surrounding getting pregnant.
Myth #1 – You cannot get pregnant if you are having your period.
It is commonly thought that a woman is fertile and able to get pregnant between the 10th and 17th day of their cycle. According to this theory, it would not be possible to become pregnant during your period, which is the beginning of the monthly cycle. A study completed in 2000 by the National Institute of Environmental Sciences shows this is not necessarily true. Two percent of the women participating in the study entered their fertile cycle four days into their cycle and an additional 17% of the women became fertile by the seventh day. Sperm can live inside a woman for five days. If this is added to the early fertile time, women can become pregnant even if they engage in sexual intercourse during their period.
Myth #2 – Pregnancy can be avoided if your partner “pulls out” before ejaculation.
This myth is false for a number of different reasons. The first reason is that a small amount of fluid is released before ejaculation. This fluid can contain sperm and can cause pregnancy. The second reason is that for some men, ejaculation can occur without much warning (this happens more often in younger men) and there may not be enough time to pull out. The third reason is that even if there is no sperm or fluid released before ejaculation and the man does pull out, if ejaculation occurs close to the vagina, sperm can still swim into the vagina and cause pregnancy.
Myth #3 – If a woman showers or douches right after sex, it will wash out any sperm and will prevent pregnancy.
Sperm are very quick swimmers. It takes only a second for them to swim to the cervix after ejaculation. By the time a woman gets up, goes into the bathroom and turns on the shower, pregnancy could have begun.