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Teen Sex and Pregnancy Myths

You've surely heard some old tales about preventing pregnancy if you're having sex. Here are some common pregnancy myths:

  • You can't get pregnant if you have sex standing up.
  • You can't get pregnant if it's your first time having sex.
  • You can't get pregnant if you do jumping jacks after sex.

All of the above are false. Whether you're a guy or a girl, make sure you know the truth about these sex and pregnancy myths so you can protect yourself from an unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

First, let's review your knowledge of human reproduction. Remember that sperm are very resilient organisms. They are designed to go from point A (the male) to point B (the female). Sperm have a mind of their own, and all they want to do is reach the female's egg. They do this by any means necessary. They can even survive in the womb for a number of days.

Pregnancy Myths: Keep Your Fingers Crossed, or Your Legs?

One pregnancy myth many teens believe is "If I don't ejaculate inside the vagina, you won't get pregnant." Or, "If I pull out, or just put it in a few times, you won't get pregnant."

Wrong. Did you know there is such a thing as pre-ejaculation? It's fluid that seeps out of the penis before the guy ejaculates. This fluid contains sperm, and the sperm are going to do whatever they can to get to the egg. If any semen is present around the penis and it comes in contact with any part of the vaginal area, there is a risk of pregnancy.

Some couples use the "rhythm method" of birth control, where they try to have sex only during "safe" periods of the female's monthly menstrual cycle. Unfortunately, there is still a high risk -- about 13% -- of getting pregnant. There is also a risk of contracting a sexually transmitted disease, because you're still having unprotected sex.

There are many more sex and pregnancy myths out there. Here are a few of the most common:

Pregnancy Myth: Having sex standing up prevents you from getting pregnant.

Reality: False. Having vaginal sex in any position carries the risk of pregnancy.

Pregnancy Myth: If a girl does "jumping jacks" after sex, she won't get pregnant.

Reality: False. You can jump up and down all you want, but if one sperm makes contact with one egg, bingo: Someone's pregnant.

Pregnancy Myth: If a girl doesn't have an orgasm, she won't get pregnant.

Reality: False. Female orgasms have no bearing on whether an egg can be fertilized.

Pregnancy Myth: Having sex in water prevents you from getting pregnant.

Reality: False again! Any sperm contact with the vagina increases your risk of getting pregnant. If the water temperature is proper, sperm can survive outside the body for several minutes. Many babies are born about 9 months after a guy and girl had sex while swimming around in a lake or the ocean.

Pregnancy Myth: A girl can't get pregnant if she has sex while on her period.

Reality: Again, untrue. Remember, a sperm can survive for up to a week inside the female.

Pregnancy Myth: Douching or washing my vagina out after sex will prevent me from getting pregnant.

Reality: Nope. Remember, sperm are designed to do one thing -- fertilize the egg. Even washing thoroughly after sex does not prevent you from becoming pregnant.

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