Pregnancy can be a scary thought, whether you're planning your children or are worried about an expected surprise. There is quite of lot of bad information out there and just plain confusion. To try and help simplify things a little more, here are the most common misconceptions and a few answers.
--Sperm dies when it hits the air. This is not true. In proper environments sperm can survive anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours. As long as it is moist and warm, it is likely still alive. Once sperm is dry, they are dead.
--Can I become pregnant without vaginal intercourse. With any genital to genital contact it is possible to become pregnant, and the same holds true for anal sex. The opening from the anus to the vagina is not far and sperm can drip down into the vagina. Again, this is not often but it DOES happen.
--If I have sex can I become pregnant. This is an extreme large YES. Many tend to forget the main purpose and function of sex and what it does. Sex is a means of reproduction, and there is ALWAYS a risk anytime you decide to engage in it.
--Can I become pregnant from the Withdrawal method. Again, this is a yes. Just because a man does not fully ejaculate into a female does NOT mean she is protected. When a male is aroused he secretes something called pre-ejaculatory fluid. Many assume this does not have sperm, but it does hence the term "pre-ejaculatory". The amount of sperm in this is not large, but it is there nonetheless.
--If I take my BC at different times can I become pregnant. Birth control is meant to be taken exactly as directed for best results. In most cases this is taking one everyday at the same TIME everyday. With perfect use the failure rate is around 1%. Most women however will skip days, or take them at different times. This will drop the effectiveness of the birth control, increasing your odds of pregnancy. Combination pills are slightly more forgiving than progesterone only pills, but it is better to get into a habit of taking them exactly as directed.
--Can I have a period while pregnant. This is one of the largest misconceptions out there. The answer is NO a female does not have a period while pregnant. You will always have the person who will say they have a friend who's cousins sister did, and this is inaccurate. To understand why, we have to understand the female body. A female ovulates BEFORE she has a menstrual cycle, and this is extremely important to keep in mind. For most, the average luteal phase is around 14 days, give or take a few days either way. With these in mind, we can go further into depth.
A female will usually ovulate 14 days or so before her period starts. During this time the body starts to produce large amounts of different hormones and the body prepares a uterine lining for a fertilized egg. Ovulation will then occur and the egg will start it's travel down the tubes. The viability of an egg is around 12-24 hours, so if in this time frame it is unfertilized the egg will dissolve and after so many days (dependent on the luteal phase of the female in question) the lining will shed and be washed out of the body in the form of a menstrual cycle. If the egg IS fertilized, it will start to divide as it works down into the uterus. Once there it will embed in the uterine lining and start to grow. To have a true menstrual cycle, this lining would need to be shed. IF this lining is shed, the egg (which is embedded in the lining) will be flushed out with the rest of the tissue and you therefor miscarry the child. If you shed this lining before the egg embeds it will have nothing to implant into and will also be flushed out with the rest of the tissue or will dissolve.
Remember- BLEEDING DOES NOT SIGNIFY A PERIOD. There are dozens of reasons a female can bleed, and it is impossible to pinpoint an exact reason why a female might.
--Does having pregnancy symptoms mean I'm pregnant. Absolutely not. There is a lot of importance that is put on pregnancy symptoms, and they're not actually important at all. You're going to feel different things at different times in your life, it's just how things go. Fatigue, hunger, nausea, headaches, backaches, etc are just things we deal with as we live on this planet. Being more hungry one day than another doesn't mean anything special.
--My boyfriend/husband/fiance has morning sickness and is tired, am I pregnant. Pregnancy symptoms are caused by the hCG hormone that is produced once the egg has implanted into the uterus. As men do not have this hormone, they WILL NOT have symptoms. There is such a thing as "sympathy symptoms" but these can only occur once a female has already been confirmed to be pregnant.
--When do symptoms start. Pregnancy symptoms can occur at the earliest 6 days after ovulation. This is the soonest the implantation happens, and until the egg has implanted nothing you feel is due to pregnancy. On average, symptoms will usually occur anywhere from 4-8 weeks of pregnancy.
--Do I have implantation bleeding/do you have to have implantation bleeding to be pregnant. This is another one that is widely abused. If you talked to 50 pregnant women, at least 40 will say they had implantation bleeding and in reality not that many do. Implantation bleeding occurs in around 30% of pregnancies and is misnamed. It is not a true flow, nor is there any proper "bleeding". If a female has it it will be a spot of blood when she uses the bathroom. In most cases it is brown or light pink, but some women have reported red spots of blood as well.
--Can implantation bleeding be heavy. Again, no implantation bleeding is NOT heavy. You have to remember the size of the egg. It is smaller than a dot, it is not going to cause any form of flow in a female. The words period and implantation bleeding get thrown around a lot when a female thinks she's pregnant because these are the two most common and easily used explanations, even if they are not correct.
--When can I take a pregnancy test This is also a commonly asked question. Pregnancy tests can be used at the earliest around 9 DPO, but you're not likely to get an accurate answer. For best results make sure to wait at least two weeks since you had sex (or since ovulation) and make sure to take a pregnancy test with FIRST MORNING URINE. Testing later in the day often leads to inaccurate results because the urine is too diluted to show a proper answer. Pink dye tests are also more likely to be accurate, as blue dye tests can have evap lines and/or false positives.
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