What sex has the risk of pregnancy?
- you don’t use any contraceptive method (e.g. birth control, IUD, condom), OR;
- something reduces the effectiveness of your contraceptive method (e.g. certain medications, vomiting or diarrhea that expels the contraceptive pill from your body), OR;
- the contraceptive is not used properly (e.g. forgetting to use it, delay in use, condom breakage), AND;
- semen or pre-ejaculate comes into direct contact with the vulva or vagina 💦. For example, during vaginal penetration, when rubbing the vulva against the penis without any clothing in between, or if semen or pre-ejaculate touches the vulva via fingers or an object.
What if I use birth control or protection?
As a general rule, if you are using your preferred contraceptive method properly and you have an additional method like a condom in case of unexpected issues, like if you forget or take your birth control pill, you are still adequately protected. 👍☔️ However, remember that only condoms can also protect you from BBSTIs.
Unfortunately, no contraceptive method is 100% effective. However, as long as you are using it correctly, most of them come pretty close. ✅
Also, don’t be afraid to use a second type of barrier, like a condom, or practise lower-risk sexual behaviours, such as avoiding ejaculating near the vulva, if it helps you feel more protected
Myth or Reality?
If unprotected sex has happened, there’s a risk of pregnancy. Yes, even if you’re menstruating! You probably know that you’re most likely to get pregnant around the time you’re ovulating, so roughly 14 days before your period. But what you might not know is that sperm can survive in the uterus for up to 5 days, and that the timing of ovulation can change by a few days. In other words, there’s no such thing as a “safe” day where you can be absolutely sure you’re not going to get pregnant if you don’t use contraception.
Pre-cum can contain sperm. Pre-ejaculate, or pre-cum, is the small amount of clear liquid that comes out of the penis when a person is aroused. This means that as soon as the penis enters the vagina, there’s a risk of pregnancy, even if ejaculation doesn’t happen. That’s why pulling out (sometimes called ‘coitus interruptus’) is not an effective way to prevent pregnancy. You should use a condom instead.
Sperm die very quickly when they come in contact with air, only a few seconds. They also can’t climb, jump, or crawl through fabric.
Sperm can only survive out in the open for a few seconds and can’t survive hand-washing, even if you don’t use soap. They die pretty much as soon as they come into contact with water, but it’s better for you and your partner to avoid touching your genitals right after ejaculation.
Sperm die almost instantly when they come into contact with the water. That said, water isn’t a form of birth control! If penetration happens in the water and you don’t use protection, there’s still a risk of pregnancy.