Myths

There's a lot of incorrect information out there about sex and pregnancy.  Here are some common myths and some honest, factual information.

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  A person can't get pregnant if they stand on their head or jump up and down after they have sex.

FALSE: There is no position that will prevent the sperm from reaching the egg. Once the sperm have entered the vagina, there is a chance that someone could get pregnant. If someone has sex, no matter what position, and does not use a condom or other form of birth control, the only way to make sure is by taking emergency birth control within 72 hours. The only way to prevent pregnancy 100% is by being abstinent and not having sex.

  A person can't get pregnant if they have sex standing up.

FALSE: There is no position that will prevent the sperm from reaching the egg. Once the sperm have entered the vagina, there is a chance that someone could get pregnant. If someone has sex, no matter what position, and does not use a condom or other form of birth control, the only way to make sure is by taking emergency birth control within 72 hours. The only way to prevent pregnancy 100% is by being abstinent and not having sex.

  A person can't get pregnant if they have sex in a hot tub or swimming pool.

FALSE: While frequent soaks in a hot tub may lower a persons sperm count, it doesn't eliminate it. Having sex in water, no matter what tempurature it is, will not kill sperm, wash them away, or prevent pregnancy. Once the sperm have entered the vagina, there is a chance that someone could get pregnant. If someone has sex, no matter what position or where it happens, and does not use a condom or other form of birth control, they are at risk of getting pregnant. They can reduce that risk by taking emergency birth control within 72 hours. However, the only way to prevent pregnancy 100% is by being abstinent and not having sex.

  A person can't get pregnant if they pee immediately after sex.

FALSE: The urethra, where pee comes out, is not connected to the vagina. Peeing after sex will not rinse sperm out of the vagina. Once the sperm have entered the vagina, there is a chance that someone could get pregnant. If someone has sex, no matter what they do afterwards, and does not use a condom or other form of birth control, they can get pregnant. Taking emergency birth control within 72 hours can reduce this risk. However, the only way to prevent pregnancy 100% is by being abstinent and not having sex.

  A person can't get pregnant if they douche or take a bath after sex.

FALSE: Douching (spraying a vinegar solution into the vagina) can be harmful because it changes the natural vaginal flora (bacteria that live in the vagina that are necessary to be healthy) and can make someone more likely to get vaginal infections or sexually transmitted infections. Besides the fact that thousands of sperm can reach the uterus before the person douches, douching can actually push sperm further into the vagina - helping them along. Once the sperm have entered the vagina, there is a chance that someone could get pregnant. If someone has sex and does not use a condom or other form of birth control, they are at risk of pregnancy. Taking emergency birth control within 72 hours can reduce this risk. However, the only way to prevent pregnancy 100% is by being abstinent and not having sex.

  A person can't get pregnant if they don't have sex for very long or there isn't any penetration.

FALSE:  When there is sexual excitement, it is possible that some fluid (pre-ejaculate or pre-cum) can be discharged before the person ejaculates (finishes, cums). They cannot tell when this happens. Since this fluid may contain sperm, it is possible to get pregnant even if they pull out before they ejaculate. It is also possible for sperm to enter the body, even if there is no penetration. Once the sperm have entered the vagina, there is a chance that someone could get pregnant. If someone has sex, no matter what position, and does not use a condom or other form of birth control, they can get pregnant. Taking emergency birth control within 72 hours can reduce this risk. However, the only way to prevent pregnancy 100% is by being abstinent and not having sex.

  A person can't get pregnant if they don't have an orgasm or don't reach orgasm at the same time.

FALSE: A person can get pregnant regardless of whether or not they have an orgasm. It is possible that some fluid (pre-ejaculate or pre-cum) can be discharged before the person ejaculates (orgasms, cums). They cannot tell when this happens. Since this fluid may contain sperm, it is possible to get pregnant even if they pull out before they ejaculate. Once the sperm have entered the vagina, there is a chance that someone could get pregnant. If someone has sex, no matter what position, and does not use a condom or other form of birth control, they can get pregnant. Taking emergency birth control within 72 hours can reduce this risk. However, the only way to prevent pregnancy 100% is by being abstinent and not having sex.

  A person can't get pregnant if they sneeze after sex.

FALSE: Sneezing will not eliminate sperm that has entered the vagina. Once the sperm have entered the vagina, there is a chance that someone could get pregnant. If someone has sex, no matter what position, and does not use a condom or other form of birth control, they can get pregnant. Taking emergency birth control within 72 hours can reduce this risk. However, the only way to prevent pregnancy 100% is by being abstinent and not having sex.

  A person can't get pregnant before they have their first period.

FALSE: Ovulation (egg being released by the ovaries) happens before someone gets their first period. If an egg is present, sperm can fertilize that egg resulting in pregnancy.

  A person can't get pregnant if they push really hard on their belly button after sex.

FALSE: Pushing on a persons belly button will not eliminate sperm from the vagina. Once the sperm have entered the vagina, there is a chance that someone could get pregnant. If someone has sex, no matter what position, and does not use a condom or other form of birth control, they can get pregnant. Taking emergency birth control within 72 hours can reduce this risk. However, the only way to prevent pregnancy 100% is by being abstinent and not having sex.

  A person can't get pregnant if they use the withdrawl method. (pulling out)

FALSE: When there is sexual excitement, it is possible that some fluid (pre-ejaculate or pre-cum) can be discharged before the person ejaculates (finishes, cums). They cannot tell when this happens. Since this fluid may contain sperm, it is possible to get pregnant even if they pull out before they ejaculate. The withdrawl or pull out method also requires a lot of trust between partners.  A lot of trust is placed on the the person with the penis to know when to pull out and to make sure that they can pull out in the heat of the moment.  For these reasons, the pull out method should only be used in a relationship with a lot of trust and communication.

  A person can tell if someone is a virgin.

FALSE: It is very difficult to tell if someone is a virgin just by looking at their genitals. Besides that, people have different definitions of what being a vigin really means.  Some people think that if the hymen- the thin tissue that stretches partly over the vaginal opening- is perfectly intact then a person is a virgin, but this not always the case. People have varying amounts of hymen tissue, and the hymen can be stretched and opened from many non-sexual activities such as riding a bike, using a tampon, or playing certain sports.

People who have an intact hymen may experience some pain or bleeding the first time they have vaginal sex (intercourse).  However, if someone doesn't bleed or have pain after sex, it doesn't meant they have had sex before. 

  A person can get HIV/AIDS from kissing, sitting on public toilets, or sharing eating utensils.

FALSE:  Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) the virus that causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) cannot be spread through casual contact.  Casual contact includes things like sharing drinking cups, utensils, combs, hugging, or touching.

HIV is only spread through four kinds of bodily fluids: semen (cum), blood, vaginal fluid, and breast milk.  Activities that include risk of HIV spread are unprotected oral, anal or vaginal sex; sharing needles for drug use or for self-tattooing and piercing; or an HIV positive woman breast feeding a child.

HIV is not spread readily through saliva.  So kissing alone will not spread HIV.  However, if both of the kissing partners has a bleeding sore, bleeding gums, or a bleeding cut in their mouth the blood could potentially spread HIV. 

  A person can get a sexually transmitted infection (STI) from oral sex.

TRUE: Some sexually transmitted infections  such as Herpes can be spread through intimate skin to skin contact.  You can protect yourself by using a dental dam or condom for oral sex.  A dental dam is a thin sheet of latex that can be used as a barrier for oral sex on a vulva and oral sex on an anus. Condoms can be used as a barrier for oral sex on a penis. You can find dental dams online or make your own by cutting a condom on one side and flattening it out. 

  A person can get pregnant while on their period.

TRUE: There is a chance that someone can get pregnant while on their period. First of all, sperm can survive for up to a week inside the vagina - meaning that if someone ovulates right after they finish their period, they could get pregnant. While most people ovulate or release an egg from the ovaries mid-cycle (approximately 14 days after the start of their last period), everyone is different and most women don't have a regular, predictable cycles until they're in their 20's. 

  Drinking Mountain Dew will prevent pregnancy.

FALSE: Contrary to popular belief, Mountain Dew does not lower a man’s sperm count.

  Condoms are reusable.

FALSE: Condoms cannot be washed out and re-used. Condoms should be thrown away after one use or if the package has been previously opened. Also, if you or your partner put a condom on upside down, you should throw that condom out and start over with a new one, you cannot turn the condom around and use it once it touches the penis or risk pregnancy or Sexually Transmitted Infection

  You should use two condoms at once to increase your protection against sexually transmitted infections and pregnancy.

FALSE: Using two condoms can actually increase your risk of the condom breaking. When two condoms rub together, no matter if they have lube or not, it causes friction and heat. This friction can cause the condom to break or tear, increasing the risk of exposure of sexually transmitted infections and sperm being released into the vagina. 

  Someone can tell if a person has a sexually transmitted infection (STI)

FALSE: Most often sexually transmitted infections can be present without any symptoms. The best way to know for sure is to get tested. Someone who is sexually active, especially those with multiple partners, should get tested on a regular basis. 

  Plastic wrap works the same way a condom does in pregnancy prevention.

FALSE: Condoms are specifically made to fit snuggly on the penis as a barrier for semen and STI's. Plastic wrap does not offer the same fit or protection for vaginal or anal intercourse. In a pinch, non-microwavable plastic wrap can be used as a barrier for oral sex only. 

  Taking the birth control pill on day one of the menstrual cycle or only taking it when a person has sex ensures that they will not get pregnant.

FALSE: It can take about a month (or one menstrual cycle) of taking the pill every day at the same time for it to be fully effective. In fact, some birth control pills (progestin only) are inneffective if not taken at the same time every day for the entire time someone is taking them, not just the first month. It is recommended to use a second form of protection (like a condom) for the first few weeks of taking the pill. Also, a person should always use a condom along with hormonal birth control methods to protect against STI's. 

  Everyone is doing it.

FALSE: According to the Spring 2017 Youth Risk Behavior Survey given to Milwaukee Public School students, less than 7% of Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) middle school students report having ever had sex, with 8% reporting that they've given or recieved oral sex, and only 32% of MPS high school students report ever having sex and the same number report giving or recieving oral sex. 

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