Birth Control: Myths About Sex and Pregnancy

Skip Navigation


Several myths about when a woman can or can't become pregnant persist, particularly among younger people.

Myths and truths about becoming pregnant



I can't get pregnant the first time I have vaginal intercourse.

Getting pregnant has nothing to do with how many times you have sex. If you are near the time of ovulation when you have sexual intercourse, you can get pregnant.

I can't get pregnant if I am very young.

If you have started your periods, you can get pregnant, even if your body isn't mature enough to handle the stress of pregnancy. In fact, some girls ovulate a couple of weeks before their first-ever period. Girls age 10 or 11 are known to have become pregnant.

I can't get pregnant if I have sex standing up.

Position has nothing to do with getting pregnant. The egg and sperm can move no matter what position your body is in.

I can't get pregnant if I have sex during my period.

Yes, the chance of getting pregnant at this time is less for most women. But if you have short menstrual cycles (fewer than 28 days) or irregular periods, you may be able to get pregnant if you have sex during your period.

I can't get pregnant if I have sex in a hot tub.

You can get pregnant if you have unprotected sex, no matter where you are.

If I douche after sex, I won't get pregnant.

Douching doesn't work.

Learn how your body works and when you are most likely to get pregnant. If you choose to have sexual intercourse but want to avoid pregnancy, use an effective and safe method of birth control.

If you have unplanned sex or a condom breaks, use emergency contraception.

Related Information


Current as of: July 10, 2023

Author: Healthwise Staff
Clinical Review Board
All Healthwise education is reviewed by a team that includes physicians, nurses, advanced practitioners, registered dieticians, and other healthcare professionals.

The Health Encyclopedia contains general health information. Not all treatments or services described are covered benefits for Kaiser Permanente members or offered as services by Kaiser Permanente. For a list of covered benefits, please refer to your Evidence of Coverage or Summary Plan Description. For recommended treatments, please consult with your health care provider.