“Can you really not get preggers if you have sex on the last days of your period?” — Hating Condoms, Cleveland, OH
How many times have you heard an “Oops” story? Every Christmas there’s always that relative that drinks too much eggnog and says something like, “You know, Larry was a mistake. We were done having kids. We wanted to go to Bermuda.” I’m sure if Larry was a lawyer and not still living with his mother, she wouldn’t say that. But you get my drift.
During each menstrual cycle, your ovaries release an ovum (egg). This “ovulation” takes place roughly 14 days before the start of your period. Right before and after ovulation is when you’re most likely to get pregnant. What some women don’t know is that even if you’re so regular you could set a clock by it, the timing of ovulation can vary. Sometimes women can even start bleeding during ovulation, and this can be mistaken for a period. If that isn’t enough to scare you, here’s another fun fact: Sperm have an uncanny ability to survive inside your body for up to five days in ideal circumstances. So that means if you have unprotected sex on the last day of your period, those little guys can hang around…waiting until conditions are right for conception.
Moral of the story? Unless you want a little Larry, be sure to use contraception properly every day.
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