There is no such thing as a silly question
As a midwife, you hear all sorts of questions and misunderstandings about conception.

When it comes to conception, people have all sorts of questions that they may feel too embarrassed to ask. But believe it or not, midwives will often hear many of the same out-there questions, so we got one midwife to put together a list of the 15 most common questions (along with the answers) that she gets from patients:

Getting pregnant

Is it possible to get pregnant the first time I have sex?

Yes, and this actually happens quite often. Even if you haven’t had a period yet, you may still be fertile.

Do you have to have sex to get pregnant?

Yes, unless you are having fertility assistance. Kissing, masturbation, oral sex and anal sex, cannot cause pregnancy.

Does my partner need to be inside me for me to get pregnant?

Yes. However, it is also possible to get pregnant if he ejaculates (comes) near your vagina.

Does my partner need to ejaculate for me to get pregnant?

No you could still get pregnant. Before ejaculation a small amount of fluid comes out of the penis – this helps with lubrication. And this fluid often contains some sperm.


If my partner masturbates before we have sex can I still get pregnant?

Yes, it’s a myth that fresh sperm are weaker than older sperm. All it takes is one sperm to connect with an egg to create a pregnancy.

Can I get pregnant when I have my period?

Yes, though unlikely. This is because it’s still possible to ovulate during a period. Sperm can live in the vagina for up to five days so they can also hang around until ovulation.

Can I get pregnant when I’m breastfeeding?

Yes. If you are still breastfeeding overnight and your baby is feeding frequently both day and night, then it is less likely, but still possible.

Can I get pregnant when I’m taking the Pill?

Yes. Especially if you miss one or more. The oral contraceptive pill may also be ineffective if you are sick with a tummy upset, vomiting or diarrhoea. Some antibiotics can also stop the effectiveness of the pill.

The condom came off. Can I get pregnant?

Yes you can. This is why it’s important for one of you to hold the condom firmly onto the base of the penis when your partner is withdrawing. Otherwise it could slide off and be left full of sperm inside your vagina.

What if my partner pulls out before he comes? Can I still get pregnant?

Yes. Seminal fluid is released during sex to help with lubrication and this contains a lower concentration of sperm. And it also takes alot of awareness and self control for a man to withdraw; it’s not an effective strategy in preventing pregnancy.

Can I get pregnant with another baby if I’m already pregnant?

No. However, it’s remotely possible if you have a uterus which, instead of being one organ, is divided into two. If you are already pregnant, your body signals to your ovaries not to release any more eggs and your hormones work on supporting the pregnancy you have. Twins and multiples are conceived at the same time.

After sex

If I do a wee after we have sex will that stop me getting pregnant?

No it won’t. Urinating won’t help to wash away semen from your vagina, only what’s on the outside of your vulva. Urine comes out of your urethra. This is a separate tube to the vagina.

If I stand up straight away after we have sex will I get pregnant?

Standing, sitting, lying down even jumping up and down won’t make any difference to your chances of getting pregnant. Gravity does not prevent sperm swimming upstream.

If I wash myself just after we have sex could I still get pregnant?

Yes you could. Showering, douching, swimming, bathing or any water activity does not prevent pregnancy. Sperm are very resilient little critters and can swim uphill, downhill and in any direction.

If you take two pills after having sex you’ll be OK … That’s right, isn’t it?

No, this isn’t true. Neither are you safe if you take someone else’s birth control pills. Speak with your doctor or a pharmacist if you have had unprotected sex. The morning after pill needs, ideally, to be taken within 24 hours of unprotected sex to prevent 95 percent of expected pregnancies. Check here for more specific information.

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This article was written for Kidspot by Jane Barry from – child health nurse, midwife and parenting columnist.

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