Pregnancy is a wonderful gift women receive from nature. It is a wonderful experience to create life. Nevertheless, it is possible to get pregnant at the wrong time and then you may have completely different feelings about it, probably less positive. Whether you want to get pregnant as a teenager or not, it is important for you to know how pregnancy happens, since knowledge is power! With the right knowledge you can protect your health and body, regain control and decide when you do want to get pregnant. Here are some facts about pregnancy:
- You can get pregnant only from vaginal sex, in other words, when the penis penetrates the vagina. There are many other types of sexual activities that can bring satisfaction, and lead to an orgasm for you and your partner, where you will not end up pregnant, such as masturbation, oral sex, etc. The fact that you don’t want to get pregnant does not mean that you need to abstain from sex since today there are a variety of contraceptive methods that can help you protect yourself and your body (link to contraceptives).
- During sex, after a man ejaculates in the woman’s vagina, millions of sperm begin a long journey to the egg that is in the woman’s reproductive system. If there is no egg waiting for the sperm, it is not possible to get pregnant. The time when the egg is released from the ovaries and can be fertilized is called ovulation.
- Ovulation is a period of a few days (between three to six) where an egg is released from one of the ovaries and travels through the fallopian tube to reach the uterus. If during the course of the egg’s journey from the ovaries to the uterus, the woman has sex, and one sperm successfully reaches the egg and fertilizes it, then pregnancy can occur. If a woman has sex at any other time during her cycle, when there is no ovulation, pregnancy cannot occur. Therefore, each month there are only a few days when a woman can get pregnant.
- Even if a woman has sex when ovulating, there is no 100% guarantee that she will get pregnant. After the sperm meets the egg, fertilization begins. The fertilized egg continues to move in the fallopian tube until it reaches the uterus, where it implants in the uterine lining. The uterine lining is like a pillow of blood vessels that provides the fertilized egg with everything it needs to grow and develop into a fetus. If an egg is not fertilized after being released, then the lining that thickened this month in preparation for pregnancy will shed and be swept through the vagina, or in other words, the woman will get her period. This is in fact the monthly menstrual cycle: the body prepares itself for pregnancy and when there wais no pregnancy, the body “restarts” or “refreshes” – removes everything and starts from scratch the next month.
- Pregnancy does not occur immediately after or within a few hours of having sex, it can happen a few days after sex. The sperm can continue to live in the woman’s body for a few days until it meets the egg.
- When pregnancy occurs, the woman stops getting her period – there is no “restart”. If “you are late”, this is the first sign that can indicate that you are pregnant. Of course, there are other reasons for your period to be late, and therefore it is important to remember that a late period is not always a sign of pregnancy. Most women have a monthly cycle that lasts 28 days and ovulation occurs around the 14th day of the cycle. If you will start to monitor and learn the timing of your period, you will be able to know when your period is late and when it is on time. If you have not started monitoring your period, you should start by writing down the first day of your period in your journal over a few months and this is how you will be able to monitor it.
- Pregnancy can be detected with a simple blood test at an early stage. You can go to your family doctor and ask for a pregnancy test. It is performed at the HMO clinic free of charge.
- If at this stage you do not want to involve your family doctor, you can buy a home pregnancy test from the pharmacy without a prescription. These are very easy tests to use – you just need to pee on a stick. They cost a few Shekels. If the results of the test are not clear, then you should take a blood test. If home pregnancy tests are taken too early, they can be negative since the pregnancy is too “young”, meaning that the body still has not secreted enough hormones that could be detected by the test.
- If you are pregnant with an unwanted pregnancy and you want to know what the available options are, you can get information at the following websites: Knowing how to choose correctly, Open Door.
- The morning after pill. As opposed to other birth control, the “morning after pill” lets you take the pill after having sex. The pill can be taken up to 72 hours after unprotected sexual contact. The pill will prevent ovulation and thus prevent pregnancy, but it is not a permanent alternative for using contraceptives. Use it only as an emergency. If you use it more than once during a cycle, it increases the chances of disrupting your period. The pill can be purchased at the pharmacy with a prescription.
From the moment we become teenagers, and we become interested in boys and sex, everyone around us starts to worry about teaching us how not to get pregnant, therefore most of us do not have sex around the time of our ovulation or use contraceptives that protect us from pregnancy (birth-control pills), but do not use contraceptives that protect us from sexually transmitted diseases, so the truth is that the message we receive is incomplete.
Unwanted pregnancy can be an extremely great emotional and physical burden, but sexually transmitted diseases and HIV/AIDS are issues that you should know how to protect yourself from. Therefore, we also want to add to the title “how not to get pregnant” the words “how not to get pregnant and protect your health!”