Top 10 Myths About Safe Sex and Sexual Health

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MYTH: You can’t get pregnant the first time you have sex

It may seem like the odds are in your favor, but there’s no reason to risk it: You are just as likely to get pregnant the first time you have sex as any other. “In fact, some statistics say that 20% of people get pregnant within a month of starting sex,” says Dr. Yen.

MYTH: You can’t get pregnant during your period

It is unlikely, but still possible—especially if you’re not using a condom or birth control. Some women have long periods that overlap with the beginning of ovulation, which means they can be fertile even though they’re menstruating.

Say you have a short cycle (21 days, for example) and your period lasts a week. If you have sex close to the end of your period, you could become pregnant since sperm can live for up to 72 hours in your reproductive tract.

There’s also the infamous late-in-life pregnancy that can occur during perimenopause, when periods are erratic. Experts say it’s not safe to ditch birth control until you haven’t had a period for a year.

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