Hey, remember when you were like, fifteen, and you freaked out that you were going to get pregnant because you dry-humped Hot Tom From Next Door for 15 minutes at the Blue Light Disco?
Well, as it turns out, your fears weren’t entirely unfounded. In a terrifying new turn of events, we adult women have now learnt that there are ACTUALLY ways you can fall pregnant without having ACTUAL sex. Just when you thought you had it all figured out…
1. Yes, pregnant women can get pregnant.
It’s called “superfetation”, and to be fair, there’s only been 10 recorded cases of it in the world. Basically, a second child — not a twin, but a separate sibling — joins an existing egg in the uterus in the first two weeks of fertilisation.
According to Dr Mary Stewart, Senior Medical Officer, Research & Education, Family Planning NSW, it’s pretty darn unlikely. (Post continues after gallery.)
“The occurrence of a second conception during pregnancy is extremely, extremely (extremely) rare,” she says.
“There is no recommendation for pregnant women to use contraception.”
2. Sperm can survive on fingers.
So, here’s the thing: sperm CAN be transferred inside a woman with many things apart from just the penis. If he ejaculates on his fingers or even a sex toy, and it is inserted inside you, well, you can get pregnant.
The good news, however, is that the “sperm swimming through the bathwater” situation is totally impossible. (Phew).
“While there may be a very small risk through direct transfer from hands up high in the vagina, there is unlikely to be any real risk in bathwater and women should not feel anxiety about this possibility,” explains Dr Stewart.
3. You can fall pregnant on your period.
And just when we thought those little sperm were foiled in warm water situations like the bath, we get hit with the news that they can actually survive for SEVEN DAYS INSIDE OUR VAGINA.
“As some women may bleed for seven days or even longer and since sperm can survive for five or even sometimes for up to seven days, having sex towards the end of a period may result in a pregnancy if the woman ovulates early in her cycle or if she has short cycles,” says Dr Stewart.
“While sex during a period is not a high risk time to conceive it is certainly possible.”
Well. We didn’t see that one coming.
The pregnancy questions you were too afraid to ask. (Post continues after video)
4. That old wives’ tale that breastfeeding women can’t get pregnant is a lie.
According to *the internet*, getting pregnant when you’re breastfeeding is practically impossible. Hmm. Not the case.
Dr Stewart says that although the breastfeeding hormone, prolactin, helps suppress ovulation, for the so-called Lactational Amenorrhoea Method (LAM) of contraception to be effective, it must be less than six months since delivery.
“The woman’s periods must not have restarted and (this is the challenging part) she must be ‘fully’ breastfeeding,” says Dr Stewart.
“This means feeding every four to six hours (including through the night) with no supplements or expressed feeds given by someone else. While breastfeeding (LAM) is an invaluable method of contraception in resource poor countries, it makes good sense for Australian women to combine breastfeeding with another compatible method of contraception to avoid another pregnancy too soon — especially since ovulation may occur before the first period!”
Dr Stewart recommends an IUD, the mini-pill (progestogen only pill) or barriers such as condoms during breastfeeding.
5. Two words: Anal. Sex.
Turns out that charming teenage adage, “Up the butt, no babies”, isn’t quite as accurate as we originally thought.
“Even if he is penetrating rectally, he can be depositing a little seminal fluid around the opening to the vagina, let’s face it, the vagina and the rectum are very close territory,” Dr Mary-Jane Minkin, clinical professor of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive sciences at Yale School of Medicine told BuzzFeed.
Easy explanation: sperm can slip slide away from your back door, and into the front door rather easily. Be careful.
If you have any questions about pregnancy or falling pregnant, make an appointment to speak with your local GP.