Info For Teens
Ask the Experts
Can you get pregnant if you have unprotected sex on the first day of your period??
Yes, especially if she has a menstrual cycle that is only about 20 days long. Sperm can live in a woman’s reproductive tract for about six days. A woman releases an egg from her ovaries about 14–16 days before the first day of her period. So if a woman with a 22-day cycle gets sperm in her vagina on the first day of her period, it may still be there when the egg is released on day six of her cycle. This could cause pregnancy. Because young women often have irregular periods, it is difficult for them to predict if their periods are going to be long or short. So it’s always best to use protection.
The morning-after pill (also known as emergency contraception) is a safe and effective way to prevent pregnancy after unprotected intercourse. It can be started up to five days (120 hours) after unprotected intercourse.
The brands Plan B One-Step and Next Choice are available from drugstores and health centers without a prescription for women and men 17 and older. A new brand, ella, is available by prescription only. If you are interested in getting emergency contraception and are 17 or older, you can either get it directly from a Planned Parenthood health center or from your local drugstore. If you are younger than 17, you’ll need to go to a health center or private health care provider for a prescription.
The best way to prevent pregnancy is by using birth control. Learn more about your birth control options.