Myths and facts about sex life and pregnancy

Dr Nupur Gupta, Consultant Gynaecologist Obstetrician, Director, Well Woman Clinic has shared her thoughts on various aspects of sex life and pregnancy…

1 Myth: Masturbating before sex
If I masturbate before sex, there won’t be any sperm left to get her pregnant.
This is not true. After masturbation, it takes some time to get sexual aroused. To become pregnant, only one sperm is needed. So, a man has enough sperm quantity to have sex even after masturbation.

2 Myth: Certain sexual positions
Are there certain sexual positions that will ensure we don’t get pregnant?
No, there is no such position which can prevent a woman for getting pregnant. Whatever may be the sexual position for vaginal intercourse, the sperms can easily travel inside the uterus increasing the chances of pregnancy. Only oral sex is the position in which a woman can’t be pregnant as sperms are not entering the vagina. 

3 Myth: Pulling out
When a man pulls out before ejaculating during sex, there is still a chance of pregnancy.
This is the common method which many couples use to avoid the chances of pregnancy. This is commonly known as the ‘withdrawal method’. But this method has failure rate because the pre-ejaculatory fluid also has some amount of sperm in it which may cause pregnancy. Also sometimes the withdrawal judgement fails. There are about 78 per cent chances of failure leaving behind 22 per cent chances of getting pregnant.

4 Myth: Drinking Mountain Dew
Lots of people have questioned this popular soda’s ability to lower men’s fertility due to its high caffeine levels, the dyes that give it that neon glow and its use of brominated vegetable oil (BVO), which has been shown to impact reproductive health. But, there is no scientific reason as such which can prove that this drink can reduce sperm count.

5 Myth: Smoking marijuana lower sperm count
There are two aspects of using marijuana. There is enough study that shows that smoking marijuana can lower a man’s testosterone levels leading to lower sperm counts and poor sperm mobility. But, remember only one sperm is enough to make a woman pregnant. There’s even less evidence of exactly how marijuana might affect a woman’s ovulation—definitely not enough to suggest that it could protect against pregnancy. The same goes for eating marijuana stems or seeds.

Photo Courtesy: Fliup Beta

6 Myth: Using makeshift condoms
We’re not going to beat around the bush here. This doesn’t work. No plastic bag/rubber band or balloon/twist-tie combination will provide you with the protection of a traditional, approved condom.
The market is loaded with various kinds of condoms with different attractive things but no one can guarantee whether it has a hole or it would not tear during the peak movement of intercourse. So it’s better to play safely and take care of quality.

7 Myth: Douching immediately after sex
Lots of people wonder if douching with either regular douching fluid or bubbly soda water (like Coca-Cola) can get all the sperm out after sex, effectively preventing pregnancy.
This is not true. The fact is that women’s vaginal muscles contract during an orgasm as the body’s way of bringing the semen toward her eggs, so even if she douches right after sex, some of the sperms will already be too deep to be flushed out. Also, soda or other liquids are not meant for a douching purpose and they will cause irritation and infection at the site. So it is better to avoid them.

8 Myth: Jumping up and down
It is nature that both male and female genital organs are made to have pregnancy after sex. The semen remains in a vagina for a particular time. So you may run, jump up and down, the semen can’t get out preventing the pregnancy. It’s good for health otherwise, but surely it is not to prevent the pregnancy.

9 Myth: Can you get pregnant from dry sperm?
The half-life of a sperm is 4-5 days in warm, moist conditions such as the vagina. However, dried sperm will die in a few minutes. If you had wiped the semen from your hand onto your vagina immediately after its ejaculation you would indeed be at risk for an unwanted pregnancy.

10 Myth: A female can’t get pregnant unless there is full penetration 
This is not true. A female can get pregnant even if the male does not put his penis all the way inside of her. Pregnancy can happen if the male pre-ejaculates or ejaculates in or near the vagina.