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Can I Get Pregnant If…

Curious if you can get pregnant if you have sex underwater? While on your period? If you jump up and down right after? The answer is usually: YES (if you're having unprotected sex then it's definitely yes...it it's protected, you're a bit safer but there are still risks). Check out this week's Ask Us Anything where we answer all your best "Can I Get Pregnant If..." questions!

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Can I still get pregnant even if he only stuck his tip in, he did not ejaculate, and he peed before (which apparently kills sperm so there wouldn’t be any in the pre cum) it happened?

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Can I get pregnant if our genitals touched, but he’d didn’t come or penetrate me?

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Can I get pregnant if he puts a condom on at the end but not the beginning?

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Can I still have my period if I think I'm pregnant?

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Can you get somebody pregnant if you came but you both were still dressed? There wasn't any contact with the penis and vagina alone?

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I only plan on having sex once before I marry. If she uses the patch as a backup (along with a condom), will she always have to wear it after one time? Or for only a certain time?

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Know The Facts First

This week's Ask Us Anything is in partnership with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office on Women’s Health’s Know The Facts First Campaign.

Learn More!

What to know even more? Check out KnowTheFactsFirst.gov for accurate information about STDs, prevention, and more.

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STDs

About 1 in 4 teens has an STD. We can help you learn about STDs and how to protect yourself from them—so you can make informed decisions about your sexual health. Ask Us Anything about STDs! 

What are symptoms of an STD?

Different Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) have different groups of symptoms. Some STDS cause obvious symptoms in obvious places, like the genitals. But here’s the important thing—most STDs cause no symptoms at all! The scary part is that STDs can cause problems later—like pain in your pelvic area and not being able to get pregnant—even if there aren’t symptoms at first.

Also, if there are symptoms from an STD, they can be so mild or temporary that they are easy to ignore or mistake for something else. Symptoms may appear right away or they might not show up for weeks. The only way to know for sure if you have an STD is to get tested. Getting tested for STDs applies to you and your partner(s) so the best idea is for you and your partner to be tested before you start any sexual activity together.

To find out the specific symptoms for each STD, go to the “Facts about STDs” section hereTo find a testing center near you, enter your zip code in the “Get Tested” sidebar of the Know The Facts First website You can also talk to your doctor or nurse about getting tested and treated for STDs.

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Can lesbians get STDs too? Is it less likely?

Yes, lesbians can get STDs. Lesbians can give STDs to each other through skin-to-skin contact—especially genital skin. So this includes oral sex, of course, but also applies to any contact with fluids from the vagina, including menstrual blood.

We aren’t sure if lesbians get STDs more or less often than other women. But some STDs are more common among lesbians (such as HPV) and others are much less likely to be passed through sex between women (such as HIV).  Go here to get the details on the more common and less common STDs that may affect lesbian women.

No matter what type of sexual activity you have, it is important that you protect yourself and your partner, AND get tested. When and how often you get tested for STDs depends on many factors, so talk to your doctor.

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Do my partner and I need to get tested for STDs if we lost our virginities to each other?

First, the only sure way to know if you or your partner has an STD is to get tested. Second, it depends on how you define “virgin.” Maybe your partner had oral or anal sex before but didn’t consider that real sex. In either case, your partner is at risk for an STD, and therefore, so are you.

Also, Herpes and HPV can be passed through skin-to-skin contact even if there was no sexual intercourse, like with oral-to-genital or genital-to-genital contact. Again, the only sure way to know if you or your partner has an STD is to get tested.

Remember, to prevent STDs AND pregnancy, it is important to use double protection. Double protection is using a condom AND another form of birth control–like the pill, patch, or a long-acting birth control method like an implant or IUD—when you decide it’s the right time to have sex.  Even though these other birth control methods will help prevent pregnancy, they will NOT prevent STDs. That is why using a condom is so important, even if you are using another form of birth control.

If you think you need an STD test because of your sexual activity, then you need to have a conversation with your partner(s) and encourage them to get tested as well. 

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Are all STDs bacterial infections?

No, not all STDs are bacterial infections. STDs are caused by three kinds of “bugs”: Viruses, Bacteria, and Parasites. All of these can be spread through sexual activity, but have different symptoms and effects on your health when you are older. Yes, health problems when you are older! STDs can cause problems later—like pain or not being able to have children—even if there aren’t symptoms at first.

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How can you get treatment for a STD?

If you have an STD, it’s very important to get treated. Do not wait to get treatment. Seriously.  STDs won’t disappear on their own even if your symptoms go away.  You have to get medical treatment.  Waiting to get treatment for an STD or thinking that the infection will disappear on its own can put you at risk for serious health problems later in life, like painful infections or not being able to get pregnant. And of course, you could also pass the STD on to a partner.

If you do not want to go to your own health care provider for STD testing and treatment, there are places where you can get confidential testing and services, often at a low cost. To find a testing center near you that can link you to care or treat your STD, enter your zip code in the “Get Tested” sidebar of the Know The Facts First website.

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Where can I get condoms anonymously?

Condoms are sold in many places and the good news is that you don’t need a prescription or I.D. to buy them. You can buy a male or female condom at drugstores, convenience stores, gas stations, community health centers, doctor’s offices, family planning clinics, grocery stores, pharmacies, health departments, student health clinics and even from vending machines and online. Health departments and clinics may also offer condoms at low cost or even for free.

By getting a condom, you are taking care of your health, being responsible and protecting yourself and your partner against STDs. Go you!

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Can I get an STD if there's no ejaculation involved?

Yes, you can contract an STD even if there is no ejaculation. While many STDs are transmitted through semen, you also can contract them through vaginal fluid, pre-cum, open cuts and sores, and skin-to-skin contact.

To learn more about STDs and how to prevent them, visit the Know The Facts First website.

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My boyfriend and I have been talking about sex. We both are going to get tested, I'm going to get on birth control, and he is always going to use a condom. If neither of us have STDs, can we have unprotected sex w/o getting an STD?

Do you hear the applause? We applaud you and your boyfriend for talking about sex and taking the necessary actions for safer sex. Communicating with your partner is an important part of the process in figuring out if and when you are ready to have sex. And if you both decide you are ready, it’s essential to also talk about how you will prevent STDs AND pregnancy with both your boyfriend and your doctor or nurse.

That said, if you both decide you are ready, using a condom correctly and every time you have sex, even if you both don’t have STDs will help reduce your risk of getting STDs and protect your health regardless of your partner’s sexual history or activities.

And we’re still applauding you because you are getting on birth control and he is always going to use a condom! That’s dual protection! It’s best for you and your boyfriend to continue to use dual protection to prevent STDs and pregnancy. Dual protection is using a condom with another form of birth control–like the pill, patch, or a long-acting birth control method like an implant or IUD.

Remember, you can get an STD from any type of sex. While many STDs are transmitted through semen, you also can contract them through vaginal fluid, pre-cum, open cuts and sores, and skin-to-skin contact. Learn more about how to protect yourself and your partner by visiting the Know The Facts First website.

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Is it possible for STD medication (like antibiotics) to not work?

Yes, it is possible. Some STDs might be resistant to a specific medication, such as an antibiotic. That is, the medication might not work against that particular STD as expected. So, if you take the medication the way you are supposed to, but you continue to have any symptoms, you should go see your doctor or nurse again to tell them.

Often, a medication does not work because it is NOT being taken exactly the way it is supposed to be taken. If your doctor or nurse gives you medication, such as antibiotics, to treat an STD, it is very important to follow the directions exactly as written and to take the entire prescription, even if the symptoms go away. Remember, you can have an STD even if you don’t show signs or symptoms!

Also remember that to avoid being re-infected, your partner must get treated for the STD as well. And you should not have sex for at least 7 days after both of you are treated to avoid re-infecting each other before the STD is completely gone.

If you are concerned that the medication isn’t working or you are unsure about how you are supposed to take the medication, talk to your doctor or nurse for answers.

To find a testing center near you that can link you to care or treat your STD, enter your zip code in the “Get Tested” sidebar of the Know The Facts First website.

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What is the likelihood of getting an STD from oral sex?

While we don’t know the exact likelihood of getting an STD from oral sex, we do know that both people engaging in oral sex can spread or become infected with an STD. HIV, syphilis, herpes, gonorrhea, and chlamydia can all be transmitted during oral sex.

You can decrease the chances of being infected with an STD if a male or female condom is used during oral sex. To learn more on how to protect yourself and your partner, visit the Know The Facts First website.

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Can I get an STD through a condom?

It is possible to get an STD even if you use a condom.However, using a condom correctly and using one EVERY time you have sex dramatically reduces the chances that you will get an STD from your partner. When used correctly and every time, condoms are very effective in lowering the risk of STDs that are transmitted by genital fluids. However, condoms cannot completely protect you and your partner from some STDs, like herpes, syphilis, or HPV, which can be contracted through skin-to-skin contact.

Also, condoms can break, slip, or leak, especially if they are not put on and taken off properly. Go here and here for more information on condoms and how to use them correctly.

And remember that the only sure way to prevent STDs and pregnancy is NOT to have sex. However, if you decide that you are ready for sex, use dual protection to prevent STDs AND pregnancy. Dual protection is using a condom AND another form of birth control–like the pill, patch, or a long-acting birth control method like an implant or IUD.

One last thing: Please make sure discussing STD testing with your doctor or nurse is part of your regular medical care. You should get tested any time you have a new partner or engage in risky behaviors, such as drug and/or alcohol use, sex without a condom, sex with multiple partners, or have symptoms. To learn which STD shows what symptoms, visit the “Facts about STDs” section of the Know The Facts First website. And to find a testing center near you, enter your zip code in the “Get Tested” sidebar of the Know The Facts First website.

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