Do you know what your chances of getting pregnant really are?

It is possible to get pregnant on every day of a woman’s cycle.

MythWomen’s menstrual cycles have a fertile window of about 6 days, ending in the day of ovulation. However, the fertile window may occur on different days within the cycle.

A woman is likely to get pregnant on the days right after her period.

Myth. In most menstrual cycles, there are some days between the end of the period and the beginning of the fertile window; however, in some unusual cycles, the fertile window starts before her period ends. This is more common in women who are nearing menopause. 

A woman is likely to get pregnant on the days right before her period.

Myth. In most menstrual cycles, there are at least 10 days after ovulation and before the next period. Intercourse during these days will not result in pregnancy. However, in some unusual cycles, ovulation and the fertile window may be delayed, so you cannot rely on counting days to know for sure when ovulation happens.

A woman is likely to get pregnant around the middle of her cycle.

Myth and fact. For many women, ovulation happens around the middle of the cycle. However, in women with regular cycles, ovulation may occur as early as day 9 or as late as day 21. With an irregular cycle, ovulation may occur even earlier than day 9 or much later than day 21.

A woman is less likely to get pregnant on days when vaginal secretions are present.

Myth. In the days prior to ovulation, the cervix (the opening of the uterus) increases production of vaginal secretions. Days without noticeable secretions are less likely to be fertile, but may still have some possibility of pregnancy.

It is impossible for women to identify the fertile window of the menstrual cycle.

Myth. By learning natural family planning, a woman can learn to identify the fertile window of her menstrual cycle.

If a woman were to have sex without birth control several times and not get pregnant, it means that she will not get pregnant from future sex without birth control.

Myth. Many women become pregnant from having sex just one time without birth control. At least 85% of women, who continue to have sex without birth control, even just once in a while, will be pregnant within one year.

A woman will only get pregnant if she has sex without birth control on the day she ovulates (releases an egg).

Myth. Sperm can live in the woman’s body for several days after sex so simply avoiding the day you ovulate will not keep you from getting pregnant. To identify the days that you are less likely to get pregnant, it is important to learn about your menstrual cycle.

If a woman has never been pregnant, it means that she is less likely to get pregnant.

Myth. Your chance of getting pregnant is the same whether or not you have ever been pregnant.

If a woman’s partner has not gotten another woman pregnant in the past, it means that he cannot get her pregnant.

Myth. There are many reasons why your partner did not get another woman pregnant in the past. Your partner may still get you pregnant if you have sex with him without birth control.

If a woman was told by her doctor that she cannot get pregnant, she does not need to worry about pregnancy in the future.

Myth. Many women have misunderstood what health care providers have told them. Most of the time, these women find they can get pregnant just like any other woman. If you really want to know if you can get pregnant, ask for a second opinion. If you do not want to get pregnant now, be sure to let him/her know so you can start some type of birth control right away.

If a woman has irregular periods, she will not get pregnant.

Myth. Irregular periods make it hard to predict when a woman may ovulate (produce an egg) but most women with irregular periods still ovulate some of the time. This means they can still get pregnant from sex without birth control.

If a woman’s partner withdraws before ejaculation, she will not get pregnant.

Myth. Withdrawal is not a dependable method and many couples using it still get pregnant. There can be sperm in a man’s fluid before he ejaculates. If you want to learn a more reliable method, check out our Family Planning and Birth Control Section. 

Pregnancy just happens, there is nothing a woman can do to prevent it.

Myth. While no woman has total control over whether or not she gets pregnant, there are very good methods of birth control to help prevent an unplanned pregnancy. Click here to find a method that best fits your needs.

Thinking about getting pregnant? Learn more about the healthy habits you can start before you get pregnant to increase your chances of having a healthy pregnancy and baby by visiting Power Your Life Power Your Health.

Visit the Baby Your Baby resources page to find services available throughout Utah to assist a woman through pregnancy, at childbirth and while the child is dependent on parental care.