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Newborn and Infant Care

Time for sex



When can I have sex without pregnancy occurring?


In order to prevent conception the egg (ovum) and sperm must not meet. If you do not want to have a pregnancy you need to use a reliable method of contraception (birth control) each and every time you have sexual intercourse. With ovulation the egg is released, and if sperm are present a pregnancy will occur. The egg is release approximately fourteen days before the beginning of menstruation. If you have sexual intercourse within seventy-two hours (3 days) of ovulation it is possible to become pregnant. Because the actual date of ovulation can only be determined after ovulation has occurred, the timing of unprotected sexual intercourse without a resulting pregnancy is very difficult. When you are attempting to prevent a pregnancy and looking at dates as a determination of timing for sexual intercourse you are using a form of birth control called rhythm which is highly unreliable. If you are trying to avoid a pregnancy at this time I would suggest that you talk with your health care provider about a means of contraception. While waiting for an appointment with your health care provider you should use condoms. Additionally, the use of a condom will help in the prevention and spread of sexually transmitted diseases.

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Response by:

Tina   Weitkamp, RNC, MSN Tina Weitkamp, RNC, MSN
Associate Professor of Clinical Nursing
College of Nursing
University of Cincinnati