If you are a human being who lives on the planet of Earth, and you’ve been around for a long enough time, you are probably familiar with the concept of pregnancy. (And, if not, you can…ask your mom and dad. Or, you can watch the cult hit 2016 film Storks! Whichever truth works for you today.) Anyway, if you have taken any kind of health class, you’ll know the basic logistics–pregnancy is the period in which a woman incubates an embryo within the womb following the fertilization of an egg from sperm after unprotected sex, which, after nine months, results in the birth of a child.
Still, as (relatively) straightforward as that definition is, there is a lot of misinformation out there regarding pregnancy that, even if you have taken a bunch of health classes throughout your life, you’re bound to have heard. Like, I don’t know, that girl who’s your best friend’s cousin’s ex’s sister who sat on a toilet seat in a mall in Milwaukee and totally got pregnant from that. Or the girl who went to your high school years ago who didn’t even know she was pregnant and went into labor during the math potion of the SAT. Or, you know, the old Mean Girls standby–if you have sex once, you’ll automatically get pregnant, and, subsequently, die. See what I mean? In any case, it’s important to stay informed. So, check out these totally weird–and totally untrue–urban legends about pregnancy:
The Position You Have Sex In Can Determine If You Get Pregnant Or NotYou might have heard that having sex in a certain position--say, missionary or doggy-style--might increase your chances of getting pregnant, while other positions make it less likely. This is not true. If you are having unprotected sex of any sort, there's nothing you can really do, position-wise, to prevent against pregnancy. Plus, this should go without saying, but unprotected sex greatly increases your chances of getting an STI. So, rely on a contraceptive (or two) to prevent pregnancy--not your position. Image source: iStock
The Position You Have Sex In Determines The Sex Of The ChildThere's an (absurd) old wive's tale that says that your foreplay and position in which you decide to have sex can not only determine if you get pregnant, but also the sex that the child will be. Apparently, you have to "warm" the man's testicles and keep both parties heads' facing north for a boy, and wait until a full moon and have sex in the missionary position to conceive a girl. I don't think I have to tell you that this is untrue, but, just in case...this is untrue. Image source: iStock
If Someone Ejaculates In A Pool, Everyone In It Will Get PregnantYou've probably heard some variation of this pregnancy myth at some point--someone came in a pool, hot tub, puddle, etc., and everyone who touched the body of water became pregnant. The most recent version was a story (from a fake news site, but I'll get to that in a second) that circulated around various social media sites about a teenage boy who ejaculated in a pool and impregnated all of the girls in the pool. This particular story was not true at all--Snopes dubunked it here--and the overall concept here, if you were wondering, is more or less impossible. When sperm is ejaculated from the human body, it dies after a few minutes, which means that the chances of this sperm impergnating you are slim-to-none. Now, if you are swimming around in a pool filled with human ejaculate, that is a whole other problem (maybe find a new pool? And new friends?), but, at the very least, it won't get you pregnant. Image source: iStock
You Can Get Pregnant From A Toilet SeatThis is another common urban legend--you know, the girl who sat down on a public toilet seat and gave birth nine months later--that quickly becomes debunked once you know that sperm can't survive for longer than a few minutes outside the human body. Also, sperm has to enter the vagina in order to get someone pregnant, which, if you're just sitting on a toilet seat, isn't going to happen. (Again--if you see strange fluid on a toilet seat, you might want to squat instead of plopping all the way down, because that's just kind of gross. But you won't get pregnant because of it!) Image source: iStock
You Can't Get Pregnant The First Time You Have SexThis would be nice! But, no; it is just as possible for you to get pregnant the first time you have sex as it is any other time you have sex if you aren't using protection. You definitely need to be using protection the first time you have sex, both to prevent against pregnancy and STIs. Image source: iStock
Jumping Up And Down After Sex Will Prevent PregnancyThis DIY Plan B idea--the main concept of which, I guess, is that moving around a lot can shake the semen out of the vagina--does not work. There is no moving and shaking that can actually get sperm out of the vagina after unprotected sex--the only thing that can really work is using an emergency contraceptive like Plan B or a copper IUD. Image source: iStock
A Baby Can Be Born With A Baby Inside Their WombHaha. Sorry, I didn't mean to laugh. But, uh, this can't happen. Every now and then, a story will circulate around the web about someone who had sex when they were pregnant, and, subsequently, impregnated their child. I am no doctor, but, as far as I know, this is medically impossible.Image source: iStock
Have you heard any of these myths before? Did I miss any good ones? Let us know in the comments!