Q: When me and my boyfriend have sex, we sadly often just "pull out" but he has the idea that if I "rinse" out my vagina after sex, I will decrease my chances in getting pregnant. Is this true?
A: This is not true, because sperm quickly enters the cervix (the small opening in the back of the vagina that leads to the uterus) and so cannot be rinsed out. Using the pull-out method is extremely risky for both pregnancy and contracting sexually-transmitted infections (STIs). Using the pull-out method results in pregnancy for about 20% of couples who use it as their main method of birth control. And, of course, it doesn’t protect against any STIs. Even if your boyfriend doesn’t present any signs or symptoms of STIs, he may very well still have them. A recent study found that 1 in 4 men carry HPV (https://t.co/M4tZySQtZt) and the vast majority show no symptoms at all. If a woman catches this disease, it can create serious problems for her, such as cervical cancer or infertility.
Attaining birth control is as easy as visiting your local Planned Parenthood. The one in Merced is located at 3166 Collins Dr. You can also call them at (209) 723-7751 to schedule an appointment. Planned Parenthood offers free contraceptives, such as birth control, regardless of whether you’re insured or not. And, it’s completely confidential, so no one, including your family or boyfriend, will be notified. They offer traditional birth control (“the pill”), which is over 98% effective in preventing pregnancy if used every day. They also offer long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs), such as a birth control implant, which is implanted in the upper arm or hip. These can last 3 – 5 years and are 99.7% effective in preventing pregnancy. I would strongly urge you to take advantage of one of these options, so that you do not become unintentionally pregnant.
Answers provided by Dr. Ross Avilla
Dr. Ross Avilla has been teaching Human Sexuality since 2013 and has a PhD in psychology from UC Davis. Dr. Avilla is not a clinician and all information and advice offered on this website is for educational purposes only.