Expert Help and Advice
Am I Pregnant? : If You Might Be Pregnant
Can I Get Pregnant If...?
Many women (and men) have questions about when pregnancy is possible. Below are answers to some common concerns, but our caring staff will be happy to discuss your particular situation with you.
He didn’t cum inside me?
The fluid released by a man during sexual arousal can be called pre-ejaculate, pre-seminal fluid, Cowper’s fluid, or pre-cum – and it may contain sperm. Therefore, even if ejaculation does not occur, if pre-ejaculate is released in or near the vagina, there is a small chance pregnancy could occur. If you are worried you may be pregnant, learn more about our free pregnancy tests.
We used the pull-out method?
Consistently withdrawing the penis prior to ejaculation and ejaculating outside (not near) the vagina is known as the withdrawal or “pull out” method of preventing pregnancy. According to the CDC, 22 of 100 women trying to avoid pregnancy are likely to experience an unintended pregnancy during the first year of using the withdrawal method.  If you think you may have gotten pregnant in spite of using the pull-out method, contact us to learn about our free services at one of our five pregnancy test clinics.
Semen got on me?
Sperm released outside of the body can live in semen for a few hours – but not days, as sperm can when released inside a woman’s vagina. If your genital area came into contact with semen within a few hours of ejaculation, there may be a chance of pregnancy, though a small one. If your fluids and his fluids never touched, you cannot become pregnant. If you’re concerned about pregnancy, we recommend a pregnancy test as the best way to find out for sure.
We had sex in water?
Water does not kill sperm or prevent pregnancy. Having sex in water – including hot water, like in a hot tub, salt water, bath water, or chlorinated water – can still lead to pregnancy. However, just being in water in which sperm is present cannot get you pregnant. If you think you may have gotten pregnant from this type of intercourse, the only way to know is a pregnancy test. Come in for a free pregnancy test at one of our five locations.
I am on my period?
Studies show that sperm can live for 3 to 5 days (possibly even longer) inside a woman. Consequently, if a woman has sex during her period but ovulates only a few days later, there is a chance that some sperm may still be able to reach the new egg. Furthermore, some women can experience bleeding that is not a true menstrual cycle, but mistake it for a period. Occasionally, such bleeding occurs with ovulation, in which case a woman has a high risk of pregnancy, rather than a low risk. If you’re concerned about being pregnant, the best way to know for sure is to take a free pregnancy test.
It is just after my period?
You may have heard that it’s “safe” to have sex just after your period. This idea is based on the average woman’s cycle and predictable ovulation. Sperm can live up to five days inside a woman’s body. If ovulation occurs earlier than expected, pregnancy could occur. In addition, women who have longer periods may finish their period within five days of ovulation. So while it’s unlikely for a woman to become pregnant just after her period, it is possible. If you think you may have become pregnant, a test is the best way to know for sure. Contact Avenue Women's Center about receiving a free, accurate pregnancy test.
It is just before my period?
The idea that you can’t get pregnant from sex just before your period is based on ovulation occurring about two weeks before your next period is due to begin. However, even for women with regular cycles, ovulation sometimes occurs at unexpected times. Our bodies are complex and occasionally unpredictable. So while it’s unlikely that a pregnancy will occur if you have sex just before your period, it is possible. If you think you may be pregnant, we invite you to come in for a free pregnancy test at one of our five DuPage locations.
I never had a period?
Ovulation actually occurs prior to menstruation. Therefore, a woman ovulates for the first time before she has her first period. If sperm comes into contact with that first egg, it is possible to get pregnant prior to ever having had a period. If you have never had your period and think you may be pregnant, come in for a free, confidential pregnancy consultation and free pregnancy test.
If I am using birth control (the pill)?
There are many different kinds of birth control, but the one familiar to most people is hormonal birth control taken as a pill once a day. Still, there are many brands and variations of pills available. On average, the CDC attributes a 9% failure rate to birth control pills. That means about 9 out of 100 women using the pill get pregnant during the first year of use. If a woman using birth control pills forgets to take the pill one day that can increase the risk of pregnancy. Like other hormonal forms of birth control, the pill does not protect against STDs. If you’re worried about pregnancy, you can call or chat with an Avenue staff member to discuss your concerns and receive a free pregnancy test.
I have an IUD?
There are two types of IUDs (intrauterine devices). One type releases birth control hormones to prevent pregnancy and has a .2% failure rate. The other type is a T-shaped device made of copper. The Copper T has a .8% failure rate. This means that out of 1000 women using each type of IUD, two would get pregnant the first year of using the hormonal IUD and eight would get pregnant the first year using the Copper T. Women using the hormonal IUD may stop having regular menstrual periods. If you’d like to see if your missed period is due to an IUD or pregnancy, please contact Avenue about a free pregnancy test.
If I am on Depo-Provera (the shot)?
Injectable birth control has a 6% failure rate, meaning 6 out of 100 women using it get pregnant within the first year of use. Women who use the shot need to get a new shot every 3 months or their protection against pregnancy will fade. Some women have irregular periods when they are using the shot. If you are late for your period and would like to know if you are pregnant, please contact Avenue for an appointment at one of our five pregnancy clinic locations.
I used a condom?
Condoms, when used correctly, prevent semen from entering the vagina. There are both male condoms (the most common) and female condoms (which are worn inside the vagina instead of being placed on a penis). On average, about 18% of couples using male condoms and 21% of couples using female condoms get pregnant within the first year of use. If you’re worried you may be pregnant, a pregnancy test is the best way to know for sure. Please contact Avenue Women's Center about receiving a free, confidential pregnancy test.
We use condoms but one time the … (condom slipped, condom broke, was upside down, felt weird, etc.)?
The risk of pregnancy increases if the condom breaks, gets a hole, slips, or if any semen or pre-ejaculatory fluid is able to get in or near the vagina. If you and your partner have recently experienced one of these circumstances, you can come in for a free pregnancy test at one of our five Avenue locations.
I haven’t gotten my period after my last child’s birth?
Because ovulation occurs before your menstrual period, it is possible to become pregnant before you have a regular period following the birth of a child. If you recently had a baby and think you may be pregnant, please call Avenue Women's Center about finding out for sure with a free pregnancy test.
I recently had a baby and I am breastfeeding?
A woman who is breastfeeding is less likely to get pregnant after the birth of her child. Breastfeeding prevents ovulation and menstruation. This is known as lactational amenorrhea or LAM. Using LAM for birth control is generally 98 to 99% effective for the first six months after a child’s birth provided that the baby receives almost all of his nutrition from breastfeeding, nurses regularly, and the woman has not yet had a period after the birth of her child (excluding the bleeding that occurs naturally during the first 8 weeks post-partum). More information about LAM can be found here. If you recently had a baby and think you may be pregnant again, come in and talk with one of our caring professionals about the chances of pregnancy and take a free pregnancy test.
I just started birth control?
If you begin using hormonal birth control (pill, patch, ring, and more) within a week of starting your period you will usually be protected from pregnancy right away. If you start a hormonal birth control in the middle of your cycle, you should use a complementary form of birth control, such as a condom, during the first month. Barrier methods of birth control have the same effectiveness each time they are used. Remember that even when the birth control is fully in effect, all birth control methods have a risk of failure. If you think that your birth control may have failed, come in for a free pregnancy test to know for sure if you may be pregnant.
I just quit birth control?
While some doctors recommend waiting a month after stopping use of a hormonal contraceptive before trying to get pregnant, the hormones are usually out of a woman’s system within a few days of ending birth control, and she could ovulate shortly thereafter. How quickly she is fertile varies by woman and by the type of birth control used. If you stopped using your normal birth control (no matter what the reason) and you think you may be pregnant, we can help with a free pregnancy test and pregnancy consultation.
I missed a day of the pill (or more)?
Missing a day or more of the birth control pills increases the risk of getting pregnant. During a year of typical use of the pill — meaning mistake are made — about 9% of women get pregnant. If you missed a day and you think you may be pregnant, please contact Avenue Women's Center about a free pregnancy test.