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Could I Be Pregnant From Having Protected Sex One Time?

Published: June 19, 2017
Dear TeenHealthFX,
I'm 16 and have irregular periods. My last cycle was 47 days long. I had sex almost one month ago, but we used a condom and he pulled out. I am on day 45 without a period. Is it possible that I am pregnant by having protected sex one time?
Signed: Could I Be Pregnant From Having Protected Sex One Time?

Dear Could I Be Pregnant From Having Protected Sex One Time?,

While condoms significantly reduce a person’s chance of becoming pregnant or transmitting an STD, it is still possible for pregnancy or STD transmission to occur – even from just one sexual encounter. According to Planned Parenthood:

If you use condoms perfectly every single time you have sex, they’re 98% effective at preventing pregnancy. But people aren’t perfect, so in real life condoms are about 82% effective — that means about 18 out of 100 people who use condoms as their only birth control method will get pregnant each year.

While pregnancy is possible, it is also very likely that you have not gotten your period yet because your menstrual cycle is so irregular. If you have already missed your period, then you can take a pregnancy test if you are concerned you might be pregnant. But regardless of whether or not you take the pregnancy test, TeenHealthFX would like to encourage you to meet with a doctor, such as your primary care physician, gynecologist, or adolescent medicine specialist. A doctor can verify whether or not you are pregnant and review with you the best birth control methods for you. A doctor can also assess what is causing your menstrual cycle to be so irregular and make recommendations on how to address this issue.

If you don't have a doctor and live in northern New Jersey, you can call the Adolescent/Young Adult Center for Health at 973-971-5199 for an appointment with an adolescent medicine specialist or contact your local teen health center or Planned Parenthood. A Planned Parenthood health center is a good option if you have concerns about cost or confidentiality issues. You can also contact your insurance company for a list of in-network providers.

FX also suggests that you check out the links in our Resource of the Month: Planned Parenthood Resources on Safer Sex so that you can learn about sexual readiness, how pregnancy happens, pregnancy tests, emergency contraception, birth control, STDs and more. The more educated you are about these topics, the more likely you will make healthy decisions for yourself when it comes to your sexual health.

Signed: TeenHealthFX

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