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how long does it take for a girl to get pregnant after having sex?

Pregnancy doesn’t start the day you have sex — It actually takes up to 2-3 weeks after sex to become officially pregnant. 

It can take up to 6 days after sex for the sperm and egg to join — if a sperm cell joins with an egg, it's called fertilization. The fertilized egg moves towards your uterus. It gets to your uterus about 3-4 days after fertilization, and it can float around in your uterus for another few days. Pregnancy officially begins during implantation — when the fertilized egg attaches to the lining of your uterus, and the hormones needed to support pregnancy are released. It can take 3-4 days for the fertilized egg to completely implant itself in the lining of the uterus.

The most common way people get pregnant is from penis-in-vagina sex. But if semen (cum) gets ON the vulva or near the vaginal opening, sperm cells can swim into the vagina and cause pregnancy — but this is way less common. The only way to be sure of a pregnancy is to take a pregnancy test. You can purchase a home pregnancy test at drugstores or you can go to your local Planned Parenthood health center. And if you’ve unprotected sex within the last 5 days and you don’t want to get pregnant, you may want to consider emergency contraception, like the morning-after pill.

There are a few different kinds of emergency contraception. The best kind for you depends on a few factors — when you had sex, how much you weigh, whether you’re breastfeeding, and what kind is easiest for you to get. But no matter which kind, EC works better the sooner you take it. You can get emergency contraception from your local drugstore, for free or low cost from your local Planned Parenthood health center, and online. It’s totally safe to take the morning-after pill as many times as you need to — it’s just not the best way to prevent unintended pregnancies long-term. Birth control that you use before or during sex (like the IUD, implant, pill, condoms, etc.) is way more effective, affordable and convenient.

Learn more about EC and birth control options on our website, chat online, or text "PPNOW" to 774636 (PPINFO).

Tags: pregnancy, emergency contraception

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