Could you pass a high school sex-ed quiz? Take this “Knowledge Check” from our Birth Control Sex Ed To-Go course to find out. Then tell all your friends about Sex Ed To-Go, our free online sex education courses for educators, students, and parents. Each course for students on our portal – from STIs to gender identity to puberty – also comes in Spanish and comes with a parallel course for educators, complete with a teaching guide and supporting materials needed to teach comprehensive sex ed.
Answer the following questions, true or false. Then check your answers below.
- A person with a uterus can get pregnant the first time they have sexual intercourse.
- The “pull-out method” is an effective method to prevent pregnancy.
- A person with a uterus cannot get pregnant if they bathe, urinate, or douche after sexual intercourse.
- Anal and oral sex are risk-free ways to avoid pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections.
- A person with a uterus doesn’t need contraception if they are having sex during the “safe” time of the month.
- A person with a uterus can't get pregnant if they have sex during their period.
- Breastfeeding prevents pregnancy.
- Birth control does not protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
- Abstinence is the only method of contraception that is 100 percent risk free.
- True; A person with a uterus can become pregnant anytime they have unprotected sex. They can get pregnant anytime ovulation has occurred. This rumor that "you can't get pregnant the first time" has existed for years, and many unplanned pregnancies are the result of people who believed this myth. It doesn’t matter if they are having sex for the first time, they can still get pregnant.
- Mostly false; Withdrawal, when done correctly, is about 78 percent effective, compared to hormonal and barrier methods, which are 96 percent to 98 percent effective. It is important to note that once a person with a penis becomes aroused, they eject pre-ejaculate fluid -- this fluid can contain STIs. It can also be difficult for a person to pull out in time as in the heat of the moment, which makes withdrawal not effective at all.
- False; Washing, douching or urinating after sex cannot clean out sperm or prevent them from entering the body. Therefore the person can still get pregnant.
- False; Any infection that is transmitted through vaginal sex is also transmitted through anal and oral sex. Anal intercourse is one of the easiest ways to spread HIV infection and some other STIs. Because the anus is not as elastic as the vagina and is not lubricated, it can tear more easily, allowing viruses and bacteria to be transmitted directly to the blood of a partner. It is possible for a person with a uterus to become pregnant from anal sex if semen from the ejaculation trickles out and gets into the opening of their vagina. If two people are going to have anal intercourse, they must use a lubricated latex condom to reduce the risks of infection.
- Mostly false; A person with a uterus can get pregnant anytime ovulation has occurred and ovulation is hard to track. Natural family planning also known as fertility awareness methods are about 76 to 88 percent effective. If it’s important to avoid pregnancy, other methods are more effective.
- Mostly false; The body can release an egg at any time during a menstrual cycle. While during their period is the most unlikely time for ovulation, a person with a uterus can get pregnant after having sex during their period. Remember that sperm can live in the vagina or uterus for up to six days under the right circumstances.
- Mostly false; While it’s true that continuous breastfeeding (exclusively breastfeeding every 4 hours) can stop ovulation and be used as birth control for the first 6 months, once a person has their period, or after 6 months they are at risk of becoming pregnant. If they are breastfeeding, they should talk to their doctor about their birth control options.
- True; When planning protection for sexual activity, partners have two issues to consider: pregnancy prevention and infectious disease protection. Not all birth control options provide protection against the transmission of infections. In particular, hormonal birth control methods offer no STI prevention. The only forms of birth control that protect against STIs are barrier forms such as condoms. And some barrier birth control options still leave a risk for STIs. Even a perfectly placed latex condom can only protect what it covers.
- True; Avoiding sexual intercourse of any kind (oral, anal and vaginal), is the only way to absolutely avoid pregnancy or sexually transmitted disease, including HIV infection. Practicing abstinence does not require giving up all sexual contact, but it does mean expressing sexual feelings in ways other than having intercourse of any kind.