Gettin' jiggy with it with Dr. T - answers to your contraceptive questions
Have you missed our Facebook Live Event with Dr. T? Don’t worry – you can watch the recording here:
On this year’s World Contraception Day on September 26, we hosted a Facebook Live Event to answer many of your most pressing questions of the Your Life community around contraception and sexual health. We had a great session with our Facebook audience about the topics of your interest: About menstruation, pull-out, condoms and hormonal contraception like the pill.
If you want to get a brief overview of what our chat was about, here comes a short selection of questions and topics that came up during the session (you will find the whole answers in the video):
The simple answer is, yes you can. And the reason why you can get pregnant even though you are on your period is that when we ovulate, this means that the egg is mature in the ovaries, and you can ovulate close enough to your menstruation. When you’re bleeding, it does not necessarily mean that you are infertile for that period, because the female cycle is quite complex and very individual. There is no “safe” time of the month where you must not use contraception although there are times when your most fertile. So, if you don't want to get pregnant, you have to take steps to ensure that you are on an effective contraception.
And don’t forget that sperm can survive within the female reproductive system for up to six days. This means it may be possible to get pregnant soon after your period finishes if you ovulate early, especially if you have a naturally short menstrual cycle.
It's not necessary to have a bleed while you are on a contraceptive. The whole purpose of your menstrual cycle is to prepare your uterus for pregnancy each time you ovulate. If you don't want to become pregnant, there's absolutely no health reason you need to have a menstrual period. So, with the influence of hormonal contraception, this phase of ovulation is getting stopped and therefore this is not something “bad”.
The pull-out method isn’t an effective way to prevent pregnancy, because not all sperm are released at climax. Pre-cum also contains some sperm which means that the pull-out before the climax will come too late as it takes just one sperm to fertilize a woman's egg. So even if he doesn’t finish off, the pull-out method might still get you pregnant. Do you know that 22 out of 100 women who rely on the pull-out method will get pregnant every year? And that is a very high number. If you know that you don’t want to get pregnant, a high effective method would be recommended.
As you know, everybody is different and certain contraceptives can but must not cause incidents related to estrogens and migraine. Listen to Dr.T’s very own experience in the video and the advice she has for you when it comes to this matter.
You must then stop having sex immediately. Otherwise there is a high risk of pregnancy or catching an infection. The condom is your barrier for sperms and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) of all kind. When this barrier is damaged or removed, you will not be longer protected.
There is a certain treatment medication available in case the condom did break, and your partner is or might be H.I.V. positive (and you are not). This emergency treatment exists, because there is a window of risk for transmission. To decrease your risk of an actual H.I.V. transmission or acquisition you have to take what is called post exposure prophylaxis for H.I.V. Please see and talk to your doctor in this case.
And of course, you can also become pregnant when the condom breaks. In that case, there are hormone-based pills aka the morning after pill, which should be taken as early as possible after an incident like this. Learn more about emergency contraceptives here.
Dr. Tlaleng Mofokeng is a medical doctor, an internationally published best-selling author and UN special rapporteur on health. So, she really knows what’s going on and is highly experienced.
She got involved in the field of sexual and reproductive health during her community service year when she worked in the West Rand clinics in Johannesburg. Most of her patients were young women and, in true Dr. T style, affirming of sexual pleasure, she made them feel comfortable to share their sexual health and relationship concerns. For more information about Dr. T please visit: