Do you remember talking with your friends about the weird ways that could you get pregnant? There was always that story about how someone knew someone who was sure they knew someone who had a baby because they were 'messing around' with their boyfriend and somehow his sperm was left on her leg and somehow, again, it managed to crawl up her thigh and make her pregnant... Or something as equally far-fetched.
These urban legends circulated around us often because we had such a lack of information about sex, sexual acts, and contraception – and unfortunately, still don't have as large a resource as would be ideal.
The fact of the matter is, there are so many ways to not have a baby, if you don't want one. That's the point of protection and contraception.
You can abstain, for one, which some people find works for them – don't have sex and don't get pregnant. It's actually the most efficient form of contraception – but it has one of the lowest success rates.
You could also have responsible sex and use condoms, or the pill, or get an IUD.
There are plenty of methods available to sexually active people, and responsible sex is something that any couple who is interested in has to work on. But you have to figure out where you're going to get the information from.
We all have stories like the one above, so clearly, your peers are probably not the people you should be asking, especially because they probably know just as much as you do.
Whether you go to the gynaecologist, your best bet, or random television advertisements, or the school nurse, they may not give you the right advice. Always read up on what you are told because some advice may vary depending on who you are, or how old you are.
There are many factors to consider. If possible, get a second opinion, and always share what you've learned with your friends. They might need the information and not necessarily know how to get it.
Speaking of information, there are a couple of really weird contraception ideas out there that we can tell you for a fact are not true.
If you jump up and down after he comes in you, you won't get pregnant. This is not true! Once the sperm is already inside the vaginal canal, which measures about 4 inches as it curves up, jumping up and down won't get them out.
The sperm will move using gravity and simply slide down your leg, and beat a hasty retreat.
Here's one we heard and keep disproving from the former president of the Republic of South Africa – if you have sex with a virgin and take a shower after, you won't get STDs. Sounds ridiculous, right? That's not how STDs work! This can be pretty dangerous when people think they are cured of whatever they have and are instead just passing it around.
There's one that says if you let just the tip in, you won't get pregnant. Also untrue. Pre-cum – the fluid that gathers during sexual excitement for a male – contains some sperm in it, and therefore, if he places his penis inside you, getting pregnant isn't impossible.
And what happens if the person can't stop at just the tip? That'll complicate matters even further. This is why withdrawal is also not a foolproof method of contraception, as it relies far too much on the hopeful rationality of the humans having sex.
If you have sex standing, you won't get pregnant. These are people hoping that conception only happens in certain positions. And that's not true! Vertical motion does not result in negative conception.
Have you heard other urban legends? Share them with us below or on Facebook.