When's the Best Time to Have Sex and Avoid Pregnancy?

When's the Best Time to Have Sex and Avoid Pregnancy?

Based on your menstrual cycle, when's the best time to have sex so you have the lowest chance of pregnancy?
- Megan*

The time a girl is most likely to get pregnant is the time about halfway between periods, when ovulation occurs. But trying to time things to a "safe" time can lead to an unintended pregnancy because it can be very difficult to predict exactly when the egg will emerge from the ovary ready to be fertilized. And girls can be fertile for several days around the time of ovulation.

Couples having sex should use a more reliable method to prevent pregnancy, like birth control pills or the patch — as well as condoms to help prevent sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

Reviewed by: Larissa Hirsch, MD
Date reviewed: August 2013

*Names have been changed to protect user privacy.





Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.

© 1995-2015 KidsHealth® All rights reserved.
Images provided by iStock, Getty Images, Corbis, Veer, Science Photo Library, Science Source Images, Shutterstock, and Clipart.com





Bookmark and Share

Related Resources
Web SitePlanned Parenthood Info for Teens This site from the Planned Parenthood Federation of America has information on relationships and sexual health for teens.
Web SiteAmerican Sexual Health Association This nonprofit organization is dedicated to preventing sexually transmitted diseases and offers hotlines for prevention and control of STDs.
Web SiteNational Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy This site provides teen pregnancy facts, resources, and prevention tips.
OrganizationAmerican College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) This site offers information on numerous health issues. The women's health section includes readings on pregnancy, labor, delivery, postpartum care, breast health, menopause, contraception, and more.
Related Articles
Do You Need a Pelvic Exam to Get Birth Control? Find out what the experts have to say.
Talking to Your Partner About Condoms Some people - even those who are having sex - are embarrassed by the topic of condoms. Here are some tips for talking about condoms with your partner.
Birth Control Methods: How Well Do They Work? Some birth control methods work better than others. This chart compares how well different birth control methods work.
Emergency Contraception Emergency contraception is used for emergencies only -for example, if a condom breaks or slips off during sex. It is also available to teens who are forced to have unprotected sex.
Fertility Awareness Before you consider having sex, you need to know how to protect yourself. Read this article to learn what the rhythm method of birth control is and how it works - and some of the reasons why it might not work for teens.
About Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) You've probably heard lots of discouraging news about sexually transmitted diseases. The good news is that STDs can be prevented. Find out how to protect yourself.
About Birth Control Before you consider having sex, you need to know how to protect yourself. Read this article to get the basics on birth control.
Developments Developments
Sign up for enewsletter
Get involved Get involved
Discover ways to support Akron Children's