Reproductive Health/Pregnancy

Below are some of the questions people have sent us about Reproductive Health/Pregnancy. Click the + to see answers from our experts.


I'm a virgin and my boyfriend fingered me for the first time today. He washed his hands first but is afraid there was a tiny amount of sperm on his finger. Is there a chance I’m pregnant? Please help I’m worried sick. 

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We think the possibility of pregnancy is very, very small based on what you described. It is possible to get pregnant if your boyfriend ejaculates ("cums") near the opening of your vagina, and this is one way that people get pregnant even when they've never had the kind of sex where the man's penis is in the woman's vagina. 

It does sound as if you and your boyfriend are beginning to think about having sex together. If so, we wonder if you've talked to him about this, talked about what both of you want in your relationship, and talked about preventing pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs)? It might also be a good time to do some thinking about how you feel about having sex, and to do some research about healthy sex, preventing pregnancy, and preventing STIs. It can even be helpful to talk to someone you trust, or even your doctor. 

ASHA’s page on Reduce Your Risk has more on how to prevent pregnancy and STIs, including how to talk about it with your partner.   

Use our clinic locator to search for a free or low-cost clinic in your area where you can ask questions or get tested. 

--The ASHA Staff

I’m kind of worried: is it possible to break your hymen after you’ve already lost your virginity? I never bled the first time (or any other time) after that until the last time I had sex with my boyfriend. I know for a fact that it wasn’t my period, so what could have caused me to bleed? 

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Hello and thanks for getting in touch with us. Women can experience bleeding after sex for a number of reasons.  Because some of those reasons include sexually transmitted infections or other medical problems, we suggest you visit your health care professional.  It sounds like you are concerned about the bleeding.  The most reassuring answer you can get will be to be seen in person.  If you do not already see someone for gynecologic care, you can either make an appointment with a gynecologist's office or look for a family planning clinic or Planned Parenthood clinic.  There are also clinics for evaluating and treating STIs (sexually transmitted infections).  The clinics generally have a sliding fee scale so that everyone can afford the care if they don't have insurance.

If you’ve had unprotected sex, talk with your healthcare providers about STIs and recommended tests. For example, all sexually active women age 25 and under are recommended to have a chlamydia test once a year. We also strongly suggest using condoms even if you are on another method of contraception such as the pill; condoms help prevent STIs.