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Unprotected Sex - How Long Until I Know If I Am Pregnant?

Published: 19 January 2011
Dear TeenHealthFX,
i had un protected sex last week and yesterday how long will it be before i find out if im pregnant?
Signed: Unprotected Sex - How Long Until I Know If I Am Pregnant?

Dear Unprotected Sex - How Long Until I Know If I Am Pregnant?,

 

When you will learn whether or not you are pregnant depends mostly on when you are expecting your next period. A missed period can certainly be a sign of pregnancy and a positive pregnancy test (usually taken around the time of your next expected period) will tell you for sure (although it is always a good idea to confirm pregnancy with your doctor after a positive pregnancy test). There are some pregnancy tests that can determine pregnancy up to four days before your next expected period – however, it can be common to get a false negative in the days leading up to your period, so if you take a pregnancy test before you get your period and the result is negative, you should follow-up with another pregnancy test within a few days after the day of your next expected period. (The directions that accompany your pregnancy test will explain in detail the specifics of how that particular test works).  

When you find out can be complicated by a few factors:

·         When you are expecting your next period. If you are expecting your next period within the next few days, obviously you will know sooner than if you are expecting your next period in 2 ½ weeks.

·         Menstrual cycles can be irregular for teens. If your cycle is irregular, than it may be tough for you to know when your next expected period is.

·         Response to pregnancy tests. Some people will get false negatives even in the days after their next period – some women have to wait longer than others for pregnancy tests to detect enough hormones in their systems to give them an accurate result.

If you think you may be pregnant, FX recommends speaking to your primary care physician, your gynecologist, or an adolescent medicine specialist about it. When you speak to a doctor, FX strongly suggests that you also talk to him/her about safer sex methods. By having unprotected sex you put yourself at risk for unwanted pregnancies, but you also put yourself at risk for the transmission of STDs. If you are going to be sexually active, speak to your doctor about whether the use of condoms and a back-up method of birth control such as the pill are the best methods for you, and find out if it would be a good idea for you to be tested for any STDs.

FX also suggests you learn about Emergency Contraception (EC).  If you have unprotected sex or your birth control method fails (i.e., the condom breaks), EC can help to prevent unwanted pregnancies when taken within 72 hours of having unprotected sex. Keep in mind that EC is NOT meant as a regular means of birth control and that it provides no protection against the transmission of STDs. To learn more about EC, read our answer to What Does The Emergency Contraception Pill Do?

 

Resources:

·         If you don't have a doctor and live in northern New Jersey, you can call the Adolescent/Young Adult Center for Health at 973-971-6475 for an appointment with an adolescent medicine specialist or contact your local teen health center or Planned Parenthood. You can also contact your insurance company for a list of in-network providers.

·         If you need to find a free pregnancy testing center, you can call 866-942-6466 or go to www.PregnancyLine.com. If this is an unplanned pregnancy, you can call 1-800-672-2296. And if you are pregnant, but have no medical insurance, you can call 1-800-450-0183.

Signed: TeenHealthFX

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