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

Reviewed by: Larissa Hirsch, MD

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 about halfway between periods, when happens. Ovulation is when an egg is released from the ovaries.

But trying to time things to a "safe" time can lead to an accidental pregnancy. That's because it's very hard to predict exactly when the egg will be released. And girls can be fertile for several days before and after they ovulate.

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

*Names have been changed to protect user privacy.

Reviewed by: Larissa Hirsch, MD
Date reviewed: July 2018