If I had sex without a condom but I know I wasn't ovulating. Now I'm feeling kind of nauseous and my my breasts are sore. Could I be pregnant?

Because the menstrual cycle can change slightly every month, it's not possible to be totally sure when you're ovulating. Ovulation is not something you can feel, and It is very complicated to track. Some people use thermometers or special kits to determine whether they're ovulating, but it's usually just an estimate. Also, it's possible to get pregnant ANY day of your menstrual cycle, not just when you're ovulating. This includes during your period. Because of this, we always recommend Plan B after unprotected sex. 

Plan B works in the same way normal birth control pills work, by stopping ovulation. If you had already ovulated, it would do nothing. The sooner you take Plan B, the more effective it will be. However,  you can take it up to three days after unprotected sex and it can still be effective.


The only way to know for sure whether you're pregnant is to take a pregnancy test. You have to wait at least two weeks after unprotected sex to take a pregnancy test, or else it may not be accurate.

I'm on birth control pills and my boyfriend came inside me when I was ovulating. Should I take Plan B?

First of all, birth control pills stop ovulation from happening, so if you've been taking them consistently at the same time every day, they are around 99% effective at preventing pregnancy and you are not ovulating. For that reason, it would also not be necessary to take Plan B. Plan B stops ovulation from happening in the same way birth control pills do, just using a higher dose of hormones. 

If, however, you have not been taking your pills consistently, it might be necessary to take Plan B because the pills aren't working as effectively. 

How do I know if I'm ovulating? ​

Ovulation, when the ovaries release an egg, is not something you can feel, and It is complicated to track. Some people use thermometers or special kits to determine whether they're ovulating, but it's usually just an estimate. Because the menstrual cycle can change slightly every month, it's not possible to be totally sure when you're ovulating

Some people will feel a bit of cramping when they're ovulating. This is known as Mittelschmerz, which means "middle pain" in German. This type of cramping is one-sided, lower abdominal pain. It can occur midway through a menstrual cycle, usually about 14 days before your next menstrual period.

How long does ovulation last? ​

The normal menstrual cycle is generally between 21 and 35 days, and studies show that ovulation tends to happen 14 days before you start your period. When ovulation happens, an egg leaves the uterus and travels down the Fallopian tubes. It can survive 12-14 hours before it breaks down into the uterine lining and is shed when you get your period. If sperm were to be in the vagina during this time, it could fertilize the egg (leading to pregnancy). 

Just because ovulation usually lasts only 12-24 hours does NOT mean you can't get pregnant the rest of the time. The "fertile window" is said to be about 5 days because sperm can live in the vagina for up to 5 days. This means you could technically get pregnant from vaginal sex that happens anywhere from 5 days before ovulation til about 24 hours after ovulation. 

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