How deep does sperm need to go in a vagina to cause pregnancy?

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Someone asked us:

how far does sperm have to go in a vagina to get pregnant

Not far at all. In fact, get this: semen (aka cum) doesn’t even have to be ejaculated into a vagina to cause pregnancy.

Semen what comes out of the penis during ejaculation contains millions of sperm cells, and it only takes one little sperm to cause a pregnancy. If semen gets ON the vulva or near the vaginal opening, the sperm cells that live in semen can swim into the vagina and fertilize an egg.

And it’s not just semen doing all the work: the lubrication vaginas produce when sexy stuff is going on provides a slippery pathway into the vaginal opening. Imagine sperm have a very important appointment with an egg, and all those sexual fluids are their GPS.

So while pregnancy is more likely to happen if sperm gets directly into the vagina, it can also happen if the vulva or vaginal area gets semen on it. This is why it’s so important to use condoms and birth control during sexual activity.

-Kendall at Planned Parenthood

Why doesn’t Medicaid cover abortion? How do you pay for it?

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Someone asked us:

how do you pay for an abortion? why won’t medicaid cover it?

Those are very good questions – ones that a lot of people are curious about.

For those of you who don’t know, Medicaid is government-funded insurance for low-income people. There’s federal funding for Medicaid and also state funding for Medicaid.

The Hyde Amendment prohibits the federal government from paying for abortion except in cases of rape, incest, or if the pregnant person’s life is in danger.

However, the Hyde Amendment doesn’t keep states from using their own Medicaid money to cover abortion. Right now, 17 states use their own state funds to cover abortion for those who have insurance through Medicaid.  

When it comes to private health insurance, it depends on the plan. Some cover abortion and some don’t. So the best thing to do is to call your Medicaid or private insurance office and the health center where you’re getting your procedure to find out if your abortion will covered and how much it will cost.

If your insurance won’t cover your abortion, or if you don’t have health insurance, your local Planned Parenthood health center may be able to help. Many health centers can work out a payment plan with you. Some even provide services on a sliding scale (meaning the lower your income, the less you pay).

You can also check out the Abortion Access Fund, which provides funding for abortions for those who cannot afford them.

Learn more about the Hyde Amendment and Medicaid laws in your state.

-Chelsea @ Planned Parenthood

What’s the safest way for me to have a baby with my HIV+ partner?

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Someone asked us:

My boyfriend has HIV and we always wear condoms as a result, but we’ve always wanted to have children together and have danced around the fact our condom use prevents that. Is there anything we can do to have children with IVF while still keeping me (and our future babies) safe?

Good news! Mixed-status couples can have perfectly healthy children without spreading HIV. Here’s what you need to know:

Look into something called “sperm washing.” Sperm washing can remove HIV from semen, making it safe to use for fertility procedures (like artificial insemination or in vitro fertilization).

If the person who is looking to get pregnant is HIV positive, then artificial insemination or in vitro fertilization is the way to go, along with following a doctor’s advice for treatment throughout pregnancy. Additionally, people living with HIV/AIDS should NOT breastfeed their babies. Along with semen, vaginal fluids, and blood, HIV is also carried in breast milk, so nursing can pass the virus to their child.

At the end of the day, your best bet is to find a doctor who knows about this stuff and work with them to figure out what makes the most sense for you.

Finally, whether or not y’all are trying to get pregnant, look into backing up those condoms with PReP to further reduce your risk of HIV transmission.

-Mylanie at Planned Parenthood

Can you use tampons after taking the morning-after pill?

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Someone asked us:

If you are toward the end of your period and use emergency contraceptive is it ok to still use tampons ?

Absolutely! Using tampons (or pads or cups) after taking emergency contraception (AKA the morning-after pill) is totally fine.

After you take the morning-after pill, your next period may come at a different time and/or be heavier or lighter than usual, but you can treat it like a regular ol’ period and use whatever you normally use to deal with it.

But if you haven’t gotten your period  within three weeks of taking EC, take a pregnancy test.

-Kendall at Planned Parenthood