Sulit Health: Q&A about Getting Pregnant

Pregnancy Qna
by Johanna Patricia A. Cañal, MD, MHA, MSc

We’ve heard many of these before and once and for all, allow me to correct the misconceptions.

  1. I only had sex once. Can I be pregnant from just one time?

Truth:  it only takes one time, if sex is done at the right time.  In a menstrual cycle (roughly about a month long), there is a time when a woman is not fertile and a part of that month when a woman is.  This fertile time is around ovulation, when an egg is released from the ovary.  If a woman has regular 25- to 28-day cycles, ovulation is more predictable… about 2 weeks after the first day of menses.  It is if a woman does NOT have a regular cycle when ovulation is hard to predict.  So, one time?  Yes, once is enough.

  1. I was told that I wouldn’t get pregnant if I jumped after sex. True?

I think the idea behind this is that sperm couldn’t enter the uterus if it all fell out of the vagina.   Not true.  During intercourse, the cervix (the entrance to the uterus) opens ever so slightly… slightly enough for sperm to enter.  So, if some sperm has entered the cervix, jumping won’t get rid of it easily.  And, as in the question above, all it takes is one.

  1. I heard that I can’t get pregnant if we have sex during a bath. True or false?

So, you got a little frisky in the bath, and you’re hoping that all that water (warm water at that) will prevent you from getting pregnant.  Believe me when I say that IT WON’T.  Again, if there was intercourse (at the right time of the month) and orgasm and enough sperm found its way into the cervix and vagina, there is a real chance that a woman can get pregnant.  It doesn’t matter if there is water to wash up after.  If there is one persistent sperm that finds its way home, then there is pregnancy.


This short article is part of a series of articles that is designed to make health care more understandable to non-doctors.

As a way of disclosure, I am a radiologist and a radiation oncologist.  My strengths, therefore, are diagnosing illness, particularly cancer, and cancer treatment.  Thus, I will be talking about medical tests and what these are about.

I shall also be talking about the dreaded disease, cancer.  In the 2nd decade of the 21st century, cancer is the #4 cause of death worldwide. NUMBER 4!  It used to be #10.  It has obviously been going up.  The number 1 and 2 killers are cardiovascular diseases…translated into heart attacks and strokes.  Number 3 is pneumonias and lung diseases.

The previous century was known as the century of infectious diseases.  The most common causes of disease and death were bacterial and viral pneumonia and tuberculosis.  The present century is the century of the lifestyle disease.  That is, infections don’t play as big a part as lifestyle diseases.  What are those?  Heart disease, strokes, cancers and injuries/accidents.

But then again, the 21st century has just started, and we already have a pandemic.  One never knows what will happen in the next 10, 20 or 30 years.  Thus, this series will discuss a range of topics, hopefully the topics most relevant to you.

If there is a topic that you want clarified, please do drop me an e-mail at [email protected]Please just fill in the subject line with: [SULIT] Your question


Johanna Patricia A. Cañal, MD, MHA, MSc

Pregnancy Qna
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