I’ve recently begun watching porn, and I’ve repeatedly heard women say it was okay to have unprotected sex due to it being a ‘safe day.’ What does this mean, and does it relate to a woman’s period?

Thank you for your question.

  • It might be helpful to review some facts about menstrual cycles:
  • They can vary in length between 21-35 days on average.
  • Changes in hormones during the menstrual cycle lead to ovulation or release of an egg from an ovary.
  • Ovulation occurs between periods, though the exact timing is different for different people.
  • A person with a vagina and uterus is more likely to get pregnant if they have vagina-penis sex the days before and after ovulation.

While there are times when people are more likely to get pregnant during their menstrual cycle, there are also times when people are less likely to get pregnant. This is likely what the ‘safe day’ comment meant. However, it’s important to remember:

  • Essentially any time there is penis and vagina contact there is a chance of pregnancy.
  • Ovulation can be hard to predict, so it can be hard to know whether someone is more or less likely to get pregnant.
  • Any time there is genital contact there’s a risk of sexually transmitted infections, such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, or HIV.

That’s why it’s important to know how to protect against an unplanned pregnancy by using birth control (if your partner has a vagina and uterus) and condoms. Condoms also help prevent sexually transmitted infections. Before having sex, talk to your partner about what you both would like to do to be safe against pregnancy (if vagina penis contact) and/or sexually transmitted infections (any genital contact). Be sure to discuss what you feel comfortable with doing with your partner before you have sex, so you are both in agreement.