How Do Women Get Pregnant?

Women can get pregnant in a variety of ways.

One common way is through unprotected vaginal intercourse, during which a man ejaculates sperm into the vagina. The sperm can then travel up through the cervix, into the uterus, and, if an egg is present, the sperm may fertilize it.

It is also possible — but less likely — for women to become pregnant through any kind of sex play in which semen, or ejaculate, comes in contact with the vulva. The sperm can travel through the moisture on the vulva into the vagina.

Another way for a woman to get pregnant is through alternative insemination. During alternative insemination, sperm are inserted into a woman's vagina or uterus using a syringe or other device. The sperm may come from a woman's male partner, or from a donor. When a sperm donor is used, the procedure is sometimes called donor insemination. Alternative insemination is an option for single women, women who have women partners, or for couples who are dealing with infertility.

A woman who is dealing with infertility may also get pregnant through other Fertility Treatments like In Vitro Fertilization (IVF). To do this, a woman's eggs are taken out of her body and combined with sperm. Then, one or more of the fertilized eggs are implanted back into the uterus.

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