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Where Do Babies Come From?
Where Do Babies Come From?
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Where Do Babies Come From?

There are lots of myths out there about how a person can and cannot become pregnant, so it’s important to know the facts.

When a guy goes through puberty, his testicles begin to make sperm. When a girl goes through puberty her ovaries start to release an egg about once a month. Once a guy produces sperm and a girl produces eggs, if they were to have unprotected sex with each other, their bodies could reproduce or make a baby. Going through puberty does not mean you are ready to have a baby, but it’s good to understand how pregnancy happens and how to prevent it when it comes time to become sexually active. For those who are sexually active it’s important to know how to recognise the symptoms when you or someone you know may be pregnant and what options they have, what support they may need and where they can get it.

How does the sperm get into the vagina?

The erect penis is put into the vagina. If the penis releases semen (a process called ejaculation) in the vagina or on the vaginal opening, then semen can get into the vagina and travel inside the body. Semen contains sperm, and if the female has released an egg from her ovary (a process called ovulation), one of those sperm could unite with the egg and begin the process of reproduction inside the uterus (womb).

Can someone my age really get pregnant or get someone pregnant?

As soon as someone starts to go through the process of puberty it’s possible to get pregnant or to get someone pregnant. That’s why it’s so important to know how pregnancy happens and how to prevent it if you or your partner are not ready to be parents.

Are there other ways to make a baby besides a man and woman having sex?

For a pregnancy to form, a sperm and an egg have to join, which usually happens through sexual intercourse.

But there are lots of ways that people make families. For example, some people adopt babies, act as foster parents or have the help of a surrogate (a woman who carries the pregnancy to term for someone or a couple who want to be a parent). Some people have a mom and a dad, others have two moms, two dads, just one parent or are raised by a relative like an aunt or a grandparent.

Many people hear myths and misconceptions about how their bodies work, including ways a person can and cannot become pregnant, so it’s important young people have medically accurate information about their bodies and how pregnancy happens. Additionally, knowing the correct anatomical terms for body parts can help young people understand pregnancy and reproduction, set boundaries with other people and effectively communicate with their parents/guardians and health care providers.

Parents can talk with their children about puberty, including how the testicles begin to produce sperm and how the ovaries begin to release an egg about once a month. Young people should understand that going through puberty means that if they were to have unprotected penile-vaginal intercourse, they could now get pregnant or cause a pregnancy.

When young people have an understanding of puberty and basic reproductive anatomy, parents or guardians can explain that penile-vaginal intercourse is when an erect penis is placed in a vagina. If the penis releases semen (a process called ejaculation) in the vagina or on the vaginal opening, and the ovary has released an egg, then a single sperm in the semen could unite with an egg and begin the process of reproduction. The fertilized egg would then implant inside of the uterus to begin a pregnancy. If a pregnancy does not occur, the uterine lining is shed about once a month during a process called menstruation.

Talking to your children about puberty and reproduction is an important part of having them understand their bodies. This lays the foundation for them to know the facts about reproduction and preventing pregnancy before they become sexually active with a partner.


When parents or guardians start talking with young people about how pregnancy does and doesn’t occur and how to prevent it, before their children become sexually active, young people know they can come to their parents if and when they have questions. You may choose to bring up pregnancy when a friend, relative or a character on a TV show becomes pregnant, or while at a drugstore picking up menstrual products. Below are some ways to start these conversations:

If someone you know or a family member is pregnant, talk to your child about it

“Today I found out that your aunt is having another baby! Pregnancy is a pretty incredible process. What have you learned about how pregnancy happens?”

If you’re watching a TV show where a couple is pregnant, you can talk to your child about it

“Do you think those two characters are ready to have a baby?” If a couple if facing an unintended pregnancy in a movie or TV series, you could also ask, “How do you think they could have prevented the pregnancy?”