Sex Topics

Q.       Can pre-cum (pre-ejaculatory fluid) make me pregnant?

A.      This fluid is thought to mostly be a lubricant and an acid reducer, and may only contain a small amount of semen.  There is disagreement about how much semen is in this fluid, but if there is any it can certainly make you pregnant.  This is one reason why the “pull out method” does not always prevent pregnancy.  Keep in mind that any unprotected sex always has the potential for pregnancy as well as sexually-transmitted diseases.


Q.       How effective is the “pull out method” of contraception?

A.      It is not effective.  Meanwhile, condoms and other birth control measures can be up to 99 percent effective.  Protected sex is also beneficial because it protects you from sexually transmitted diseases.


Q.      How effective is the “fertility calendar method” of contraception?

A.      A woman’s cycle begins when eggs are released into the fallopian tube, where they await fertilization.  This happens during a time period between 12-16 days before your next menstrual period – when you are most-fertile.  A “fertility calendar” tracks that date each month, showing which days of the month you are most-likely to become pregnant.  As a method of contraception, this is most-effective when a woman is quite regular with her periods and carefully tracks days of the month.  Meanwhile, using contraception such as condoms does not require this tracking and can prevent pregnancy as well as sexually-transmitted diseases.


Q.       How long can sperm stay in the body and potentially make me pregnant?

A.      Sperm can remain alive and viable in the vagina and reproductive tract from five to seven days after intercourse, which means that it can theoretically impregnate you during this time.  Most sperm are thought to be active up to 24-48 hours in the vagina before they die.


Q.       While I am ovulating, how many days am I fertile?

A.      Your egg is fertile for about 12-24 hours after it is released from the ovary into the fallopian tube, but keep in mind that if you’ve had unprotected sex within a week prior to that time you can become pregnant because sperm can remain alive and viable up to seven days.  Thus, the sperm could fertilize the egg if it is in your reproductive tract.


Q.       Why should I have protected sex?

A.      If you are not trying to get pregnant, always use contraception.  In fact, it is good to always use condoms as protection when having sex.  It’s an effective contraceptive method and also protects you from other sexually-transmitted diseases such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, hepatitis, herpes, HIV/AIDs, HPV, PID, syphilis, etc.


Q.       Can sperm outside the vagina cause pregnancy?

A.      It is not possible for ejaculation of sperm outside of the vagina to cause pregnancy, unless sperm is somehow transferred into the vagina (e.g., sperm liquid runs into vagina, or is transferred on a finger, or other object).


Q.       Can I get pregnant if we only had sex for a few seconds?

A.      Yes, any time the penis and vagina are in direct contact (unprotected sex) there is a potential for pregnancy.  The chances of pregnancy in this situation are low compared to sex where ejaculation inside the vagina occurred, but there is still a risk.


Q.       Can I get pregnant if he did not come?

A.      Yes, any time the penis and vagina are in direct contact (without protection), there is the potential for pregnancy.


Q.        Can I get pregnant if I did not have an orgasm?

A.         Absolutely yes.  A female orgasm has no impact on the ability to become pregnant.


Q.       Can sperm travel through clothing?

A.      Yes, but direct vaginal contact is usually necessary for fertilization (and thus, pregnancy).


Q.      How effective is emergency contraception?

A.     These “morning-after” products (such as brands: Plan B, One-Step or Next Choice), when used as directed (within 72 hours of unprotected sex) can significantly reduce the chance of pregnancy.  They are about 85 percent effective.

  • Note that in the US these are available without a prescription.


Q.       Can I get pregnant from having sex once?

A.      Even a single unprotected sex act can result in pregnancy.  However, your odds of becoming pregnant from a single encounter depends upon your menstrual cycle.  You are unlikely to become pregnant if you are not near your time of ovulation (around 12-16 days before your next menstrual cycle).  If you are within this timeframe (or near it) your chances are much higher.


This information is not meant as a substitute for professional medical advice.

This video explains why the “pull out method” does not work.

Need more information? Check out the next section, our forum, or the Now What? section.

  • Ok so my boyfriend and i had sex on the first on june. while we were having sex he came but it wasnt in me all the way when he came but he pushed it in with his fingers could be pregnant

    • Hi Destiny,

      Sounds like the situation you describe has the potential for pregnancy. Always be sure to use some form of contraception if you are not trying to become pregnant.

      Hope you are doing well.

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