One of the questions that health experts receive from parents and teenagers looking to avoid unwanted pregnancies is, “Can I get pregnant from precum?” People ask this question because they want to enjoy intercourse without the risk of unplanned pregnancies.
Well, the answer is YES, and in this article, we seek to clarify why it is possible and how to mitigate the risk of a pregnancy.
What is Precum?
Pre-ejaculate or precum is a clear fluid that is found in the gland of litter and Cowper’s gland. Pre-ejaculate is different in physical and chemical composition from regular cum: Precum is thinner, more transparent, and comes in sizable quantity and can amount up to about 5 ml depending on the individual.
When a guy first gets aroused, pre-ejaculate is secreted by the Cowper’s gland and gland of litter to clean out urine from the urethra, reduce acidity, and provide lubrication.
So, Can I get Pregnant from Precum?
Spermatogenesis is the process by which the testes produce sperms. These sperms will later fertilize an egg leading to conception. Sperms cannot survive in an acidic environment that is why the body secretes this fluid to neutralize the environment.
This fluid does not contain any sperms. However, you can get pregnant if:
1). Sperm Remains
Leftover sperm from the urethra from a previous ejaculation can mix with this fluid and cause a pregnancy. The remaining sperm sits at the crown of your guy’s penis, and when he gets aroused, the precum could carry these sperms into your vagina. At this point, even if your partner withdraws, the damage has already been done.
2). Spermatozoa in Precum
Though it is rare, it is possible for small amounts of sperm to exit men’s reproductive systems and make its way into the pre-ejaculate. This sperm mixes with the liquid, and if no protection is used during coitus, conception will take place.
Precum itself doesn’t contain sperm. But some men’s reproductive systems leak small amounts of sperm into their pre-ejaculate.
Studies on Precum Fertility
For several years, studies had been conducted to prove that pre-ejaculate can cause pregnancy; most of them did not find convincing proof. However, a survey carried out in 2011 found compelling evidence that indeed there is sperm in this fluid.
27 adult males participated in this study. They were asked to masturbate at specific intervals and collect their pre-ejaculatory fluid for analysis; 40 samples were collected. Semen was found in the pre-ejaculate of 11 participants (41%).
The study also showed that 37% of the participants have sperm in their pre-ejaculatory fluid which could fertilize an egg. These scientists proved false the belief that urinating after ejaculation flushes out the leftover sperm making it safe to resume intercourse without protection.
It is true that precum does not have spermatozoa. However, sperms that remain on the crown of the penis and sperms that get mixed with this fluid during arousal could cause an unintended pregnancy.
To mitigate the risk of an unwanted pregnancy, you should:
- Use the withdrawal method: millions of people have used this method safely, though it does NOT guarantee 100% protection.
- Use condoms: This method prevents STDs and unwanted pregnancies.
- Contraceptives: as a woman, you will feel more secure using contraceptives that prevent unprecedented pregnancy.
Pre-cum isn’t something you can control. The fluid release is an involuntary bodily function that happens right before ejaculation. This is why the withdrawal method doesn’t work as well at preventing pregnancy as other birth control options, such as pills or condoms.
Do not trust precum; it will leave you in a mess. You can get pregnant from pre-ejaculate. Protect yourself during sexual intercourse by using the above precautionary measures.
- Hum Fertil (Camb). 2011 Mar; 14(1): 48–52. “Sperm content of pre-ejaculatory fluid”.
- PLoS One. 2015; 10(7): e0132974. “The semen pH affects sperm motility and capacitation”