One of the most crucial decisions a couple makes before they have intercourse is whether they are going to use birth control or not. And if they are, then which method should they choose? Pregnancy should ideally be a matter of choice. Of course, accidents do happen. But it’s always good to know the facts so that you can take care and make an informed choice about when you conceive.
When you first start experimenting with sex in your teens or early twenties, your biggest concern may be an unwanted pregnancy. You are likely to have a number of doubts about how and when pregnancy can occur. Precum may be something you’ve heard about, but you’re not sure if it can get you pregnant.
Precum (or the pre-ejaculate) is the clear bodily fluid that may seep out of the penis during sex, but before the man fully ejaculates. The penis discharges this before semen, and most men neither notice it nor have any control over it. Precum cleans bacteria and leftover urine from the urethra, and reduces the acidity in the vagina.
Here are some facts about precum that distinguish it from actual seminal fluid or semen:
- It’s normal – most men release precum when sexually aroused, and before the actual orgasm.
- It’s clear, odourless and viscous – as compared to semen, which is milky white in colour.
- Produced in the Cowper’s gland – at the base of the penis. Semen, on the other hand, is produced in the testes.
- Composition – of precum is different from that of semen. This contains acid phosphatase, fructose and different proteins.
- Acts as a lubricant – for the foreskin during intercourse.
- Small quantity – usually only a few drops of precum are discharged. Too much of precum isn’t good, you may need to slow down the foreplay.
- Contains HIV virus – it is best to use protection to avoid contracting the virus or other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
So does it mean that you can get pregnant with precum?
Sometimes, small amounts of sperm may also enter precum, though this varies from person to person. When there is sperm in the precum, it may reach the vaginal opening and fertilize an egg. In that case, there is a possibility that pregnancy may occur. Also precum coagulates semen in the vagina – by keeping the semen in the vagina for a longer period, precum may increase the odds of the woman getting pregnant.
Of course, the amount of sperm present in precum is a lot less than if the man were to ejaculate fully, so the chances of pregnancy are reduced by that much. Especially for couples using the pull out method of birth control, there is a need to make sure not even a single drop of precum or semen (or cum) reaches the vagina in order to avoid pregnancy. It is better to use an alternate birth control form to avoid accidents.
Is it also possible to get pregnant without actual penetration?
Yes, even if there is no actual sexual intercourse, the female partner may get pregnant. All it takes is for one sperm to enter the vagina and meet an egg it can fertilize! There are millions of sperms in semen (even precum may have sperm). If live sperm reaches the vagina in any way, the chance of pregnancy is there. This may occur in a number of ways.
- If your partner ejaculates near your vagina during oral sex or other naked sex play
- If you or your partner touch the vulva or the vagina with fingers or any object smeared with pre-ejaculate fluid
- If your partner ejaculates during anal sex and the fluid leaks into the vulva
Of course, these are not very common occurrences. Nonetheless, it is best to protect yourself and your partner by using other methods of contraception.
Can dry humping precum get you pregnant?
Similarly, you may be intimate with your partner by grinding or dry humping, which essentially means that you go through the motions of having sex without actually penetrating. While slim, the chances of pregnancy do exist if you’re naked, since semen may enter the vulva or the vagina.