There are a lot of common misconceptions surrounding pregnancy, specifically surrounding the act of getting pregnant.
Growing up, sex education classes used to suggest that you would get pregnant by simply looking at a man. But in reality, getting pregnant is a lot more complicated than that.
Most people have heard of the mean girls’ quote “Don’t have sex because you’ll get pregnant and die!”, but in reality, the chances of getting pregnant from one act of sexual intercourse are fairly slim.
In order for a woman to conceive a baby, the stars essentially have to align. There is actually just a small window in each month during which each woman is able to conceive a baby.
This information might leave you questioning all sorts of things that you learned growing up. Specifically, the claim that even if a tiny bit of precum got near your vagina, you’re pregnant.
In this guide, we’re taking a look at absolutely everything you need to know about precum and pregnancy.
So, if you have ever wondered if you can get pregnant from precum, or what the chances are of this happening, read on to find out more!
What Is Precum?
First things first, let’s take a look at what Precum is. You most likely will have heard of precum, however, the explanations surrounding exactly what this is aren’t always easy to come by.
Essentially, precum is the substance that comes out of the penis prior to orgasm. When a man is sexually aroused, the body will release precum or pre-ejaculate.
It is easy to assume that ejaculation only occurs upon orgasm, which is why such importance is placed on precum in sexual education classes.
Simply because a lot of people forget about, or don’t consider precum.
Precum is released from glands that are found between the penis and the prostate. These bulbourethral glands are pea-sized glands that play an essential role in the sexual organs of a man.
However, despite this, very little information is actually known about the amount of sperm contained in precum.
For the most part, this is why a lot of caution is placed on precum in sex ed. Classes. It is unknown how much viable sperm is contained in precum as this will differ from man to man.
So it is very difficult to put a specific risk percentage on the chance of getting pregnant from precum. That is why it is best to be cautious about this if you are actively avoiding becoming pregnant.
Can You Get Pregnant From Precum?
Now that we’ve taken a look at what precum is, let’s find out if you can get pregnant from precum.
As we have said, in sexual education classes it was often implied that the chances of getting pregnant from precum were very high. But is this actually the case?
The chances of getting pregnant from precum are very low. It is impossible to give an exact number for how low this is as the amount of sperm carried in precum differs from man to man.
But for the most part, you will not get pregnant from precum.
Some research has suggested that most of the time, no sperm is found in the precum.
Other studies have found that sperm is carried in the precum, but most of the time this sperm is weak, poorly formed, or immobile.
This essentially means that the chances of this sperm successfully fertilizing an egg are slim.
However, while that is said, all it takes is one healthy sperm to fertilize an egg. So, the chances of you getting pregnant are not impossible.
All it takes is one strong sperm, and you could get pregnant without your sexual partner even ejaculating. So it is important to be cautious about precum.
Of course, there is one other factor that we haven’t actually considered here in relation to precum, and that is ovulation. So, let’s take a look at how this impacts the chances of getting pregnant.
What Are The Chances Of Getting Pregnant From Precum?
In order to fully understand the chances of getting pregnant from precum, we first need to take a deeper look at the chances of getting pregnant from ejaculation during unprotected sex.
The Impact Of Ovulation
A lot of information out there will imply that whenever you have unprotected sex (sex without using contraception), there is a high chance of you becoming pregnant.
There is a huge misconception that women can get pregnant at any time of the month.
However, while a man can get a woman pregnant at any time, women can only conceive during a specific window each month.
Once women hit puberty, they will start to experience a menstrual cycle. The average cycle length is 28–32 days so it is often considered to be a “monthly” cycle.
During this cycle, there will be a section where a woman gets her period, a section where a woman is ovulating, and a larger section where the conception of a baby is impossible.
If you track your period, when you are ovulating, or both, then it will be possible to calculate the period of time in which you will be able to conceive a baby.
The only time that you will be able to conceive is when you are ovulating.
Ovulation occurs when an egg is released from the ovary to travel to the uterus. During this time, if unprotected sex occurs then there is a good chance that you will become pregnant.
The chances of conceiving are highest on the day of ovulation, however, it is also possible to get pregnant if you have unprotected sex in the 5 days leading up to ovulation and in the 24 hours post-ovulation.
Having unprotected sex on the day of ovulation gives you the best chance of conceiving a baby.
However, sperm can survive for up to 5 days within the vaginal region, so it is possible to get pregnant if you have sex before you ovulate.
The egg can survive for around 12-24 hours post-ovulation, so it is also possible to get pregnant if you have unprotected sex during this time.
The Stars Align
As we said earlier, in order for a woman to conceive a baby, the stars really need to align. This is why the risk of accidental pregnancy isn’t actually as high as you might expect it to be.
If a woman has a regular cycle and is tracking her cycle, then most of the time it is possible to avoid accidental pregnancy.
If a woman has an irregular cycle, then tracking ovulation can be tricky. Conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome can have a huge impact on your menstrual cycle and make it impossible to track ovulation.
Even when using a tracking app. If you are on medication that affects your cycle, then this will also make it difficult to track ovulation.
However, let’s work on the premise that you are a woman with a healthy menstrual cycle. If this is the case, then you will only be able to get pregnant during that ovulation window of around 7 days.
So the first thing that would need to happen is you would have to have unprotected sex where precum enters the vagina during this 7-day window.
In addition to this, the sperm carried in the precum would have to be strong and healthy.
If you have sex during the first 5 days of that window, then the sperm will have to not only be strong and healthy enough to enter the vagina, but it will also have to be hardy enough to survive for up to 5 days until you ovulate.
As we know, a lot of research suggests that the sperm carried in the precum is weak and inactive, so this means that the chances of you getting pregnant from this sperm are weak.
Combine this with the fact that most of the time you will have unprotected sex outside the ovulation window, your chances of getting pregnant from precum are incredibly slim.
That being said, if you had unprotected sex during your last cycle and your period is more than a week, then there is a chance of pregnancy.
Even if your partner used a contraceptive method, such as the withdrawal method, if there is a chance that precum entered your vagina, then there is a risk of you being pregnant.
So it is worth taking a pregnancy test or consulting with your doctor for more advice.
What Is The Purpose Of Precum?
While lots of research has been done into the human body, for the most part, a lot of what happens within our bodies is a mystery to us.
So, while you may understand that precum is a thing, there’s a good chance that you don’t really know what the purpose of this is.
As we have established, precum generally doesn’t carry a lot, if any, sperm. So the purpose of precum is not to carry sperm, what is the purpose of this?
Well, simply put, precum is a fluid that is released to protect sperm against the conditions within a woman’s vagina.
Generally, the vagina and all its inner workings are pretty acidic, which isn’t the best environment for sperm.
Precum is released to protect the sperm before ejaculation, and it also plays a part in adding lubrication during sexual intercourse. So, precum does have a purpose, and it isn’t to get you pregnant.
Contraceptive Methods That Protect Against Precum
Even though the chances of you being impregnated by precum are very slim, it is still a good idea to protect yourself against this if you do not want to become pregnant.
While the chances of getting pregnant from precum are slim, the chances of contracting a sexual disease from it are high. So, it is important to use contraception if you want to protect your sexual health.
While there are lots of contraceptive methods that will protect against precum for pregnancy, the methods that will protect against sexual disease are much slimmer.
Hormonal contraceptives, such as the pill or the implant, will protect you against pregnancy when used effectively.
But they will not protect you against sexual diseases that could be transmitted through precum.
The only contraceptive method that protects against the transmission of sexual diseases is the barrier method.
When used correctly, condoms are incredibly effective as they create a barrier between a man’s and a woman’s sexual organs, ensuring that no precum, ejaculation, or sperm is able to enter the woman’s vagina.
So if you want to protect yourself against precum as much as popular, then condoms are the most effective method of contraception to use.
In short, the chances of getting pregnant from precum are very slim. In order for a woman to get pregnant from precum, she would have to have unprotected sex during the ovulation window.
In addition to this, the precum that entered the vagina would have to contain active and healthy sperm.
Most of the time, precum does not contain any sperm. Research has suggested that when precum does contain sperm, the sperm in precum tend to be very inactive and pretty weak.
So, this reduces the risk of getting pregnant through precum significantly.
That being said, all it would take is for one active and healthy sperm to be found in the precum that enters the vagina during ovulation, and suddenly the chances of getting pregnant are very high.
For that very reason, it is a good idea to use contraception if you do not want to get pregnant.
In addition to this, while the risk of getting pregnant through precum is low, the risk of contracting a sexual disease through precum is high.
So, if you want to protect your sexual health, it is a good idea to use contraception to protect yourself against this.
Remember that the barrier method is the only effective way to protect yourself against sexual disease.
If you are concerned about your sexual health, believe there is a chance you could be pregnant, or simply want more advice, you should speak to your doctor.
We hope you have found this information useful – thanks for reading!