A common question for younger people who are just becoming sexually active is whether they can become pregnant from pre-ejaculation fluid, or “precum”. Pre-ejaculation fluid is what first comes out of the penis during sexual intercourse.
Pre-ejaculation is something that men do not have any control over. It used to be thought that there was potential of live sperm in this fluid, but after more research it was discovered that the fluid contained dead sperm or no sperm at all. There is a very small possibility that a live sperm could be excreted in pre-ejaculation. If that were to happen and the sperm makes it way to meet and egg to fertilize, then yes, you may become pregnant. It may be rare, but to say it’s impossible with absolute certainty is difficult.
Pre-ejaculatory fluid, or “precum” fluid, is released when a man has an erection. The pre-ejaculatory fluid will clean out the urethra, which is the tube that carries semen and urine out of the penis. Due to the physiology in this chain of events, a man’s pre-ejaculatory fluids could contain live sperm if he ejaculated earlier during the day and has not urinated. That live sperm will still be in the urethra until he urinates and flushes it out.
Where exactly does pre-ejaculatory fluid come from? Pre-ejaculatory fluid is released from two glands called Cowper’s glands. These two glands are located in the male reproductive tract and urinary tract. If this fluid is normal and is not supposed to contain sperm, what is the purpose for it? Pre-ejaculatory fluid, which is alkalized, helps neutralize the acidic environment of the urethra allowing and protecting the sperm, so that when ejaculation occurs the sperm can travel safely through.
One way couples may practice birth control is by pulling out, also called the withdrawal method. This is when, during sex, the man pulls out his penis before ejaculation. The problem with this—why the withdrawal method is not a bulletproof form of birth control—is that there is a possibility that pre-ejaculatory fluid will be left behind.
If you are concerned about pre-ejaculatory fluid making you pregnant, finding a form of birth control that is safe and reliable is important. Here are some common forms of birth control to look into:
Condoms are a quick form of birth control if you have not previously planned on being sexually active. If you know you will be sexually active soon, make sure the man puts a condom on before arousal. This will protect you from STDs and pregnancy. This is not a bulletproof answer, but a much better form of birth control than the withdrawal method.
A lot of couples complain and do not like the way it feels with a condom during sexual intercourse. There are many different types of condoms on the market which contain different ridges, lubes, etc. to help with comfort during sexual intercourse.
Oral Birth Control
For women who are continually sexually active, taking an oral pill for birth control is highly recommended. This is a pill you take daily, usually in the morning. In this case, you do not need to worry about buying condoms and making sure the guy is wearing one before sexual intercourse. It is important that you make sure to take your birth control pill every day, usually about the same time each day. If you are not consistent, then your chances of becoming pregnant increase. Additionally, with this form of birth control there is no protection against STDs.
Birth Control Shot
The birth control shot, also called Depo-Provera, may be an option for you if you cannot remember to take a pill daily. With the birth control shot, you receive a shot about every 3 months and that is it. There are no other worries about taking a pill or putting on a condom. Just like with any birth control, however, there is always a small percentage for pregnancy. With this form of birth control there is also no protection against STD’s.
It’s important to know and remember that unless you are not using some form of protection, there is always a high possibility of contracting a sexually transmitted disease and/or become pregnant. Pre-ejaculatory fluid may transmit HIV, hepatitis, and herpes.
HIV is a deadly virus that cannot be cured, but treatment may help. The virus attacks your body’s immune system, and if you do not get tested and diagnosed and receive treatment, it can leads to AIDS. If you are sexually active with multiple partners, even if you do use some sort of birth control, it is always recommended to get tested for HIV.
Hepatitis is a serious liver infection with inflammation of the liver. There are several forms and grades of hepatitis. Some forms of hepatitis are easily transmitted through sexual contact.
Genital herpes is transmitted through sexual contact. This is also a disease that can never be cured, though treatment may help. This disease can last for years or for your entire life.
It is important to know and remember that even though pre-ejaculatory fluid may sound harmless, there are plenty of risks that need to be accounted for. If you truly want to avoid pregnancy, make sure you and your partner are using a reliable form of birth control. To avoid a sexually transmitted disease, make sure you and your partner are tested before sexual intercourse to reduce the chance of these diseases.