Can you get pregnant from pre-ejaculation?

Does pre-cum actually contain sperm, and can it get you pregnant?

Pulling the penis out of the vagina, i.e., removing it before ejaculation, is highly controversial as a contraceptive method and contradicts the advice of medical experts for good reason.

Even if you keep the chances of pregnancy low by not coming directly inside your partner, there is still the pre-cum, which can make pulling it out completely useless.

What is pre-cum?

Pre-cum is a clear fluid that is expelled from the penis when a man is aroused. It is often found at the exit of the urethra, where it acts as a natural lubricant and also helps the sperm to get out.

While sperm is made in a man's testicles, pre-cum comes from Cowper's gland: a handful of pea-sized glands connected by ducts to the urethra. Because the ejaculation and urine in men occur in the same tube in the penis, the acidity of the urine can affect the quality of the semen, making it difficult to fertilise an egg.

The pre-cum is an alkaline mucus that neutralises any remaining acid in the urine to prepare the way for the sperm without losing its effectiveness. And its amount varies from person to person. On average, 4 ml of pre-cum comes out of the penis at one time.

Can you get pregnant from pre-cum?

Even if the pre-cum does not contain any sperm, the fact that it can cause pregnancy cannot be ruled out. For example, if you had sex just before, there could still be sperm in your urethra. It can happen that these remaining sperm mix with the pre-cum and find their way to the egg.

One study found that 41 per cent of men tested had live sperm in their pre-cum. However, if the pre-cum only comes into contact with the outer area of the vulva, the likelihood of pregnancy is very low.

If you don't want to get pregnant, you should always use contraception. A condom is a classic method. They also protect against the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases. There is already a huge range of condoms that can provide a lot of variety, and researchers are already working on innovative condom concepts for the future.

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