Wait, Can You Get Pregnant From Precum?
And does the pull out method actually work?
Sex is great, but it can often be pegged as a taboo topic because of the many unwanted consequences that could come as a result of it. Sometimes it feels like there are so many ways in which sex can go wrong. The condom could break, you could forget to take the pill, or your birth control doesn't end up providing the protection you assumed it would. Sometimes, you may not even use a contraceptive at all, instead opting for the pullout method to protect you. But, as you probably already know, that's not the most effective form of birth control, mostly because of something called precum (or pre-ejaculation as One Medical Provider Dr. Natasha Bhuyan calls it). To learn more about precum and the chances that it could get you pregnant, I talked to Dr. Bhuyan to answer all your burning questions.
What is precum?
You might be asking, what even is precum? Basically, it's exactly what is sounds like. Precum is the "fluid that comes out of the penis during arousal," Dr. Bhuyan explains, before the sought after orgasm and ejaculation. While it's main intention is to act as a lubricant during sex, precum can carry some sperm, which is where people often run into a problem.
Can you get pregnant from it? What are the chances?
When a couple engages in the pullout method as a form of birth control, they aren't taking into account the sperm that is in precum. So, if you’re having sex with someone who has a penis and it’s removed before ejaculation, precum will have already been released, meaning there will be sperm inside the vagina. Dr. Bhuyan estimates that there is around a 14-24% chance that you can get pregnant from precum, even if you do pull out.
How can you prevent precum from causing an unwanted pregnancy?
The only way to prevent precum (or any cum, for that matter) from causing an unwanted pregnancy is by using a reliable form of birth control. Dr. Bhuyan suggests the pill, an IUD, a patch, or whatever you are comfortable with. She also states that it is important to use a condom "anytime there is contact between the vagina and penis." While this won't completely eliminate you chances of getting pregnant, it will decrease them greatly.
If you have any other questions, reach out to your doctor. They will be sure to help you out by answering even your most embarrassing questions professionally and honestly.