Q&A: We Fooled Around Without Protection, Could She Be Pregnant?

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QUESTION: I was at my girlfriend’s house a few weeks ago and we were fooling around. We didn't have a condom and I penetrated her for maybe 10 seconds. I didn’t ejaculate, and hadn’t done so for a few days, but there was a lot of pre-ejaculate. She ovulated either 6 or 8 days after that, and had a short, heavy period two weeks later. Could this be implantation bleeding?

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pregnancy test

Photo: kendiala (Flickr)

If you didn’t ejaculate, there wouldn't be sperm hanging out in the urethra, ready to be swept up by the pre-ejaculatory fluids, out of your penis, and into her vagina.

The chances that your girlfriend is pregnant from your ten second experience of penile-vaginal intercourse, during which you didn’t ejaculate, are extremely low to no risk.

This is the case for several reasons.

No Sperm In Pre-Ejaculate

First, there are no sperm in pre-ejaculatory fluids, which come from the Cowper’s glands which are inside the body and close to its base.

Sperm are made and stored further back in a man’s reproductive tract, around his testicles.

As a man prepares to ejaculate, his sperm join other fluids to make up semen.

However, if he doesn’t ejaculate, then the sperm won’t ever make their way out of the penis.

Even though you believe that you released a fair amount of pre-ejaculatory fluids, if you didn’t ejaculate then—or in the days before your sexual experience—then there would be no sperm hanging out in the urethra, ready to be swept up by the pre-ejaculatory fluids, out of your penis, and into her vagina.

Based on what you’ve told me, I can’t imagine a scenario in which you would have been likely to release sperm during this particular experience.

Sperm Live 2 To 4 Days

Even if you had released sperm during this brief experience of intercourse, the chances of pregnancy would still be very low because—if you are correct—then your girlfriend didn’t ovulate until 6 to 8 days later.

Most sperm die within 2 to 4 days of being ejaculated and living inside the vagina.

The chances that any sperm would be left over 6 to 8 days later are very slim.

Take Precautions

Going forward, I would encourage you and your girlfriend to be more careful.

If there is a chance that you and she might have intercourse again—even just a small chance—it would be wise to keep condoms around.

Your girlfriend might also consider whether she wants to start a hormonal method of birth control, such as the birth control pill, patch, shot, ring, or one of the IUD choices.

Keep in mind, too, that sex without a condom carries a greater risk of passing sexually transmitted infections, also called STIs, and if you two haven’t been tested for STIs yet, this might be a good time to do so together.

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Dr. Debby Herbenick (M.P.H., Ph.D.)

is a sexual health educator at The Kinsey Institute, Associate Director of the Center for Sexual Health Promotion at Indiana University and author of several books including Sex Made Easy and Because It Feels Good: A Woman's Guide to Sexual Pleasure and Satisfaction.
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