Q&A: I Can’t Have Penetrative Sex, Can I Still Get Pregnant?
Posted November 5, 2009
QUESTION: I have vaginismus and I can’t have penetrative sex with my husband. We’ve been trying for the last year to have a baby. He ejaculates in my vaginal opening, but still we haven’t been able to conceive. How can I get pregnant?
Vaginismus is a condition that is marked by feeling as though it is enormously difficult, if not impossible, to experience vaginal penetration. Though some women who have been diagnosed with vaginismus can insert a tampon into their vagina, many find it too painful. In addition, women with vaginismus typically find that they cannot have a gyn exam nor can they have vaginal intercourse with a partner.
In many cases, women who have been diagnosed with vaginismus – and who decide that they want to experience vaginal intercourse – find that sex therapy can be helpful. With time and practice, these women may be able to have comfortable vaginal intercourse. Other women find that they have another vulvar pain condition called vulvodynia that can be treated by a healthcare provider so that, if they want to, they can experience intercourse in pleasurable ways.
Then again, some women prefer not to pursue treatment for vaginismus and are comfortable with their decision to not have penetrative intercourse. Others would like to have penetrative sex, but have not yet found a treatment that has worked for them. And yet – like you – many women want to become pregnant.
It is possible for many couples to become pregnant using the method you described. In these instances, men will ejaculate right at the woman’s vaginal entrance. If a woman feels comfortable, she may try to push some of the ejaculate a little bit inside her vagina to try to get as many sperm inside her body as possible. If not much of the ejaculate makes its way into the vagina, then the chances of a pregnancy will be fairly low.
Also, timing is a consideration: in order to have the best chances of becoming pregnant, you will want to have your partner ejaculate at your vaginal opening in the days prior to ovulation as well as on the day you ovulate.
You might also want to check in with a gynecologist or a fertility specialist. If you feel that you cannot have a gynecological exam, or if you can but it’s very painful, let your doctor know. He or she may be able to prescribe medications that can increase your chances of being able to conceive.
To learn more about conception, pregnancy and birth, check out the book Our Bodies, Ourselves: Pregnancy and Birth.