Q&A: Can I Get Pregnant From Dry Semen?

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QUESTION: Me and my boyfriend were having petting, he ejaculated, wiped himself and after 5 minutes he inserted the head of his penis into my vagina. Can I actually get pregnant because of that?

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Any time that a man’s sperm get inside of a woman’s vagina, and she is not using any effective methods of birth control, there is a risk of pregnancy. I am not sure how adequately your boyfriend wiped the head of his penis after he ejaculated, so it is unclear whether he removed all of the semen.

Plus, if there were any sperm still inside his urethra (the tube that carries urine and ejaculate out of a man’s body), then the sperm could potentially have been picked up by pre-ejaculatory fluids moments later, and then gotten into your vagina when he inserted his penis.

If there was any ejaculate on his penis, or about to come out of his penis, when he inserted it into you, then there is a risk of pregnancy if you were not using other methods of birth control at the time, such as the birth control pill, patch or ring.

Home Pregnancy Test

If you have concerns about being pregnant, you might take a home pregnancy test after enough time has passed, or you might check in with a healthcare provider for a pregnancy test and to learn more about safe and effective methods of birth control.

I would also encourage you and your boyfriend to learn more about sexuality and pregnancy if you plan on being sexual together, and to learn about ways to prevent pregnancy.

You can find information about contraception and sexual health on our contraception resource pages or on Planned Parenthood’s web site. You can also learn more about sexuality through the book The Guide to Getting It On.

Not Recommended

In short, however, I would not recommend this practice for the future. If you do not want to get pregnant, then you and your boyfriend might consider using condoms for penetrative sex play like you recently engaged in.

If you are not comfortable with any degree of pregnancy risk, then perhaps you two just re-evaluate your decision to have penetrative sex, or any type of sexual contact that might put you at risk for pregnancy or infection.

Given that you both have now been in contact with each other’s sexual fluids now, too, you should both consider getting tested for sexually transmissible infections, or STIs, which can be passed between two people even with just brief contact, as you two had.

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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