Can Precum Cause Pregnancy

Most females naturally have many questions related to intercourse. The topic of precum belongs to top issues.

The ladies of childbearing age are keenly interested in what precum is or whether it contains sperm. If yes, can you get pregnant? These aspects are even more relevant when a woman wants to avoid pregnancy.

The more women discuss it; the more myths are created and circulated. Often it is challenging to find out the correct answer.

And it usually causes some uncertainty. In this article, we’ll try to clear up this confusion.

What is precum, and what is it for?

Precum or pre-ejaculate fluid is the colorless fluid that comes out involuntarily from the penis during sexual stimulation before ejaculation.

This fluid is produced by Cowper’s glands located near the urethra, a tube in the penis that allows both urine and semen to exit the body.

Precum prepares the urethra for ejaculation. The more lubricated the urethra, the easier it will be for sperms to move. It also acts as a natural lubricant during intercourse.

Also, precum neutralizes any acidity left by urine in the urethra and protects sperm flowing through thus creating a more favorable alkaline environment for its passage. It also helps neutralize the acidity in the vagina.

Some studies found that the Cowper’s gland producing precum protect the genitourinary tract by releasing glycoproteins.

These proteins contribute to the functioning of the reproductive system, the immune system, and the digestive system as these proteins can fight off antigens effectively [1].

Does precum contain any sperm?

No, precum itself does not have sperm. According to the studies, the majority of pre-ejaculate fluid contains, poorly formed, dead or no sperm at all [2].

At the same time, other studies found that almost one-third of males have sperm in pre-ejaculated fluid and nearly all of them have motile sperm in precum [3].

Also, some findings revealed that 16.7 % of healthy males have motile sperm in their pre-ejaculate fluid [4].

There are a few reasons why the studies don’t agree. Some men produce more sperms and are prone to release some of them in precum.

Whereas, other men never release sperm in precum. Moreover, lots will depend on when the samples of precum were taken or not, age of the participants, level and sexual activity, and so on.

Besides, the sample sizes for the studies were quite small, and they embrace a very small amount of people (about 50), it is possible that the males that had sperm in their pre-ejaculate fluid did not participate in the studies.

Additionally, the methods and tools applied were different, and some sperm could be destroyed in some cases [5]. This provides us an opportunity to say that the amount of people who have sperm in their precum is a bit larger.

Besides, men are considered infertile if they have too little sperm, so the tiny amounts that may be found in their precum are unlikely to result in pregnancy [6].

Is there any chance to get pregnant from precum?

The chances of pregnancy from pre-ejaculate fluid are relatively low. And, as a rule, you should not be worried to get pregnant from precum.

However, sometimes when having sexual intercourse without any contraception, pre-ejaculate can carry sperm penetrating vagina. Here are these cases.

Thus, an earlier ejaculation from sex or masturbation may leave some leftover sperm in the urethra. This sperm gets flushed by precum, and together they have a chance to cause pregnancy.

Also, since in some cases precum may contain motile sperms, thus conceiving a child is a possibility, though quite a low.

In general, the cases of pregnancy vary from person to person, and nearly 5 % of females end up with pregnancy from precum [7].

Can you get pregnant from precum while ovulating?

It is uncommon to get pregnant from precum while ovulating, but it is still possible.

Of course, first of all, it depends on whether your partner’s precum contains sperm. Secondly, it concerns the days when your ovulation starts.

Usually, sperm stays in the female reproductive tract for about five days. If within this period, a woman starts ovulating and she is having intercourse regularly, the chances of getting pregnant are rather high.

Can you get pregnant if you are not ovulating?

You can get pregnant from precum even if you are not ovulating. As sperm stays in a female reproductive tract from five to seven days, and if it remains there before ovulation, there are chances that it may be alive when your ovulation starts.

What to do if you are not planning a pregnancy?

As precum is involuntary, a male cannot stop or control its release though they may be able to control ejaculation with orgasm. It is impossible to tell without laboratory tests if your partner has sperms in precum or not.

That is why couples who are not trying to get pregnant should use a condom whenever there is a penetration.

Some evidence shows that urinating can flush out the leftover sperm from the urethra. If a man does this before having intercourse, then there should be no sperm in precum.

Are there any other reasons to worry about precum?

Concerning precum, pregnancy isn’t the only thing a woman should worry. Even if a person doesn’t have any sperm in their pre-jaculate fluid, it can transmit sexually transmitted diseases.

If you and your partner don’t want to have a child and you don’t know STD status of each other, the best option for you is still to use a condom.

To conclude, a significant proportion of men leak dead sperm in precum, there is also a number of men who have sperm in their fluid, and it can cause pregnancy.

Our current advice is to wear a condom before any penetration to minimize unintended pregnancy and disease transmission.

References

  1. Chughtai B, Sawas A, O’Malley R, Naik R, Khan S, Pentyala S. A neglected gland: A review of Cowper’s gland. Int J Androl. 2005;28:74-77. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2605.2005.00499.x
  2. KILLICK SR, LEARY C, TRUSSELL J, GUTHRIE KA. Sperm content of pre-ejaculatory fluid. Hum Fertil Camb Engl. 2011;14(1):48-52. doi:10.3109/14647273.2010.520798
  3. Zukerman Z, Weiss DB, Orvieto R. Does preejaculatory penile secretion originating from Cowper’s gland contain sperm? J Assist Reprod Genet. 2003;20(4):157-159. doi:10.1023/a:1022933320700
  4. Kovavisarach E, Lorthanawanich S, Muangsamran P. Presence of Sperm in Pre-Ejaculatory Fluid of Healthy Males. J Med Assoc Thail Chotmaihet Thangphaet. 2016;99 Suppl 2:S38-41.
  5. Family planning/Contraception. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/family-planning-contraception. Accessed September 15, 2019.
  6. Can You Get Pregnant From Precum? An Ob-Gyn Explains. https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/pregnant-precum-ob-gyn-explains-223649321.html. Accessed September 15, 2019.
  7. Lampiao F. Coitus Interruptus: Are there spermatozoa in the pre-ejaculate? In: ; 2014. doi:10.14194/ijmbr.3.1.1
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