What Are The Chances of Getting Pregnant Without Penetration?

The chances of getting pregnant without penetration are relatively small. For a woman to become pregnant, a man’s sperm has to enter her vagina, travel to her cervix and up into her fallopian tubes, and there fertilize an egg. If there is no penetration, it is next to impossible for the sperm to make this journey.

However, sperm can live for an hour or two outside of the body. It is possible, if a man ejaculates, for some of that sperm to find its way into the vagina. This can happen from simple transfer, say from a finger or hand to the vagina. It is almost impossible for it to happen if sperm is nowhere near the vagina.

It is also possible to become pregnant even if a man does not ejaculate but there is still penetration. This is because the pre-seminal fluid (sometimes called precum) to have sperm in it. While pre-seminal fluid is not produced with sperm in it, if there is sperm in the man’s urethra from a previous ejaculation, the pre-seminal fluid may pick up the sperm and carry it along. If a man urinates after a previous ejaculation but before having sex, it is much less likely that his pre-seminal fluid will have sperm in it.

There are other factors that make “pulling out” a higher risk for becoming pregnant. Trying to avoid getting pregnant without ejaculation relies on the man’s ability to know his own body. He has to be able to tell right away when he is about to ejaculate so that he can withdrawal in time. In addition, using this method for birth control relies on the man’s self-control; he has to be able to stop himself at the very height of passion to make sure that he does not ejaculate.

Using this practice of “pulling out” as a form of birth control is not entirely reliable. Success rates run anywhere from 73 to 96% effectiveness. In contrast, the birth control pill is more than 99% effective, and the condom, when used correctly, is around 99% effective. In general, the withdrawal method is not always the best method of birth control. Even in cases where there is no penetration, it may be wise to practice another form of birth control, such as the birth control pill or the male condom.


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