Is it possible to get pregnant from pre-ejaculate?
Although the chances of pregnancy from precum are low, the answer is yes. Before ejaculation occurs, the male reproductive system secrets a fluid known as “pre-ejaculate”, or precum, which acts as a lubricant during intercourse. Given that pre-ejaculate alone usually does not contain sperm, the probability of becoming pregnant is minimal.
What is pre-ejaculate (precum)?Pre-ejaculate mostly contains mucus, proteins, and enzymes, which are produced by the Cowper’s glands in the penis. The Cowper’s glands are two small glands that are located beneath the prostate gland on either side of the most internal end of the penis.The glands produce pre-ejaculate during sexual arousal before ejaculation for two primary reasons. The first reason is to neutralize the acidity of the urethra tract, and secondly, it is to secret lubricant for intercourse.
Why does semen leak into pre-ejaculate?Although the probability is very rare, semen has a slight chance to leak into the pre-ejaculate when it enters a woman's body. This is because semen is likely to remain in the urethra.Many studies suggest that most pre-ejaculates usually do not contain any sperm. However, a 2016 study found that mobile sperm was present in the pre-ejaculate of nearly 17% of its male participants.However, further research needs to be done, as a recent study in 2021 was not able to make a definitive conclusion about sperm in pre-ejaculate.In addition, you may be able to reduce the risk of pregnancy by urinating prior to intercourse, which can get rid of leftover semen, but this is not yet proven.
Is the pull-out method effective?Releasing pre-ejaculate is not a voluntary bodily function. If the man pulls out before he climaxes, pre-ejaculate is still likely to enter the partner’s vagina. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the withdrawal method has a failure rate of around 22%. Another study in 2008, estimated that 18% of couples who use the pull-out method conceived within a year.It is important to keep in mind that no birth control method is perfect. Even though males use condoms, 18% of women still become pregnant within 1 year. However, condoms are still considered the most reliable method.
Can you get pregnant from pre-ejaculate if you are not ovulating?The answer is yes. Sperm has a five-day life span inside a woman's body, which means that sperm can live inside the women’s reproductive organ before ovulation. With this in mind, this gives odds for couples to possibly fertilize with an egg.Also, for women with irregular period cycles, it is difficult to know the timing of ovulation which may further increase the chance of pregnancy
Options for emergency contraceptionEmergency contraception (EC) helps prevent pregnancy up to five days after having intercourse. In other words, it will delay ovulation. You can use EC pills, which are available over the counter or get a copper IUD inserted from a specialist.