If there’s one question that we get most of all at Gurl, it’s the following: Can I get pregnant if my partner comes near your vagina?
Here’s the answer: Most likely, no.
Let me ease some fears right off the bat: If your partner gets semen on your leg, your stomach, your butt, whatever, sperm isn’t going to magically find its way to your vagina. That’s just not how it works, so you can rest easy knowing that.
So, what if the semen ends up brushing against the outside of your vagina? Do you still have a chance of being pregnant? Yes. Is it likely? No.
It’s an understandable fear, of course. We know that pregnancy occurs when semen enters the vaginal canal and makes the long journey up to the egg and badda boom, badda bing, you got yourself a baby. I think that anyone with a vagina who has ever done sexy stuff with someone with a penis has worried about this, myself included. You think, “OMG, what if it kind of went inside and I didn’t notice? What if it somehow finds a way to make its way up there? Am I going to end up pregnant in a few weeks? Should I pick up plan B?” Been there, done that. But I think there’s a central misunderstanding about how this whole process works.
Frankly, sperm are strong swimmers, but they’re not perfect. The average sperm isn’t Michael Phelps. They have a hard enough time when they’re surrounded by lubricating liquids that help propel their journey to the egg, and even then they sort of suck. So given how arduous the journey can be for sperm that have been straight up propelled inside the vagina (sorry, this imagery is weird, I know), imagine how difficult it would be for sperm that has been smeared around or outside of the entrance of the vagina to travel all the way up to your egg. It’s hard.
If you need even more reassurance that you’re chances of becoming pregnant are low, consider this: People who perform the pull out/withdrawl method–having sexual intercourse without a condom and exiting the vagina before reaching orgasm–correctly have a very low chance of pregnancy. According to Planned Parenthood, every correct usage of pull out method results in only four pregnancies out of 100. That’s comparable to the rate of effectiveness of proper condom use. So if people who have full on penetrative sex without a condom can have sex without pregnancy, your partner getting a drop of semen onto your labia certainly can.
Don’t get it twisted: Safe sex should be an absolute must because weird stuff happens. The truth is you could potentially be that one person who ends up getting pregnant after a little semen briefly touched your vaginal entrance, all thanks to the lil’ sperm that could. It’s possible, so why even risk it? Consider going on birth control and make sure your partner is using condoms. Also, don’t be reckless! Make sure that semen isn’t dribbling down to your vaginal area. If you or your partner’s fingers are touching semen, make sure y’all have clean hands before engaging them in vaginal activity. Still, for the most part, don’t cry over spilled sperm (I’m so sorry). You’re likely causing yourself a lot of unnecessary grief and stress, and potentially wasting money on Plan B that you don’t even need due to paranoia.
Have you ever had a scare like this? Tell us in the comments!