FAQ: Can Precum Get You Pregnant?
So, we here at Teen Health Source get a lot of questions about precum. A LOT. We have some info about it buried on the Inside Scoop: Penis and Testicles* page, under the spot about the Cowper’s Gland, but frig load of good it does just sitting there! So we’re pulling some of that info out, and hopefully also addressing some of the stuff that comes up in our faqs about precum. Here we go!
What is precum?
- Precum is the pre-ejaculate fluid that can be released from the penis during sexual stimulation.
- Precum prepares/lubricates the urethra for ejaculation. The more lubricated the urethra, the easier it should be for sperm to make it out of a person’s body.
- Precum also acts as additional lubricant during sex.
- The amount of precum that is released varies from person-to-person. So the amount that you produce normally is whatever is normal for you and your body.
Can precum cause pregnancy?
- Precum itself does not contain any sperm and can therefore not cause pregnancy on its own.
- However, an earlier ejaculation (either from sex, masturbation, etc.) may leave some leftover sperm in the urethra. This sperm can get flushed out by precum (aka, the precum would then contain sperm), and together would have a chance to cause pregnancy.
- Urinating can flush out any leftover sperm in the urethra. If people do this before having sex, then there should be no sperm in the urethra to be flushed out instead by the precum.
Can you contract an STI from precum?
- Yes, you can contract an STI from precum.
- The glands that produce precum can be subjected to bacterial and viral STIs and any precum that is produced has a risk of transmitting the STI.
If people are about to have sex and aren’t sure about each other’s STI status or testing history, or aren’t sure if someone peed since their last ejaculation and there’s a risk of someone getting pregnant, then we’d always recommend that folks consider using condoms (external or internal) to prevent the transmission of fluids, and lowering the risk of pregnancy or sharing STIs.
If you still have more questions about precum, then consider talking to one of our peer educators: Contact Us!
*Not everyone experiences or relates to their penis and testicles in the same way or uses the words used on this page for their bodies. We support you using the language that feels best for you.
The Affirmations Deck is an amazing resource created by a group of queer and trans* youth involved with Planned Parenthood Toronto’s Filling in the Blanks: Queering SexEd project!
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Become a Peer Educator for Planned Parenthood Toronto’s Youth HIV project: Prevention, Engagement, Action & Knowledge (P.E.A.K.)!