Answers to Frequently Asked Questions About...
Risk of Pregnancy
Can I get pregnant if I have unprotected sex but the man does not ejaculate (cum)?
It’s probably very unlikely that you will get pregnant, but you can’t know for certain. Three small studies found no motile sperm (sperm capable of reaching/fertilizing an egg) in the fluid in a man’s penis before he ejaculates. However, a more recent study found that 41% of subjects produced pre-ejaculatory samples that contained spermatozoa and in 37% a reasonable proportion of the sperm were motile.
So there’s no harm in using emergency contraceptive pills (also called "morning after pills" or "day after pills") to put your mind at ease if you are not sure if your partner ejaculated or you are worried because you had sex without using contraception or your birth control failed. Remember that emergency contraception can’t protect you against sexually transmitted infections, like HIV, which has been found in pre-ejaculatory fluid. If there is even the slightest chance that you might be at risk for sexually transmitted infections, be sure to use a condom.
For a thorough and up-to-date academic review of the medical and social science literature on emergency contraception, click here .
Ilaria G, Jacobs JL, Polsky B, Koll B, Baron P, MacLow C, Armstrong D, Schlegel PN. Detection of HIV-1 DNA sequences in pre-ejaculatory fluid. Lancet 1992;340:1469.
Killick SR, Leary C, Trussell J, Guthrie KA. Sperm content of pre-ejaculatory fluid. Hum Fertil 2011;14:48-52.
Pudney J, Oneta M, Mayer K, Seage G, Anderson D. Pre-ejaculatory fluid as potential vector for sexual transmission of HIV-1. Lancet 1992;340:1470.
Zukerman Z, Weiss DB, Orvieto R. Does preejaculatory penile secretion originating from Cowper's gland contain sperm? J Assist Reprod Genet 2003;20:157-159.