He Pulled Out… Can I Still Get Pregnant?

You and your partner having been having intercourse for some time now. You feel like a couple, you’re committed to each other . . . and you’ve been having unprotected sex.

Sure, he’s been pulling out or you’ve been using the calendar method, but how risky are you actually being? Can you get pregnant?

There’s no easy answer to this question, but the answer is always the same. Yes!

Dear Dan and Jennifer,

My boyfriend and I have been dating for about 4 years now. We’re having sex like a couple and he wants to get married and we been having unprotected sex, well he went to pull out but made it to my leg before his cum came out could I get pregnant from that?

– Alyson, Nebraska

Any sex at all can lead to pregnancy.

While birth control methods work well, whether you’re using hormonal birth control, barrier methods or spermicides, you still run the risk of getting pregnant. Your risk of getting pregnant as a result of protected sex is much, much lower than if you were having unprotected sex, but there is still a risk. The only time you are fully protected against pregnancy is if you’re abstinent.

Pulling out…does it work?

Pulling out is a popular birth control method of choice for many couples who do not want to wear condoms and do not have access to hormonal birth controls. It is sad to say, but pulling out before ejaculation does not protect you much from getting pregnant! It is not a safe method of birth control!

If any sperm get in or near the vagina, you could get pregnant. When pulling out, this could happen a number of ways. Your partner could fail to pull out quickly enough and ejaculate inside your vagina, dramatically increasing your chances of conceiving a child. Your partner could ejaculate on your leg and the ejaculate could get onto the outside of your vagina. If the sperm travel to your fallopian tubes (which they can), you could get pregnant.

Let’s not forget that men also emit pre-ejaculate during sex that they usually can’t feel, that can contain sperm as well. All of these things could get you pregnant!  It is much safer to use protection of some sort while engaging in sexual activity.

Are we being too risky?

What is considered “too risky” is up to you. Are you prepared to conceive a child? Are you prepared for the consequences of what could happen if you become pregnant? Have you talked to your partner about how the situation would be handled should you find out that you are pregnant?

If you are not ready to become pregnant, have a child, prepare to end the pregnancy or place the child for adoption after the birth, you should seriously reconsider having unprotected sex even if you’re pulling out or using the calendar method! If you do believe that you and your partner can truly handle the prospect of getting pregnant after having unprotected sex, then it’s up to you whether or not you wish to continue having unprotected sex.

Talk with your partner and talk with your doctor about how you can start having safer sex. If you do not want to become pregnant, you need to use some method of birth control. Condoms work especially well and are easy to purchase from supermarkets and convenience stores. Hormonal birth controls and spermicides are effective as well, and for extra protection you could consider using both.

The best person to counsel you on how to have protected sex is your doctor or a sex therapist or counselor! The bottom line is if you don’t want to get pregnant, don’t risk it with unprotected sex, ever!


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