Can You Get Pregnant From Pre-Cum?

Photographed By Kate Anglestein.
When we asked our teenage and young-adult Snapchat users for their sex questions, we found they led to answers with something for all ages — and so we're publishing them both here and every Saturday on our Snapchat Discover Channel. Got a love or sex quandary? Send it to snapfeedback@refinery29.com.

Is the pull-out method effective? Can you get pregnant from pre-cum?

Pre-cum, also known as pre-ejaculate, is the clear bodily fluid released by the Cowper's glands, a pair of pea-sized glands located under the prostate and next to the urethra. Acidic environments kill sperm, and by neutralizing the urethra’s acidity, pre-cum creates a safer pathway for sperm on their way through the penis during ejaculation. It doesn’t contain sperm in and of itself, but it might push sperm still in the urethra from a previous ejaculation forth to the tip of the penis — so yes, there is a slight chance that you can get pregnant from pre-cum.

Urination usually clears the urethra of sperm, though, so if you are using the pull-out method, also called withdrawal, make sure that the penis-owner urinates in between ejaculations. The pull-out method gets a bad rap and is indeed less effective than condoms, but it’s absolutely better than nothing. Planned Parenthood reports that only 4% of women whose partners use withdrawal and always do so correctly will become pregnant over the course of a year. That figure jumps to 27% for women whose partners use withdrawal and don’t always do so correctly, however. Efficacy of the method increases with couples’ trust, experience, and self-control.
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