Can You Get Pregnant If You Don't Have Sex? Here's The Truth

Peyton Weikert/Stocksy

Long before I had full-on intercourse (I'm talking P-in-the-V here) I was a legendary dry-humper. I was all hopped up on hormones but had no interest in being a teen mom, and I figured a grindy makeout sesh meant no risk of getting pregnant. Still, there was always this nagging fear that somehow, some intrepid super sperm would figure out a way past two pairs of jeans, and bust through like some kind of reproduction Kool-Aid Man. But is it even possible? Can you get pregnant if you don't have sex?

According to Planned Parenthood, the answer is: yes, you can get pregnant. The good news though, is that it's statistically very unlikely.

It all comes down to where those pesky sperm end up — i.e. anywhere near your vulva. (Side note: "vulva" is such an awesome word. Say it with me… Vulva, vulva, vulva. OK, moving on.)

Sperm can only live outside the body for a short time — basically until they dry up, because their longevity depends on the warmth and moisture of where they land. For instance, on the floor or bed, they aren't long for this world. But if they end up near your groin or in a crease of your skin, they can survive longer. It's also worth noting that they can survive inside the vagina for up to five days, which is why you can get pregnant when you have sex during your period.

Here's what you need to know about how to avoid getting pregnant while doing things other than straight up P-in-the-V sex.

If You're Dry Humping

Did you all have a high school party flash back? Just me? OK, well, who doesn’t enjoy making out with a side of vigorous dry-humping? I mean, it's pretty hot and the chances of pregnancy are practically zero. Unless, of course, he ejaculates. Then the odds begin to rise slightly. Where exactly did he come? Was it a fair distance from your vulva? Then don’t worry; you’re fine.

If You're Giving A Hand Job

So, you gave him a handy. That was very nice of you. But now you’re worried that maybe you could be pregnant. OK, let's think back to the big finish. Where did happen? On your hand? On his lap? Into a sock? Now, did that part of him get near your vagina afterwards? Did you wash and dry your hand before it got near your V again? No contact means no pregnancy concerns.

If You're Being Fingered

Fingering is only a pregnancy risk if there is semen on the fingers from a recent ejaculation. Make sure that if he has recently ejaculated on his hand, he's washed it and let it get completely dry again before he puts it anywhere near your business.

If You're Having Oral Sex

I'm starting to sound like a broken record here, but yes, in some circumstances, it is possible to get pregnant — if his semen makes it near your vagina. So, it's possible if either there is still some semen on his penis and he penetrates you for round two, or any of his semen gets near your vulva or onto anything (fingers, toys) that penetrates your vagina. It’s unlikely, but it can happen in some rare cares.

If You're Having Anal Sex

Yep, it can happen even happen with anal. So if he’s trying to skip a condom when hitting your back door, don't take the risk. Pregnancy can occur if the semen comes out of the rectum and gets near your vulva. Also — and this goes for all of scenarios above as well — STIs exist. They are passed by both fluid exchange and skin-to-skin contact. So yes, condoms always, even during anal.

If You're Using Sex Toys

The rules of pregnancy and sex toys are the same as they were with fingering: Is there semen from a recent ejaculation on the toy or the hands operating it? If so, it's possible get preggo from a sex toy. Just make sure the toy, and the hands wielding it are both clean and totally dry before they enter your pearly gates, and you should be good to go.

There you have it. Chances are slim that any activity aside from actual intercourse will prompt you to pee on a stick, but in rare cases, pregnancy can still happen. Your best bet is to always use some kind of birth control, whether it's the Pill, an IUD, condoms, or another method to protect yourself. Then you are free dry-hump the night away.

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