This may seem like an absurd question, but it actually isn’t. There is actually quite a high risk of falling pregnant when a couple gets intimate without any form of contraceptive – even if they don’t engage in full sexual intercourse.

If a woman is in her fertile phase and live semen comes into contact with her vagina, it is definitely possible for her to conceive. It is a myth that the penis must penetrate the vagina in order for fertilization to occur. This is why contraception is so important!

Are you joking?

Falling pregnant by accident is certainly no laughing matter, and we are definitely not joking when we say you can conceive without actually having full sexual intercourse.

Of course, these forms of sexual contact don’t lend themselves to easy conception and it is unlikely that you will fall pregnant. However, it is important to remember that sperm have tails and they can swim up the vagina even if they aren’t ejaculated directly into it.

In the same way that it is possible to fall pregnant without any penetration, it is also possible to conceive even if only the tip of the penis enters the vagina or if it is only in there for a short period of time. It isn’t about the amount time that the penis is inserted, it’s all about whether or not seminal fluid is released and therefore able to travel up the vagina and into the uterus where the egg lies ready.

Knowing this fact, you can see why even oral sex and mutual masturbation (also referred to as fingering) could potentially lead to falling pregnant. If semen gets onto either your hands or your partner’s hands, and they are then inserted into the vagina, the sperm could fertilize a waiting egg.

It’s important to note that most sperm can only live for a few minutes after ejaculation if it isn’t in the right environment. It’s often even less time if the sperm comes into contact with air and dries out. This is why it is unlikely that you will fall pregnant without full penetration, but it is possible.

If you do not want to conceive, but do want to engage in sexual activities, it’s always best to use contraception regardless of what you are doing.

Myths about falling pregnant without penetration

Can sperm travel through clothing?

One of the most common questions asked here is if it’s possible to fall pregnant if you keep your clothes on. This is a big concern for people who want to remain virgins but still engage in some sexual activities with their partners.

It is unlikely, but it does depend on the conditions. Essentially, it’s practically impossible for sperm to travel through more than one layer of clothing. This is because sperm require quite specific environmental conditions to survive and to move around in. The seminal fluid will mostly get absorbed by any fabric and the sperm cannot swim very far without the liquid.

Can you get pregnant by sitting on a toilet seat in a public bathroom?

This is another question that gets asked quite a bit. There is a myth that has been going around for a long time about a woman who used a public restroom and fell pregnant from the semen that had been splashed onto the toilet seat. Again, this situation is possible but highly unlikely.

Sperm would only survive for about 45 seconds after coming into contact with the air. Even with the seminal fluid to swim through, the sperm cannot handle being exposed to this degree. This means that a woman would have to sit on the toilet seat immediately after a man had ejaculated onto it. The sperm must also not come into contact with any of her clothing first.

Can a virgin fall pregnant?

Essentially, yes, a woman can fall pregnant without ever having penetrating sexual intercourse. Even if the hymen is still intact, there is a natural passage way from the uterus to the vagina through which menstruation passes. Sperm can also pass in the other direction into the uterus and fertilize an egg.

All of these reasons make it clear that the utmost care must be taken if you do not want to fall pregnant. There are plenty of contraceptive methods that can be used – from condoms to the pill.

Readers’ questions:

Can I get pregnant through anal sex?

No, it is not possible to get pregnant through anal sex. Even though the two openings (anus and vagina) are close together, they do not connect in any way. The anus is attached to the intestine and the vagina to the uterus.

However, if the full ejaculation does not happen inside the woman, some semen may come into contact with the vagina. Only in this instance is there a small possibility of conceiving.

Can I get pregnant if my partner ejaculates in the pool or bathtub?

No, the chlorine in the pool or bath water will kill the sperm instantly. The chances of getting pregnant under these conditions are almost zero.