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Can you make yourself pregnant by putting semen in your own vagina?

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Anonymous asks:

My best friend recently confided in me that immediately after her boyfriend ejaculated on her leg, she swiped some of the semen with her fingers and proceded to enter them into herself in hopes to get pregnant. We were talking about this and I asked if you actually could get pregnant this way and neither one of us knew the answer. Now that's my question for you. Is it possible to get pregnant this way?

Heather Corinna replies:

Technically? Yes. Realistically? Not so much.

Understand that biologically speaking, the momentum of ejaculation is no accident.

In other words, just having fresh sperm around isn't the whole picture: the mobility of sperm, and sperm making their way into the cervix is important. This is why when people do self-inseminate, they use mechanisms (like a syringe or, yes, that old lesbian cliche, the turkey baster) to move the ejaculate up into the vagina.

So, your friend becoming pregnant this way is unlikely. That's a pretty good thing, particularly if she's using someone as a sperm donor who hasn't consented to be that or a Daddy, because that's really not okay to do to someone without their consent, female OR male.

It should be noted, though, that this IS a realistic way to contract a sexually transmitted infection: viruses and bacteria are more crafty and reslient than sperm, so your pal should seriously consider going to get an STI screening soon. And in the odd chance her period is late this cycle, she should take a pregnancy test. To boot, if it has been less than 120 hours since she did this, she can use emergency contraception if she likes.

Obviously, too, if she's not really ready to be someone's Mom (and not with a partner who wants to be a Dad or who is okay with just being a donor), she shouldn't be trying stuff like this. If she's feeling this way because of conflicts or disagreements in the relationship, or conflicts with herself, she's going to want to address those and work them out productively.

written 27 Jul 2007 . updated 19 Jan 2014

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