Heather Corinna replies:
Can you still get pregnant if you only have sex for 30 seconds?
There is ALWAYS a risk of pregnancy if a man and a woman have vaginal intercourse, and a high risk if during that intercourse the male partner ejaculates. That risk is only reduced if those people do so using a reliable method of birth control. If birth control -- like condoms, a hormonal method like the pill, a Depo-Provera injection, the withdrawal method, or a combination of more than one method -- is not used, there is a high risk of pregnancy. Overall, with vaginal intercourse, on average, most men will ejaculate within just a few minutes after intercourse beings, so it's not even like 30 seconds isn't that long of a time. The issue is if it was long enough for your partner to ejaculate: if it was, there was a high risk.
As well, with unprotected intercourse there is also always a risk of sexually transmitted infections, and statistically, for young adults, they are MORE likely to contract an STI than to become pregnant. So, anyone who thinks that's not a real risk is mistaken.
If you have had this happen to you, you're female, you don't want to become pregnant and it has been less than 120 hours since it happened, you can get emergency contraception for use after-the-fact to prevent a pregnancy. To find out where you can get EC near you, click: http://ec.princeton.edu/get-ec-now.html
If this has happened, but it happened over 120 hours ago, and you're female, you will need to wait until around two weeks after your risk to take a pregnancy test. Since you also had STI risks, I would strongly advise you to schedule that test with a screening for all sexually transmitted infections.
And if you have a partner with whom this has happened, you don't want a pregnancy right now and you're still with that partner, do yourself a favor and sit down with that partner and explain that that CANNOT happen again, and that if you two are to have sex again it will ONLY happen when you're being safe about it, by using condoms at the very least. Getting pregnant or getting an STI are both really big deals that can impact your whole life. Sex can be great, but there's no sex so good it's worth gambling for with your life and health.
If you're the partner having sex without putting a condom on your penis first? Knock it off, okay? Seriously, condoms are so easy to use, easy to get, and easy to afford, there is just never any reason to go without unless you and your partner ARE trying to become pregnant and are prepared to be and are also already done with six months of safer sex practices.
Here are a few links to help round this out: