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I only had unprotected sex once: could I be pregnant?

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Anonymous asks:

This was my second time having sex with this boy we were like fuck buddies and hardly knew each other, we only had sex one time and I'm not on the pill I told him that. I heard that even when guys don't ejaculate they still have sperm in there cowpers gland or something and that comes out before ejaculation: is that true?

I'm also 2 weeks late, my friend who is pregnant thinks im pregnant because I have some of the symptoms she has, ummm clear discharge, my breasts somtimes gets shocks of pain at least 5 to 6 times a day, and thats just to name a few. Can I be pregnant? Is it to early to tell?

Heather Corinna replies:

If you had unprotected intercourse, you've potentially had risks of both pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs), whether your partner fully ejaculated or not.

Yes, pre-ejaculate, if that's what you're asking about, can contain sperm which may create pregnancy risks. If a guy has just recently ejaculated before having intercourse and did not urinate before, then his urethra may contain some semen and sperm. But it sounds like it may even be a question as to whether or not there was or was not full ejaculation here, or like you're not certain if there was or was not.

Regardless, ANY time you have unprotected intercourse, you need to treat it as a possible pregnancy and STI risk: whether a guy ejaculates or not, there are ALWAYS STI risks. Ideally, you'd want to obtain emergency contraception right after a risk like this to reduce the chances of pregnancy, but that has to be done within 120 hours of the risk, and if your period is two weeks late, then it sounds like this risk happened some time ago.

(More ideally, you'd not want to take these sorts of risks in the first place, but I'll get to that.)

Not knowing exactly when your risk happened, I can't say if it's too early for you to be pregnant, but if your period is two weeks late, and the risk was more than two weeks ago and you haven't had a period since, then it's time to take a pregnancy test, as it is not too early for you to be pregnant. You can take a home pregnancy test, or go and see your general doctor, sexual health clinic or gynecologist for that. You also will need to schedule a full STI screening now, too, so if you can get in for that right away, you can take care of that and a pregnancy test with your healthcare provider at the same time.

Vaginal discharges are normal for all women: those who are pregnant and those who are not. Tender breasts are one common symptom of pregnancy, but since breast tenderness can happen for other reasons, you don't want to rely on symptoms, especially since it's really important to know if you're pregnant as soon as possible, no matter what choice you may make should you be pregnant.

So, time to go take care of that pregnancy test and those STI tests, okay?

And in the future? Just don't do this: seriously. If you're going to have casual sex, then in order to have it as safely and soundly as possible, you need to be able to have and set clear limits and boundaries, and to be able to insist on safer, protected sex, every single time, with no exceptions. Casual sex is no place for the unassertive, passive or the shy.

If you can't do that, or don't feel capable of that, then having sex with someone else -- especially casually, and especially with people you barely know -- just isn't smart or safe. And no guy who isn't insisting on safety too is being any sort of "buddy." If you told him you weren't on the pill, then his response should have been to go get a condom, or let you know if he didn't have one and thus, nix on sex. But since sex without condoms presents more than pregnancy risks, he AND you both should have declined on the sex if a condom wasn't available, even if you HAD been on the pill.

Here are some extra links I'd encourage you to read to round out the information I've given you here:

written 21 Jul 2007 . updated 09 Oct 2013

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