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Manual sex + pre-ejaculate = real pregnancy risk?

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Lucy asks:

I'm 17 and my boyfriend (16) and I have been dating for 2 years. We have decided to not have intercourse, but we do have manual sex sometimes. The last time we fooled around was about 2 1/2 to 3 weeks ago. I had my period last week, and it was on time, but only red blood for 2 days; then it was pinkish brownish stuff. Today and yesterday I've been peeing nonstop. My boyfriend doesn't think he pre-cums, ever, but I did feel something at the tip of his penis--was it urine maybe? I'm worried that maybe he had pre-cum on his fingers when he touched me (he went in pretty deep) or that I touched myself with it using the bathroom. I'm really worried that I'm pregnant; please help.

Heather Corinna replies:

Your boyfriend needs to understand and accept that it's very unlikely he never pre-ejaculates if he does fully ejaculate, too. In other words, if, at his age, he's reached the stage of puberty where he can ejaculate, then he also does pre-ejaculate. Pre-ejaculate is how the male sexual anatomy "prepares" itself for an ejaculation that could create a pregnancy. That fluid is how the urethra clears itself of urine, whose acidity could make sperm less potent.

However, pregnancy via transfer of pre-ejaculate from hands to your vulva or vagina during manual sex is not very likely. But if you're worried about pregnancy, that $10 or so a test costs can be pretty wonderful, ungodly cheap therapy. If you're really worried, do yourself a favor and take a pregnancy test just for your peace of mind. There's just no good reason to be panicked and stressed when you can so easily find out there's no need. Also understand that while frequent urination is one sign of pregnancy, that sign is because of pressure a growing fetus puts on the bladder. But in just one week of being pregnant -- which is as pregnant as you could be if you had a real risk two and a half weeks ago -- that pressure won't yet exist because you don't have anything of the size to create it.

No matter what, though, and more per infections than pregnancy, it really is best for someone giving you manual sex to just wash their hands first with soap and water, unless they're going to use latex gloves, which are also an option (and also often make manual sex feel pretty nice, since that removes the rough texture of callouses or hangnails).

written 05 Dec 2007 . updated 05 Dec 2007

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