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Author Topic: Confused on fingering and precum...
beaver987
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Hi, I've recently found your website and searched it quite a bit for the information I needed.

I've read many of your articles about fingering and precum, but I've heard you both say that it is and isn't a risk on different sources.

1. (From "Pregnancy Scared")
Were you only kissing, having oral sex, manual sex and/or dry sex, where everyone had clothes on and no one ejaculated on or very near anyone else's vulva? These kinds of sex do NOT present any pregnancy risks, though some can present risks of STIs.

2. (Member response)
Hi, kittykat15. The situation you're describing poses a very small risk of pregnancy. Because there would be such a small amount of pre-ejaculate on his hands and because sperm is delicate (it can't survive well being transferred from surface to surface), the risk is quite low. Depending on how scared you are about this and how strongly you feel that you can't have any risk whatsoever, you could take plan B for peace of mind although I'd say it's probably not necessary. You could also wait until about 10-14 days after your risk and take a pregnancy test.

3. (Member response)
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.


Here's my situation. 2 weeks ago i've started taking the birth control pill a couple days after my period started. My boyfriend came over on the 5th day I was taking the pill and rubbed my bare vagina (scared he may have adjusted). Today (just finished my second week), he fingered me and I was scared there may have been precum on his finger (again, from adjusting). He said he hadn't masturbated in 2 weeks if that makes a difference as well...(from today).

I would really like to know if this is a pregnancy risk or not. I'm just confused by some of the responses and articles. Thanks for your response.

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Robin Lee
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HI Beaver987 and welcome to Scarleteen!

The most significant pregnancy risks are from direct contact between a bare vulva or bare penis, whether it's rubbing, vaginal intercourse, or anal intercourse--or contact between a bare vulva and freshly ejaculated semen.

So no, what you describe really isn't a pregnancy risk. I'm sorry that you found some of the information conflicting and confusing. Our responses are tailored to individual questions which might be part of the confusion.

We do encourage people engaging in manual sex to make sure that their hands are clean, more to prevent the spread of dirt and bacteria that can cause irritation and infection than to prevent pregnancy. The amount of pre-ejaculate on your boyfriend's hands if he simply adjusted himself would have been minimal to non-existent.

Then, too, you are on birth control. [Smile]

Manual sex is not a sexual activity known to get people pregnant. Have you had worries like this before?

Not sure if you've seen this article, but it's about the hand-washing I mentioned above, and has some useful information about whether sperm transfer is possible.

The Simple And Underrated Art Of Washing Your Hands

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Robin

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beaver987
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Yeah, he says that he never touches his precum becasue he knows I get really nervous, but I am still wondering if that I could get pregnant with that happening. Does that mean that this scenario could still cause pregnancy though?
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beaver987
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I feel like I can't believe him because i'm worried that if something did happen, he'd tell me that he didn't touch it to make me feel better and not get worried. (which is worse, becasue I only worry more). That is why I was asking.
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Heather
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You know, I'd say that if you feel like you can't trust a partner to be truthful like that, then that's probably a really good cue you may need more time to consider being sexual with that person, more time to build trust, more time to talk about being truthful, etc.

But in terms of risks, he's the scoop, like Robin explained: if partners wash hands before touching a partner's genitals, period -- including after they touch their own -- then all of this is a no-brainer. Then you can know without a doubt there is ZERO risk of pregnancy, and also that infection risks (and even just UTIs and bacterial infections, both of which can be a real pain in the vulva, can occur due to manual sex without handwashing), to boot, have been radically reduced.

So, best practice for manual sex all around is just folks washing hands before touching a partner's genitals.

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beaver987
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but I shouldn't worry with this one? Especially if he didn't touch me right after adjusting (like making out, him touching my shirt and that kind of stuff in between?)

And i guess what i meant to say is that I feel like I can't trust him with this. We've been together for about a year and a half and are extremely close. I'm just scared he may not tell me to try and make me not worry, which when I tell him that, he still doesn't change his answer.

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beaver987
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Also, is sperm still alive and present if there isn't ejaculate fluid with it? Like microscopic on a hand that doesn't have the ejaculate fluid?
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Heather
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Per your second question, the thing is that that's not really a question that makes sense.

For once, sperm cells are cells: like skin cells or blood cells. So this alive/dead stuff doesn't really work as a sound way to talk about them.

But more to the point, sperm cells NEED the fluid they come with in order to even have the possibility of creating a pregnancy. That fluid is not just how sperm cells move, it's also what they need in order to do okay with the environment of the vagina.

So, I have no idea what the story is with a sperm cell somehow removed from seminal fluid, in part because that's not something anyone would likely study, because it would have no practical application I can think of.

We can't tell y'all what to worry about or not. We can tell you what does and doesn't likely pose various kinds of risks with this kind of question, and then it's on you to figure out what you're okay with and what you aren't. But I would say that if and when one finds oneself really freaked about things like this, it almost always is a cue that it'd be a good idea to reevaluate what you do and don't feel ready for, okay?

[ 05-21-2012, 04:24 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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beaver987
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I guess I meant that if the sperm was dry, is it still viable.

And this is an activity that does not pose pregnancy risks, correct? If he may have adjusted, touched my clothes and then rubbed/fingered me?

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Heather
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In order for the possibility of fertilizing an egg to occur, we need to be talking about ejaculate that contains sperm cells and which has direct, immediate contact with the vulva or vagina.

Once more, sperm cells can't do jack without the fluid they are part of.

Manual sex, all by itself, is not known to pose pregnancy risks. I don't know what "adjusted" means, but if you mean he's touching his own genitals, again, you can solve this worry by just asking him to wash his hands before touching your genitals. ideally, we'd not have to ask partners to practice basic hygiene like that, but hey, if you do, you do, and you hopefully won't need to ask more than once.

Again, the big issue with that is that it helps to keep you from getting UTIs and bacterial infections. Obviously not the same as an unwanted pregnancy, but still potentially painful and things you usually need medical treatment for, and never any fun.

So, how about you just let him know that handwashing before his hands go on or in any vulnerable parts of your body is important? If he doesn't know that already, it's good for him to learn that.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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beaver987
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That is why i'm so nervous. I always ask him to wash his hands before he fingers me and the time I am worried about was when he was rubbing my vagina (outside of my underwear)-he wasn't going to finger me and moved inside and kept rubbing (didn't actually finger me).

Honestly, we're really good about hand washing because he knows I worry, it's just that one time that I didn't because he wasn't going to finger me. Thanks for your responses.

Quick question: If somebody had not ejaculated (masturbated) in two weeks, does that mean there is less of a chance that there would be sperm in precum? I've heard both yes and no.

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Heather
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So, really, you're good. Really.

It's actually not likely that a young dude hasn't ejaculated at all in two weeks just because of nocturnal emissions.

That said, it's a given that if someone has not recently ejaculated -- or has urinated since their last emission or ejaculation -- that it's unlikely pre-ejaculate would contain sperm cells. That's because if and when it does, it's only trace cells being picked up from a previous ejaculation, trace cells which urinating should flush out.

That's not really an opinion/theory issue, it's how the urethra works and sperm emission works.

That said, know the same is not known to be true about the viruses, parasites or bacteria of STIs.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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beaver987
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So, there should be nothing to be worrying about then?

I've also heard that if you start the pill within 5 days of your period starting, you're protected right away (planned parenthood), which makes me feel better.

Thanks again for your help!

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Robin Lee
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Yes, the Pill often is effective within seven days after starting it, though to those who are engaging in sexual activity that poses pregnancy risks (activity in which there is bare genital contact or freshly ejaculated semen involved) use a secondary method of birth control for the entire first cycle.

Since you did not have a pregnancy risk, since you were not exposed to ejaculate, you have nothing to worry about.

What are your plans for future sexual activity and communicating with your boyfriend? I saw you and Heather discussing handwashing above. Is that something you'd like to talk to your boyfriend about?

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Robin

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beaver987
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Yes, I my boyfriend and I have discussed it overy often before and usually do, which is why I'm worried for the one time that we did not.

Thanks for the "there is no pregnancy risk". It definitely helps settle my mind.

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Robin Lee
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When I mentioned discussing things with your boyfriend, I was thinking more about a discussion about your sexual activity in general, collaboratively coming up with some ideas that will work for you both. That way, you can both be on the same page about what you want and are comfortable with. If I'm missing the mark, you can let me know, but it sounds like you're pretty worried about engaging in certain sexual activities.

You might find these articles on communicating about sex helpful.

Whoa, There! How to Slow Down When You're Moving Too Fast


Yes, No, Maybe So: A Sexual Inventory Stocklist

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Robin

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beaver987
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Yeah, I think I'll have to have him always wash his hands or use hand sanitizer (if that works) before fingering and things like that (even if he hasn't touched anything) just to calm down my worries. I feel like this would make me feel much better. Also taking a break and waiting a while until, like you said, until after my first cycle when the pill becomes reliable. Thanks so much for your responses. I feel much better about this subject [Smile]
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beaver987
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Hi guys,
I haven't been worrying about my incident since I've talked to you last, but now i'm starting to get a little anxious. I took my 3rd placebo pill last night and do not have any signs of getting my bleed. Many of my friends seem to get it on the 2nd and 3rd day. Just starting to get a little paranoid again.

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Heather
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In the first few packs of pills, your body is still getting used to the pill.

So even though plenty of folks whose bodies are already accustomed won't get their bleeds the same days your friends do, you need to know that when just starting the pill, all bets are off for a while.

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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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beaver987
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Ok, thank you. I guess i'm just really worried I won't get it at all :/
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Heather
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Skipping can certainly happen in the first pack or two, but it's unlikely to happen without spotting, too.

That said, if you're still worried about pregnancy, a pregnancy test is how to get an accurate answer about that regardless. Just looking at that negative result should put your mind at ease if it's still troubled.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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beaver987
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I think i might take one this coming sunday if my withdrawal bleed doesn't come this week. Would it be accurate by then? if my incident happened on the 20th?
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Heather
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It should be, yes. Especially if your period/bleed is late by then.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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beaver987
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Ok, thank for your help. I'm just extremely nervous again (now that my bleeding is due anytime now). On planned parenthood, it says that the birth control pill is effective right away if you start the pill within 5 days after your period begins, is that true?

According to you guys, I technically didn't have a "risk", but would the birth control be working at that point anyways if I was fingered 5 days after starting to take the pill and again a week after that?

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Heather
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Depending on individual metabolism and when someone starts the pill, it can be effective within or by one week (with a first-day or Sunday start), or may take a whole cycle.

But again, it only makes so much sense to focus on that when you weren't engaging in a kind of sex which can create a pregnancy.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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beaver987
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Ok, I seem to be okay during the month, but when it comes time for my period, i worry a little. Thanks though. I just have to remember that precum and fingering cannot make somebody pregnant.

You're saying a pregnancy test wouldn't even be necissary if I even miss my bleed, right?

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-Firefly-
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Hi beaver,

Since you didn't have a risk, a pregnancy test isn't strictly necessary, but if you think it would help reassure you, by all means - the investment is worth it then.

Hope this helps!

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beaver987
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Ok, i'll be waiting for my period this week, so hopefully it comes. Thanks for your help! If not, I'll take a test, not because it's necissary, but to calm my nerves.
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beaver987
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Tonight I just got a some light, light blood on my underwear? It's like ectremely light, but definitely visible. Is this my bleed? I'm just confused because it's so much lighter than my normal period. Thanks for your response!
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beaver987
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Or is this the start of my withdrawal bleed?
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-Firefly-
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When you're on hormonal birth control, your period is called a withdrawal bleed. The spotting you're seeing is likely the start of your withdrawal bleed. The pill can make it lighter than you're used to as well.

Hope this helps!

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beaver987
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Hi,

I just got my withdrawal bleed this morning!!! I am just about the happiest person in the entire world. Thank you guys so much for all of your help. I'll make sure to be a lot more careful in the future with making sure to wash hands before we do anything to calm my nerves. Thanks SO much again!! [Smile]

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beaver987
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Can I trust that the birth control pill is working for me? I know a couple stories that women say that they took the pill perfectly and it still did not work. How do I know if it is?
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Onionpie
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If you are taking the pills on time every day and have not missed any, you can trust it to be effective. Any stories you have heard may not be entirely true, or they may not have told the whole story. So no need to worry [Smile]
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lovepink888
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If my boyfriend and I were making out and my pants were half off like my butt was showing and he was rubbing up against my butt with his pants and boxers on but had a little spot of pre cum on his pants could I get pregnant from that? I'm not on the pill and I freak out about a lot of things. I know this is a stupid question but i just need help!
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