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» Got Questions? Get Answers. » EXPERT ADVICE » Ask Scarleteen » How long can sperm live outside the body? Does fingering with "dry" semen=preg. risk?

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Author Topic: How long can sperm live outside the body? Does fingering with "dry" semen=preg. risk?
Santos
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I was with my girlfriend and, end result, I got semen on my fingers. I'm pretty sure I wiped it off, but I cannot remember if I washed my hands with water and soap because I was in a hurry to class. About, maybe 3 hours later, me and my girlfriend got into it again but this time I used my fingers. They were the same fingers that had semen on them before. Now, I'm positively sure I wouldn't go to class with semen on my hands, so I'm pretty sure after it was first on my fingers, I wiped it down enough to where my hands shouldn't have been moist with semen at all. But, on the off chance they were, and on the off chance I didn't wash my hands, is it possible for sperm to have survived 3 hours later and got my girlfriend pregnant?

She is late on her period, now 2 days. She says her boobs feel like little pinches, and she's very bloated at eating a lot more lately. The semen incident would have been about a month ago. Please, do NOT tell me to have her take a test, I know already. I just want to know if there is even a chance with the time difference, and me wiping most of it off. Also as a side note, I was outside a decent amount of time. And it was fairly winter weather cold. Not super cold, but well below body temperature.

Thanks in advance.

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Heather
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Based on what we know so far, outside a hospitable environment -- namely, the testes, a vagina, or laboratory conditions -- sperm cells probably only remain viable for 20-30 minutes.

However, as we make clear here -- http://www.scarleteen.com/forum/ultimatebb.php?/ubb/get_topic/f/27/t/027786.html -- and in numerous threads on the boards and articles on the site, manual sex (like fingering), period, is not a kind of sex that presents pregnancy risks in the first place. STI risks, yes (though even those are very low), but not pregnancy.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Santos
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Thank you for your answer Heather! But is the statement "there is no pregnancy risk" based on testing/experiments/a study, or is it just because it's not been heard of by you?
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Heather
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The information that we have about how pregnancy does and doesn't happen is based on science we -- as a global culture -- have had for an awfully long time, and many, many studies. Add that to the extra study we've had with the advent of reproductive technologies, and we can say with great certainty how conception does and doesn't tend to happen, and know about things like what conditions sperm cells need to remain viable and potentially create a pregnancy.

In other words, this information is by no means anecdotal. A couple hundred years ago in a lot of places, it would have been. But we're way, way past that by now. [Smile]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
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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Santos
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Okay thank you very much. The reason I'm even asking is because my girlfriend normally has her periods every 26-28 days. This is her time-frame for the last 5 months. This month however she is, today, 3-5 days late. The only sexual encounter that's happen is the previous incident I've described. She has been VERY moody lately, eating a WAY lot more, and has gained some weight, and has now been late on her period. She says she felt like it was coming 3 days ago, and still feels like it does, but it hasn't. She has also been pretty constipated. I was worried that what happen (what I mentioned in the previous comments) might have caused a pregnancy, but seeing as how sure you are in the matter that there was no pregnancy risk, I will just assume that this is one of those irregular periods. Thank you again for your time and information Heather.
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Heather
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Very early in a pregnancy, if there are any first symptoms at all, typically ALL someone will experience is a missed period. Things like big changes in appetite and mood just don't happen so early.

It's also typical for periods to deviate by a few days each cycle. A late period isn't even considered so until it's around five days later than someone's longest cycle.

By all means, if she'd like to know if she isn't pregnant for sure, then she can take a pregnancy test.

However, what seems most likely is that she's experiencing premenstrual symptoms because she's soon to get her period: that's what most matches all the things she's experiencing.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
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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Santos
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Okay well thank you very much! She just got her period yesterday a couple hours after my previous post. It was heavy like normal but A LOT more painful she says. I'm assuming it's because it came late. But thank you very much for your information Heather!
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