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Human Reproduction: A Seafarer's Guide

How a pregnancy happens is a lot more complicated and a whole lot more interesting than just a sperm cell and an egg cell running into each other. Here's our map to the way there...or not.

Who's Afraid of Sperm Cells?

Judging from the number of users I see experiencing pregnancy scares on the Scarleteen message boards, particularly from situations besides genital intercourse, you’d think sperm cells were some magical weapon of mass fertilization, powerfully wiggling their way through clothes/towels/fabric, and leaping off hands to impregnate every person around them within a 50 mile radius. Look out for scary sperm! Get outta the way! They're coming right for you! (pun intended)

As a volunteer for Scarleteen, I'm here to tell you none of this is physically possible. It just isn't. As a former laboratory technician at a fertility clinic, having worked directly with sperm and semen (and without having ever gotten pregnant doing so, no less!), I want to tell you why.

Before I continue, a few things I'd like to clarify:

  • For the duration and purpose of this piece, I'll be using the terms "male" to indicate a human patient with a functional penis and "female" to mean a human patient with a functional u
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Her pregnancy of two years ago came BACK?!?

confused asks:

I recently found out that my girlfriend is pregnant. The problem is I am a virgin. She had an abortion about 2 years ago and she told me that her doctor said it could randomly come back at anytime without her having sex. I want to believe her but something tells me that isn't right. PLEASE HELP!

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