Can You Get Pregnant from Precum? Precum Pregnancy Chances 38

Continuing with our exploration into pregnancy probability statistics, let’s start with situations involving precum (also known as pre-ejaculate). “Can you get pregnant from precum?” and “does precum contain sperm?” are pretty common questions in the chances of pregnancy realm. This because the pull-out method is both one of the oldest and most common forms of contraception. This isn’t because it’s exactly reliable (we’ll get to just how reliable it is a in a second), but because it’s free and it’s supposedly easy.

First off, what is precum, and what’s it for?

Pre-ejaculate is a clear liquid that proceeds ejaculation in many cases. The amount of precum a man releases varies greatly, and he has absolutely no control over that release. It’s thought that the purpose of precum is to reduce the acidity of both a man’s urethra and a woman’s vagina as sperm do poorly in high-acid environments. It may also act to aid in lubrication.

Does precum contain sperm?

Surprisingly, there are very few studies on this subject. The few that do exist (I’m talking less than five) also don’t agree. A few studies (link for one, two, and three) found precum contains no sperm at all, but in the most recent study done in 2011, 37 percent of men produced samples that contained motile (capable of causing pregnancy) sperm. The number of sperm in these samples did vary, but for the most part was well below the quantity found in actual ejaculate. These men had urinated prior to sample collection.

Quick answer:

As the jury is still out, so to speak, most reputable sources will state that, yes, precum can contain sperm. That sperm may not be eliminated by urination.

What are the chances of pregnancy with precum?

The only data on this topic assumes vaginal sex (meaning it may not apply to things such as “grinding” or other situations where there was no penetration) in couples under 35. Unfortunately, there is also no data as far as by-the-act statistics, i.e. the chances of becoming pregnant from a single act involving only precum. So, what do we know?

precum pregnancy chances can precum get you pregnant

A review in 2011 done by the Office of Population Research at Princeton University found with perfectly timed “pulling out” or the removal of the penis prior to true ejaculation 4 of every 100 couples (4 percent) will become pregnant within a year. As the pull-out method also leaves a high chance of error (not pulling out fast enough), the overall rate of pregnancy in couples who only use the pull-out method is 22 out of 100, or 22 percent, within a year.

A study done in 2002, also by the Office of Population Research, along with the Guttmacher Institute, broke that down into slightly shorter time frames with 7.8 percent becoming pregnant within 3 months, 11.3 percent by 6 months, 18.4 percent by 12 months (less than the estimate in 2011). This study didn’t separate “perfect use” from just average practice where lots of folks make mistakes.

If you average that all out to a monthly basis, you get around a 1 to 2 percent precum pregnancy chance as a likely statistic for a one-time incident during any given month.

Quick answer:

Chances of pregnancy from precum vary from about 4 to 22 percent assuming frequent intercourse over the course of a year. A single act likely holds a chance well below this.

This ignores intercourse timing, a topic we covered in part one of this series on pregnancy probability statistics if you missed it. You might also enjoy our pregnancy probability quiz.

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Hi, I was wondering how likely would pregnancy be from precum without p and v penetration? Me and my gf had genital contact and I believe I masturbated the same day but no penetration. I don’t remember exactly but I believe I touched her vulva and possible vaginal opening but again no penetration. I did finger her too but different days and my hands were dry and the days I am concerned about were 6 and 7 days before ovulation. I know it’s a lot of info but im kinda worried. Would the masturbation before I did this make any… Read more »


I got these trojan condoms that are coated with Spermicide and I’m curious if they are more effective then regular condoms. I asked a few friends and they have told me theyre much better since it kills sperm and precum.


Hi, my girlfriend and I had unprotected sex July 16th, 18th, and 19th. Each of these times I was nowhere near finishing inside her and each time inside her lasted a minute and under, but it is very likely that I was pre ejaculating during intercourse. She doesn’t use any other contraceptive. Is there a chance of pregnancy? Her last period started July 10th but her cycles have been irregular so it’s hard to track ovulation. I also haven’t ejaculated since July 15th, not sure if that affects content of possible sperm in pre ejaculate.


Hi so me and my gf had unprotected sex for our first time. I’m almost certain that I did not ejaculate inside her, but the danger of pre cum is still there so I’m worried. I made her take some ecp just a little over a day after we did the deed. Her last period was on June 29 which usually takes 30 days before her next period starts. We did the deed on July 9. What are the chances of her gettig pregnant?

Grace Klausing

My gf and I had unprotected sex but used the pullout method so I didn’t come inside of her. But, we are worried about precum getting her pregnant. We did it the 29th of June and she had her period the 17-23 of that month. She is due for her period in 3 days but sometimes she skips months. What are the chances she is pregnant.


me and my girlfriend were messing around one night. she was on her period but fixing to be off two days later. we never had sex. I never put it in. I just was “teasing” I guess you could say but I never put it in. I didn’t cum, but i’m not sure about pre cum. she took a plan b the next day. it’s been about two weeks now. she has experienced some blood but now long enough for a period. she looked it up. and most of the time it was bright red. but it only lasted two… Read more »