Masturbation before intercourse: Pregnant?

Originally Published: May 31, 1996 - Last Updated / Reviewed On: July 14, 1998
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Dear Alice,

If a man masturbates shortly before having intercourse, will the likelihood of the woman becoming pregnant be diminished?

-- Just Wondering

Dear Just Wondering,

While it may seem as if a man depletes his semen supply in the first ejaculation through masturbation, he does not. For the second ejaculation, sperm are not only replenished, but also remain in the entire urethra (the tube inside of his penis which also transmits urine), increasing the likelihood that sperm will also be present in his pre-ejaculate. From puberty, men continually produce sperm, unlike women, who are born with all of their eggs and release one, or perhaps two, per month.

Keeping this in mind, masturbation before intercourse can relax you, for example, before a date; can remove some pressure; or can help some men last longer when they do have intercourse; however, it is not an effective form of contraception.

Alice