Oral sex — Pregnant?

Originally Published: November 1, 1996 - Last Updated / Reviewed On: June 22, 2012
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Dear Alice,

Can pregnancy be caused by swallowing the ejaculate during oral sex?

Dear Reader,

To think about your question in another way, does anything you eat end up in your reproductive system, and in the same form as it was consumed? The answer is NO!

Just like when you swallow food, when you swallow semen, it begins to digest in the mouth, then in the stomach, and so on, until whatever cannot be utilized by the body is excreted. Sperm ultimately die from being broken down in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. What’s more, even if sperm lived in the GI tract, your mouth does not directly lead to your reproductive system. Therefore, it is impossible to become pregnant by swallowing ejaculate.

An important note: Although you will not become pregnant, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) such as herpes and HPV can be transmitted during oral sex if you or your partner is infected. It is important to practice safer sex techniques, such as using a condom or dental dam, during oral sex to reduce your risk of contracting or transmitting STIs. Moreover, getting tested for STIs with your partner is highly recommended in order to know both of your statuses. Nothing more reassuring than a clean slate! Check out the related questions, such as Oral sex risks with no condom?, for more information.