Pregnant without intercourse?

Originally Published: November 1, 1993 - Last Updated / Reviewed On: March 13, 2015
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Dear Alice,

My girlfriend and I masturbate and have oral sex every day and we really enjoy it. One thing that concerns me is that although we have not had sex yet, we have frequent genital touch; we use our genitals to rub each other to get excitement. Will this cause some possibility of getting pregnant? Both of us have never had sex before.

Don't Know

Dear Don't Know,

It's great that you and your girlfriend have sexual activities you both enjoy while simultaneously thinking about ways of preventing pregnancy.

It is very unlikely, but there is a small chance that your girlfriend could get pregnant without intercourse. If the sperm from your ejaculate or pre-ejaculate gets into her vagina while she is ovulating, there is small chance that sperm could swim up past her cervix, hook up with an egg, and fertilize it (a.k.a., conception). If you want to make sure that your girlfriend doesn't get pregnant, either use a condom, or make sure both ejaculate and pre-ejaculatory fluids are far from her vagina. This includes wiping your hands clean if they come into contact with your semen before touching her. Again, the chance is slim, but sperm can be very motivated swimmers.

Have you talked with your girlfriend about pregnancy and pregnancy prevention? Has she considered taking birth control? This is another option if you decide you want to reduce risk, especially if you decide to have intercourse. Communicating with her about safer sex may be a good next step.