Aunt Vadge: can cum from clothes get me pregnant?

An image of mayonnaise being dripped onto a towel, which is to depict semen on a towel.

Hi Aunty Vadge,

My boyfriend wiped cum off his hands and like then after 5 minutes he touched my clothes and then fingered me.

Is there a chance there was sperm alive on his fingers still? Will I get pregnant?

From Worried
Age 16
Arizona, USA


Hello, Worried,

Alright, let’s unravel this sticky situation! So, your boy did a quick clean-up of his hands and then, after a little while, went on a bit of a spelunking adventure (spelunking means going caving!).

And now you’re wondering if any of those teeny-tiny spermy swimmers he might have had on his hands could have travelled to your egg.

Here’s the lowdown: while sperm are enthusiastic, they’re not equipped to survive challenges.

Outside of their cosy little home base (that’s semen, the fluid part of cum), they don’t tend to live very long, especially not in the great outdoors—like on hands or clothes. By the time your guy reacquainted his fingers with your vagina, any sperm that may have been hanging on for dear life would most likely have died.

Adding to that, the cloth from wiping would have absorbed a lot of the moisture from the semen, and without moisture, sperm are pretty much goners.

Plus, sperm typically need a direct deposit—if you catch my drift—to make the journey to an egg, and it sounds like there were a few too many interruptions for this to happen.

Additionally, it takes two to get pregnant – your egg has to be ready to be fertilised, which only happens once a month for about 12-18 hours. The only problem here is, which 12-18 hours is it going to be? One of the great questions of humankind!

All we know without some extra detailed tracking is that if you have pretty regular periods, once a month, your ovulation is around day 12-16. But again, not for everyone and not all the time.

If you can remember the day you got your last period, count from that day (“day 1”) to day 12-16, and one of those days is probably when you have ovulated.

You can see why tracking your periods is a good idea! It gives you great information on the areas of your menstrual cycle that you most likely will not get pregnant. Working out when you’re not ovulating means you can worry less.

However, life can be full of surprises, and it would be daft to say the chance is absolutely zero. It’s just that the chance of pregnancy in this scenario is like finding a needle in a haystack—not impossible, but pretty darn close to it.

If this scenario has you nervous, and you’re within the fertile timeframe, there’s always the option of emergency contraception. But keep in mind for the future, it’s good practice for your beau to give his hands a thorough soap and water wash before switching from touching his penis to your vagina, to keep the peace between you and your ovaries. Sperm can not survive that.

If you’re ever fretting about potential close calls or wanting more foolproof methods of contraception, consider having a talk with your doctor about contraception options.

Remember, it’s always better to play it safe and wrap it up. Worrying about pregnancy all the time is a real drag. Stay savvy!

Aunt Vadge

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