Aunt Vadge: can fresh semen on a toilet seat get me pregnant?

Hey Aunt Vadge, 

If I sat on a toilet seat with fresh semen can I get pregnant? Can sperm move on surfaces and skin?

Sitting Duck

Dear Sitting Duck,

Sperm have little tails that allow them to ‘swim’ up the vaginal canal, through your cervix, up into your uterus, and into the fallopian tube to your waiting egg. They are not very mobile on dry skin, like a butt cheek, and die within minutes of being exposed to the open air. This means you are very unlikely to be pregnant UNLESS you happen to be ovulating around that time, and you sat directly on the semen with your vagina.

So the way you figure out if you could be pregnant would be:

  1. Did the semen touch any part of your vagina, vulva (vaginal lips – labia, clitoris)? Sperm last just minutes in the open air, which means unless the guy ejaculated onto the toilet seat, and then you rubbed your vulva on said toilet seat and the semen straight away, the sperm would have been dead by the time you got to it, meaning you cannot be pregnant. Even if you did sit on the semeny toilet seat straight away, but only your butt cheek sat in the semen, sperm are not magical teleporters and cannot swim on skin.
  2. What part of your cycle were you in? If you were not close to ovulating (e.g. it was the week of your period, directly after your period or the week before your period, more or less) you are very unlikely to have been fertile, even if you sat directly in the sperm with your vagina. If you don’t know when you ovulate, download a period tracker app for free, and start charting. You’ll soon discover when you are most likely to get pregnant, and when sitting on semen on toilet seats will be an ok thing to do. If you think you might have been ovulating and sat directly on the semen with your vagina, you could be pregnant because the special fertile fluid in your vagina present only around the time that you are ovulating make this swimming very easy for sperm and provide a less acidic (more alkaline) environment so that sperm can survive. The normally-acidic vagina proves too tough for the sperm normally, and they will quickly die.

Warmest regards,
Aunt Vadge


Jessica Lloyd - Naturopathic Practitioner, BHSc(N)

Jessica Lloyd - Naturopathic Practitioner, BHSc(N)

Jessica is a degree-qualified naturopath (BHSc) specialising in vulvovaginal health and disease, based in Melbourne, Australia.

Jessica is the owner and lead naturopath of My Vagina, and is a member of the:

  • International Society for the Study of Vulvovaginal Disease (ISSVD)
  • International Society for the Study of Women's Sexual Health (ISSWSH)
  • National Vulvodynia Association (NVA) Australia
  • New Zealand Vulvovaginal Society (ANZVS)
  • Australian Traditional Medicine Society (ATMS)
Read more about Jessica and My Vagina's origin story.
Jessica Lloyd - Naturopathic Practitioner, BHSc(N)

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