Aunt Vadge: Can sperm swim from my labia inside?

Hi Aunt Vadge,

Okay well, I’m 15 and my boyfriend just turned 18, and we have been dating for roughly two months. Earlier today we were getting frisky and we did everything besides sex.

We were dry humping (I was in a bra and panties and he was in underwear) and I know it was just pre-cum but I’m scared I could get pregnant.

It touched the outer part of my vagina, like the lip, but is it possible that it could move and go inside or near where I could get pregnant? I didn’t change because I didn’t think much about it at the time. I need your advice.


Dear Lippy,

Welcome to the circus of ‘am I pregnant?’! It is now officially time for you to get on birth control because trust me, freaking out about being pregnant all the time is no way to live. It just never ends unless you take control of your own fertility – don’t let it ‘just happen’. Birth control is easy to obtain, and you need to know how to use condoms, know what sexually transmitted infections you can get, and know how to not get pregnant. There are lots of ways to go about these things. Get familiar, since you have (presumably) a lifetime of sex ahead of you.

I think it’s safe to say you are definitely not going to get pregnant from semen touching the outside of your vagina. Sperm don’t survive very long when they are exposed to oxygen (from 20 minutes to an hour), so unless you are A) ovulating and B) the semen got stuffed up into your vagina somehow, then it is impossible for you to be pregnant. Sperm are not magic.

Read our article about pre-cum – it’s possible that your boyfriend’s pre-cum isn’t fertile anyway, though you have no way of knowing.

Chart your cycles using a period tracker app, and it will tell you when you are more fertile, so when you have scares like this, you can actually check if you were even (probably) able to get pregnant – you need to know when you are ovulating, which in a 28-day cycle, is around about Day 14 (if Day 1 is the start of your period).

Your cycles, however, are likely to be longer or shorter than 28 days – every woman and every cycle is different, and you will want to know not only when you ovulate so you don’t get pregnant, but when you are going to get your period. It is very useful to know this stuff. Get to know your body, because most women (after a while) know when they ovulate, because they can feel the changes that happen. (You will probably get horny and your vaginal fluids go slippery and silky, and you may feel pangs around one ovary as the egg pops out of the wall.)

While stranger things have happened, you are very unlikely to be pregnant or to have been able to physically get pregnant. Sperm can’t swim that well, they don’t like oxygen, and when combined with underwear fabric, would be mostly immobile. The physical blockage of your underwear is not insignificant either.

Check out our contraception page for your vast range of options, and don’t forget about the emergency contraception pill if you do get semen inside your vagina ‘by accident’ and are in the fertile stage of your cycle.

Warmest regards,
Aunt Vadge  

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