Some people may wonder, "can you get pregnant without having sex?" Young people, especially, want to know more about how pregnancy occurs and how one can be certain if one is pregnant. It is so easy nowadays to determine if one is pregnant because home pregnancy test kits are available over-the-counter in most pharmacies. But before we go into pregnancy tests, let us first learn more about how one gets pregnant, and many other related questions.

How Does Pregnancy Happen?

Pregnancy is the result of fertilization of a woman's egg cell with a man's sperm cell. Although it takes only one egg and one sperm to become pregnant, millions of sperms are ejaculated with the man's semen during sex into a woman's vagina.

When a man is sexually aroused, his penis becomes erect and he ejaculates or releases a clear liquid called pre-ejaculate, which contains thousands of sperm. This is followed by the semen, a liquid that is forcefully released, and containing as many as 300 million sperms.

On the other hand, a woman releases one or more eggs from the ovaries at mid-cycle, and this stage is known as ovulation.

During sex, if it occurs around the time of ovulation, the sperm enters the vagina and travels to meet the egg through the cervix, the uterus and the fallopian tubes. When the sperm and the egg unite, fertilization takes place, and conception begins.

Can You Get Pregnant Without Having Sex?

Yes, it is possible for a woman to get pregnant without penetration of the penis into the woman's body in these instances:

  • If a woman or the man touches pre-ejaculate or semen and then touch the vagina
  • If a man ejaculates near the vagina
  • If the man's penis contacts the woman's body near her vagina

Of course, the possibility of actually getting pregnant without having sex is very low in these instances, because sperms do not survive very long outside the body and it is very difficult for a sperm to travel through the cervix, the uterus and the fallopian tubes to meet the egg to get it fertilized.

Birth Control Should Be Practiced If You Don’t Want a Baby

The best way to prevent pregnancy is to abstain from sex. The next best thing is to practice birth control. There are several options you can choose from to control pregnancy:

  • ŸPhysical barrier methods such as condoms, diaphragms, cervical caps and contraceptive sponges
  • ŸHormonal methods such as contraceptive pills, vaginal ring, contraceptive implant, contraceptive patch and contraceptive injection
  • ŸIntrauterine device (IUD), which may be in the form of copper IUD and hormonal IUD
  • ŸSterilization methods, which include tubal ligation (women) or vasectomy (men)
  • ŸNatural family planning methods, such as rhythm method, basal body temperature monitoring and cervical mucus method
  • Emergency contraception, which includes the morning-after pill, is used after unprotected sex to prevent pregnancy

More FAQs Regarding Sex and Pregnancy


Can you get pregnant or not?

Penetration only lasts a few seconds

There is an extremely low probability compared to sexual intercourse, but one may still get pregnant or acquire an STD (sexually transmitted disease) as long as sperms are able to enter the woman's cervix and uterus.

A man and woman have dry sex (genitals touch, but no penetration)

The risk of pregnancy is very low, but pregnancy could occur if semen leaks into vagina. STD transmission is also possible.

Pre-ejaculation takes place

Pregnancy may occur if the fluid contains sperm and it goes inside the vagina.

The woman does not experience an orgasm

Orgasm is not necessary for pregnancy, so one can get pregnant as long as an egg is fertilized by a sperm.

Sperm on clothing or other  material

It is highly unlikely for sperm in clothes to enter the vagina and fertilize an egg. However, no studies prove otherwise.

Having sexual intercourse in water

Pregnancy is possible if the sperms are deposited into the vagina. The water outside the body will not affect the movement of the sperm and egg.

Man ejaculates in water

It is very unlikely that sperms could travel in a pool of water to reach a woman's vagina and cause pregnancy. The sperm will not survive outside the body or in water.

Having anal sex

If the man ejaculates into the woman's anus, the sperm cannot go to the uterus and fallopian tubes to fertilize the egg, so pregnancy cannot occur. However, if the semen leaks into the vagina, which is near the anus, there is a small chance that the sperms can travel and fertilize the egg.

There are numerous ejaculations

Yes, pregnancy is possible. The amount of sperms decreases with each ejaculation, but still, millions of sperms are present every time semen comes out. An ejaculate is about 2-5 ml in volume and contains 100,000 million sperms per ml. You only need one sperm to fertilize an egg and become pregnant.

Does sperm die in air?

No, but sperms die when they dry out. Sperms survive for 3 to 5 days in a moist environment, particularly in a woman's body. So it is still possible for you to get pregnant as long as a living sperm fertilizes an egg.