What is pre-ejaculate? Is it sperm or not? Can you start there? Are the risks high? Is there anything else besides pregnancy? Let's talk about everything in order.
What is pre-ejaculate?
Pre-ejaculate, it is pre-seminal fluid, it is also pre-seminal fluid, it is also Cooper's fluid - it is a transparent secret that is released from the penis in a state of sexual excitement. Cooper's and Littre's glands, located near the urethra, the same tube through which sperm and urine leave a man's body, are believed to produce pre-sperm.
Amin Gerati, MD, a urologist at Johns Hopkins University, explains that pre-semen prepares the urethra for the passage of semen. The fact is that urine creates an acidic environment, which is very unfavorable for sperm. Pre-seminal fluid is needed to neutralize residual acidity and make the path safe for the seed. In general, consider precum as the main headliner of the show.
Wait, are there sperm in the appetizers?
No, they don't live there. But those little tails of trouble can remain in the urethra if your partner ejaculated before sex—especially if he didn't urinate afterward. And if all the stars align, Cooper's fluid could transfer live sperm into your vagina.
"This is usually not enough, " says Dr. Geraghty. "The chance of pregnancy from pre-sperm is very small, but never zero. "
There is not as much research on this topic as we would like. In 2013, the journal Human Fertility published the results of one of them: scientists tested 40 pre-ejaculate samples from 27 men. Live spermatozoa were found in the semen of 41% of the subjects. True, you can't call them first-rate: only 37% of them were mobile enough to reach the uterus.
The authors of the study pointed out that all but one "sample" contained up to 23 million spermatozoa. It sounds ominous, but it's not really a number to be afraid of. In 2010, the WHO examined the sperm of 1, 953 men who had pregnant women during the previous year, and only 2. 5% of these men had less than 23 million spermatozoa in their semen.
And why are we even talking about pre-ejaculate?
The question of pre-sperm is usually raised in relation to the interruption method (aka coitus interruptus – just like the name of a dinosaur, right? ), which couples often use for contraception. It consists in the fact that the man immediately before ejaculation pulls his penis out of the vagina in order to reduce the risk of pregnancy to a minimum.
As you can probably guess, this is not the most effective protection method: its reliability is only 78% with "normal" (non-ideal) performance. And it certainly does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases. But precum is hardly to blame for the dubiousness of the do-it-yourself method: there are no studies that would answer the question of when pregnancy occurred due to precum, and when - due to sperm, the drop of which still ended up in the vagina due to male inattention.
So it's not a problem that presperm contains a lot of sperm that you can get pregnant. The point is that it is very difficult to use the interrupt method perfectly. If you are concerned about two lines, choose condoms that have a 2% failure rate. Also, make sure your partner puts on a condom before his penis is in your vagina.
If you are going to resort to breaking up, remember: it requires trust in your lover. Do you know for sure that he is in control of himself and will always follow the rules you have established together? Talk about emergency contraception: do not forget that it is more expensive than condoms, and if the termination is chosen out of economy, then you can get into trouble.
And, of course, there are STDs. If you are both tested and do not have unprotected sex with other people, then you have done everything to avoid such diseases. But if these two points are not met, it must be taken into account: without protective contraception, it is very easy to pick up something unpleasant.
And the infection occurs regardless of ejaculation. For example, gonorrhea and chlamydia often have discharge from the genital tract that can transmit the infection, and for some sexually transmitted diseases, skin-to-skin contact is sufficient. Condoms will not protect against the latter, but they help reduce the number of contacts.
Well, let's sum it up. Precum is a pretty interesting thing that serves a purpose. Science still cannot reliably answer the question of what the risk of pregnancy is due to him, but that does not matter. The bottom line is that if you rely on the termination method and don't use condoms, you are putting yourself at risk for pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. If this thought scares you, talk to your doctor: he will help you choose the means of protection that best suit your lifestyle.