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anonymous on September 12, 2011

Could I get my partner pregnant from fingering her when I had semen on my hands?

Tonight, a girl and I didn't have sex...but we did everything else. We got naked, she gave me a hand job and I cleaned it up with my hands. Then I fingered her. Can I get her pregnant? There was a little sperm on my hands.

answered by Linda Lesondak, PhD on September 12, 2011

Thanks for sharing your concern...I’ll do my best to help you with some information. Then I hope you’ll discuss the issue with your girlfriend and a physician.

First, semen contains a lot of sperm...in fact, a single drop can contain more than 39 million sperm! Sperm can remain alive outside the body from a few minutes to a few hours, depending on the circumstances.

That said, in order to lead to pregnancy, several things would have had to happen in your sexual encounter for your partner to become pregnant...the sperm on your fingers would need to remain alive and your partner would have to be ovulating (ovulation is when a woman releases an egg from her ovaries). If your partner was ovulating, your sperm would then have to join with her egg...and the egg would have to attach to the inside of your partner’s uterus in order for pregnancy to occur. In other words, there is a risk of pregnancy, but the risk is low.

To know for sure if your partner is pregnant or not, taking a home pregnancy test is a good idea. Keep in mind that it’s important to carefully follow the instructions. Why?A study conducted by the Department of Internal Medicine at Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC, showed that home pregnancy tests don’t always give the correct result if the user doesn’t heed the directions. Your partner may also want to verify her results with her doctor.

I’d also like to offer you some additional information for your consideration...

Do you and your partner know each other’s STD status? If not, since you had unprotected sex, I would encourage both of you to get tested for common sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), like chlamydia, herpes, HIV and others. Regular STD testing can be a good idea for people who have a new partner or multiple sex partners.

Remember, many STDs can be spread through all kinds of sexual activity...not just vaginal intercourse. Oral sex, anal sex, genital rubbing or dry humping can all put you at risk for some STDs...especially if you’re not using latex condoms or dental dams. You can learn more about these risks in our Prevention + Safer Sex Overview.

And using condoms can help prevent STDs, according to a study published by the Annals of Internal Medicine. Condoms also go along way toward preventing unwanted pregnancies, too. According to the 1995 National Survey of Family Growth, 49% of all pregnancies in the United States were unintended...more recent data from the CDC’s Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System show that these rates don’t appear to be declining in all states.

I hope this information has been helpful to you, and that you’ll continue to learn about how to take care of your health...and the health of your partner(s).

Related info:

Linda Lesondak, PhD

Dr. Lesondak is a Community Psychologist with the Chicago Department of Public Health. Her areas of expertise include STDs, HIV, preventive care, public health and community planning, as well as human sexuality and women’s health. Dr. Lesondak was educated at Georgia University in Atlanta.

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