Expert Answers Factual Answers to Your Sexual Health Questions

anonymous on September 9, 2011

Is there sperm in pre-cum?

Is there sperm in pre-cum? Can it cause pregnancy? What about STDs?

answered by
Daniel Perlman, MD, MBA on September 9, 2011

Thanks for your great question.


Yes, there is sperm in pre-cum. In fact, pre-cum can contain not only sperm, but HIV and other viruses in men who are infected.


If you’re not using protection, you may be at risk for STDs…as well as pregnancy. That said, the risk of getting pregnant from pre-cum is much lower than if a man ejaculates inside a woman. And, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the presence of HIV or other sexually transmitted viruses or bacteria in pre-cum is usually too low to spread an infection.


But if you think you’ve been exposed to HIV or other STDs, it’s a good idea to get tested anyway…sexually transmitted infections are often “silent” (no signs or symptoms), so getting tested is the only way to know your status for sure.


Practice safer sex. You didn’t mention your sexual history or sexual behaviors, but if you do have sex, you can reduce your risk of STDs by using a condom or a dental dam every time you have oral, anal or vaginal sex.


Being monogamous (only having sex with one partner) also reduces your risk of STDs. And, before you have sex with a new partner, it’s always a good idea for both of you to get tested for a full array of common STDs so that you know each other’s status…and so that one or both of you can get treated, if necessary.


For more information about STD risks, symptoms, prevention and testing, see our Expert Guide to STD Basics.


Thanks again for writing to us…I wish you the best of health!


Daniel Perlman, MD, MBA

Dr. Perlman is a Colorado-based infectious disease specialist (including HIV and other STDs) in private practice at Greater Denver Infectious Diseases. Additionally, he is Assistant Clinical Professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. Dr. Perlman was educated at theUniversity of Maryland School of Medicine, and completed his residency in internal medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

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