As a man achieves a sexual climax, they release seminal fluid rich in sperm cells through the urethra.
But before sperm gets expelled from the urethra and the penis, the body produces a natural lubricant to aid the live sperm to pass through.
The fluid, which is produced by a man during the height of climax, is called precum.
Pre-ejaculatory fluid—or pre-cum—is a clear, whitish fluid found in healthy males that get involuntarily released from the body.
While a friend or acquaintance may pass down the idea that precum won’t make a girl get pregnant, don’t loosen up. There’s a non-zero possibility for semen to leak into the pre-ejaculate as it passes through the urethra.
The reason why this happens is that both pre-ejaculate and semen enter and exit the same passageway, the urethra.
In other words, live semen can mix with pre-cum on the way out.
As a result, it’s still possible for men to inseminate a vagina during sexual intercourse, even if you engage in the pull-out method.
Let’s learn more about what precum is, risks associated with misinformation regarding pre-ejaculate, and other key insights about this male fluid.
What’s the Purpose of Pre-cum?
Pre-cum is produced when a man is sexually aroused. It occurs before a man undergoes a sexual climax and its main purpose is to make it easier for semen to exit the body.
Under normal conditions, the pH level of urine is the highest in the body—reaching up to 8.0 on the pH scale. This is much too acidic for live sperms to thrive in, causing sperm cells to die off before exiting the urethra.
Pre-ejaculate mitigates the acidic qualities of urine, attributing to the fact that it’s an alkaline mucus. Precum neutralizes the acidity of urine and allows the safe passage of live sperm to exit the body.
In addition, unlike sperm, which is produced in the testes, pre-ejaculate’s main purpose is to help sperm flow through the penis and outside it. It works similar to the vaginal mucus that’s secreted in women during arousal.
Can You Become Pregnant with Precum?
Many people believe that withdrawing (or “pulling out”) during sex is an effective birth control method to prevent an unwanted pregnancy. But, research says otherwise.
Precum doesn’t contain sperm at the onset. The Cowper’s gland doesn’t produce it—as sperm is produced in the testes.
However, due to precum and semen entering through the urethra during sexual arousal and climax, there’s a possibility that semen and pre-ejaculate can mix. When these two fluids mix, it’s called a cross-contamination.
When expelled from the body, the resulting fluid can impregnate a person during unprotected sex.
In one small study involving 27 participants, there have been spermatozoa detected in the pre-ejaculate of 11 participants or 41% of the total participants. Of these 11 participants, 10 of them had live sperm cells that were motile.
The aforementioned study also performed five separate pre-ejaculate extractions per participant. What they found was that spermatozoa were found in either none or all of the pre-ejaculate samples.
While the findings aren’t enough to make a resounding conclusion, it can be presumed that some men are at an increased risk of experiencing cross-contamination than others.
How Much Pre-Cum is Usually Discharged?
The amount of pre-cum expelled during sexual intercourse is usually small. During most cases, 4 milliliters (ml) of pre-ejaculate gets leaked.
It’s not readily noticed by most people during sex as opposed to seminal discharge, but it may still be a cause of unintended pregnancy.
The sperm count found in pre-cum can vary from person to person.
Is The Pull-Out Method Effective?
If you have sex often and want to avoid pregnancy, you may want to steer clear of the pull-out method.
A recent study has reported that there’s only an 80% effectiveness rate when using the withdrawal method.Comparatively, condoms have an 87% effectivity rate, while hormonal birth control pills have a 94% effectivity rate.
This means that it’s possible to get pregnant from precum alone.
If you want alternatives to the pull-out method, here are some options that you (or your partner) may consider before getting it on:
- Take a birth control pill
- Use birth control sponges
- Wear a condom
- Get a vasectomy
- Get an IUD
Before you try any of the techniques above, contact a medical professional specializing in sexual health to determine whether you’re deemed fit enough to do so.
Risks of Sexually Transmitted Infections
From the information above, you’re probably well aware by now how pre-cum can cause pregnancies.
But that’s not everything you have to consider. Pre-cum can also be a microcosm of bacteria, infections, and potentially life-threatening organisms.
Here are some STIs that may transmit in pre-cum, as well as their accompanying symptoms.
- Gonorrhea – yellow penile discharge, burning, redness, itching, pain when urinating.
- Hepatitis B – unexplainable fatigue, weakness, joint pain, fever, jaundice, nausea.
- Chlamydia – painful urination, pain during sex, penile discharge, itching, burning
- HIV – swollen lymph nodes, fatigue, sore throat, headaches, mouth ulcers, chills
It’s always best to wear a condom to avoid any unnecessary risks during sexual intercourse and prevent pregnancy and diseases.
It’s also wise to regularly get tested and consult a doctor when you’re coming down with some causes of concern in your private areas and overall health.
Contact a Men’s Medical Clinic in Cleveland for Sexual Dysfunction Questions, Diagnosis, and Treatment Options
Precum fluid is a natural discharge for almost all men. While some may think of it as relatively harmless, the fact of the matter is it can get you (or your partner) pregnant and carry diseases.
Whether you’re at the tail end of your sexual life or still at your prime, it’s always important to take care of your health.
By getting tested regularly and performing safe sexual practices, you can make any further sexual encounter both safe and stress-free for you and your partner.
Get in touch with a sexual health doctor today for professional medical advice regarding your sexual health.
The medical professionals at Precise Men’s Medical Center in Cleveland specialize in treating conditions that impact men’s health. Our concierge approach positions your unique case at the centerpoint of our focus. We don’t just give you a pill for ED and send you on your way. We treat the underlying issues that led to conditions such as ED, Low Testosterone, and more. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment.