Like it's name suggests, precum is a clear sticky fluid that's fired off before full-blown ejaculation. While it's not the same as semen, there is the chance that sperm can be released at the same time. The most common way that precum can carry sperm is picking it up from the urethra on it's way to exiting the body.
While the sperm count in precum is minimal, there's still a chance of fertilising a few eggs.
Research published in Human Fertility looked at precum and semen samples of 27 participants. Results found that 41 per cent of precum samples contained live sperm. However, only 37 per cent of the sperm-carrying samples were motile enough to result in pregnancy.
And Urologist Dr. Amin Herati from The johns Hopkins University agrees odds are minimal.
“Typically, it’s not enough for pregnancy,” Dr. Amin Herati told Self.
“The likelihood of pregnancy [from pre-ejaculate] is very low, but it’s never zero.”
Interestingly, precum can also act as excellent lube, both on the surface and in external plumbing. Previously, we reported that women were actually huge fans of precum due to it's lubricating features.
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But let's not forget about sexually transmitted diseases ( STIs).
“Because the fluid has biologic cells in it, it can transmit STIs,” Dr. Herati continues.
With several infections producing discharge, “STI risk is there whether ejaculation [or pre-ejaculation] occurs or not.”
Here at MH, we always encourage wrapping it up to avoid any surprises and to keep STIs away. Check out the four most common STDs here.