If you are trying to prevent pregnancy, it is critical to understand fertility and when sperm is present in a man’s ejaculate. Remember that it only takes one sperm to fertilize a woman’s egg and result in pregnancy. The only way to fully prevent pregnancy is abstinence, but since most couples have intercourse as a part of intimacy, you must understand when sperm is there and then you will be able to take the steps necessary to prevent pregnancy if this is your goal.
What is Pre-Ejaculate?
The Cowper’s gland is responsible for creating the pre-ejaculate. The testicles are responsible for making sperm. Because of this, it was previously believed that pre-ejaculate contained no sperm, but this has since been proven untrue. In fact, approximately 40 percent of men have at least traces of sperm in their pre-ejaculate. These traces can result in pregnancy so those who are trying to prevent pregnancy should not write off pre-ejaculate and think that its presence still means that they are safe.
Pre-Ejaculate and Its Impact on Fertility
Many couples use the pulling out method as a way to prevent pregnancy, but in approximately 40 percent of cases it will not be effective. If sperm even reaches the vaginal opening, they have the ability to travel up the reproductive tract and cause pregnancy. The majority of men cannot tell exactly when they are going to ejaculate, so the pulling out method is rarely an effective means to prevent pregnancy. It is critical that couples use other methods of birth control to prevent pregnancy or else they are taking about a 40 percent risk of pregnancy.
Preventing Pregnancy and Staying Safe
There are a number of birth control methods that both men and women can use to prevent pregnancy. Some methods will also reduce the risk of sexually transmitted disease (STD) transmission. Birth control pills, shots and implants are only available to women and while they are largely effective in preventing conception, they offer no protection against STDs. Women can also use a diaphragm that is inserted into the vagina before intercourse, but this too only prevents pregnancy and not STDs.
Male condoms offer protection against most STDs and pregnancy, but the protection against both is not 100 percent. It is critical that a man wears the right size and applies it to the penis properly to get the right level of protection. There are a number of sizes available and the packaging for condoms provides general information that will help men to choose the right size for the proper fit.
Remember that no method of birth control is 100 percent effective in preventing pregnancy. It is best to use at least two different birth control methods to reduce pregnancy chances by approximately 98 percent. In many cases, women will use a type of internal birth control, such as a birth control pill, IUD, implant or injection. Then, men will use a male condom. This offers the most protection against pregnancy and it also helps to protect both parties against STDs.
Now you have the information that you need to prevent pregnancy if this is your goal. Make sure that regardless of your pregnancy intentions that you always practice safe sex. Pregnancy is not the only thing you want to prevent, especially if you are having sex with a new partner. The information in the preventing pregnancy section also covers what you need to know to keep yourself safer from STDs. Remember that just as with pregnancy, the only way to be fully safe from STDs is to abstain from sex.