Question:

Hey,

I have sex with my husband without any protection. During sex he pulls out because he doesn't want to finish yet, then we keep on until he is finished, but he takes it out before finishing in me. But I have noticed that when he takes it out there is a clear sticky liquid. Could that get a women pregnant? The reason for my question is because my nipples are hurting, and I haven't started my period. I have an unusual period, but for the past couple of months I have been starting my period on almost the same day of the month.


Answer:

You and your husband are practicing the withdrawal method of contraception. In the withdrawal method, the husband removes his penis from his wife's vagina before ejaculating. No contraceptive is 100% perfect. If 100 couples had sex for a year, taking no particular measures to prevent pregnancy, then before the year is out 85 of them would find themselves expecting a child. If 100 couples used the withdrawal method then only 19 of them would find themselves expecting a child. So it cuts the odds down a great deal, but pregnancy can occur.

The reasons are:

  1. There can be sperm in the pre-ejaculate fluid (pre-cum) that a man produces when he is aroused. There won't be large number of sperm, but it only takes one sperm cell meeting up with the wife's egg to have conception. A man releases about a half-million sperm cells when he ejaculates, but most don't survive the journey to reach the egg. The large number of sperm is to increase the odds of at least one surviving. So while the pre-ejaculate might barely contain any sperm, there is always the possibility that some might survive.
  2. Typically couples aren't careful after the husband ejaculates. Since the semen is present and it continues to drip for a time from the husband's penis, it is possible to accidentally introduce some semen near the entrance of the vagina. Sperm cells have tails to allow them to move. While they are more likely to survive if they start their journey back by the cervix, it is possible for some sperm to actually survive swimming from the front of the vagina to the fallopian tubes.
  3. The most common failure of the withdraw method is for a couple to try going too long with intercourse before the husband ejaculates. Eventually the couple cuts the time too short trying to continue the enjoyment and the husband ejaculates before he can withdraw.

Couples wanting to avoid pregnancy can decrease the odds of conceiving a child by combining methods. If a couple pays attention to when the wife's period is expected to start, then two weeks before the next period starts is the day the wife is fertile. A man's sperm can survive up to six days inside his wife. So about three weeks before the next period is expected, the couple can use another method, such as using a condom for about two weeks or so (to the point that they are certain the wife is past her fertile time). Then they can go back to having regular sex. If a wife has a variable period, you will have to figure out the minimum and maximum possible times for needing to use some type of contraceptive.

Combining methods works as well as the birth control pill (about 2 out of 100 couples end up pregnant) because every cycle there is a time to enjoy normal sex and the time for taking preventative measures is limited. There is less motivation to "cheat" the system this way.