Sex in the Philippines
Sex is a very sensitive topic that most Filipinos choose not to discuss. Sex education isn’t even a mandatory thing here in the Philippines. That is why most of the Filipino youth’s knowledge is only limited to what they hear from their peers, what they see in the media, what they can gather from internet and to what is passed onto them by those who are older than them. Even though the youth is sex-driven, we are not properly prepped in terms of sexual intercourse that is why many young adults easily engage in sex without even knowing what they are doing and what the consequences might be.
According to Interaksyon.com, 1 out of 3 Filipino youth aged from 15-22 have already engaged in premarital sex and 30% of Filipinas have already given birth before they have reached the age of 21. This is pretty alarming for Atty. Clara Rita Padilla, executive director of advocacy group EnGenderRights. Padilla says there is definitely a need to educate adolescents about the possible consequences of unsafe sex and unwanted pregnancies. She also adds “Teens these days have adopted a liberal mindset towards intimate acts, which can inevitably lead to sex. This has got to stop.”
Due to the lack of sex education in the Philippines, there are multiple sex myths that the youth cannot settle whether it is true or false. One of them is getting pregnant from pre-cum. Before I never quite understood what big deal is since most people engage in sex with condoms and contraceptives but now It all made sense; pre-cum is such a hot topic because young adults want to know if you could avoid pregnancies by simply pulling out before ejaculating even without condoms and contraceptives.
Pre-cum and the chances of getting pregnant
MedGuidance.com explains Pre-cum or pre-seminal fluid as a liquid produced by the male’s Cowper’s or bulbourethral gland during sexual activity or when aroused. This fluid is secreted by the male to clear a path for the sperm to travel through during ejaculation. Pre-cum is alkaline in composition, which neutralizes any acidic remnants of urine present in the urethra. Therefore, pre-cum is vital in making a safe and non-hostile path for the sperm to travel. So what are the odds that a woman will get pregnant from a man’s pre-cum?
Dr. Roland Ragasa, a local general practitioner, says that the chance of getting pregnant from pre-cum is low but it is definitely possible. Studies conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) determined that the reason why there is a low chance of getting pregnant from pre-cum is due to its low sperm count.
According to MedGuidance.com, in a normal ejaculation there are about 100 million sperm per milliliter of fluid. Out of that 100 million sperm, only 10 million will make it past a woman’s outer vagina and cervical mucus, then only 1 million reach the uterine tract, and finally only a slim 100, 000 will actually make it to the fallopian tubes. In pre-cum there is actually no sperm present originally but since pre-cum is like an alkaline it manages to sweep up about 3 million per milliliter of sperm from a previous ejaculation; therefore it is highly unlikely that a woman will get pregnant from pre-cum alone.
However, Dr. Ragasa says with any sexual interaction there is still a slim chance of fertilization occurring even if it is only from pre-cum. This fertilization occurs from the sperm from the previous ejaculation that gets swept up by the pre-cum as it enters the woman’s vagina.
Chances of Getting Pregnant From Pre-cum with Withdrawal
Many couples resort to the withdrawal method during sex as a viable contraceptive tool, instead of using birth control pills or condoms. During this method, the man withdraws his penis from the woman before ejaculating.
A pregnancy can occur when sperm enters the vagina or even just on the vaginal opening. In the event that the male successfully withdraws his penis, though the actual ejaculation containing the sperm does not enter the woman’s vagina, the pre-cum may still have entered it. It still might be there and this means that there is a chance of pregnancy.
While the withdrawal method may sound as if it lowers the risk of pregnancy, there is still a chance of getting pregnant from the pre-cum. He may not even realize that pre-cum is already entering the woman’s vagina since there absolutely no way of knowing if pre-cum is being released. Moreover, the man may not withdraw in time to prevent the actual ejaculate from entering the woman, making this method extremely risky.
Also know that pre-cum, whether it contains sperm or not, absolutely can transmit sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), so pulling out provides no protection against STDs.
Ways to avoid unwanted pre-cum pregnancy
Since withdrawal is not a reliable method for birth control or to avoid pregnancy, Dr. Ragasa provides ways on how to avoid the possibility of pre-cum pregnancy.
- Never engage in a sexual act if you are not ready for the consequences, especially the teenagers and young adults.
- Although it is risky and it may have several side effects, women who want to avoid pregnancy should regularly intake contraceptives
- The safest thing is to assume that an erect penis is always capable of causing a pregnancy even before an ejaculation so cover it with a condom before it comes in contact with the vagina.
- Always use condoms when engaging in sex, it not only helps to avoid pregnancy but it also lessens the chance of spreading STDs.
- Only use a condom once then throw it away. As the condom is stretched, it becomes weaker and more likely to break if used more than once. It is also very likely that sperm may be on the outside of a used condom resulting in a higher risk of pregnancy.
- Urinating between sexual activities will clear the area of sperm, decreasing this possibility. If the man has urinated since his last ejaculation the urine would have flushed out and killed any leftover sperm in the penis which means in this case a pregnancy wouldn’t happen since the pre-cum will no longer gather leftover sperm.
Padilla, C. R. (2014, September 18). Personal communication.
Roland, R. (2014, September 18). Personal communication.