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Sex Positions for Preventing Pregnancy: Is There a "Safe" Approach?

There are a lot of myths out there about sex, pregnancy and birth control, and when people accept them as medical fact, they are usually in for a big surprise. A reader named Max, from Dayton, OH, has just such a misconception, as we can see in the following message:

My buddy told me that I can't get my girlfriend pregnant if we have sex standing up. What other positions are safe?

Well Max, did you also hear that you can get hairy palms from masturbating? I hate to burst your bubble, but when it comes to sex and pregnancy, there is no such thing as a "safe" position. There are lots of rumors floating around out there about having sex standing up, or having the woman on top, among others, but the fact is that you can get pregnant in any position.

I just want to make that clear. When a man ejaculates, he releases about a teaspoon of semen, which contains roughly 200-300 million sperm cells – that’s a lot -- and it only takes one of those little guys to get a woman pregnant. Now, most people don’t know this, but you can actually get pregnant without even having penetrative sex. If a man’s penis is rubbed against a woman’s vagina, or if ejaculate is spilled near the vaginal opening, semen can actually find its way in and get a woman pregnant.

Additionally, pregnancy can occur even if a man doesn’t actually ejaculate. When a man gets aroused, he releases tiny drops of semen – which you might know as pre-cum – and that little drop is all it takes to get a person pregnant if the woman’s egg is ready and waiting. So, you can never be too safe. When you’re trying to avoid pregnancy, the only surefire way to stay safe is a position in which all your clothes remain on. That’s right, abstinence is the only 100% guarantee to avoid pregnancy.

That being said, condoms do a pretty good job as well. They are about 99.9% effective IF they are used properly, but there is still that very small risk, so you need to be aware of that going in.