A: During pregnancy, many people notice changes to the amount and consistency of their vaginal discharge. This can include having more watery discharge. Whether or not someone is pregnant, it’s important to talk with a health care provider about changes to vaginal discharge because some changes can be a sign of a problem. Pregnancy may be a risk anytime a penis or semen has direct contact with the vaginal-anal area. If pregnancy is a concern and it’s been less than 5 days, you might consider using emergency contraception pill. If it’s been less than 7, you can consider using a copper IUD as emergency contraception. Pregnancy tests are usually accurate once it’s been at least 2 weeks since the sexual activity that may have led to pregnancy.
To find a sexual and reproductive health clinic in Alberta, see: ahs.ca/srh
For more information about signs of pregnancy, including early signs of pregnancy, see: https://tascc.ca/supporting-high-risk-youth/pregnancy/
A: Thank you for your question. We often hear from worried people who were going to “pause sex” while changing birth control but ended up having some sort of sexual activity. Because there was unprotected contact between the penis and vaginal area, there is a risk of both sexually transmitted infection (STI) and pregnancy. If it’s been less than 72 hours, you can use the emergency contraceptive pill (morning after pill or ECP). You can get ECP at a pharmacy or a sexual and reproductive health clinic without a prescription. If it’s been within 7 days, you could see a health care provider for a copper IUD as emergency contraception. It’s also important to see a health care provider for STI testing, and treatment if needed.
You mentioned you have irregular periods – because missed periods can be a sign of pregnancy, many people assume that missed periods are the sign to watch out for. But, because many people get some “break through” bleeding in early pregnancy and there are other reasons for missed periods, a pregnancy test taken at least 2 weeks after sex is the way to know for sure if there is a pregnancy or not.
Q – Does semen stay on clothes or bedding after washing?
A – Semen is the fluid that comes out of penis during ejaculation. It is made up of water, sperm, minerals and sugars. Sperm ejaculated outside of the body dies quickly. Semen washes out of clothing and bedding easily using cold water and laundry soap, especially if you use a laundry soap with enzymes (also called a biological detergent). Using hot water or leaving semen on items for a long time can create a stain, but the semen itself will be gone after washing.
Q – How far can bits of semen get transferred through touching objects?
A – If you don’t wash your hands after directly touching semen, microscopic bits of dry semen can be transferred to other objects, although the sperm will have died within a few minutes outside of the body. Washing hands after touching semen prevents this.
Q – How clean is semen compared to saliva and sweat?
A – Cleanliness means different things to different people. All body fluids are part of healthy body processes. If a person has a contagious infection, depending on the germ, it could be in any body fluid. Semen is made up of water, sperm, minerals and sugars and is part of the reproductive process. Saliva contains water, mucous and chemicals like enzymes. It’s part of the digestive process and helps your mouth stay clean and fight infections. Sweat is made up of water, minerals, sugars and some chemicals that are leftover from a variety of body processes. Sweat helps regulate body temperature and helps your body get rid of toxins.
Q – Is semen sinful?
A – Semen is a body fluid that comes out through ejaculation. Ejaculation is a normal body process. Body parts, fluids and processes are not choices. Sinful means an act that is morally wrong or against God. We are not able to speak about what is right or wrong for you. You can talk to a faith leader to learn about what actions are and are not considered ok in your religion.
Q – Do we have to wash our hands after masturbation or touching semen?
A – Washing your hands before and after masturbation and after touching semen can help you stay healthy and avoid infections.
Q – If someone touches an item to their mouth that has touched something that had semen on it in the past, is it oral sex?
A – Oral sex is when one person’s mouth comes in contact with another person’s genitals. The situation you describe is not oral sex.
Q – What do other people do if they get an erection or even accidentally ejaculate semen in a public place like on a bus?
A – Many people get erections (a hard penis) in public. When this happens, covering up the erection with an item of clothing, sitting down or thinking about something else helps the erection go away. When a penis is erect, it can produce a small amount of fluid called pre-ejaculatory fluid that sometimes people notice on their clothing. Ejaculation is when semen comes out of the penis. When a person is awake, people have control of their sexual arousal and can avoid accidentally ejaculating. If someone gets sexually aroused in a public place, it is important to not stimulate (touch) the genitals and to think about other things to avoid ejaculation.
Q – What do other people do if they notice someone with an erection or ejaculating in public?
A – To protect boundaries and privacy, it’s important to try to hide an erection if you get one in public. If someone notices it, they usually feel embarrassed or threatened and look or move away. If someone notices another person ejaculating in public, they will feel extremely uncomfortable or unsafe and may call the police..
Q – Is it bad if my mother touches my clothing, bedding or other items that may have had my semen on it?
A – Protecting parent-child/teen/youth boundaries is part of a healthy relationship. As soon as someone is able to do their own laundry, it’s important for them to wash their own bedding and clothing if they have had a wet dream or have gotten semen on them. If someone happens to have touched those items inadvertently, that is unlikely to be a problem.
A: Thank you for your question. A pregnancy is possible anytime sperm or penis have direct contact with the vaginal area. A medical abortion is a procedure that uses medicine to end a confirmed pregnancy. It can be done up to about 10 weeks of pregnancy. After a medical abortion, an ultrasound is done to make sure that the abortion worked. If an ultrasound showed no pregnancy, the person was not pregnant when the ultrasound was taken. Because it sounds like not being pregnant is very important to you, you might want to think about using a very effective method of birth control like an IUD or the birth control implant.
A: Because the situation you describe can lead to pregnancy, it’s important to see a health care provider right away to find out for sure. If you are pregnant, they can help you decide which of the 3 pregnancy options (parenting, adoption or abortion) is right for you and help you be healthy whichever you decide. If you’re not pregnant, they can help you make choices about birth control. Anytime a penis comes in close contact with the vagina, even if the penis doesn’t go in and even if the person doesn’t ejaculate (cum), there is a chance of pregnancy. This is because fluid called pre-cum, or pre-ejaculatory fluid, contains live sperm. Pre-ejaculatory fluid is made anytime a penis is hard. Pregnancy tests are usually accurate if they are taken at least 2 weeks after the risk activity. To find a sexual health clinic in Alberta, see ahs.ca/srh. For more information about pregnancy risk and options, see https://tascc.ca/supporting-high-risk-youth/pregnancy/. For more information about birth control, see, https://tascc.ca/supporting-high-risk-youth/birth-control/
A: Thank you for your question. Pregnancy is a risk anytime a penis or semen might have had direct contact with someone’s vaginal area. Based on what you have written, this may not be the case for you, but missed periods can be the sign of a problem. Anytime someone misses their period, it’s a good idea to talk with a health care provider. You can call your family doctor, a walk in clinic, 811 to talk to a nurse or go to ahs.ca/srh to find a sexual and reproductive health clinic near you.
A: Everyone has different values, or different ideas of what is good or bad, when it comes to sex and relationships. Some people think that sex should happen only in long term, committed relationships; some people think that sex can be part of building relationships and some people think that it’s ok to have sex-only relationships. If you’re figuring out your own sexual values, it can be helpful to learn more about your family, faith and cultural values by talking to family members, cultural and faith leaders and peers. No matter what your values, a healthy relationship is based on clear communication, setting and respecting boundaries and mutual respect, care and safety. This is true for all relationships, including sex-only relationships.
A: Unhealthy or abusive relationships can cause serious harm to a pregnancy and the baby. Anytime someone is in an unhealthy or abusive relationship, it’s important to get supports to either help the relationship get better or to safely end the relationship.
If someone is in immediate danger, call 911
For 24/7 anonymous help, call 310-1818
A: As soon as someone thinks they’re pregnant, it’s important to talk to a health care provider like a family doctor or an AHS Sexual & Reproductive Health clinic nurse about options, resources and how to stay healthy no matter what choice is made. A pregnant person has 3 options: parenting, placing a baby for adoption and abortion. Some non-profit pregnancy support/care centres have anti-abortion values, so they might best be accessed only if someone has decided they will stay pregnant.
Find an AHS Sexual & Reproductive Health clinic at ahs.ca/srh
A: Pre-cum is another name for pre-ejaculatory fluid. This is a liquid that is at the tip of the penis before semen is released. It’s there anytime the penis is hard. There is live sperm in pre-ejaculatory fluid. It can also have germs, like STIs, in it. Washing and drying hands would wash away the pre-ejaculatory fluid and would kill the sperm.
A: We’re sorry you are feeling stressed. Pregnancy can only happen when sperm comes into direct contact with the vagina. If ejaculation happens with clothes on, there is no direct contact between the sperm and the vaginal area. This would not be considered a risk for pregnancy. If someone had their period following the sexual activity in question, this would be another sign that pregnancy is not a concern at this time. Different medications and illness can sometimes cause irregular periods. There is a chance the delayed period is related to the treatments. If you continue to have concerns please call 811 to get more direction.
A: STI, or Sexually Transmitted Infections, are sicknesses spread through sexual contact with another person’s genital area, semen or vaginal fluid. Oral sex is a high risk activity for many STI, including syphilis, Chlamydia, HPV and herpes. It’s a lower risk activity for HIV and Hep C.
A: It’s common to have one person who wants to have sex and the other person doesn’t. When this happens in healthy situations, both people to say what they want and don’t want, the limit’s respected and the other person accepts they won’t get what they want. It’s not ok to keep pressuring, pestering, bullying, manipulating or coercing someone to have sex when they don’t want to. It’s sexual assault to continue a sexual activity someone doesn’t want. If any of that happens, talk with a trusted adult.
A: Pregnancies can happen when sperm comes in DIRECT contact with the vaginal area. Sperm in pre-cum (pre-ejaculatory fluid) does not travel through clothing and cause pregnancy. If you are still worried about pregnancy, or are having any symptoms, call your family doctor or 811.
A: Some people can feel pain and discomfort during menstruation (their period). They have bad cramps, heavy bleeding (having to change a pad or tampon every hour or 2), headaches or feel sick to their stomach. Because really bad periods can be a sign of a problem, it can be a good idea to talk with a healthcare provider. Doctors hear about periods all the time so don’t feel embarrassed.
Make sure you get good rest, eat healthy food, drink enough water and exercise (even though you may not feel like moving lots, this can help). Don’t feel that you are alone. Talking with an adult you trust and/or a healthcare provider will help you come up with ways to make your periods better.
A: In Canada, it’s against the law to share a sexual picture of someone without their consent (permission). This is a sign of an unhealthy relationship and is bullying. It’s a good idea to talk to a trusted adult or contact the police.
A: It’s not necessary to buy special washes to smell good. The genitals have their own smell which is normal to each person. It’s healthy to clean the outside of the genitals (the vulva) with water and mild products but the inside does the work for you. The vagina makes its own discharge to keep it healthy and in balance. This fluid gets rid of any unhealthy bacteria. So no need to use special washes.
If you smell or see something that is different for you it’s important to speak with a healthcare provider.
A: Came is slang term for orgasm. Cream pie is slang term for sperm ejaculated during sex without using a condom. Anytime a penis or semen come in contact with the vaginal-anal area, there is a risk for pregnancy. If someone might be pregnant, it is important they see a health care provider right away so they can be as healthy as possible.
People cannot consent to sex when they are sleeping. Sex without consent is sexual assault. That means that if one person is awake enough to start sex, they need to make sure the other person is also awake and able to consent before any sexual contact.
Many people orgasm during sex – this is often called having a wet dream. But, it’s not typicl for healthy people to move for sex during sleep. If you think you might be having sex while you are sleeping, talk to a doctor right away because it can be the sign of a health problem.
A: It is unclear why your friend is experiencing cramps and nausea. Some people have cramps and nausea while they have their period. Pregnancy can only happen when sperm comes into direct contact with the vagina. If ejaculation happens with clothes on, there is no direct contact between the sperm and the vaginal area. This would not be considered a risk for pregnancy.
If anyone is taking part in sexual activity where semen could get close to the vulva and vagina it is a good idea to use protection. This could be a condom or another type of birth control. That person may then feel that they are able to take control of their reproduction. It may be important to talk to a healthcare provider about choices. For more information about birth control including how pregnancy happens and how to get birth control, see https://tascc.ca/supporting-high-risk-youth/birth-control/
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