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Answers for Women: Am I Pregnant After Dry Sex, Making Out with Clothes On?

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We are glad you found EmpowHER! A common question has been asked: Am I pregnant if I make out with a boy, while wearing clothes? Can I be pregnant without penetration (intercourse)?

There is so much misinformation about sex, and usually the limited information that is given resorts to using scare tactics, so much to where young women are afraid that when they merely look at a boy, or touch a towel that a boy has touched, that this could result in pregnancy!

Please know that becoming pregnant does not just "occur". Sperm must somehow enter the vagina in order to conceive; genitals must touch other genitals, or ejaculatory fluid must come into contact with a woman's vulva. Otherwise, there is no risk of pregnancy.

If you are wearing clothes or otherwise "making out", a congratulations is in order, as you are engaging in "safer sex" practices, which means you were able to express your physical or sexual feelings without putting yourself at increased risk for pregnancy. You can find more information below that pertains to your specific situation, based on our most commonly asked questions.

I missed my period and must be pregnant after making out or being sexual with my partner.
Late Period Fact: It is common for women to be late --or even miss a period entirely--for no "apparent" reason. Our ovulation and menstrual cycles do vary from month-to-month, and can change due to recent illness, new medication, excess stress. There are also medical reasons that women may stop menstruating, and can be evaluated by your doctor (doctors are not usually concerned if you are not experiencing any problematic symptoms until you have missed three periods in-a-row, called amenorrhea).

I am afraid of pregnancy because I did sexual things with my partner while wearing clothes, and I read that women can still become pregnant since clothes and cotton are porous (have holes).
Clothing Fact: Yes, our clothing, and specifically our cotton underwear, are porous. and, it is true that sperm are strong swimmers, but they can't swim through clothes. Sperm are strong swimmers only in liquid: specifically semen and vaginal secretions. Outside the bod, sperm are actually very fragile. Once semen is absorbed into the fabric of your clothes, they die.

Please know in regards to wearing clothes during physical intimacy: what is possible is some ejaculate could spill over the underwear, around the panty line, and possibly get near the vagina. Men's underwear that are not form-fitting can "leak" sperm, so the important thing to remember when "wearing" clothes: they are actually covering up your genitals, the underwear is not pushed to the side, and no fluid is leaking from the side of the underwear.

"Dry Humping" Fact: The term used when you are "going through the motions" of sex and rubbing bodies together, while wearing clothing is called "Outercourse" or "dry humping" because there are no bodily fluids (vaginal secretions or semen) that come into contact with your or your partner's genitals. Click on hyperlink to read more about Outercourse.

I touched some semen on the bed sheet, and want to know if I could get pregnant from this
Sperm Fact: Sperm can live three to five days when inside a woman's vagina during her most fertile time. Sperm can only live when they are in a liquid - like semen or in vaginal fluids- and do not survive long outside the body (including on sheets, towels, etc).

I made out with my boyfriend, and any possible sperm that got in me was quickly washed away after I went to the bathroom.
"Washing Away" Semen Fact: Showers do not wash out sperm that is already inside the vagina, same with urinating, as the urine would only wash away what is inside the urinary tract (semen would have entered into a separate opening, your vagina, and not your urethra).

I have wet spots from my partner's "cum" on the inside of my underwear and jeans, even though we were both wearing clothes.
Self-Lubrication Fact: Your being "wet" could be from your own lubrication, as your partner's semen would most likely not penetrate through multiple layers of clothing (and it would not be able to get you pregnant; see above). Any wetness is from your own vaginal secretions and is perfectly normal when you are sexually aroused.

We hope these answers to the most commonly asked questions were helpful for you and your specific situation! If you are ever in doubt, please talk with your health care provider about birth control options if you choose to be sexually active, and wear a condom during sexual activity (even if penetration or intercourse is not planned). Continue making safer sex choices!

Add a Comment280 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

Hi! I’m currently on the DepoShot and it’s my tenth week on it (i’m getting it redone the twelfth week). I had sex for the first time today, and I just want to make sure that I was still protected from pregnancy. Thanks!

June 14, 2020 - 3:27pm
Guide (reply to Anonymous)

Hello, Anon!

If you have your injections on time (every 12 weeks) Depo Provera is about 99% effective.



June 14, 2020 - 5:28pm
EmpowHER Guest

The day after my ovulation I was (for lack of a better term) grinding on my boyfriend. We both had on underwear and I am also on the pill. I’m just worried I could be pregnant.

March 4, 2020 - 1:10pm
HERWriter Guide (reply to Anonymous)


Thank you for writing! 

The pill is 99% effective and grinding with underwear on can't cause a pregnancy. 

We advise you to use our site to educate yourself regarding sex so that you know how the body works. You can also talk to your doctor about how the birth control pill works - you should not be taking medication without understanding why you are taking it or how it works.



March 4, 2020 - 1:52pm
EmpowHER Guest

I am currently on the pill and it was six days before my possible ovulation. I still had underwear on and he did not and the tip of his dick pressed against my vagina area without a condom (we then stopped after). i’m pretty sure his dick only touched my underwear but on the chance that it touched my skin as well, is there a chance of pregnancy? Again to clarify, he did not go inside me it only touched the outside.

November 23, 2019 - 6:58am
Guide (reply to Anonymous)


The pill is 99.9% effective. If you are taking it as prescribed, even with full intercourse you are protected. The birth control pill works by stopping sperm from joining with an egg (fertilization). The hormones in the pill stop ovulation. No ovulation means there's no egg hanging around for sperm to fertilize, so pregnancy can't happen.


November 23, 2019 - 7:36am
EmpowHER Guest

I am currently on the birth control pill (and have been for a few months) and have no time missed a day and always manage to take my pill within three hours. I have not had intercourse, but there was an occasion when I gave someone a handjob, he came, and then fingered me after. I’m not sure if semen were on his fingers, but if it was what are the chances of pregnancy? I should not have been ovulating at the time either, as it was two days after my period ended. I’m just worried because I haven’t got my period yet, but I am on the pill, and we did not have intercourse.

July 26, 2019 - 8:58am
HERWriter Guide (reply to Anonymous)

Hello Anon

Thank you for writing! 

I'm not sure you understand how the pill works. A woman does not ovulate on the pill - if she did, she could get pregnant. The pill is 99.9% effective.  Since you are taking it exactly as prescribed, there is no realistic way you can get pregnant, even with full intercourse with no condom.

For more information, look up the website of your brand of pill. 



July 26, 2019 - 11:55am
EmpowHER Guest

I’m currently taking Monistat-3 for a yeast infection. It says not to use condoms while on the medication, but i’m wondering if you know how many days to wait after using the medication to be able to use a condom without it being damaged. (To clarify; i’m not asking how many days to wait until after the infection itself has cleared, i’m asking how many days will the medication clear out and not damage latex.)
Thank you.

June 14, 2019 - 9:19pm
Guide (reply to Anonymous)

Hello, Anon.

Monistat 3 may weaken rubber products (such as latex condoms, diaphragms, cervical caps) and lead to failure. According to WebMD, it's advised not to use these products during treatment with this medication and for 3 to 4 days after treatment is over. You can double check this timeline with your doctor or pharmacist to be sure.


June 15, 2019 - 7:35pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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