My boyfriend and I haven’t had actual sex, but he came on my stomach. Is it possible that I could get pregnant from that? It’s really stressing me out.

Great question! We’re sorry this experience has left you feeling so down. Sex (of all kinds) should leave you feeling healthy and good about yourself, not stressed out.

From what you describe, no, it not possible that you could be pregnant. Let’s go over some pregnancy basics to understand why.

For a pregnancy to begin, a few things have to happen. First, sperm cells, which are in semen (ejaculate, come), have to swim through the vagina and uterus and into a fallopian tube, where they may fertilize an egg. Then, the fertilized egg might embed in the uterine lining. This is when someone is considered pregnant—after a fertilized egg attaches to the wall of the uterus.

So for a pregnancy to be possible, first a sperm cell needs to get inside the vagina. Sperm are speedy little swimmers, but they aren’t magical. If semen was only on your stomach, sperm could not have gotten into your vagina.

However, if semen was on your vulva (your external genitalia), or you immediately touched the semen and then touched your own genitalia, sperm may have been able to enter the vagina and begin their journey to find an egg.

If semen did come into contact with your vulva, it is possible for you to be pregnant. If it’s been 5 days or less since you had sex, you can get Plan B One-Step, a form of emergency contraception, over the counter. Emergency contraception does not end a pregnancy, but it will stop one from beginning. The sooner you take Plan B after sex, the more effective it is. If you’re 10-22 years old in NYC, you can also get Plan B for free at the Mount Sinai Adolescent Health Center. We talk more about emergency contraception and how to get it here.

Going forward, there are a few ways you can take charge of your sexual health.

  • It sounds like it might be time to talk to a doctor about birth control. Even though you say you’re not having “actual sex”—by which we assume you mean penis-in-vagina (PIV) sex—using birth control will help you relax and keep you from feeling stressed out if something like this happens again. Plus, you’ll be prepared for if or when you decide to have PIV sex. There are a lot of reliable birth control methods out there, so talk to your doctor about which one might be best for you. We talk more about how to decide on a birth control method here.
  • You and your boyfriend should also get tested for sexually transmitted infections (STIs). You can still get STIs even if you’re not having PIV sex. Some STIs (like herpes and HPV) can be transmitted through sexual skin-to-skin contact. Other STIs (like gonorrhea) can be spread by oral sex (blow job, going down on, eating out). You can get tested by your primary care provider, or at a community health center (like the Mount Sinai Adolescent Health Center or a Planned Parenthood).
  • Use condoms for oral sex and if/when you have PIV sex. Condoms are the only birth control method that also prevents the spread of STIs!

Hopefully, understanding how pregnancy works and how to prevent it will help you take care of yourself and prevent any future stress about pregnancy!

If you still feel stressed though, ask yourself if something else is going on. Do you feel good about the sex you’re having? Does your boyfriend respect you? Is your relationship healthy? Sometimes feeling off about one part of your sex life or relationship can make you worry about a completely different part.

If you’re 10-22 years old, you can get free, confidential birth control, STI testing and treatment, emergency contraception and answers to any other questions you have about sexual health and relationships at the Mount Sinai Adolescent Health Center. No judgment, no charge.