MadSci Network: General Biology

Re: can you get pregnant if you dont have sex

Date: Mon Oct 8 17:27:30 2001
Posted By: Stephen A. Butler, Post-doc/Fellow, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of New Mexico
Area of science: General Biology
ID: 1002158339.Gb

Simple question, fairly simple answer. Not really sure to what you are 
refering but I will guess.

Without the copulatory act it is very difficult to get pregnant. If you 
look at the statistics of getting pregnant (for people who are actually 
trying) it is quite a rare event. But, essentially if a sperm meets an egg 
at the right time then yes you can get pregnant. 

I remember the stories, sperm in a bath, in a swimming pool, on a toilet 
seat - these are human cells not Olympic swimmers. Chlorine, temperature, 
and air will destroy those little guys (or girls) pretty fast.

Nevertheless, where there is a will there's a way. That one occasion where 
the condom breaks and the 16 year old gets pregnant - "but it was my first 
time" - highly unlikely but it still happens. 

More seriously, IVF (in vitro fertilization) involves no sex, so 
theoretically a couple could have a child without EVER having sex.  
IVF = Laboratory mixing of sperm and egg and retransplantation at the 
right time into the uterus.

Immaculate conception is a different matter however! 

In simple biological terms all you need is a sperm in the right place at 
the right time in a woman’s cycle and you can have yourself a baby. 

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