can sperm go through clothing

can sperm go through clothing

Can Sperm Go Through Clothing?

Most people likely wonder if sperm can make its way through clothing in order to prevent pregnancy or a sexually transmitted infection (STI). It’s a valid question, especially if you’re someone who isn’t using any other form of contraception.

In the simplest terms, no, sperm cannot go through clothing. Unless semen or pre-ejaculate is directly on the outside of clothing, it’s very unlikely it will make its way through to the inside and cause pregnancy. But still, it’s important to remember that clothing isn’t a form of birth control or protection against sexually transmitted infections.

Why Sperm Can’t Go Through Clothing

Sperm can only live for a short period of time outside the body. When it’s outside the body, it begins to die quickly because it is no longer in its ideal environment. Clothing is an additional layer that the sperm must travel through, making it very unlikely it would be able to survive and reach its target to cause pregnancy or an STI.

Birth Control and Protection

Rather than relying on clothing to prevent pregnancy or the spread of sexually transmitted infections, it is important to use other forms of birth control or protection. Doing so will ensure that you stay healthy and that unwanted pregnancies are avoided.

Consider the following:

  • Condoms: Male and female condoms form a barrier to protect against the spread of STIs and pregnancy.
  • Birth Control Pills: While taking the pill daily is most effective, it can also be taken a couple of hours after sexual intercourse. The pill is designed to stop ovulation, so that an egg is not released to fertilize.
  • IUDs: An IUD (intrauterine device) is a device that can be inserted into the uterus to provide long-term contraception and is over 99% effective.
  • The Morning After Pill: The morning after pill is a form of emergency contraception that should be taken as soon as possible after unprotected sex. It works by altering the environment in the uterus to reduce the chance of the sperm reaching and fertilizing the egg.

Risk of STIs

Although clothing provides an additional barrier, it isn’t enough to protect against all forms of STIs, such as Gonorrhoea, Herpes and Human Papillomavirus (HPV). That said, it is still important to wear clothes as this will reduce the risk of infection.


In conclusion, sperm cannot go through clothing and relying on this method to prevent pregnancy or STIs is not recommended. To stay healthy, and avoid unwanted pregnancies, it is important to use other forms of birth control and protection, such as condoms, birth control pills, IUDs, and the morning after pill.

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