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Can Having Sex While Standing Up Help Prevent Pregnancy?

I've heard it's harder to get pregnant if you have sex standing up. Is that true?

No. Any time a female has vaginal sex with a male, she is at risk for becoming pregnant. It doesn't matter how or where a couple has sex — whether they're standing up, she's on top, or they're in a pool or hot tub, or any other way — a female can get pregnant.

Sperm can swim up against gravity, and they're fast. As soon as sperm make it inside the vagina, they start racing toward the egg. Sometimes if a female is standing up or on top, it might seem like all of the male's ejaculate comes out of her vagina. But enough sperm can still get in to cause pregnancy. Even if a guy pulls out before he comes, a girl can still get pregnant because it's possible for some sperm to escape into the vagina before he ejaculates.

It's also possible to get a sexually transmitted disease (STD) anytime you have sex (vaginal, anal, or oral), in any position. Condoms can help prevent pregnancy and STDs, so use them for any type of sex, in any position.

Reviewed by: Robyn R. Miller, MD
Date Reviewed: Oct 1, 2018

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