Many people that have a sexual encounter with a new partner don’t always fully appreciate the risks involved. So, many people might wonder, after the fact, what kind of behaviours may have put them in harm’s way.

One question that can arise in such a situation is whether you can get an STI without ejaculation.

In this blog post, we’ll explore the likelihood of passing on or contracting an STI without ejaculation so you can take steps to protect your sexual health.

How are STI’s transmitted?

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are transmitted through sexual contact, usually through vaginal, oral, and anal sex. You can also get an STI without full intercourse. Sharing sex toys and contact with infected bodily fluids (such as semen, vaginal fluid, blood, and breast milk) can also facilitate the transmission of STIs. Some STIs can also be passed from mother to child during pregnancy or childbirth.

The likelihood of transmitting an infection with and without ejaculating

While ejaculation may increase the likelihood of transmitting an STI, it’s not necessary for it to occur. While ejaculate from an infected person can transmit an STI, there are many other bodily fluids that can do the same, like vaginal fluid, pre-ejaculate (also known as pre-cum), and blood. Many STIs can also be transmitted through simple skin-to-skin or genital-to-genital contact.

Does pulling out work?

Pulling out, or withdrawing the penis before ejaculation, is not a reliable method of preventing STIs. This is because bodily fluids like vaginal fluid and pre-cum can contain infectious material. Additionally, pulling out does not prevent skin-to-skin contact, which can also transmit STIs.

Is more than one exposure needed?

You can get an STI after just one sexual encounter. However, the likelihood of transmission increases with multiple exposures. The more you expose yourself to a particular pathogen – whether it be a virus, bacteria, or parasite – the more likely you are to get it.

Risk factors for getting an STI

Everyone who is sexually active is at risk of getting an STI. However, there are certain factors that can increase your risk, including:

  • Having sex with multiple partners
  • Not using condoms or dental dams during sex
  • Using intravenous drugs
  • Having a weakened immune system
  • Having unprotected sex with a partner who has an STI

What can be done to prevent the spread of STIs?

The very best way to prevent STIs is through abstinence. But that isn’t an option for many people.

If you’re sexually active and want to prevent the spread of STIs, use condoms and dental dams when engaging in sexual activity. These items will provide a protective barrier between you and your sexual partner, making transmission of STIs less likely.

It’s also important to talk with any current or new sexual partners about their sexual health. One or both of you may wish to get tested before engaging in any sexual activity so that you can protect your health.


If you’re concerned about your sexual health, or you think you’ve been exposed to an STI, get tested with Better2Know. We provide a range of STI tests available at a sexual health clinic near you.

Call the number above to speak to one of our Sexual Health Advisors, who can help you choose the right test and clinic for you.

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