Rego: Educate yourself on myths surrounding pool sex

Shay Rego

Editor’s Note: The views expressed in the following column are those of the writer only and do not necessarily represent the views of The Collegian or its editorial board.

Car sex, beach sex, hammock sex and hiking sex are just some of the activities that present themselves during the warm summer months. However, due to the heat and the never-ending sweat that comes with sex in the listed areas, some of the more enticing sexy time spots include bodies of water like pools and hot tubs.

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We’ve all heard the rumors before — you can’t get pregnant from having sex in a pool, you can get pregnant from sperm in pool water and condoms work fine underwater. Depending on which rumors you choose to believe, water sex can bring about some unwanted stress.

However, those rumors are all myths.

The first myth claims you can’t get pregnant underwater, which is false. You can get pregnant in a pool or any other body of water. Sperm has a biological mission to find an egg to fertilize, and once it has ejaculated into the vagina, it will try to do just that. Water temperature, pressure or otherwise will not prevent or lessen the effectiveness of sperm. 

According to Planned Parenthood, if you are having unprotected sex and semen enters the vagina, pregnancy can definitely occur despite being underwater. Although some water can enter the vagina during intercourse, it isn’t going to wash away the semen.

The second myth claims you can get pregnant from sperm that pre-exists in the water before you enter it. According to Medical News Today, sperm cannot survive longer than only a few seconds after being exposed to the chemicals in pool and hot tub water. Further, the American Pregnancy Association states that it is highly unlikely that sperm would travel through a vast body of water and find its way up through the vagina.

The American Pregnancy Association also confirms that, even in a plain body of warm water like a lake or even a bathtub, sperm could survive for only a few minutes post ejaculation. So even in natural water, such as the Cache la Poudre, sperm would still die after a few minutes post ejaculation as sperm cannot live outside a human body.

The third myth claims condoms will work underwater, which is not the case. According to Durex brand condoms in an exclusive interview with Very Well Health, they claimed that “as far as we are aware, no research has been carried out into the performance of condoms when they are used underwater. It is possible that the risk of slippage might increase when used in such circumstances. Whilst salt in seawater would not have an adverse effect on condom materials, there is a strong possibility that the chemicals used in swimming pools would.”

When underwater, condoms have a higher chance of breaking due to decreased lubrication. Water can also leak into the condom and cause slippage. Trojan brand condoms even warn on their box specifically against using their product underwater because these conditions may compromise the effectiveness of the product.

While all of these rumors are myths, there’s one rumor I encourage you to pay attention to as you splash with your partner in the water: you can catch an STI in water.

In fact, having sex in water can increase your chances of getting an infection. The thrusting motion while in water can force foreign substances, like bacteria, from the water into the penis or vagina, causing a urinary tract infection, yeast infection or general irritation.

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According to an interview between Dr. Megan Stubbs, a board-certified sexologist, and Elite Daily, “between the potential for microabrasions and the bacteria in the water, it is just a perfect environment” for getting a UTI, yeast infection or bacterial vaginosis.

Another thing to think about is that the chlorine in pools and hot tubs could also disrupt the natural pH balance of a woman’s vagina, making it more susceptible to infection.

The bottom line is, water is not a form of contraception. Go and have some fun in the water this summer, but remember to still be careful. Know the facts about water sex and splash safely. 

Shay Rego can be reached at letters@collegian.com or on Twitter at @shay_rego.