Can You Get Pregnant Having Hot Tub Sex or Pool Sex?

Hot Tub Sex
Safe Hot Tub Sex. Henrik Sorense/Getty Images

Question: Can you get pregnant while having pool sex or hot tub sex?

It seems many people believe, for one reason or another, that you cannot get pregnant while having sex in a pool or hot tub. This is NOT TRUE! You have the same chances of getting pregnant during hot tub sex or pool sex that you do when having sex in bed (or on the couch, in a car... you get the idea).

Answer: Yes! You can get pregnant while having pool or hot tub sex.

So are you one of those people who believe in some of these myths about having sex in the water?

Well, let's break this down... why do people believe that you can't get pregnant while having underwater sex? For starters, this is one of the biggest misconceptions about hot tub sex and pool sex. The truth is, though, that there is nothing about having sex in the water that will prevent you from getting pregnant. Pool water or hot tub water does not kill or immobilize sperm. When you have unprotected sex in a pool or hot tub, once those sperm have been ejaculated into the vagina, their mission is to  fertilize an egg -- water will not stop this from happening.

There is also a common myth that you can't get pregnant while having hot tub sex because the higher temperatures in a hot tub can kill sperm. This is also not true. If you are in a hot tub for more than half-an-hour, the hotter temperatures may cause your overall sperm count to be slightly lower. BUT this lower amount still contains A LOT of sperm.

So if you have hot tub sex, even with the higher temperatures and lower sperm count, a man can still ejaculate 200 to 500 million sperm... and it only takes one of these sperm to find an egg (and, yep, then you become pregnant). 

There is also mistaken belief that you can't get  pregnant during pool sex or hot tub sex because the chemicals used in pools and hot tubs (like chlorine) can kill sperm.

It is true that sperm can probably not survive very long in pools and hot tubs because of these chemicals. So does that mean you can't get pregnant? Yes and no.

  • No, it is very unlikely that you will get pregnant if a man ejaculates into the water.
  • BUT if a man ejaculates into you, the chemicals in the pool will not kill his sperm. So yes, you can become pregnant.

Is There Any Way to Have Hot Tub or Pool Sex and NOT Get Pregnant?

This is a tricky question. As with any type of sex, if you want to lower your risk of getting pregnant, you need to be using birth control. So, now you may be you thinking, well I use the pill or have an IUD, so I'm protected. And you are correct, you are protecting yourself from getting pregnant.

But here's the problem... sexually transmitted diseases, HIV, and other bacterial infections can easily be spread while having sex in a pool or hot tub. And hormonal birth control, as well as permanent contraception, do not protect you from STDs. When you have hot tub sex or pool sex, the thrusting motion can force chlorine and/or bacteria into the vagina.

  • The chlorine may disrupt the natural pH in the vagina which could lead to a yeast infection.
  • The water in a hot tub or pool can also wash away the natural lubrication that occurs in the vagina during sex. Less lubrication can increase sexual friction and can cause very small tears in the wall of the vagina. This puts a woman at more risk of getting some type of infection when having sex in the water. 

    Condoms do offer you protection from both pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, so why not just use a condom?

    Well condoms are a risky birth control method to use during pool sex or hot tub sex. There are several reasons for this:

    1. Condoms have not been specifically tested for water sex.
    2. The chemicals in a pool or hot tub, oily substances commonly found in the water (such as sun screen or tanning lotion), and/or the higher temperatures in hot tubs can possibly weaken the condom - so there is a greater chance that it may break.  
    3. Hot tub sex and pool sex can increase the risk that a condom will slip off. This can happen if water gets into the condom, if the condom isn't put on correctly, or just by the natural motions of sex. Because he is in the water, it can be very difficult for a man to realize that his condom has slipped off.

      So Does This Mean NO to Pool and Hot Tub Sex?

      Not necessarily, but I must first caution that having sex in public places is illegal (so if you must have sex in a pool or hot tub, make sure it is privately owned). If you are not concerned about possible infections (sexual, yeast, urinary, or bacterial), then you will not get pregnant during hot tub sex or pool sex if you are using:

      If you are not using any of these birth control methods OR if you are concerned about infection, your best option to protect yourself from both, getting infections or pregnant during pool and hot tub sex is to use a female condom. Its material, the way it is designed, and how it is placed in a women's body makes the female condom a dependable birth control option during water sex. If this is not a method you feel comfortable using, then it's better to use a condom than to use nothing. Just keep the following tips in mind if you choose to use a condom for hot tub sex or pool sex:

      1. To decrease the chances of the condom breaking, use a silicone-based lubricant with the condom. These lubes are condom safe and water-resistant.
      2. Do not put on the condom while you are in the water. Rolling on the condom while you are out of the water decreases the chances of water getting into a condom.


      Andrist LC. "Vaginal health and infections." Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, & Neonatal Nursing. 2001; 30(3):306-315. Accessed via private subscription.

      Hermann L. "Just keep swimming." The Cavalier Daily. 2007. Accessed via private subscription.

      Continue Reading