Sex and Getting Pregnant in Pools and Hot Tubs Myths

Misconceptions About Sex Under the Water

Having Sex in Pools
Myths About Having Sex in Pools. Stuart McClymont/Getty Images

Let's be completely honest here, how many of you share having sex in pool fantasies? What about having sex in a hot tub? Many of you have emailed me wanting to know about the safety of having sex under water. So I have put together this list of the most common myths about having sex in the pool, hot tub, water, lake, ocean, and bathtub.

Safety When Having Sex in Pools and Hot Tubs:

Do you believe any of these myths about having sex under water?

1. You Can Get Pregnant Having Sex in Pools Where There is Sperm:

This is sort of a myth. Some people think that that they can get pregnant while being in a pool where sperm is in the water. If your man ejaculates into the water (after you two have had sex), it is very unlikely that you will get pregnant. There is one exception to this -- if you two are having withdrawal sex in the water, there is the chance that you can become pregnant if he doesn't "pull-out" in time or if he has ejected pre-ejaculate fluid. So, with that being said, let's look at some of the explanations as to why you cannot get pregnant just by being in a pool where sperm may be present.

  • If ejaculation takes place in hot water (like a hot tub or Jacuzzi) or water filled with pool chemicals or bubble-bath solutions, sperm could not be able to survive for more than a few seconds. Also, the water in a pool is usually too cold for sperm to live. In warm water with no chemicals (like a bathtub), sperm could only last for a few minutes after your man ejaculates.
  • It is also unlikely that the microscopic sperm could swim through the water of water in a bathtub, pool, or Jacuzzi to get to (and in) your vagina.
  • Finally, if you are just sitting in a hot tub or swimming in a pool, your vagina is not “open” -- so sperm has a very low chance of getting in. Most medical experts agree that pregnancy that happens from ejaculation in the water is very unlikely and, in most cases, is not possible.

    2. A Woman Cannot Get Pregnant During Sex Under the Water:

    Now - don't be fooled by the widely held myth. You can definitely get pregnant while having sex in pools, hot tubs, or any other type of water. How come? Because there is nothing that the water can do to prevent a pregnancy -- after all, water is not a method of contraception! Once sperm has been ejaculated into the vagina, their goal is to find an egg to fertilize, and water will not stop this mission. So even though pool chemicals may kill sperm -- that's only if your man ejaculates into the water. If he ejaculates into you (and you are not using birth control), then you have the same chances of getting pregnant as you would having sex anywhere else.

    3. Having Sex in Hot Tubs is Okay Because The Higher Temperatures Help Prevent Pregnancy:

    NO! Not true! Many people believe that having sex in hot tubs of Jacuzzis is safe because of the mistaken belief that the heat in a hot tub kills sperm. This myth is a tricky one. Being in a hot tub for more than 30 minutes can slightly lower sperm count (yay -- right?).

    No, the heated water temperatures do not   lower the number of sperm to a “safe” amount. So, even with a lowered sperm count, your man can still ejaculate 200 to 500 million healthy sperm... and it only takes one to fertilize an egg. Plus, the mixture of hot tub chemicals and heat can increase the chance of your condom breaking while having hot tub sex.

    4. You Cannot Catch an STD While Having Sex Under the Water:

    This is also not the case. Sexually transmitted infections and HIV can still be spread while having sex in the water, even in pools and hot tubs. This means that it is important to use birth control during water sex that can provide STD protection -- female condoms are the best choice for this. Although hormonal methods may protect against pregnancy, they do not provide any defense against STDs.

    Also, besides catching an STD, having sex in pools, hot tubs, or other water places can also increase getting a urinary tract infection and/or a yeast infection. Ugh - right? Well, it's true:

    • The thrusting motion while having sex under water can force substances in the water (like bacteria, salt, and chlorine) into the vagina -- leading to irritation or infection.
    • Having sex in pools and hot tubs cause less vaginal lubrication. This can cause super small tears to the vaginal walls -- providing a direct way for infections to get inside of you.
    • Natural bodies of water (like lakes and oceans) may contain some weird bacteria and/or amoebas and many pools/hot tubs may have increased amounts of bacteria if not chlorinated enough -- this can also lead to infections.
    • Chlorine used in pools and hot tubs can disturb the natural pH levels in your vagina -- this can cause a yeast infection.

    5. Condoms Are an Effective Birth Control Method for Sex Under Water:

    Although condoms are great at preventing pregnancy and STDs, they may be somewhat risky to use while having sex in pools, hot tubs, and other types of water. Condoms can break from decreased lubrication and possibly become weakened from heat, chlorine, or oil-based substances in the water (like sunscreen, bubble bath, etc). There is also the added threat that the condom can slip off if water gets into it, and your man may not even notice that this happened!

    One Final Thought on Having Sex in Pools and Hot Tubs:

    It is important to realize that not all birth control methods are good choices to use during water sex. Some may be great at preventing pregnancy, but will offer you no protection from STDs and other possible infections. Other birth control methods are not good to use at all because the additional water (from having sex in the water) will actually mess with these methods and make them ineffective. So, if you're going to have sex in the water, do your research first (Oh -- and make sure you understand all the myths listed above about having sex in pools and hot tubs)!


    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.

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