Ask Sam letter


To Sam


Can a female virgin catch an STI from a male if he did not release any sperm? Do STI's travel through sperm?
Ask Sam


Hi there,

Thank you for contacting us. It sounds like you have some questions about STIs and how you can protect yourself. Safe sex is really important so I’m really glad that you felt able to contact me.

In answer to your questions, yes, STIs can travel in cum (the fluid containing a boy’s sperm). There are lots of different types of STIs, and they can travel from person to person in other ways, including on skin, pubic hair, and the discharge from a girl’s vagina. A lot of people don’t realise, but you can still catch an STI (and get pregnant) from having unprotected sex even if the boy doesn’t release any cum.

You can still catch a STI if you are having sex for the first time, or even if you are both virgins. All types of sexual activity put you at risk of STIs. The only way to protect yourself from STIs is to use the right kind of contraception, like a condom.

If you would like to talk more about this or anything else please contact a ChildLine counsellor by logging in for a 1-2-1 chat or by calling 0800 1111. You can also find more information about safe sex on our website and on the Brook website

If you have had sex or done sexual things and you are worried that you might have caught an STI, the most important thing is not to panic. Most STIs are easy to find and treat. You can get checked at your doctors or go a confidential, free sexual health clinic for young people. (The Brook website has lots of information about getting tested for STIs, and will help you find a sexual health clinic near you.) You can also ask your local clinic or doctor for advice about using contraception if you decide you want to have sex again in the future.

I hope this helps.

Take care,


Need help straight away?

You can talk privately to a counsellor online or call 0800 1111 for free.

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