Family Planning debunks claim women can get pregnant 'without penetration' in pools

Sitti Hikmawatty told a local outlet that women in pools could get pregnant by men with "strong sperm" ejaculating in the water.
Sitti Hikmawatty told a local outlet that women in pools could get pregnant by men with "strong sperm" ejaculating in the water. Photo credit: Screengrab / Getty

"Don't have sex, you will get pregnant and die! Don't have sex in the missionary position, don't have sex standing up, just don't do it."

For those who need to brush up on their 2000s trivia, that is advice from Mean Girls' incompetent sex-ed teacher, Coach Carr. 

Now, an Indonesian child protection official is perhaps Carr's strongest rival for ill-informed sexual health claims.

Women are able to fall pregnant "without penetration" in swimming pools if men with "strong sperm" ejaculate in the water, according to commissioner Sitti Hikmawatty.

The commissioner for health, narcotics and addictive substances at the Indonesian Child Protection Commission (KPAI) made the incredible claim during an interview with the Tribun Jakarta last week.

"Even without penetration, men may become sexually excited [by women in the pool] and ejaculate, therefore causing a pregnancy... if women are in a phase where they are sexually active [a pregnancy] may occur," she told the outlet.

"No one knows for sure how men react to the sight of women in a swimming pool."

The commissioner, whose surname ironically translates to 'wisdom', has been ridiculed on social media following the interview's publication. One meme-maker even pasted a reflection of pool water over a photo of Hikmawatty shaking hands with a senior commissioner. 

"When there is a flood. Ordinary people: Save ourselves and other valuables. Sitti Wisdom: Please separate men and women so that no one gets pregnant," one Twitter user joked.

However, this is the age of social media - misinformation can spread rapidly. To ensure no impressionable teens start believing they can get pregnant from a public swimming pool, Newshub asked Family Planning for their take on Hikmawatty's attempt at sex education. 

The lowdown

"Don't get your sexual and reproductive health advice from social media," a Family Planning spokesperson told Newshub.

"Suggesting that 'strong sperm' released into a swimming pool could get someone pregnant is absolute nonsense."

Family Planning does warn sexually-active humans to remain mindful that pre-cum - the fluid prior to ejaculation - and semen always present a pregnancy risk. 

"But they'd need to be a little more 'adjacent' to a vagina than simply in a large pool of water," the spokesperson clarified.

"Simply put - if you're having penis-in-vagina sex in a swimming pool, yes, you can get pregnant. If you find yourself in a pool and there are sperm, even strong sperm, in an entirely different swimming lane, the chances are beyond low."

KPAI's chairman Susanto has since issued a statement saying Hikmawatty's views do not represent those of the organisation.

As reported by the Daily Mail, Hikmawatty apologised for her controversial claims on Sunday (local time): 'I apologise to the public for giving an incorrect statement. It was a personal statement and not from KPAI. I hereby revoke the statement.

"I plead with all parties not to disseminate it further or even make it available."