‘Swimming Pool Could Get Women Pregnant’

The Indonesian Child Protection Commission (KPAI) commissioner for health, narcotics and addictive substances, Sitti Hikmawatty, said women could get pregnant from swimming in the same pool as men with “an especially strong type of male sperm.”

Her claim during an interview with local news site Tribun Jakarta last week led to calls for her resignation.

She said: “There is an especially strong type of male sperm that may cause pregnancy in a swimming pool. Even without penetration, men may become sexually excited [by women in the pool] and ejaculate, therefore causing a pregnancy.

She added: “If women are in a phase where they are sexually active, [such a pregnancy] may occur. No one knows for sure how men react to the sight of women in a swimming pool.”

Debunking the claim, Indonesian Doctors Association (IDI) executive Nazar said it would be “impossible” for women to be impregnated in a swimming pool.

She said: “The water in swimming pools contain chlorine and other chemicals. Sperm cannot survive in these conditions.

Also responding to Hikmawatty’s claim, a popular doctor and health influencer in Indonesia, known as Blog Dokter said: “Once again, I remind you, if you do not understand health problems, it’s better to be quiet. Instead of your comments causing anxiety and panic. I will emphasise here, swimming with the opposite sex will not cause pregnancy. Not all men who swim ejaculate and sperm cannot live in chlorinated pool water, let alone swim into the vagina.”

Following the backlash that trailed her claims, Ms Hikmawatty issued an apology on Sunday. She said: “I apologise to the public for giving an incorrect statement. It was a personal statement and not from KPAI. I hereby revoke the statement,” she said. “I plead with all parties not to disseminate it further or even make it available.”

Susanto, chairman of KPAI, also issued a statement to clarify Ms Hikmawatty’s claims did not represent the organisation. He added: We hereby state that KPAI’s understanding and attitude are not reflected in the online news narrative.

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