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Am I pregnant? (And, why feeling you have to lie and go without protection isn't okay.)

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Anonymous asks:

I had sex a few days after my period and I made sure it was over. I lied to my boyfriend bout it so that I had time to make sure it was clean. 3 weeks later I had my period. My periods are usually irregular so I figured it's okay. But I'm still so so worried. Please help! Could I be pregnant? I haven't been feeling anything at all and I've only done it once, just that night. No sperm came out either.

Heather Corinna replies:

If weeks after this risk, you had a normal period, then there really is no reason to be concerned about pregnancy. But if you're still worried, even knowing that, the best thing to do so that you can relax is just to go to the drugstore, get a home pregnancy test and take it so that you can see that negative result.

Do understand, just so that you know the real deal, that semen will always run out a bit from the vagina after intercourse. That doesn't mean sperm does, though: sperm is only one part of that fluid, and though semen will run out -- even if you don't notice it, and often you may not, since it can just mix in with your own discharges -- that doesn't mean that the sperm don't still move forward into your uterus. As well, early pregnancy often shows no symptoms besides a missed period, so if you had become pregnant, save missing your period, it'd be totally normal if you felt otherwise fine this early.

But you know, while I'm not concerned about you being pregnant right now, since it seems clear you aren't, I still have other concerns from your post.

My biggest worry is why you were having unprotected sex in the first place. If you and your boyfriend are really ready for sex, then you're also ready to use reliable birth control when you need it, which you do during ANY intercourse at ANY time. Safer sex is part of that, too: you also had risks of sexually transmitted infections from that sex, so do be sure to schedule an STI screening for yourself soon, and talk about safer sex and screenings with your partner if you're going to remain sexually active. You can become pregnant or catch an STI the first time you have sex, as well: it being the first time doesn't mean someone is somehow magically protected.

I also hope that if you're going to have a sexual relationship with someone, you can be honest about everything, including your own body. If your partner isn't of a maturity to be able to talk about something as normal as having a period, then that person probably isn't ready to be anyone's sexual partner. And if you don't feel able to be honest about the normal parts of your body, then you probably aren't ready, either. Having sex with someone else means that we're letting them in on all the stuff of our bodies, including the messy stuff, or things which we might not discuss with just anyone. If that doesn't feel right with someone yet, then your best bet is to hold off on getting sexual with that person until it does, okay?

If you were lying about when you had your period because you wanted to be sure you didn't have sex then, next time all you need to do, if you'd rather not have sex until a few days after your period, is make clear that is your preference. No one should ever have to lie in order to only have sex when they want to, and if you need an excuse with this guy not to have sex, then this isn't a guy you need around. Sexual partners should only want to pursue sex with us when we want it too, no matter what our reasons are, and you shouldn't need an excuse to say no.

So, if you're going to stay sexually active with your boyfriend, sounds to me like you two are in need of a chat about safer sex, about birth control, about managing your risks and about being sexual together. I'd also take a look at the Readiness Checklist which I'll link you to, and consider it for your partner as well. At the very least, it's past time to talk about always having condoms on hand, and always using them, both for your own sanity as well as your health.

Here are a few extra links to help you out with all of this:

written 12 Jan 2008 . updated 20 Jan 2009

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