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Heather Corinna replies:
I am 20, in India, and my periods are irregular: I have Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. I've never had sex in my life, not even a thought of doing so before marriage. Somewhere around the the 18th of May, we were alone and talking together and God knows how, my boyfriend and I just indulged in heavy kissing on bed with clothes on for say 3-4 minutes. Before we could go any further we came to our senses and withdrew from each other. I belong to a very conservative family but god knows what happened to my senses for some moments. However I had my period on the 4th of June (the date is around 25th during regulars), and it lasted for 4 days. But I haven't got my periods this month and my guilty conscience scares me to death. I had read in some magazine that it was possible to conceive even with clothes on. I'm scared. Can it be true? Am I really pregnant? Please help me soon I'm in a big dilemma and have become emotionally stressed out.
I promise. So, breathe. You know your periods aren't regular, so not having one this month, especially when you have PCOS, likely has nothing to do with pregnancy. But if you're seriously freaking out, I'd suggest trying to get your hands on a pregnancy test just so you can see that negative result for your peace of mind.
(And if you're not getting good treatment for your PCOS, do try and get yourself connected with good healthcare so that you can manage it as best as possible.)
I'd like to talk to you about a couple of things though.
It is okay to have thoughts about ANYTHING. Maybe you haven't ever had a single thought about any sort of sex before marriage, but even if you have -- and even if sex before marriage in action is absolutely not okay with you or your family -- that's okay. It really is, by pretty much anyone's standards who is acknowledging human beings as just what we are: human. We can't control our thoughts, only our actions. And thinking about something doesn't mean you will be compelled to act on it, have no choice but to act on it, or that you have acted on it.
What happened to your senses for those moments was that you felt close and attracted to your boyfriend, and you expressed that through a physical intimacy. That's normal, that's natural, and that's human, just like it's human to give someone in our family a hug to express our love for them.
Now, obviously, that doesn't mean that it's not okay to choose NOT to express your feelings for your boyfriend physically, or to limit the ways in which you do physically or sexually. Everyone has their own ethics and beliefs when it comes to what's okay by them when it comes to sex, and you get to have yours, just like anyone else. But it's really normal to constantly question or adapt what our feelings about that are, or to feel conflicted about our choices, uncertain about what's right to do. It's also really normal to have times when our sexual or romantic feelings step up center stage, and we start to explore something which, when things aren't so heady, we might not choose to do.
So, the first thing I'd encourage you to do is to cut yourself a break. There's just no reason to feel guilty about this, okay?
Too, even if you have decided to have NO sexual activity at all, it's smart to get some information on things like how pregnancy really hapens, what certain risks are, and how sex all works. There's no good reason not to know those things, no matter what choices you're making about them. You can likely see that if you had known those things before this, for instance, you'd have saved yourself an awful lot of stress, which isn't healthy for anybody.
As well, it might be a good idea to revist what you want your limits and boundaries about sex to be, and to have a talk with your boyfriend. If you don't want to do what you did this time again, it's important that he knows that, and important that you both are on the same page so that you don't do anything that's going to leave you feeling so scared and guilty.
Here are a big batch of links which I think will be helpful for you. Some are some sexuality and reproduction basics, so that you have that information you're missing, and a couple more should help you when it comes to assessing your own wants, needs and priorities in the choices you're making.