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Unprotected anal sex, pregnancy risks, and self-abortion

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Morgan asks:

Hi, I really need some help. Let me tell you what has happened. I'm 15 years old. My periods usually come anywhere from the 12th-to the 15th of the month. One night, I had anal sex, unprotected, but I didn't orgasm. When I had anal sex, it was two weeks after my period had ended. The next month, last month, My period came on the 19th. Is that normal? Is it just because I had sex? Could I be pregnant? Please help. If you think I might be pregnant, could you give me some self-abort advice, I can NOT tell my mother, and I have no way of getting a pregnancy test. Please please help me.

Heather Corinna replies:

Hi, Morgan.

As I explained to another user here, it'd be pretty unusual for a period to come in such a small window of dates for more than a couple of months. It doesn't sound to me like there has been anything unusual in your cycles if for a little while, you had periods from the 12th - 15th, and then a period on the 19th. That sounds pretty normal.

If that period arrived after you had the unprotected anal sex, then it is not likely you are pregnant.

Please understand though, that unprotected anal sex, like unprotected vaginal sex, is a risky thing to do, in terms of pregnancy but far more so in terms of sexually transmitted infections.

Every STI (some people also call them STDs) you can get from vaginal sex -- including HIV -- can be contracted via anal sex, and walking around with an unknown and untreated STI can really make a mess of your health and your life. In terms of a pregnancy risk, the risk is not as high as it is for vaginal intercourse -- and your anus is not directly connected to your reproductive system -- but because ejaculate can slide from the anus to the vaginal opening a pregnancy risk can exist.

I know you are saying you don't even have ten bucks for a pregnancy test, but I encourage you to try and schedule a screening for sexually transmitted infections soon, as that is the biggest risk here. If money and privacy are big issues -- and it sounds like they clearly are -- know that there is likely a Planned Parenthood branch or other sexual health clinic within your reach which offers these services (as well as pregnancy testing) on a sliding scale. In other words, based on your income. Those clinics also would not notify your parent in any way. You can find them in your area by using your phone book, and for Planned Parenthood clinics, you can use their locator tool on their front page with your zip code.

I also want to talk to you about taking risks when you know or feel you can't manage the consequences.

There is NO safe way to self-abort, and even the few ways which are unsafe also aren't often effective, so women who attempt them and don't get ill often do still need to go and get a legal abortion. The only effective, safe way to abort are through the legal, medical/surgical means available. I can't give you any instructions on how to perform an abortion yourself because it's my job to do what I can to help users stay healthy: telling someone how to do something which could put their health and life at risk is not something I can do. If you do not want to become pregnant or become a parent, and you can't afford a pregnancy test, let alone an abortion, then it's very important that you either not take those risks in the first place, by avoiding or refusing any kind of sex which presents a risk of pregnancy, or reduce them with sound, consistent birth control use. If you ever do become pregnant and want to abort, you will need to seek out a safe and lawful medical or surgical abortion.

Was it your choice and idea to have unprotected anal sex, or anal sex period? Was this something you wanted to do? If it was not, then you need to do your level best to get away (and stay away) from any partner who is pressuring you into any sexual activity you do not want. Perhaps obviously, if this was in no way your choice, and a partner forced or coerced you into any kind of sex, that is a criminal act on their part, and one you have the option of reporting, and/or asking a trusted adult in your life for help with. If talking to your parent isn't an option, know that school counselors, teachers or even the nurse at your doctor's office are other good people to ask for help.

If you DID want to do this, and want to do this again, then it's imperative that you be able to insist on sound safer sex practices and birth control with any kind of sex that presents those risks. If you cannot afford pregnancy tests, condoms and sexual healthcare, then even if you want this sex, I think the very best choice you could make for yourself (and your sanity!) would be to wait for that sex until you CAN afford those things. If you can afford those things, but don't feel assertive enough to insist on them with a partner who doesn't, then it seems best to wait for sex until you do feel assertive enough to insist on a partner making your health and well-being a priority. Please also understand that there is nothing about unprotected anal sex that makes it safer or less risky than unprotected vaginal sex. If you or your partner engaged in it because you thought differently, understand that anal sex is a high risk sexual activity, and is "real" sex just like vaginal sex.

Even with safer sex and reliable birth control, understand that while those things can greatly reduce your risks, those risks do still exist (and not reaching orgasm doesn't lessen them in any way). So, if a pregnancy or an infection is absolutely something you cannot deal with -- to the level that you'd risk your health and life to try and self-abort -- then again, for your own safety and well-being, it's a much better idea to hold off on sex.

So, have a think on all of that, and make whatever lifestyle choices you need to to take better care of yourself, and to be sure that the people you involve yourself with sexually are taking care of you, too. There is just no reason for you to find yourself in this position again, and you are capable of preventing it.

DO look up those sexual healthcare services and find a way to get those screenings soon, as the STI risk you had was high -- if when you get them, you're still worried about a pregnancy, remember that they can give you a pregnancy test as well.

I'm also tossing you a few extra links for more information:

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