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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » EXPERT ADVICE » Ask Scarleteen » Withdrawal bleeding, pregnancy risk, Im a mess! (Page 1)

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Author Topic: Withdrawal bleeding, pregnancy risk, Im a mess!
Ohsoanxious
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Hello all,

I am in such a state that I can't seem to shift and you probably all are going to think woah she's crazy, but I can't help be nothing but anxious.

My story is I am on Yaz, usually okay with taking them but I haven't been engaging in regular sex as my partner and I lived far away (we are now not together at all as the relationship was too strained) - anyway, the last time we had sex was sept 20th 2012; in the early hours of the morning, I had taken my pills through the pack until the end apart from the last 2, the second to last was taken late and the last one I missed completely. I had sex on the last day of my pill free week, so of had my bleed and it had pretty much ended. We used a condom because of my pill worries, but I became paranoid it had slipped off or broken without notice, so went and got emergency contraception the next day, it was about 12 hours later. They told me at family planning clinic to take my next pack of pills as not al and a pregnancy test at the end as I'd get my withdrawal bleed regardless, just to check the pill had worked. I took several, before, during and after my expected period. I then forgot about it and moved on happily.

At several weird intervals I started experiencing the off symptom, such as sore nipples for a few days which I don't normally get, but I had been extremely slack with my pill that month, missed a possible 4 in 2 weeks (but did not engage in sex) so I put it down to that. Again I took another test, again it was neg.

So here I am now, 16 weeks after the event, freaking out over being 16 weeks preg and running out of time to do anything about it. Nothing can settle me, the fact that I've had negative tests, a regular (as far as I can remember) withdrawal bleed every month during my pill free week. I've cried in the docs office, they did a urine test there and it was neg, I went in today and they felt all round my abdomen and I was told there was no growing uterus. But I can't convince myself to believe them. I've been having a constantly gurgling stomach and muscle twitches, for the past couple of weeks now and that's what sent me into panic again, I just don't know what to do. Everyone thinks I'm crazy. I probably am.
I read stories online about women who never turned positive on tests and carried on bleeding throughout. What if this is me? Can you see from what I've said any good reason for me to be so concerned?

Any advice will be greatly received, from a really worried young lady.

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Heather
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The stories you read online about women never ever getting any positives on any kind of pregnancy tests and popping out babies, or having healthcare providers never find a pregnancy at all, despite exams, until a birth?

Please know these are not true.

They're urban legends, or situations where, for whatever reason -- and there are many -- someone didn't feel safe or able to be honest about knowing they were pregnant.

Since you've had it more than verified you're not pregnant, I think the most productive angle with a situation like this is to start by talking about why you think you keep thinking you must be.

So, to get started with that, is being pregnant something you want? Or, if it's not something you want, is it something you think you "deserve?" For instance, some people are raised with strong messages that if they engage in sex outside certain contexts, like marriage, pregnancy or parenting is a "punishment" they will or should "suffer."

Is there anything else going on in your life you might be struggling with or trying to avoid around this? Like, for instance, an unhealthy or unsatisfying relationship or sexual life? You say this relationship went south: do you think any feelings you might have about that might be playing a role with this?

[ 01-07-2013, 12:35 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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Ohsoanxious
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It just worried me so much mainly that the possibility of women not producing enough of the hormone level to turn a test positive. Being pregnant is something I definitely do not want and usually I am the most careful person ever, and the fact that I would be what 16 weeks along makes me feel physically ill because I'd be running out of time to do anything about it.
I did a test this morning and still it was negative. I am supposed to be on my withdrawal bleed now, but it's taking longer to arrive this month, however I have been stressing out a lot about this especially over the last week, I haven't been sleeping, I've barely eaten. It's a nightmare that I can't forget!
I'm not sure if its related to emotions, the decision to split was mutual and I felt ok about it because it just wasn't working.

I have just got it into my head that I could still be pregnant, 4 months later without knowing it, passing signs off as something else, despite tests and my monthly bleeds.

I want nothing more than to move past this.

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Heather
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The hormone that pregnancy tests test for is ONLY produced by a pregnancy, and a pregnancy can't get to term without at least enough of it to read on a test. It's also not like a developing fetus can hide from an exam by a GYN.

I think in order to move past this, you're going to have to figure out why you're so emotionally attached to this reality that clearly isn't an actual reality. I mean, obviously it's an emotional and intellectual one, but it's not for-real per you actually being pregnant.

So, how about investing some time and energy in trying to work that out, rather than investing it in more tests or exams, or reading stories about people with miracle pregnancies no doctor was able to discover until a birth, which truly are as realistic as fairy tales?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Ohsoanxious
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So are urine tests as good as blood tests? I've not had a blood one and was considering it.

Do you think then based on the whole episode that happened I had a reason to worry about pregnancy being a possibility?!

And does my withdrawal bleed every month signal pregnancy, as the family planning clinic nurse said I would get my withdrawal at that first month, why do you not miss it if pregnant and what's to say it won't keep coming every month. They range from normal to heavy, and as far as I remember haven't changed since all this.

Today for example the nurse prac palpated my abdomen and said she felt nothing, would there be enough to feel to indicate pregnancy at 16 weeks?

I want so badly to believe that I'm fine and this is all in my head, I'm so sick of feeling like my tests and doctors are wrong [Frown]

Thank you so much for your quick responses!

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Heather
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Blood tests are rarely done anymore to initially determine pregnancy, and if you already saw nurses and doctors and they saw no reason to do one, that's because there wasn't one. You had home tests, clinical tests and a medical exam, all of which said you are not pregnant.

And four months into a pregnancy? You bet your bottom anyone with training could easily determine a pregnancy with a bimanual exam. Pregnancy is a big thing. It's not this minor event with a person's body that can just go unnoticed like that. Every great now and then with people who are very heavy (let's say more than 200 pounds and not tall) it can be tougher to feel a pregnancy in the body with an exam. But even if that sounds like you, once more, you have also had tests done, too.

You are not pregnant.

I'm willing to talk with you more to help you get to the root of why you are so attached to the idea of being pregnant, if that's what you want to do. But where I need to draw a limit is in talking about the details of testing and all of that because a) I'm sure you already had these conversations with your healthcare providers (and if not, they get paid to answer those questions, so I'd suggest going back for that), and b) it just isn't likely to help you out here. Logic simply doesn't tend to counter irrational feelings and fears.

[ 01-07-2013, 01:23 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Ohsoanxious
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I hope your right, I just wanted to leave it all behind after my first withdrawal bleed appearing and the negative test that followed back in September! But here I am, worrying an obsessing over the fact. I'm happy to learn about the blood tests not often being used, I thought they were the only definitive way of telling.

I understand, would you be able to clarify the withdrawal bleeding situation for me? Would I be bleeding regularly if pregnant because I've still been taking the pill monthly.

Thanks ever so much for you lr responses, you have no idea how much reassurance I need

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Heather
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No, were you several months pregnant, you would not likely be seeing withdrawal bleeds at the time you expect them and being like withdrawal bleeds.

But like I said, moving forward from here, I just don't think talking about things like this is a productive avenue. In my experience, it's at best, unproductive, and more typically, a distraction from figuring out what the real issue at the root of a fear like this is.

For more info on that, check out: http://www.scarleteen.com/forum/ultimatebb.php?/ubb/get_topic/f/28/t/007275.html

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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fairyprincess89
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Hi I just wanted to let you know that you aren't alone with your fear. I myself, am convinced I am 17 weeks pregnant despite negative urine and blood tests. I have had all my withdrawal bleeds, I have not had any failure in contraception except missing a pill in September. I want more than anything in the world to be confirmed as not pregnant, and I am convincing myself I will just have to wait nine months and see, which is making me absolutely miserable. I too feel the muscle twitches and gas pains, that I think are "fetal movement". I check my stomach every day for a growing uterus. I know what you are going through, and it's scary, exhausting and overwhelming. But, I have also started to see someone about my anxiety and fear, and it has helped A LOT. I have a lot of deeper issues beyond just being scared, and this is not the first time I have had this fear. I want to encourage you to find someone you can trust, and talk about this, and remind you that you aren't alone.
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Heather
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(Hey, fairyprincess: just a reminder that this is one of the two areas of the boards where users can post who want answers from staff and volunteers only.

This is great input, but please keep your replies to users in the other areas of the boards. Thanks!)

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Ohsoanxious
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It's so frustrating. I went and had a blood test today in hope that a negative result will just end it once and for all, in fact I am on my withdrawal bleed right now as we speak, again is as normal as every other month has been, so I'm guessing by that alone it should be a sure sign that I am not pregnant.
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Heather
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I'm not understanding what's frustrating: what were the results of your test?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Ohsoanxious
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The whole situation I have found myself in, the fact that I can't seem to move past this. I haven't got then yet, will have them by Friday.
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Heather
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Well, I'd say the next step after blood test results AND a normal withdrawal bleed is to acknowledge this is a psychological or emotional issue you're having and seek out help in that vein.

Since it seems most likely that is what it is even now, if you need help knowing how or where to start with that, we'd be glad to help you.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Ohsoanxious
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Yes I think so too.
To clarify, if this was you, you wouldn't be at all worried?

Thank you for all your help, it means a lot to me.

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Heather
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Personally, as someone for whom it is very important to avoid pregnancy, no.

And professionally, as I think I've already expressed, I'd feel quite confident that anyone with your exact same situation was not pregnant.

I would, however, be concerned about someone who remained very scared of a pregnancy and was convinced they were four months pregnant when they have had pretty much every evidence they are not. because a persistent, irrational fear like that tells me something is going on with that person which they need to resolve, as they are clearly in emotional distress.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Heather
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By the way, we've found that sometimes with users in a similar space, it can help to go ahead and walk though the what-if of a pregnancy. I'm wondering if it might help here, so if you're up for it, I think it's worth a shot.

So, what if you WERE pregnant right now, for the 16 weeks you're afraid you are. What would you do, what would that mean, and what's the stuff you're most scared about with that?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Ohsoanxious
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The scariest thing would be that I 100% do not want to be pregnant and Id be angry at myself that it hasn't even discovered sooner, because there is absolutely no way whatsoever I would be able to carry a pregnancy through to full term where I am in my life right now. It makes me feel so scared to the point I can't think straight.
People say you have options, my only option for me, the only option that I would chose would be termination. And it scares me to death that 16 weeks is late for that option.

But I feel slightly better about my withdrawal bleed situation leading to me not being pregnant. I figured as its not a period women may still have them if they are taking the pill and therefore not aware they are pregnant.

And I'm guessing a woman of my build, I'm fairly slim, that you'd definitely notice a showing in weight right about now.

I don't even want to think about being pregnant, I know it's all I'm doing, but I'm not being dramatic, it's my absolute worst nightmare, that's why I'm so scared.

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Heather
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Okay.

So, abortion is available at 16 weeks in many areas. It's also no less viable an option at 16 weeks than it is at, say, 8. I hear you saying that were you pregnant, you'd want to terminate now. Okay. Can you perhaps talk some about where the anger and fear comes into that?

Mind, you're saying you don't even want to think about being pregnant, but you keep coming back here wanting to talk about it, so if you don't want to, that's obviously okay, but if you do, at this point, I need to be able to do my job as best I can here and keep that conversation as productive as I know how, okay?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Ohsoanxious
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I know, I've just got myself into a viscous circle that I can't seem to end, I want more than anything to believe that everything is okay and I'm being silly and every time I have tried to move on, ill get this sudden what if thought, then all the scariness about how far I would be kicks in and here I end up again. I just want to move on with my life, this is making me so unhappy and I have so much to look forward to in life.
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Heather
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So, how about humoring me and seeing this walkthrough the what-if through, and seeing what we might accomplish with that?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Heather
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I keep hearing you say that being sixteen weeks, or "this far along" is one of the things that is very scary for you. How about trying to talk about why?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Ohsoanxious
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I'm not sure i follow, do you mean what if I found out I was pregnant?
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Ohsoanxious
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Because 16 weeks quite late, don't you think? To not have any indication that you were pregnant, it's 4 months out of the 9 already gone, options are getting farther away - it's scary to me
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Heather
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Well, pregnancies that go to term go to around 40 weeks (more like 10 months instead of 9), so in the grand scheme of things, no, *I* don't think that's far along in a pregnancy.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Ohsoanxious
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It's just that most people you hear of know of their pregnant status a lot earlier than that, I'd say most know by 3 months. I got worried mainly because I was told I'd get my bleed after taking EC so that's why I needed to test, well ten whats to say the wont come every month if your on the pill, leading me to find out at 4/5 months gone where there are much reduced options available.

I'm sorry if your getting frustrated, believe me, I'm frustrated with my self from the second I wake up to the second info to sleep again.

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Heather
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Really, I'm not: it's okay.

So, here's the part where we basically have to address your delusion vs. reality. Because yes, people who have access to healthcare and pregnancy tests usually DO know they are pregnant before 16 weeks, because those tests and exams make clear they're pregnant, and most people will at least take a home test after a couple missed periods to know by then.

And you're not one of those people: you have had tests and exams (as well as periods) which have made clear that you're not.

In reality, when people do not know until several months into a pregnancy that they're pregnant -- and I've met some of these folks in clinical work -- it's because they haven't had access to healthcare like you have, they haven't taken those tests (or have, but can't read the directions to know how to use them properly),don't know they have missed periods because they don't usually get them or are very irregular, or have other underlying issues like serious addictions or mental illness that just keep them very out of touch with reality.

At this point, you don't actually likely have reduced options, to stick with reality. In reality, you likely have the same access to abortion a person would at 8 weeks. At most, a pregnancy at 16 weeks someone wants to terminate in some areas means that person might have to travel for that termination. But people do do that, all the time.

[ 01-08-2013, 05:14 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Ohsoanxious
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So all of my worry is basically a huge case of mind over matter, which deep down I know, I just can't get over this niggling feeling that against all odds something is not right.
This is in my head, when I'm alone I think these things, but then battle with myself over the precautions I did take and what has happened since making this not an actual problem. But I am really really hoping that once the blood test is in it will clear it up once and for all, as surely you can't fail both urine and blood if a woman were to be 16 weeks minimum?!

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Heather
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I think you know that I already feel certain with your urine tests and the exam that you are not pregnant. But if you feel that a blood test is better evidence than that, and that's what you need, then that's what you need.

And certainly, I hope that getting those results nips this all in the bud for you.

If it doesn't, I strongly feel that next steps are trying more to get at the real bottom of all of this, and to do that, you'll probably need the help of a good counselor at this point. So, if when you get those results, you find that doesn't change anything, I'd suggest asking your healthcare provider right there and then for a referral. Obviously, continuing to live like this isn't sound or something you want to continue.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Ohsoanxious
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I know, I think I know it deep down too, it's just getting over these thoughts that are the problem, and lately this last couple if weeks or so it just came up again out of no where, panicking at the thought of being 16 weeks gone! I've let everything suffer, relationships at home, social life, I've been avoiding people, I'm literally robotic to the point I go to work - while my mind is constantly singing this ugly tune. It's going to make me ill, I know that, so I think getting a counsellor would be a good next step, I just want to live my normal life again. I just want my mind to start saying 'there is no way that you are pregnant' instead of being well this could have happened, that could be wrong, look on google and see what you can find - big mistake.
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Heather
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For sure, when anyone has anxiety or a phobia about anything, there are sound ways to manage it and there are not-sound ways. Part of how a counselor can help is to give you those tools and tips.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Ohsoanxious
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Yeah, I'm going to have to look into it. I've done this before with situations to a point, but this pregnancy nod has been the most by far worst one ive had to deal with.
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Heather
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Well, I think it's safe to say that the scarier the thing, the worse anxiety is going to be about it.

But for sure, if you've a history of this with other things, I'd say it's clearly well past time to start seeking out real help with it and committing to that work and care.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Ohsoanxious
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That makes sense, I do need help, after this ordeal I can safely say I'm struggling.

I'm just glad you agree that you think I'm safely not pregnant, it gets a little more reassuring the more people that say so.

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Heather
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How about, then, not waiting to seek out counseling anymore?

After all, if you have had anxiety about other things in the past, it's not like if the blood test results take care of this issue the larger issue with anxiety is going to magically go away.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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