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Author Topic: Still a bit confused on something
wakaranai
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Hi! I have a question related to the question I'd previously asked, with regards to when one's period is likely to stop after pregnancy. Robin said, "If an egg was already fertilized, you wouldn't ovulate again. In other words, one cannot be pregnant and have the menstrual cycle continue. Believe me, the body knows." This would lead me to believe that after fertilization, even if the egg hasn't implanted yet, one's period would stop. However, when I asked whether periods stop after fertilization, or if it would just be unlikely given the timing, I was told by Heather that it was the latter, and so I'm a bit confused, since those responses seem to contradict each other, also I suppose I'm just not quite understanding something correctly.
The reason why I ask is that I had a risk (admittedly, I logically know wasn't really a risk, having read the posts on these matters, but I'm a worrywart and have managed to work myself into a panic) several days ago, 13 days before my period is due. While I've read that implantation generally takes about a week or so, I've also read that it could take longer, which would mean there's a chance that, if I was somehow to get pregnant, it might not have occurred before my period's due. Of course, there would have been plenty of time for fertilization to occur, so would my period not come after fertilization? Or will I have to wait until my next one for reassurance that I can't possibly be pregnant?
And while I'm at it, I may as well mention that I feel like I've had all sorts of irrational fears, to the point that, no matter how careful I try to be, something small will happen accidentally, and I'll manage to convince myself that it's a pregnancy risk, even if I logically know it's not.

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Robin Lee
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I'm sorry that the responses were confusing to you.

it really is just all a matter of timing. Bodies aren't machines, and we don't know what's going to happen for everyone. Yes, the menstrual cycle does stop during pregnancy, but some people do still get their period even if an egg is fertilized, which effectively stops pregnancy. Again though, it's a matter of timing, and there's no way to predict what's going to happen for each individual person.


Really though, for anyone, whether they have had a bona fide risk or not, the only way to know whether they are pregnant is to take a pregnancy test.

I also think that, for you, it's worth figuring out where these fears are coming from. Often when people are having pregnancy fears that aren't supported by the facts of how pregnancy occurs, and those fears persist even after they learn that they're just not factually plausible, there's often something else going on. How are you feeling in general? How are things with your life, with family, with your relationship?

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Robin

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wakaranai
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So, if I'm understanding correctly, if the egg is fertilized but hasn't implanted, then getting one's period would end the pregnancy? Or that would at least generally be the case?

Things with my family and boyfriend are both fine. My boyfriend's been very supportive of me and dealt with all my worrying. If I were to somehow wind up pregnant, I imagine my family would probably be furious, but would still support me. Mostly, I think it's the fact that I couldn't support a child. I'll be graduating soon, but I've no idea what I'm going to do afterwards, and so having a child to take care of would really be a strain on my currently non-existent finances.

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Robin Lee
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All things being equal, a period would shed the uterine lining, which is what a fertilized egg would implant into.

Do you feel like you have a good sense for the stages of reproduction, to put this in context?


I think the thing to focus on here though is that you know you didn't hav a risk.

How would it work for you to keep reminding yourself of that, rather than focussing on trying to figure out whether you could be pregnant when you know it's impossible?

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Robin

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wakaranai
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Kind of, I think. So the fertilized egg would have nowhere to attach to, and therefore getting my period means I'm almost certainly not pregnant? Am I understanding that correctly?

That's generally what I've been trying to do, but occasionally I find myself worrying despite that.

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Allie R
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Hi there wakaranai,

You are correct! Your uterine lining sloughs off when a fertilized egg hasn't implanted on it, and the grand old cycle repeats itself.

To back up what Robin said real quick, it appears there wasn't much of a risk at all, meaning there was likely no fertilized egg waiting to implant itself in your uterus.

It's natural to worry, but you've read the articles and have the knowledge that can guide you towards safer sex practices and decision making... I feel like that in itself is pretty awesome and relieving, isn't it? Like, now you probably feel confident that you're not pregnant because you're on your period, so in the future when you receive your period again, you can stop worrying then, too- regardless of the sexual activity you may have engaged in that may or may not put you at risk. And then being familiar with what behaviors actually put you at risk would enable you to worry less about being pregnant after engaging in said behaviors.

I feel like what I wrote is common sense, but hopefully it's still good to hear.

Wakarimashita? [Wink]

[ 03-12-2013, 01:27 PM: Message edited by: Allie R ]

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AAR

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wakaranai
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Yes, I understand! Thanks very much.

Just to clarify on the issue of risk, when the articles on this site state that manual sex doesn't pose a pregnancy risk, that includes if there may possibly have been pre-ejaculate on the fingers? There probably wasn't even that, and it wasn't even really manual sex. He accidentally very lightly touched my mons for maybe about a second, and although he'd washed his hands recently, enough time had passed that, although we were both wearing pants, I freaked out, thinking that he could have touched his pants and some pre-ejaculate could have leaked through. But, even with pre-ejaculate on his fingers (even if it was there, it wouldn't have been a glob, just very teeny amounts that would probably have dried quite quickly), you'd still say that isn't a risk? I only freaked out because I think I was probably ovulating at the time, and so I wound up kind of over-thinking things.

I should also probably note that I'm not actually on my period, but when it comes, about thirteen or so days should have passed since the incident.

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September
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So you were both dressed when all this occurred? If so, I refer you to this section of the pregnancy scared article:
quote:
Were you only kissing, having oral sex, manual sex and/or dry sex, where someone (or everyone) had clothes on and/or no one ejaculated on or very near anyone else's vulva? These kinds of sex do NOT present pregnancy risks, though some present risks of STIs.
If you were both wearing pants, there is no pregnancy risk.

Have we linked you to this article yet?
Where DID I Come From? A Refresher Course in Human Reproduction
Learning how pregnancy does happen may help you better understand why what you did does not pose a pregnancy risk.

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Johanna
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"The question is not who will let me, but who is going to stop me." -Ayn Rand

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wakaranai
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I should probably have specified that he had his hand down my pants, which was rather embarrassing to just admit and which I'm pretty sure, based on the articles on this site, doesn't actually make a difference either way in terms of risk, right?

And thanks for all of the help. I feel much better now.

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Robin Lee
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You're correct; it doesn't make a difference.

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Robin

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wakaranai
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Sorry for continuing this, but what if there hasn't been enough time for the egg to be fertilized? Last night, my boyfriend and I were cuddled up to each other, both fully clothed, and we even had a sheet between us. I felt something slightly wet against my thigh, and discovered that a bit of pre-ejaculate had managed to soak through all of those layers. From the information here, I understand that this doesn't actually pose a risk, but I still can't help but freak out. It doesn't help that the information on planned parenthood's website is a bit confusing as to whether or not there's a risk from this sort of thing. My period should be coming any day now. I have read that there are rare occasions where women ovulate during their period. In this situation, would it be possible for me to get my period before the egg has been fertilized, but for it to be fertilized during my period?

Sorry again for continuing this. Logically, I realize that I don't need to be worried because that shouldn't have been a risk, but I'm still really panicked over it, despite that.

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Robin Lee
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well, from what you describe here, in addition to this not being a risk, the wetness you felt was against your thigh. Thighs, as you know, are not involved in the reproductive process.

I'm not very clear on what you're asking here regarding eggs and fertilization.

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Robin

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wakaranai
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So it's impossible for sperm to make it's way via skin from my thigh to my vagina?

I'd read in a couple of places that some women ovulate during their period. If I had experienced a pregnancy risk, would it be possible for me to get my period, for the egg to be fertilized while on it, and for me to wind up pregnant as a result, or will getting my period mean that there's no way that this incident could result in pregnancy?

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Robin Lee
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Well, there's no way this incident could result in pregnancy, period.

If someone engaged in sexual activities that could lead to pregnancy during their period, and they happened to ovulate, and no birth control was used or there was a birth control faillure, yes, pregnancy is possible.

If you haven't read through these, or you have but feel like a refresher on the biology is helpful, take a look at these articles. You'll find your answer in the first one about whether sperm can move from a person's thigh to their vagina.


Where DID I Come From? A Refresher Course in Human Reproduction
On the Rag: A Guide to Menstruation

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Robin

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