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Author Topic: Anxiety about pregnancy
amy_the_artist
Neophyte
Member # 93671

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Dear all,

I'm nineteen. My boyfriend and I have been together for two years, but we have never had penis-in-vagina sex. And I am, and I cannot emphasise this enough, EXTREMELY ANXIOUS. I'm a bit of an anxious person in everyday life, but when it comes to those evil little sperm cells, I am practically neurotic. My latest is that, although I have been on birth control for four years and take my pill religiously at the same time every day, my boyfriend recently rubbed the tip of his penis over my vulva. He hadn't even ejaculated, but I still worry that somehow my birth control has magically failed, that there was sperm in his pre-ejaculate and it is even as we speak invading my uterus, etc. etc. Even after reviewing all of your wonderful information on this site about the pregnancy risk from pre-ejaculate (4% in a year, if anyone's interested), and the effectiveness of oral contraceptives (pretty darn good), I'm still worried!

Anyway, the long and the short of this is, I need to find some better way of dealing with this intense anxiety! It often invades the rest of my life, and I was wondering if you guys could pass along any tips to deal with this fear that is, really, irrational. (I mean, birth control is just that, BIRTH CONTROL! It's meant to protect against pregnancy, if you take it perfectly, which I do! Am I insane??)

Anyway, thanks in advance for your help, and I hope you have something to offer. [Smile]

Amy

[ 04-11-2013, 12:56 PM: Message edited by: amy_the_artist ]

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Robin Lee
Volunteer Assistant Director
Member # 90293

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HI Amy,

Maybe it would help to remember that there's nothing magical about birth control pills. they work in a very specific way. While they aren't 100% effective, (no birth control method is), they've been thoroughly researched and have been used for decades, with very clear and measurable results; again, no magic.

Have you yet taken a pregnancy test? Getting the facts is where I'd suggest starting with this.

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Robin

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guptakaran159
Neophyte
Member # 107300

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Hey I'm from India and we do not really have any sex ed here in our schools. I'm really freaking out for the past one week. I masturbated and accidentally had some semen on my hand.I had washed my hands with water but no soap. And later on when i held my girlfriends hand (say after 6 hours) can the sperm transfer from my hand to her hand? She fingered herself later on(after about 10 hours). So is there any chance of her getting pregnant from the sperm which transferred to her hands? Please reply soon as i'm really nervous and i have no knowledge regarding this. Sorry if you find this stupid.
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Robin Lee
Volunteer Assistant Director
Member # 90293

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Hey guptakaran159 and welcome to scarleteen,

We ask that people create their own post to discuss their questions, so that we only have one person's questions per discussion thread. You can create your own post to ask your question by clicking on the "post new topic" link at the top of any forum page.

Thanks.

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Robin

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amy_the_artist
Neophyte
Member # 93671

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This only happened yesterday, so a pregnancy test wouldn't work yet. My head is telling me that it's pretty unlikely that I could get pregnant, but my churning stomach says otherwise. For that incident, would getting Plan B or whatever be worth it? I know it only works for five days after, so should I plan for that now? There's no reason to indicate my pill (TryCylenLo) would have failed, as I have taken it on time every day this month and haven't skipped any.

[ 04-11-2013, 03:56 PM: Message edited by: amy_the_artist ]

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Patricia H
Volunteer-in-training
Member # 103815

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Hey there, amy_the_artist,

I understand and empathize with your anxiety; I think many of us underestimate the powers of emotions and their abilities to veto any attempts at logic, especially when they are based in fear. I'm glad that you decided to come to Scarleteen to share your problem with us, as this is a safe place for young adults worldwide, and I hope that the countless resources and articles that our volunteers have worked hard to create and put on this website for many years--not to mention the bajillions of users who come through to our message boards to discuss problems like yours--will help to serve you well in making informed and healthy decisions as a sexually active and responsible individual in the future.

That being said, let's take a look at your original post.

I had to laugh when I saw you refer to sperm as "evil little sperm cells," and I totally get you when you identify yourself as "practically neurotic." As a scientist, I can relate. [Smile] But, I managed to channel my neurosis into a blog piece I had written and put up on the website not too long ago that I think you might appreciate:

Who's Afraid of Sperm Cells?

You mention being on birth control and taking them "religiously." Good for you; chances are, because of your consistency, you're already at a much lower risk for pregnancy compared to a girl who takes her pills erratically (compromising drug effectiveness), or even a girl who isn't on birth control at all. Feel better yet?

Next, the head of your boyfriend's penis (or any man's penis, for the matter) is not chock full of sperm. I hope my blog piece was clear enough about this, but if not, I'm happy to re-iterate it here: sperm are fragile little buggers; sure, they're microsopically little, but they're much too weak to be evil. And believe me when I tell you that sperm could not have, and will not ever, jump through the urethra of your boyfriend's penis on their own accord, travel down from your vulva to your vaginal opening (which, from the perspective of a sperm cell, would probably be akin to traveling the Silk Road, without partitions of food and water...so essentially, a death march), up the vaginal canal--which is super acidic, completely unfriendly, and would be a total death trap to any lone kamikaze sperm cell who dares enter--into the cervix, then the vast expanse of the uterus into the fallopian tube where your egg may or may not be present. I hate to tell you this, amy_the_artist, but that is a heck of a lot of distance to travel for small little packets of your boyfriend's DNA that are so fragile that they make "African violets look hardy compared to them." The truth of the matter is, I think those sperm cells would much rather die over your vulva than take such a trip...and they usually do.

I hear you about your intense anxiety, and I also hear you on wanting any tips we here at Scarleteen might have for you to dealing with your fear. If I could offer this to you as food for thought:

since we can all see here how much fear and anxiety you have and continue to experience from this one particular incident, you might want to re-consider and refrain from such activities of intimacy in the future until you have a better idea of what activities pose a legitimate pregnancy risk and what doesn't. Sex should be fun and safe and enjoyable, not about fear and anxiety. Clearly, you don't sound ready to become pregnant or sexually active at the moment, but that doesn't mean you can't be intimate with your partner in other ways that don't involve your genitals, e.g. cuddling, holding hands, hugging, sharing love poems, watching movies together, etc.

As I mentioned earlier, Scarleteen has tons of helpful info designed to empower you--and others just like you on the Internet--into making healthy and responsible decisions about your sex lives through education and being proactive about your own sexual exploration and growth. And when the time does comes that you do feel ready to be sexually active, you'll go into it feeling confident and knowledgeable about the risks and options in front of you. You may not have Scarleteen around in your life forever, but that's not the point of us anyway--we're here to provide you with the tools and knowledge you'll need to go and live that fabulous life of yours that's out for you to take control of and own.

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Nolite te bastardes carborundorum. - Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid's Tale

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amy_the_artist
Neophyte
Member # 93671

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I think I will definitely talk to my boyfriend about how uncomfortable him getting that close to my vagina makes me, and I know he'll be OK with that, and maybe about some of our other sexual choices.

I also read a bunch of articles on here, including yours, and decided that I would not get Plan B and would trust in my pills and stuff. It was actually pretty empowering to say "OK, I've done some research and it seems unlikely that pregnancy would happen from this, so I am going to let it go." I'm thinking about seeing a therapist about this extreme anxiety, because it's pretty distressing and I'd like to be able to control it, instead of it controlling me. Thanks for being supportive in, as it were, my hour of need. Thanks, too, for running a great site that helps people like me confront our problems. It's much appreciated.

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amy_the_artist
Neophyte
Member # 93671

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Also, Patricia, if you like history, (you mentioned the silk road) you should definitely check out this comic, "Hark a Vagrant." It's written by a Canadian (yay patriotism!) and it's completely hilarious! Thanks again for your help.

http://www.harkavagrant.com/

[ 04-11-2013, 05:21 PM: Message edited by: amy_the_artist ]

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Karybu
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 20094

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I'm glad you found the information here helpful. And I think seeing a therapist sounds like a very good idea: extreme anxiety is so exhausting to deal with (in my experience anyways) and it sounds like you'd benefit a lot from learning some techniques to deal with it.

(Love that you mentioned Kate Beaton: Hark a Vagrant is so fantastic.)

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"Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." -Arundhati Roy

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