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Author Topic: Risk
Quester
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I have read all the articles and just really want to clarify something that isn't specifically explained / mentioned.
If a guy leaks precum on bedsheets and the girl's bare vulva accidentally touches this for a minute about 5-10 minutes later, is there a possible pregnancy risk? I know it cannot get THROUGH fabric but what if it is ON fabric?
I know it's not a HUGE concern but wondering if it warrants any? I suffer from anxiety and have been seeing someone about this but I cannot seem to get a grasp on whether this scenario should be causing me the worry it is. Thanks for your understanding.

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Heather
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That would be highly unlikely, because something like sheets or fabric simply a) aren't hospitable environments for sperm cells per them remaining viable, and b) fabric will tend to absorb semen, the fluid they are ejaculated with, and which is an important part of the process of a pregnancy occurring. Without that fluid, sperm cells basically can't do jack.

And, of course, more times than not, pre-ejaculate won't even contain sperm cells in the first place.

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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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Quester
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Thanks - so considering she is on pill, as well - would you classify this scenario as no risk??
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Heather
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Yep, I would.

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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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Quester
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Ok - thanks. I will TRY to stop worrying. The scenario occurred during inactive week right after her period. Does that change anything as far as risk?
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Heather
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You're trying to apply extra information that not only doesn't tell us anything -- since we don't all have the same fertility cycles, and we can't figure out what someone's is based on periods alone -- but that isn't even needed.

Like I said, this is incredibly unlikely as a pregnancy scenario. Unless you describe a new scenario, nothing will make it more likely.

Do you feel like you're having trouble accepting the facts here? If so, do you have any sense of why that is?

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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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Quester
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I just worry so much about a fluke thing happening. I have accepted it can't go through fabric but I am nervous it was ON it. It was very minimal and definitely only precum but I guess I exaggerate the possibility in my head and get very scared. The sheet was damp.
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Heather
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The thing is fluke things can still only happen with things that can, you know, actually happen.

I hear you saying your partner is using the pill: are you also using condoms? If not, not only is that important per STIs, it would give you an extra level of protection that sounds like it might leave you feeling a whole lot better.

Of course, too, if you still don't feel like you understand reproduction well enough to feel comfortable, or make informed choices, another option is to take any kind of sex off the table until you do. That's another option that could help you avoid fears like this.

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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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Quester
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Yes about condoms but since we didn't really even get close - there was no condom involved this time. It was just fluid leaked on bed which was accidentally touched later.
You're right though. I will probably take other activities off the table. Can you explain why sheets are not hospitable?

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Quester
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Yes about condoms but since we didn't really even get close - there was no condom involved this time. It was just fluid leaked on bed which was accidentally touched later.
You're right though. I will probably take other activities off the table. Can you explain why sheets are not hospitable?

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Heather
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Because, again, they absorb the fluid needed for sperm cells to remain viable, to get to the cervix in the first place -- and to do so despite the acidic nature of vaginal fluids. As well, if and when sperm cells wind up on sheets, they're going to get jostled around, basically smashing them, to put it plainly.

And, once more, because prejacuate itself often doesn't even contain sperm cells in the first place.

You've said you have read "all the articles" here on risks and how pregnancy does and doesn't happen, but these questions are making it seem like maybe you haven't? Would you like me to provide you with links here or elsewhere that give you that education?

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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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Quester
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No that's OK but thank you. I wanted to run this specific scenario by you personally. Thanks again.
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Quester
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I can't seem to shake this thought that a girl potentially sitting on precum soaked sheets could be a pregnancy risk because it wouldn't have to penetrate the fabric and get through - the girl may have sat directly on the wet spot. I really cant find scientific evidence stating its a non risk - I guess there isnt a lot of info on this scenario because most people would be scared by it. But I am. Ugh...............
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Quester
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I meant wouldn't*
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Quester
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To clarify: I know this was not a case of direct genital contact but I am wondering if it falls under the category: "or if someone's (pre) ejaculatory fluids got on or near the vulva/vagina. Obviously it touched / absorbed into sheet for a few minutes but I can't decipher if what happened was a case of the fluids actually get on or near the vagina. Sorry for the confusion but I'm confused - especially about what is considered close / direct in this scenario. Thanks in advance for clarifying.
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Robin Lee
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When we talk about pre-ejaculatory fluids getting into the vagina or on the vulva, we're still talking about direct contact -- that is, the fluids coming directly from the penis and landing on the vulva.

heather already gave you a very detailed explanation of why fluids on a sheet couldn't get someone pregnant. if you're still feeling unsure, I suggest you reread the conversation you had with her.

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Robin

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Quester
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Hi - I have another question based on the above situation. About 11 days after this happened my gf said she had pink spotting which thinks could have been implantation bleeding. Once again I am completely on edge and full of anxiety that the sheet scenario could have caused a pregnancy. Cam someone help??
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Robin Lee
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Again, please reread the discussion you already had with Heather. All the information you need is there and there is nothing more we can tell you regarding the facts.

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Robin

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Quester
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Can you explain why spotting like that could happen 11 days into a new pill pack? I thought side effects like breakthrough bleeding went away after a few months.
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Heather
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Nope.

It's like this: usually with hormonal methods, people will be most liely to have side effects, or the strongest of them, in the first few months. Then, most will tend to either taper off or decrease.

But not always, and decrease is really the key word here.

Really, breakthrough bleeding mostly just happens because endometrial lining builds up and when someone isn't pregnant, it's got to shed. The placebo week pushes your body to do that, but sometimes there is still some in there. And/or, the fluctuations of hormones already in your body, and then with the pill, can also cause that bleeding.

--------------------
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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Quester
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How soon after a possible risk can someone take a HPT?
Is the above scenario an incident where you see any need for a test?

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Molias
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We have a lot of information about pregnancy tests, including when to take one, right here: Peeing on a Stick: All About Pregnancy Tests

Heather already answered your question as to whether what you described was a pregnancy risk earlier in the thread; my answer won't be any different. =)

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Quester
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Is it normal/OK to experience cramps with breakthrough bleeding? Does breakthrough bleeding in the middle of a pill pack mean the pill is not working properly? Additionally when is the earliest you can take a blood test?
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Molias
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Breakthrough bleeding doesn't mean anything in terms of how well your pill is working; it's just something that happens to some people. And yes, sometimes cramping can happen as well.

A blood test will be accurate at the same time as a urine test, as discussed in that article I linked above; also, you could call the clinic where you want to have a blood test done to see when they recommend someone come in for one. =)

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Quester
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I thought they were able to test sooner?
In your opinion is 14 days after possible risk (even though I've been told there was no risk) a sufficient amount of time?

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Molias
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The best person to ask about a blood test would be someone at a clinic; they'll be more familiar with their specific test than we could be. But yes, 14 days should be sufficient.

Again, though, if you haven't done anything to put you at risk of pregnancy, it isn't necessary to test unless you think that's the best way to calm yourself about the situation.

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