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Author Topic: I need someone to talk me through this
fallenleaf
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First of all, I really appreciate the information on this site, and how helpful everyone is. I just need to get this situation out so I can get some advice on whether or not I need to worry myself!

So I've really abused using Plan B emergency contraception this past week. I abused it earlier in the year, so my cycle was already off and I have no idea when to expect my period. Early in the week, I took Plan B the day after I thought I got some sperm with my saliva and then touched myself... A couple days later I took Plan B the day after my boyfriend put about half of his penis inside of me, even though he had a condom on. I'm a virgin.

And then on Wednesday night, I had sex for the first time. We did it four times. Each time he used a new condom, and each time he pulled out before he came.

I still took Plan B on Thursday, the day after. I'm really concerned I could be pregnant. Am I worrying for nothing? My boyfriend and I talked and agreed that maybe I am not ready for sexual intercourse yet, and he totally doesn't need it. I'm just so worried I could be pregnant.

Can someone please talk me through this? I'm so confused. [Frown]

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September
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The situations you describe do not sound like pregnancy risks. You used condoms for all genital contact and did not have any condom failures, so that means that the condoms did their job and protected you from pregnancy risks.

I would agree that it sounds like you are not ready for sexual activities yet that might pose a pregnancy risk. That's okay: we all get to go at our own pace, and to only move as far as we are comfortable with.

What do you think you would need to feel more comfortable? Do you feel you have a good understanding of what DOES pose a pregnancy risk? Do you think you would feel better if you used another method of birth control in addition to condoms?

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Johanna
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fallenleaf
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I think I'm freaked out by the fact that there is always a chance. What if Plan B didn't work for the actual sexual intercourse on Wednesday night, because I already took it twice earlier that week? Even though I took it within 24 hours?
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fallenleaf
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It's still within 72 hours. Should I take another one just to be sure?
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Robin Lee
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I see above that you already took it on Thursday. You were already protected on Wednesday as you used condoms effectively so Plan B wasn't strictly necessary. However, you did take it, and that, too, youtook in the manner it was meant to be used.

There is nothing here that is raising a red flag for a pregnancy risk. Taking Plan B again won't reduce your chances any more.

Aside from your concerns about pregnancy, how do you feel about having had sexual intercourse for the first time?

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Robin

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fallenleaf
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I feel so, so confused. I'm in an intense relationship of about seven months, and we love each other very much. My family has met him and really like him too. But I feel like I've given up a part of myself that I didn't want to. I'm so confused with my values. My parents are very sexually conservative and basically expected me to wait to have sex until marriage. I felt like I didn't know what I was doing. I had been thinking about it while I was with him, and it was almost like I felt like I wanted to get it over with. I don't know how to deal with these feelings now.
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Robin Lee
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It's often a conflict when we're caught between our family's values and what we want to do. We sometimes worry about disappointing others even as we're trying to figure out how we ourselves feel about something.

Know that just because you've had intercourse already doesn't mean that you have to continue having it if it provokes too much anxiety or conflict for you. Sexual activity in a loving relationship is meant to be mutually enjoyable and that includes afterwards as well as during. You're always allowed to go at your own pace with sexual activity, which includes deciding to wait on doing something even if you've already done it.

Have you discussed your conflicted feelings and your pregnancy fears with your boyfriend?

How can we help you work through these conflicted feelings?

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Robin

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fallenleaf
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Before I delve into talking about my conflicted feelings and feel completely reassured about pregnancy risks, I have one more question about the emergency contraception: I took the pill on Thursday around 3 PM. I had a heavy dinner that night and ended up vomiting around 10 PM.

Does this mean I threw up the pill, too?

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-Firefly-
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After 7 hours, digestion would have happened and the Plan B would have been absorbed, so you don't have to worry about that [Smile]

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Vero
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fallenleaf
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Hi, can I please bring this thread up again? I hadn't had time to respond as the semester was wrapping up at school, but I just got home for the summer.

I just took a pregnancy test and it was negative. It was one of the early result ones. My risk (when I had sex) was the night of the 25th, as I wrote on my first post, so it's been about 3.5 weeks. It was negative, but I'm worried because my urine seemed kind of diluted-- it wasn't first morning urine. I took a test because, even though I took plan b after the sex, I'm still worried because he withdrew all four times before he ejaculated and I can't remember if he held the base of the condom, but I'm almost positive he did.

Do I need to test again in the morning to get a more accurate result? Please respond, I'm so scared.

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fallenleaf
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I'm going to work out, and hopefully that'll make my urine more concentrated? And then I'll test again?
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Heather
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Is your period late at this point?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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fallenleaf
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I have no idea, since I've taken plan b so many times, it's so thrown off! [Frown] I thought it would be accurate 14 days after the risk, but maybe I read something wrong?
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Heather
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It can be. But I just asked to make sure you weren't going to have to test a gazillion times.

My best suggestion would be to try and wait to retest until you do think you've missed your period based on the last time you had it. That way, you only have to test again one more time, and timing-wise, you'd then be in the window when a test is most likely to be accurate. 14 days is about the earliest to 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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fallenleaf
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Okay. But it isn't likely that I had a pregnancy risk to begin with, right?
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Heather
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Like our volunteers have already expressed, nope.

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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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fallenleaf
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Thanks. So even though he withdrew all times with the condom on, that doesn't make the condom less effective?
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fallenleaf
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And I took Plan B the day after
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Karybu
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Unless the condom came off or broke (and both of those things are obvious when they do happen), you can assume that it worked as it was supposed to.

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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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fallenleaf
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Okay... so on the page that describes condoms, what exactly was the problem or risk specified when it comes to withdrawing with condoms?

I'm sorry to be so annoying/inquisitive, but I really need a lot of information to get my sex ed facts straight so I'm not worrying needlessly.

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Karybu
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The issue with combining withdrawal and condoms is that in the moment it can be hard for the person wearing the condom to remember to hold the base as they withdraw, so the likelihood of the condom slipping off is a bit higher. That's not to say that using withdrawal and condoms guarantees that the condom will slip off: it just makes it a bit more likely. And again, if the condom did not slip off or break, you can consider it fully effective.

(And you're not being annoying! Answering questions is what we're here for. [Smile] )

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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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fallenleaf
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So I can consider it fully effective, since he withdrew without it breaking... So I didn't need to take the Plan B the next day?

Also, since it was 3.5 weeks after the incident, an early result pregnancy test would be accurate, right? Even if I took it at night and not with first-morning urine?

I really need to get my pregnancy facts straight: Am I right in saying that anytime there isn't direct genital to genital contact, there is no risk of pregnancy? Unless someone ejaculated directly onto a vagina, for whatever reason? So I have nothing to worry about when it comes to semen on my or his hands?

Thanks for the help, everyone [Smile]

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Robin Lee
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To begin with, you used two forms of contraception--condoms and Plan B. So your risk was minimal to nonexistent. And yes, 3.5 weeks after a risk is plenty of time to expect that your test result would be accurate.

And yes, you've got it; in order for pregnancy to be a possibility there needs to be direct contact between bare genitals, or between freshly ejaculated (not transferred from a hand or anything else) semen and a bare vulva.

Would you like to talk about your plans for future sexual activity and birth control options so you don't have to be this scared again?

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Robin

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fallenleaf
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Yes please! I was going to bring that up next. I'm really confused when it comes to sexual activity AND birth control because, as I think I mentioned a while ago earlier in the thread, my parents' values are quite different from mine. They expect me to wait until I'm married. Honestly, I'm not as sexually liberal as most of my friends, but I feel I should be able to have sex with a man as long as I am in a truly committed and loving relationship.

My boyfriend doesn't expect me to have sex, and he continually tells me he doesn't need it, especially when he sees how anxious it makes me since I just don't know what I want. I feel so lucky to have him. But, I still don't know if being sexually active feels right for me at this stage of my life. Maybe I'm being subconsciously influenced by the way I was brought up.

All I know is that I had wanted sex before, and wanted it in the moment that it happened, but then got so scared, uncomfortable, and anxious afterwards, which made my boyfriend really anxious about me and wonder if it's really what I wanted.

In regards to birth control, I have researched hormonal methods like the Pill and am seeing my doctor on Friday to ask her about it. I would be worried, though, because I'm on my parents' health insurance plan which would cover most of the cost of the Pill, but they would see that I was on it and probably really disapprove. Should I consider how much the Pill is without insurance? I'm not on my college health care plan while at school (I'm still covered by my own family one), so they would probably still know if I got a prescription from there.

Where do I even begin?

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Robin Lee
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HI Anna284,

I thinnk we're all influenced, subconsciously or not, by the way we were brought up. That isn't necessarily a bad thing. It sounds to me like you have your own values and are just trying to figure out what you want and need in the here and now, which is a sound and healthy way to go about thinking about sex. [Smile]

You know: you can feel lucky to have your boyfriend, and incredibly attracted to him, and still not feel ready for certain kinds of sex right now.

It's wonderful that your boyfriend is so supportive. What do you think of sitting down and having a conversation with him about what kinds of sex would work for both of you right now?

As to birth control, I'd suggest explaining your privacy concerns to your doctor. She may have suggestions for how you can access the pill, or whatever method you and she figure out is most appropriate for you, at a lower cost.

How are you feeling about all of this?

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Robin

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fallenleaf
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I'm feeling that I truly don't know if I'm ready. I don't know if after the first time we did it I was scared because of pregnancy risks, or because I wasn't ready to take that step. I'll definitely talk to my doctor about the privacy concerns.

I think we could have that conversation, possibly when we talk on the phone since we're away from each other for most if not all of the summer, and I wouldn't want it to wait.

The trouble is that I've initiated these conversations and he's totally supportive, but I feel like I subconsciously I want to go the whole way with him, so I actually don't know what I want. We had a conversation about no sex at this point (meaning vaginal intercourse) during winter break, and then I was in the moment and wanted to do it that night I was describing earlier in the thread. How do I figure this out?

By the way, I'm also from the Washington DC suburbs!

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Heather
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Well, what we want and what's best for us at a given time or in a given situation aren't always in alignment.

In other words, it sounds like you're pretty clear that you have a desire to be sexual with your partner, and have strongly felt with those desires. Now you've just got to figure out if this time in your life is the right one to explore them.

To give you an example, a lot of diabetic people have a strong desire for a piece of sugary pie. But that's actually really dangerous for them. So, wanting the pie isn't all they need to suss out when it comes to if they should eat the pie. make sense?

--------------------
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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fallenleaf
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Yes that does.

How do I decide if it is right for me then? Clearly in the situation that I had sex, my wants overpowered any senses I had at the moment, because I hadn't really figured out if it was right. How do I know?

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Heather
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For starters, it sounds like maybe you think some more about this first, and maybe also have a chat with your partner about making choices in the moment. It might help you out a lot to let them know that when you're feeling strong sexual desire, it's tougher for you to evaluate if sex is really the right choice for you. Then they can help support you in slowing things down so you can be sure you're making your own right choices.

Making a list of what you think you need in order for a sexual choice to be your right one now and in the near future might be helpful, too. then you can look at all of that in a really tangible way to evaluate it.

And it might not be so simple as sex or no sex. It might be that some kinds of sex, or in some situations, can be a choice you feel good about now, while for other kinds of sex or in other situations or times, you're not there just yet.

FYI, working through and working out a history of sexual shame or sex-is-bad stuff tends to take time. For some folks, it's a lifelong process. that doesn't mean people dealing with those things can never have sex they feel good about, just that they may need help working through that, and may need to make their sexual choices with that history, and where they're at with it, in mind.

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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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Heather
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Btw, this checklist may help you out a lot: Yes, No, Maybe So: A Sexual Inventory Stocklist

So might this one: Ready or Not? The Scarleteen Sex Readiness Checklist

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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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fallenleaf
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Okay, that was really helpful, thanks. I'll actually talk about some of those ideas on the checklist with my boyfriend, and will be talking about birth control with my doctor tomorrow. I found out at my college I can afford birth control without insurance, and so it shouldn't be an issue if I need it.

I really want to make sure about the pregnancy test I took a couple days ago, though. I took it twice, both times were negative, but I didn't use first morning urine. What if the hormone was diluted and the test didn't detect it? Is this an issue, since the incident was 3.5 weeks ago? My periods are so irregular from taking Plan B.

And since I used a condom for all genital contact, and he withdrew, and I took Plan B within 24 hours after the incident, I don't have much of a risk to begin with, right?

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fallenleaf
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I'm just freaking out because what if the two tests I took a couple days ago (two hours apart, the second one while working out so I was a little more dehydrated and my urine may have been less diluted) wasn't accurate?
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Karybu
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Your risk is really as low as it gets, and false negatives on pregnancy tests are really quite rare (and are usually due to incorrect use). Unless the directions specifically mentioned needing to use first morning's urine, then taking the test at another time of day isn't a problem.

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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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fallenleaf
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Okay. What if the absorbent tip slightly bumped into the case before it was covered? Or if the pregnancy test was laid flat on a slightly wet surface for a couple minutes, even though the absorbent tip was covered?
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Robin Lee
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Since every test is different, those are really questions you'd have to ask the manufacturer. Each test has a phone number on the packaging that you can call to ask questions about usage.

Really, though, as Karybu said, your risk was low as low can be. You used all forms of contraception correctly. There's no reason to doubt the test results.
.

What will it take for you to be able to lay this concern to rest and let yourself have more energy for tackling some of the bigger things we've talked about here, as well as having more energy for life in general? [Smile]

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Robin

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