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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » EXPERT ADVICE » Emergencies and Crises » Questions about pregnancy testing and starting bc

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Author Topic: Questions about pregnancy testing and starting bc
notsure88
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Member # 33006

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So I have been using condoms for roughly 7 years with no issue up until yesterday.. Condom broke without either my partner nor I noticing. (Unbelievable. I always assumed that if it were ever to happen, I would surely notice something was amiss) Anyway, he finished and we didn't find out that it broke until a few seconds later when he went to remove it. 

Luckily we stayed calm and rushed to the nearest pharmacy and picked up next choice (one dose), which I took within about 40 minutes of the "incident". 

So for now, there's not much to do but lose sleep until I can take a pregnancy test. Our accident happened on the last day of my period, which was day 5 of my cycle. I've kept a complete record of my cycle for almost 5 years and on average my cycle is 30 days. A handful of times it's been as short as 26 days, and more often it's been as long as 40 days. In short, 30+ days is pretty common for me. 

Judging by where I was in my cycle and the fact that I took ec pretty much as quickly as humanly possible, I KNOW I shouldn't be as scared as I am. However, this is the greatest risk I've encountered since becoming sexually active so no matter what, until I get my period OR a negative pregnancy test after the appropriate amount of time, I'm going to be STRESSED. I should add that I've read all of your articles about pregnancy risk and ec. 

This brings me to two questions. I know you guys don't like getting these kinds of questions due to all the information you provide on the rest of your website, but I truly feel like I need outside advice and insight to help me "get back to earth". What is your immediate reaction to this situation? I mean, how worried would you really be if you were in my shoes? It seems like a silly question, but honestly I don't have anyone I can really talk to about this and any feedback or encouragement would likely do wonders for my sanity. Of course, my partner is cool as a cucumber and entirely certain we will be OK. He's always been the "calm" one in our relationship so it's not a surprise. 

The second thing I am wondering, is just how soon I can take a test. I have read a few times on your site that you can test two weeks after the incident. This will put me still at least a week away from when my next period is expected. Generally I thought it was common practice to wait until you have already missed your period to test. When would you recommend I test - two weeks from yesterday or only if my period is late? 

As a side note, I am my partners first sexual partner, and he is my second (my first partner and I were each others first.. Wow I hope that makes sense?) so I know that we are both STI free.

Also, this whole unfortunate incident has pushed me to finally pursue a more reliable method of birth control. I've decided nuva ring is probably most practical for me since I doubt I'd be able to take the pill at the same time everyday. I've got my insurance figured out and will be going to planned parenthood tomorrow to get the prescription. My last question - do I need to wait until after I know for certain that i am not pregnant before I start birth control?

Props to anyone who read this entire thing and thank you ahead of time to anyone who offers any advice!

Posts: 14 | From: Minnesota | Registered: Mar 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Robin Lee
Volunteer Assistant Director
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HI notsure88 and welcome to Scarleteen,

I hope you're not giving yourself too much of a hard time over being stressed by this. Something happened that you didn't expect and that you had to respond to right away. That's stres-provoking in itself.

At this point, you've done everything you can. As you said, now all you can do is wait. You have a choice whether you wait in complete panic mode, or whether you manage your stress; panicking for weeks will not change the outcome. This is serious stuff, I know, and I'm sorry to hear that you're going through it.

IN terms of testing, what we generally recommend is that people can start testing 14 or more days after a risk, or when a period doesn't show up, whichever comes first. Fourteen is the minimum of days to wait, and we often suggest waiting a few days longer than that to ensure an accurate result.

Generally, one will want to wait before starting birth control until one knows one is not pregnant. The folks at the Planned parenthood wil be able to advise you in a more specific way. Don't be afraid to let them know you're stressed by this and get some support from them as well.

How do you feel about how cool your boyfriend is being about this?

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Robin

Posts: 6066 | From: Washington DC suburbs | Registered: Dec 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
notsure88
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Thank you so much for your reply. I've been so busy with work (retail) leading up to Christmas I haven't had a moment to reply. Not a bad thing, since it keeps me too distracted for my mind to wander.

I'm feeling a lot less stressed these past days. I'm just too busy to be worried. Especially this time of year, I don't get to see my family too often so I'd rather not spend this time miserable.

And honestly, I really feel like my risk could be so much bigger between the timing and the fact that i took plan b right away.

So now coming up on 5 days I've begun bleeding. I'd say, more than what I'd consider just spotting. If I understand right, this bleeding is the result of the additional hormones having left my system? Almost like it has signaled my period to start again? I'm wondering if this is a hint that the pill has worked.. I plan on testing after 14 days, and again a week later.

Anyway, I've made an appointment with my doctor for Thursday for a physical and to get the bc thing figured out. I'm hoping the bleeding stops because I'm guessing there will also be a pelvic exam.

As far as my boyfriend goes, the fact that he's not worried is okay with me. Its not like he is relaxed about it because he doesn't care. I know he'll take care of me no matter how this turns out. Actually I'm kind of relieved he's so calm about it - he always helps me keep grounded like that.

Thank you again for your reply.. And happy holidays!

Posts: 14 | From: Minnesota | Registered: Mar 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Robin Lee
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HI There,

You're most welcome. [Smile]

I'm glad to hear you've been able to keep busy. Sometimes not having enough to do is the worst enemy to an active brain. [Smile]

Bleeding isn't a sign that Plan B worked or didn't work. It's just a side effect. Some people find that taking Plan B makes them have spotting or full on bleeding sooner than they expect it, while others find that it delays their period. Again, that's just a side effect of the medication.

Best of luck with the doctor's appointment. Don't worry if you're still bleeding; your doctor can still talk to you about your options, and not all doctors perform pelvic exams before prescribing birth control.


Enjoy the time you get to spend with your family. [Smile]

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Robin

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notsure88
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Hello again, its been a while so I hope you don't mind me coming back to this same thread again.. I have yet more questions!

To give a little update since the last time I posted, I had my doctors appointment and everything went well. The pap came back normal and my doctor prescribed nuva ring for me, which she recommended I begin the Sunday after my period starts.

It's day 31 of my cycle so my period should be here any day. I have a long-ish cycle so I wouldn't consider it late until around 35 days. I decided since im about due for my period and its been 27 days since the condom broke I took a pregnancy test this morning. Negative!

So my first question- is it safe to say I'm not pregnant? I bought the box with two tests, so I figured I would just take the second one next week if my period doesn't show up by then.

And actually, since I took plan b, I have no idea what my period is going to do.. Which complicates when I should start my nuvaring. Say I completely skip my period.. Do I need to wait an entire month for it to show up before I can start it? Or should I just start it this Sunday around the time my period SHOULD be starting? I'd assume my cycle would just adjust to whenever I put the ring in..

Any advice would be great! Thanks!

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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You can start a hormonal method at any time, it's just that a) it's effective sooner when started on day one of a period, or before the first Sunday of a period, and b) most people who start that way have less spotting/breakthrough bleeding, and their cycles conform to the pill a bit faster.

My advice is to wait for your period, and if it hasn't shown up by the latest day you'd expect it and you want to start the ring, to go ahead and do that. Just be sure to use a backup method for any sex for the first cycle.

And yes, sounds like you're not pregnant. Your doctor likely also ran a pregnancy test before telling you to start the ring: that's standard protocol.

--------------------
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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notsure88
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Thanks for your quick reply!

I'll take your advice and give it some more time. I hate waiting but I'll try to be good =)

I am curious though, I didn't give a urine or blood sample at my appointment so as far as I can tell, my doctor did not run a pregnancy test.. Unless there's another way to do it that I'm not aware of!

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Robin Lee
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Pregnancy testing is done through either urine or blood testing, so it sounds like your doctor didn't run a test, which is unusual. Testing for pregnancy before prescribing hormonal birth control is common, particularly if the patient is known to be sexually active.

--------------------
Robin

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notsure88
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OF COURSE, I just got my period this morning! Isn't it funny how that happens? It would absolutely happen the day after I dropped $16 on a pregnancy test.. None the less, I am relieved. (and now I have that second test so if I end up in this situation again I'll at least be a little more prepared)

I decided to start the ring today instead of Sunday. If I find that I would rather do a Sunday start instead of Tuesday's, I'll just shorten my ringless week and put a new one in on Sunday. From what I've read, that's acceptable right?

Anyway, I really want to thank you Robin and Heather for all your support, resources and knowledge. I've frequented scarleteen for years, basically ever since becoming sexually active and it's never let me down! So THANK YOU! =)

[ 01-15-2013, 11:04 PM: Message edited by: notsure88 ]

Posts: 14 | From: Minnesota | Registered: Mar 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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Well, chances are that may have been related if that test relieved your stress. [Smile]

Per shortening the placebo week, what we know based on studies of a few years is that for people over 18 who do that, and if that suppresses periods, make sure they are having at least four periods a year, it appears to have no adverse health effects. We can't say yet for people under 18, or how, or if, that has any health impacts over a lifetime, because we don't have those studies yet. But we can say we know for sure shortening the placebo period -- not the active ring/pill/patch time -- does NOT impact the effectiveness of the method at all.

And you're so welcome! [Smile]

--------------------
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

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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