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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sex Basics and Sexual Health » Confusing gynecologists visit

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Author Topic: Confusing gynecologists visit
saphira2013
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Hey guys [Smile]

Just a [semi-worried] question. Today I went to my gynecologist [First visit ever. I almost peed my pants from the awkwardness!!..] and explained about what had happened to me recently [I'd had intercourse using a condom, but had worried that the hands I put his condom on had pre-ejaculate on them; then had this light brown mucus-y discharge and cramping 3 days later (plus a lot of stress around the same time) - right halfway through my cycle; and the cramping hasn't really stopped since; however, I still haven't gotten my period - it's 4 days late now despite me having my usual PMS symptoms.]
His physical check up evaluation was that everything seemed normal but he forwarded me for an ultrasound to eliminate risks of cysts, cancer or potential pregnancy. And that was when he really terrified me - he said that I was really silly for putting the condom on with pre-ejaculate on my hands as it is "very fertile". Now, I've read every study [and post and answer here] and I gathered the risk is highly minimal, as any potential sperm cells shouldn't be able to survive the penis, hands, condom, vagina transfer, not to mention that there being any in the first place is unlikely. Am I right in thinking that?

Thank you!

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Heather
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I'm really disappointed to hear the way this doctor communicated with you. I'm also very confused about his ordering an ultrasound if a) you have no history of symptoms that suggest cysts or a family history of uterine cancer you'd need screening for and b) they already did a negative clinical test for pregnancy.

Ultimately, my thought here is that you got a crap doctor, honestly. (He also said something about pre-ejcalate that is flatly, just bizarre coming from a doctor, in my opinion.)

I don't see any cause for concern about pregnancy here beyond the risk intercourse poses of pregnancy, period.

--------------------
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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saphira2013
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Ah, so I'm not alone in thinking something was definitely off... *sigh* So much for health care professionals being just that - professional. In fact, my family history has no instances of illness of any kind. I have not yet had a pregnancy test, however, but he said that I should have the ultrasound first (which apparently is his standard 'prescription' for each new client? I won't even go into the fact that prices for an ultrasound here are exorbitant.) and we shall see from there. He also needs me to do a blood test to see if my hormone levels are ok, but I gather that is quite a normal procedure.
Much as I dislike the situation, I don't think I'm comfortable refusing the tests because who knows - something may really be a cause for concern which could thus be caught just in time. *here's hoping for the best*
Once this is over, I doubt I'll be going back to him again though.

Thank you for your opinion, Heather [Smile] I feel better knowing that I'm not imagining things.

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Heather
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You know, I think more times than not, even for people without any healthcare background, you can trust your gut when it comes to providers.

And alas, just like there are chefs that aren't great, bus drivers that stink, and hairstylists who give you bad haircuts, not all healthcare providers are awesome. [Frown]

I'm really bothered, like you, that he asked for invasive tests for what really sounds like no good reason whatsoever, other than perhaps billing. In addition, I'd say a blood test to check hormone levels also sounds iffy to me without any indication something is amiss. That's certainly not standard at a general checkup or GYN exam.

Can you perhaps switch to a different doctor now, rather than going back? If you can't, I'd at least ask for a rationale about all these tests he's ordering.

--------------------
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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saphira2013
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I'd like to switch to a different doctor, but where I live, private gynecologists are somewhat of a rare species, and hospital based ones have waiting lists that go into months if not years. At least I'll definitely be investigating into why all these tests as soon as I contact him again. Making clients perform tests as a means to make a pretty penny is certainly no news, but it should not be a reason for putting me under tests I could potentially do without.
I had no clue that a hormone level test is not standard procedure. It's all just making me worry that he saw something wrong in my checkup which he didn't tell me about, even if my gut is telling me I'm fine.

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Heather
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I was afraid that'd be the case per your options. [Frown]

That limitation given, what I'd do when you go back, before ANY testing, even giving any blood, is to ask to sit down with him and have him explain why he is doing all of these tests, and what leads him to think they are needed.

Per additional questions, I'd ask things like:
- Why not just do a urine test for pregnancy?
- Do you have reason to believe I may have cancer or something wrong with my hormone levels? If so, what are those reasons?
- If you do not have specific reasons for ordering these tests, which of them do you feel is truly essential for all your patients? Which can we safely go without?

--------------------
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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saphira2013
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You made the questions sound really simple and straightforward, especially the third one [Smile] I'd have ended up babbling and stammering myself silly. Must get rid of the feeling that I'll be embarrassing him and myself in the process of asking him that.
I hope that this will clear things up and I'll be able to get back to studying for my finals with a calm mind and a clear conscience.

Really, I can't thank you enough! [Smile]

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Heather
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Happy to help.

I know it's not always easy to be assertive with doctors. You know, my Mom worked so many shifts as a nurse growing up, I just got used to them as regular people, especially seeing them in the lounges and such.

Obviously, it might be a bit easier for me that given, but it might help to just bear that in mind: they are just people, that's all. And they're also people YOU pay for a service, so really, they're your employee in some ways, if you follow me.

It might be you're calling him out on some things here, and that might be uncomfortable. But I think if you stick to some basic questions and stand your ground, you'll do just fine. [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

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saphira2013
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Ok, I'm sorry to be such a mess but can someone please talk to me and help me to calm down and get through the night? I'm hysterical and I really don't know how to stop.
I hate being this scared and worried but I'm all over the place from fear.
I keep putting 1+1 together and evaluating symptoms and I can't rid myself of the feeling that I'm pregnant. I don't want to be one of the 4%. I can't be!!! I keep cramping - have been for 2 weeks; it's 5 days and my period still isn't here; my breasts are more swollen than usual; I'm bloated a bit more than usual; I keep having pains in my ovary/uterus area (more in my left ovary I think), I'm slightly nauseated (though it may be panic related) and I found some light pink and white clumpy discharge which google told me happens in early pregnancy. I know I keep repeating this information - it's become a mantra. It's been 3 weeks today since I had sex - protected but I had pre-ejaculate on my hands when putting on his condom. I know how unlikely it is but I can't stop freaking out. There's something wrong. I just know it and I can't stop shaking. I need help in calming down because I can't stop by myself. I've worked myself up into a real state. Please just tell me how to get through the night because I'm close to losing it. I already had a scare a few months ago but that was due to me not knowing enough about the menstrual cycle, and when I'd told my mum she went into shock and lost her memory for a while. I can't let it repeat again. There's nobody else I can speak to. I have to wait till tomorrow to get a test because it's late at night here.....

I'm not asking you to help me evaluate the risks but I just need to stop panicking because I'm afraid I'll have a panic attack soon.

I'm sorry, I've never been like this before. I can't deal with anything right now. It's like I can't get my mind to function in any other way except panic.

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Heather
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It's okay.

take a breath, first. [Smile] A big one. Now again, okay?

I don't know what "the 4%" is all about.

What I do know is that it's sounded like pregnancy isn't at all likely here.

Even if it was, honestly, the world doesn't end when a person becomes pregnant. For sure, no matter what choices someone makes or has available, it can be scary and challenging and hard, but the world earnestly does not end.

Now, I doubt pregnancy is what's happening here, I really do. But even if it was, you'd need to calm yourself down, you know? Even if it was, you'd need to find a way to pull yourself together here.

So, how about you try and focus on that? When you're very upset, what do you normally do to calm down and chill out and get more grounded?

--------------------
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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saphira2013
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Hello Heather, thank you for being here!!
The 4% was the percentage of women getting pregnant from year using the withdrawal method as I've read here, no?
I know life doesn't end but I have a very difficult family situation and I'd let so many people down and my mother has such delicate health any shock can come close to disabling her. Besides, where I live, morning after pills, abortions and all that are illegal because it is a Catholic country.
I feel so ridiculous and stupid for behaving like this but it's pretty hard to think of anything else while my abdomen keeps cramping.
Usually I try to ride out the worry, think rationally or go for a run. I've been worried for a little too long now, can't think rationally and it's too late for a run.
I feel that if I take any deep breaths I'll throw up and it'll just confirm the stupid pregnancy nausea. I mean how much more ridiculous can my paranoia get?! I'm 95% convinced I'm fine, but that 5% is deadly.

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Heather
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You didn't just use withdrawal: you used a condom. And we're not talking about a year of use: we're talking about one time.

Reality: it's your friend. [Smile]

I understand that you live somewhere with big limits on your options, and that you're in a tough family situation. BUT. For one, your nightmare scenario is most likely just that: a nightmare, not something real, something that tells you more about your fears than reality.

It sounds like some of this is also about regrets about engaging in something you realize you can't handle: that's okay, you can take that knowledge and just make different choices moving forward.

Deep breaths: seriously. Also? Vomiting doesn't confirm anything but that someone's stomach is upset.

perhaps you can run in place for a little while, or do some kind of physical activity inside? What about also calling the partner all of this happened with to get some extra emotional support?

--------------------
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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(Also, I'm not surprised you're having stomach upset: it's very common for high levels of stress and anxiety to do that. far more common, as a matter of fact, than it is for very early pregnancy to do those things.)

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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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saphira2013
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Yes, it's definitely something I can't handle right now. Or for a long time to come. It can be tough having to say no but I refuse to go through this every time I have sex.
It's kind of like, I've grown up surrounded by family members suffering from depression, hypochondria and paranoia and I guess it's rubbed off onto me. I tend to see the worst in every single situation. Goes to show how deeply set my fears are. If this blows over and everything will be fine I think it would be wise to seek a psychologist's help. Which is incredibly ironic as I'm a final year psychology undergraduate.

You were right - I tried breathing deeply and the nausea subsided. Being realistic hasn't ever come easy to me. But I do know how slim my chances of actually being pregnant are. Now it's a matter of convincing myself, not just acknowledging that.

Okay, baby steps. I feel a minuscule bit better which is a start. Thank you Heather. I really needed to vent to someone with a clearer and more realistic (and better educated in this field) head than mine is right now.

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Heather
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I can absolutely understand how the way you've grown up and what you have been surrounded with can both be making this all the more scary, but also probably didn't teach you very much about self-care and handling things well.

On the other hand, I see you here, looking for help to do that, and I think that's something to recognize about you. In other words, you're obviously different in that respect and DO have more control here than other family members of yours might in high-stakes situations. I think making sure you focus on that could help you out here, and might be another piece to help you calm down some more and get more grounded.

You're welcome, of course. I'm still around for a little bit more, so if you want to keep talking, I'm happy to do that with you.

--------------------
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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saphira2013
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Yes, keeping a level head is something I've had to learn through the years as often the entire family [well, that's just my mum really - she's my only living relative as from a few years now] is relying on me. That said, I've always had trouble applying that level head to my own issues as it's always easier helping others than oneself in my opinion, or at least my case.

The fact that all responsibility lies on my shoulders makes it very difficult for me to live my own life as I can't ever go against mum's orders for fear of hurting or disappointing her or affecting her fragile health, but every now and then I quietly rebel - like by having sex without her knowing, only it seems to backfire and make things worse.
I'm 21. My friends have always known freedom and independence, and have parents that let them do what they like, and while it's not always a good thing, it can sometimes be really depressing to be over controlled. Still, I love my mum more than anything and betraying her trust - again, is the main reason for me being in the current state of fear.

I've always had an incredible imagination which tends to get the upper hand, and it's what's keeping me still convinced I'm pregnant. Rationality and reality where are you?!?!

Probably I need to sleep on this, maybe have a hot shower and head out for that pregnancy test tomorrow. I thought I'd rather not know before I get my ultrasound on Friday but I think it'll drive me insane if I don't.

I'm sorry I let out all this negativity in such a mad rush but I've never spoken to anyone about this and somehow I feel like things are a little more stable now that I've vented out.
Thank you, really. I don't know what I'd do without you and this website! *big hug of gratitude*

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Heather
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Well, I really hope that sometime soon you can gain some more independence and get out on your own. It's one thing to work with our family so we are all helping each other, it's something else entirely for one family member to feel like they have to carry everyone. especially when you're -- relatively speaking -- the kid of that family. [Frown]

Some other time, if you ever want to talk a bit more personally about doing that, I'd be happy to do that with you. I had to move away from an unstable parent I love very much around your age for us to develop some sound boundaries and for me to learn NOT to try and keep taking care of him. (After all, these situations once we're adults aren't one-sided, we don't HAVE to take care of anyone, and we don't have to not have our own lives, either. Codependence is often a big part of these kinds of pictures.)

Anyway, I know how that can go. If it helps, ultimately we both agree that my doing that -- making some distance, learning not to try and caretake him so much) was the best thing I could have possibly done then for us both.

I think a shower, some rest and a home test tomorrow all sound like a great plan. I'm glad to have been able to give you a place to talk about this and some support. Hang in there tonight, and I do hope you can get some rest and relief.

[ 05-08-2013, 07:01 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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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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saphira2013
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[Smile] I'd like to speak to you about that some time, definitely. It sounds like something impossible right now because I'd feel too guilty 'abandoning' my mother after all she's done for me, but at the same time I can't imagine living the rest of my life like this.

Bath and bed it will be, then. Thank you again, and tomorrow I might pop by this post to let you know what happened.

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Heather
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You got it. (And yep, I certainly understand feeling that way and struggling with that: my dad had literally saved my life, so I feel you.)

Sleep well, saphira. [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

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saphira2013
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Hi Heather! [Smile]
Just dropping by for that promised updated. Got a pregnancy test the following day - it was a Clearblue digital, which I've heard is one of the most accurate - and it said not pregnant (!!!!!!!!!!!!!! [Big Grin] [Big Grin] [Big Grin] )[granted, it was not my morning pee but the second one, but I hadn't gone to the loo for like 7-8 hours before that at the least] at which point I collapsed in relief. The following morning I went for that ultrasound and the really really nice doctor in charge [really, he was wonderful - why can't all doctors be as nice and clear and helpful] said that everything looked clear and that according to the u/s it looks like I should be getting my period soon, and that even though he can't tell if I'm pregnant or not after only 3 weeks, the pregnancy test should be pretty reliable by then.

I've been walking on sunshine since then pretty much and it's been a wonderful change after so much worrying. I had stayed at a friend's house for support and when I got back after all that hassle, I just slept in the best sleep I've had in these past 3 weeks. Honestly, I'd forgotten sleep could feel that good! [Smile]

Anyhow, all in all, I'm just so relieved and can breathe easily now. Going for that hormone test tomorrow [I couldn't have that chat with the gynecologist before but I'll speak with him tomorrow] which might (cross fingers) shed some light on my M.I.A. period. I'm just hoping my paranoia won't rear its ugly head and start making me worry about the preg test being inaccurate or a false negative.
But anyway, just to say thank you and that I really appreciated your help ^^

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saphira2013
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As figured, paranoia is back in full force. Not even one full day of peace *facepalm*
I'm constantly cramping (have been for the past 2-3 weeks but today's worse) today after the blood test - the results of which will come in at least a week's time. It'll be a tough wait...
The gynecologist was really rushed and barely spoke to me - just scared the crap out of me by looking at the ultrasound paper and going "oh this looks so so". I freaked out and asked why, and he replied that my endometrium lining is swollen and can indicate both an impending period or *emphasis* a pregnancy, and that I should have waited for the urine test as 3 weeks can be inconclusive. The nurse on duty agreed with him much to my despair.
WHAT AM I MEANT TO THINK NOW?! Honestly, I'm at my wits end. Are we speaking about an utterly incompetent doctor here or are my fears founded? I'm really not liking this constant cramping and my still missing period.
Results from Dr. Google stating that 'I got 3 negatives and 3 clear ultrasounds before getting a positive test' and 'Cramping was my first sign that I was pregnant' are scaring the crap out of me.

I'm really sorry for freaking out here so often [Frown]

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Heather
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Well, I'm glad you had that day, at least. [Smile]

You know, given that you keep having cramping, I'm now glad you're getting an ultrasound. I think it's important to find out what's going on with that, and that test might help identify what IS going on.

Personally, I'm in disagreement about the results of your test: I think they can be relied on. Especially since you didn't engage in unprotected sex.

Put Dr. Google away. Seriously. He is the WORST doctor. The best he can offer you is a heapin' helping of extra anxiety for no good reason.

--------------------
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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saphira2013
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Heh that day was necessary indeed. [Smile]
Well, I certainly thought they're pretty reliable too until the doctor told me he thinks otherwise. I'm still inclined to believe in it being negative, as I'm quite certain that most people who get false negatives did them wrongly or too early or had the test affected by medication.

I wrote a post above this last one about my ultrasound which I got done yesterday - according to the specialist it looked clear, even if the lining was thick. It's like I don't know who to believe anymore. Maybe, possibly, it could be a polyp? That was the doctor's last judgment as a highly unlikely scenario. If anything, that would sound more likely to me than having gotten pregnant from some precum on the outside of a condom. As my friend [he's studying to be a doctor and I do trust his judgment] aptly put it, I'd have to be the unluckiest person on the planet to be pregnant at this rate, get an ultrasound and a pregnancy test, have them both clear and still be pregnant. SIGH. Still, there always is that unluckiest person on the planet somewhere. Blood test results, hurry up!!!

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Heather
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By all means, false negatives are usually tests taken WAY too early (not weeks after a risk), or with some other user error.

You know, I do think it's possible you're having some reproductive health issue. Here's my theory on this, which I've seen backed up before: we usually have reasons for freaking out about potential pregnancies when we're not pregnant. Sometimes, those are emotional reasons, like some of the things you've already talked about here.

But I also think that sometimes, when we're having repro health issues, things are off, we're not feeling quite right, we can misattribute them to pregnancy. And now and then, I've seen that bear out, where someone isn't pregnant, but it turns out they have a cyst, or endo, or PID, etc.

Who knows, in your case it might be BOTH emotional stuff AND a repro health issue. But you're following that all up, so you'll find out soon enough.

I like whoever this friend is you've been talking to: I vote more of talking to this friend, less random Googling.

--------------------
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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saphira2013
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Quite probably you're right. I had a look at some symptoms of cysts, fibroids and polyps and there are certainly similarities to what I have. I won't explore those by myself [no more google for me. nope], however, and leave them up to the doctor to identify.
I felt really quite guilty about a thought I had a few days ago that I'd rather have a repro health issue than a pregnancy. Now that's an actual possibility, I'm feeling pretty bad.

But, and it's a very good thing, I'm feeling more accepting about the negative urine test [Smile]

Yes, you're so right! I'm really lucky to have him for a friend [Smile] He already talked me out of previous health issues I imagined I'd been having and is a real treasure about everything.

Ok, deep breaths. Must focus and study. 2 weeks till finals. *gulp* Thanks Heather!!

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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I don't see any reason to feel bad about that: it's not like there's anything bad about not wanting to be pregnant, after all.

But for sure, sounds like the best thing you can do right now is get into your study-groove. It'll be a good distraction, and you need to do it anyway, so. [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

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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Also, here: http://hellyeahscarleteen.tumblr.com/post/50120231634/sometimes-people-have-a-hard-time-understanding

I double-dare you to do anything but laugh while you're watching this. [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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