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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » EXPERT ADVICE » Pregnancy Scares » Persistent pregnancy fear

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Author Topic: Persistent pregnancy fear
emmy1120r
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Hello scarleteen. You may have seen this type of question thousands of times on your site but I wanted to tell you my story to see if it's any different from what you have seen. I have a boyfriend of a year and a half and we used to dry hump ALOT. All of a sudden I began to become scared of becoming pregnant because I had spotting in between my periods and thought it was implantation bleeding. I also experienced nausea, tender breasts, and possibly every other pregnancy symptom you could find on the internet. I began to google "can sperm get through clothes" and "can you get pregnant dry humping" and I began to be reassured it wasn't possible until I found one story that claimed it was. I was a couple days late for my period so after a month of constant anxiety I bought a test and it came out negative. However every month I seemed to keep dry humping and my boyfriend is very attentive to my fears. I always think what if his sperm got through his clothes or what if when he was touching me outside my underwear he had pre cum on it. I got my period at the same time every month and it has been regular not lighter not shorter but I'm still convinced. My brain knows I'm not pregnant but yet a little voice is telling me with every ache in my body I am. No matter what symptom I have it's always a symptom of pregnancy apparently. I have never even taken off my pants! So why am I so scared? I come from a very religious background and strong cultural family who strongly opposes sex before marriage. This might be why? However I cannot talk to my family about my situation because then they will believe I'm having sex and will not Trust me. Can you help?

Thanks!

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Sam W
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Hi emmy112,

I want to first make clear, can you tell me what you believe the risk of dry humping to be?

If you are wondering why you keep having pregnancy fears, I think this article is a good place to start for that.
You're Not Pregnant. Why Do You think You Are?

[ 01-24-2014, 08:41 PM: Message edited by: Sam W ]

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emmy1120r
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Having the sperm get through my clothes. I'm more worried about my symptoms most of them time.

I read the article. I think I have a fear of the shame pregnancy brings. I don't know how to let go of this fear however.

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Heather
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Okay. So, sperm cells don't have that ability. They're not like tiny bugs or other parasites, they just don't work that way.

This piece might help you find out more about that: http://www.scarleteen.com/article/bodies/where_did_i_come_from_a_refresher_course_in_human_reproduction

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emmy1120r
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Okay thank you. What about symptoms like frequent urination and nausea and fluttering in stomach.?? If I'm getting my period I heard it's possible to still be pregnant with a period? Is this possible?
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Heather
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Well, as I mention in that piece, fluttering feelings in the stomach are usually gas, including in pregnant people. Fetuses don't flutter. [Smile] And frequent urination can happen for so many reasons.

People who become pregnant also do not still get periods.

Clearly, engaging in this kind of sex, or many any kind right now, is freaking you out and is scary for you. So the first thing you can do to take care of yourself here is likely to step away from that until this is NOT so scary for you, and you ARE in a position where you are supported in being sexual, rather than terrified of being found out, okay?

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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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emmy1120r
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I understand. I haven't done dry humping with my boyfriend in two months however. So I done know why I am still scared [Frown]
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Heather
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Well, it sounds to me like you might, when you say, "I think I have a fear of the shame pregnancy brings. I don't know how to let go of this fear however. "

So, if you feel like this is about shame with sex or pregnancy, what do you think you need to learn to let go of that, or at least start dialing it down?

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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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emmy1120r
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Maybe stop doing things my family and religion would oppose of no matter how hard it is. My boyfriend is always supportive so being in a relationship is not the issue. It's just my friends also judge me for what I do even tho it's only dy humping or fingering outside clothes. They judge me for even thinking I'm pregnant even tho they know it's not possible
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Heather
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Or maybe stop for now, while you are in that family, community and culture and don't yet have other social circles and people around you that are accepting of ideas, beliefs or choices different from theirs.

And then figure out, take some real time to figure out, what YOU believe. When you do that, you can then start to make some plans for your life to find people and places that will support you in whatever that is -- or who will support you even when your ideas, beliefs or choices differ from theirs -- and figure out what your own best choices are, what you want to do, and how to do that in a way that doesn't feel so awful.

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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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Heather
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Btw, I just left this post with a few of you in mind. It might help you out some: http://www.scarleteen.com/forum/ultimatebb.php?/ubb/get_topic/f/8/t/001581/p/1.html#000000

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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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Sam W
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I think dialing back the level of sexual activity to a place where it is not going to stress you is definitely a good first step, if only because it will help curb the anxiety you have.

It can be very hard to dial down the shame we feel around sex, especially if you come from a social group that has rigid expectations around it. I would say that, if discussing what you're doing sexually with your friends causes them to make you feel ashamed, you may want to consider not discussing that topic with them anymore.

Is the shame around sex generally tied to the idea of virginity and waiting until marriage?

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emmy1120r
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I have never actually told my friends what I've done. I've just said I'm scared pregnant even tho my pants were always on. And I think so! I am also very worried about the consequences of what I do. So I just think this time I'll be pregnant because o what I did
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Sam W
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If you haven't taken a look at the article heather linked to, I would do that. Like she said, it can be good to start figuring out what your personal beliefs are in terms of sex and sexuality.

When you say consequences, what are you referring to (e.g something like pregnancy/ STIs or something like feeling ashamed)

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emmy1120r
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Something like pregnancy
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Sam W
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A good step to take when you're worried about consequences like pregnancy is to arm yourself with info about the risks of various activities. That way, you both know what behaviors DO pose a risk, and how to reduce that risk should you choose to engage in them. The first article is a good place to start for that, and the second one is about how to find reliable sex ed info on the internet. Because, as you've already discovered, some of it isn't always reliable.
Can I Get Pregnant, or Get or Pass On an STI From That?
Legit or Unfit? Finding Safe, Sound Sex Educators & Support Online

I am also going to give you a few articles on virginity that may offer some different perspectives than you may have encountered before.
20 Questions About Virginity: Scarleteen Interviews Hanne Blank
Magical Cups & Bloody Brides: Virginity in Context

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emmy1120r
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I also didn't see that link you posted about religion and virginity until now and that is something That I fear being shamed by my family. I also think pregnancy is the result of this even tho I have not done anything that puts me at a risk.
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emmy1120r
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Yes me and my boyfriend have agreed on no genital contact so That means I can't be at risk unless there's a direct contact right?
I know dry humping and manual sex cannot create pregnancy from the article. It was good to see that the article I found online about the girl getting pregnant from those things was false.

I also found your chicken soup for the pregnancy symptoms freak outs soul! That really helped me I think. So if I have a period I am not pregnant. All my other symptoms is what always worries me. I have GERD so I always haw stomach and abdominal issues which make me worried

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Redskies
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I'm glad our information is helping you.

If you haven't done anything that can possibly create a pregnancy, then anything you feel in your body Cannot be to do with pregnancy. So, if you're concerned about symptoms in your body, that's a separate medical issue.

It sounds as if a lot of your cultural and social society is over-focused on "getting pregnant" and "not getting pregnant". Might it help you to try to do a bit of re-framing in your head, and remembering that there is So Much in the world that has nothing to do with that? The things you're feeling in your body, those other medical issues, belong in the huge, huge "nothing to do with that" category [Smile]

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The kyriarchy usually assumes that I am the kind of woman of whom it would approve. I have a peculiar kind of fun showing it just how much I am not.

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emmy1120r
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You're right. I mean even acne was a symptom of pregnancy and a cold! Because I get sick a lot! So that is probably it

I am always scared even when I see a pregnant person or hear the word or anything like its a sign

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Redskies
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That's a pretty high level of being scared. It sounds miserable for you, and I'm sorry to hear that's happening. When hearing a word or seeing a particular kind of person results in us feeling scared, that's a situation where some mental healthcare is appropriate. No-one should have to just continue feeling like that. Do you know how to access mental healthcare?

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The kyriarchy usually assumes that I am the kind of woman of whom it would approve. I have a peculiar kind of fun showing it just how much I am not.

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emmy1120r
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I have a counselor at my school that I was thinking of talking to do you think that would help? I can't watch a movie about a teenager being pregnant or hearing about it because I think oh that's me and I get a sinking feelin in my stomach
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Redskies
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It depends what kind of training and expertise that counselor has. Most school counsellors don't have specialist training in treating mental health problems. Do you feel comfortable about talking to this counsellor? They could be a really good place to start - maybe give you some support and some guidance about what other health services might be available to you.

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The kyriarchy usually assumes that I am the kind of woman of whom it would approve. I have a peculiar kind of fun showing it just how much I am not.

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emmy1120r
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Yes I do feel comfortable. I just am worried about telling my parents about the anxiety I'm having.
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Redskies
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Well, it sounds like talking to the counselor would be a good thing to try, then.

How do your parents usually respond when you want to talk to them about something or you need their help or support with something?

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The kyriarchy usually assumes that I am the kind of woman of whom it would approve. I have a peculiar kind of fun showing it just how much I am not.

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emmy1120r
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They usually respond well. But they do not believe in therapy and if I tell them I have a fear of pregnancy they will think I've had sex
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Redskies
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I'm glad they usually respond well!

Do you think it would help if you told them that you do not need help with pregnancy and you are not realistically afraid that you are pregnant, but that you have an irrational fear of pregnancy? That you have not done anything which could possibly get anyone pregnant, but that you feel very anxious and physically unwell whenever you even see a pregnant person or hear the word?

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The kyriarchy usually assumes that I am the kind of woman of whom it would approve. I have a peculiar kind of fun showing it just how much I am not.

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emmy1120r
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I think I could tell them that. I would tell my counselor first cuz I don't know how to tell someone that it's easier to tell you guys who hears questions like this a lot. Because I know I'm not pregnant it's just it makes me sick even thinking of it
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Redskies
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Knowing that something is impossible and yet still being very afraid of it is something that can happen to people sometimes, and it strongly suggests some kind of anxiety condition. I'm so sorry you're feeling so rough.

I think it's a really good idea to tell the counsellor first, and you can also discuss with the counsellor how you might tell your parents. I'm very glad you were able to tell us. Do you need any help figuring out how to tell the counsellor what's going on with you?

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The kyriarchy usually assumes that I am the kind of woman of whom it would approve. I have a peculiar kind of fun showing it just how much I am not.

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emmy1120r
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Yes actually I would like some help with that thank you! My school is very small and the counselor knows me and my boyfriend very well and I don't want him to think things or judge :/
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Robin Lee
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Have you ever talked to your school counselor before? Is he someone you trust with other things?

Counsellors aren't supposed to judge the people they work with. I'm wondering if you're afraid of this counselor's judgment for aspecificreason, or because you're just generally feeling scared right now.

As someone who also went to a small school, I do hear your concern about privacy. again, though, the job of a counselor is to not judge, and to keep anything you tell them private unless there's a specific reason (such as you being in danger) they need to tell someone else.

You could always start out by having a conversation with the counselor about what kind of privacy you can expect for privacy if you talk to him about personal things.. What do you think?

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Robin

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emmy1120r
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He used to actually be my teacher so I do trust him as a counselor. I'm just generally scared right now honestly. I'll ask him what privacy I have when I talk to him! Because I am not in danger I just need help
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Robin Lee
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Asking about privacy sounds like a great way to start the conversation. Sometimes we've just gotta get through things, even though they feel scary!

Best of luck with talking to him.

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Robin

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emmy1120r
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Thank you so much all with your help I've learned so much from you guys and will know now sperm don't have the ability to get through clothes and what my fears are about. Thank you so much!!
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