T O P I C R E V I E W
Member # 95710
posted 08-08-2012 06:16 PM
Before I start my paranoid situation, I would like to state that this is not a pregnancy risk post - I have assessed my risk and am taking a test tomorrow - but I would like some reassurance, please.
I've been starting to trust that my pill is doing its job and wouldn't be this concerned if one specific incident before the end of my active pack two weeks ago didn't happen. About 4 or so days left of my active pills, I took my pill. I felt it on my hand and I put it in my mouth. I can't remember feeling it go down my throat, but I didn't hear it fall on my bed and it would've most likely hit me if it had dropped. However, me being the worried person I am, I fear that I somehow lost it. I've thoroughly searched my room and couldn't find it. Just when I thought I had taken it, I get irrational and unlikely-scenario fears (what if my cat found it and batted it across the room or out into the hallway? Didn't my father vacuum recently...); and so I've been panicked for 13 days. My partner and I had anal sex 13 days ago; using withdrawal as a back-up method. He told me he didn't ejaculate. I know my risk is either 0.02 percent (if I didn't lose my pill, which I'm sort of sure of) or 2.16 percent with typical use of the pill. I'm so scared that I could've missed that pill. I try to tell myself that I couldn't have done that - and even so, he withdrew so we have a back-up method - but I'd just like someone to snap me out of this maze! I have a question regarding missed pills. I know missing a pill at the beginning of the cycle is horrible; as ovulation could occur, but why is it bad to miss one towards the end? Could it be that the hormone levels could drop and you could ovulate sooner or at the beginning of your next pack (if you don't start your new pills on time)? I was finally getting comfortable with my pills, and now I'm pretty much going minute by minute. I started my new pack on time and I'm getting some cramps, which is normal around this time. I would just like someone to try and ease my irrational fears, if that would be alright. I feel so embarrassed to post this, especially since Robin has been so kind and patient with me earlier about swallowing my pill. I feel neurotic, which really scares me, too.
Member # 3
posted 08-08-2012 06:36 PM
Per missing at the end, you've got it: basically, it potentially extends the placebo time.
Really, while anal sex does pose some risk of pregnancy, infections are the big risk with anal sex, including bacterial infections. I don't mean to give you something new to sweat, but you've been here at ST for a while now, so hopefully that's not new, anyway. All the same, other than paranoia, I don't see anything to suggest you missed your pill. Also? remember that the effectiveness rates for the pill are in one YEAR of use, not one day or per sexual encounter. So, thinking about what tiny percent of risk you had like this doesn't actually make sense. If you're going to fiddle with that math, know for one encounter, that risk is WAY smaller than that. As I understand it, anxiety and irrational fear isn't something that just happens for you around sex or pregnancy: do I have that right? Also, does the pill really feel like the right method for you? For instance, do you think you'd feel better with a method without any (or much, much less) room for user error, like the shot, implant or an IUD?
Member # 95710
posted 08-08-2012 06:59 PM
Welcome back! I've missed you! Thank you for answering my post so promptly. After I sent it, I wanted to add as a side note that, since this wasn't a crisis post, that one didn't need to respond right away; as I do know that there are other users with needs more urgent than mine. Thank you for your reassurances. They seem to hit me harder (in a good way) when they're from a neutral party and not just my own redundancies. Thank you also for explaining that to me - I just wasn't sure if that was the reason or not regarding a missed pill that late into a cycle. Yes, I do know that there is a higher risk of infections and STI's with anal sex as opposed to pregnancy risks. My partner and I did talk about using condoms for that type of sex, but he does not want to. I'm going to work a little more on that, however. Yes, my paranoia is about lots of other things, too: whether people will leave me or are angry with me, whether or not I passed a test or course... It was especially bad when I was in school, but I counterracted it by studying hard and doing my best; so maybe that was why it was more manageable then. I do like using the pill and am starting to feel more comfortable with it - if this fear hadn't happened, I'd probably be up and about and not worrying as much. I've fiddled in my head with an IUD, but was taken aback as to the out-of-pocket price of it. I know that pregnancy risks are much, much lower... But can those strings ever get jostled? I'm assuming tampons wouldn't affect the IUD. The shot would not be a good idea, since my family doctor (who sees my parents and brother) is not my doctor for the pill (I'd used university doctors or walk-in doctors to get refills); and I don't trust his silence. Going to a doctor every month would get my parents suspicious or concerned. I'm hoping that I will learn from this and to not be so paranoid. I completely forgot that that risk calculation was per one year of use. I feel embarrassed! But thank you for alerting me to that fact. I will definitely remember it now. Thank you for taking the time to respond to this post!
Member # 3
posted 08-08-2012 07:04 PM
Aw, cheers. Was in dire need of a few days off, but glad to be back around.
It sounds like so far you've managed anxieties and fears by kind of feeding them. If that doesn't make sense, let me try a different way: when someone has anxiety about not being perfect, getting as close to perfect as possible may make them feel better, but it actually hasn't given them any tools to learn to manage the anxiety. Rather, they're actually answering it instead. Does that sound like an accurate assessment of previous approaches? If so, have you yet talked to any mental health pros of any kind to have all of this assessed, and find out what management tools or strategies are available to you to really start working on this so you can be WAY more likely to struggle with it less and feel better? The string of an IUD can move around plenty: they're not supposed to stay in one place. But that has no impact on the IUDs placement in your uterus, which is a very snug fit: a uterus without a fetus in it is only the size of a walnut or so, after all. The shot is every three months, just for the record, not every one, and whoever you get your pill from could likely do that, too, if that's something you wanted to consider.
Member # 3
posted 08-08-2012 07:06 PM
(Also: drawing hard lines or limits with your partner: do you feel that's something you can do? For instance, if you know that you would deeply prefer or only feel okay with condoms for anal sex, do you feel able to say, "I need to do this with condoms or not at all," to him?)
Member # 95710
posted 08-08-2012 07:50 PM
Wow, I think that is what I have been doing this whole time. I was scared to fail or not get good grades, so I studied so hard; and though that usually got good results, I was still feeding my paranoia. That makes perfect sense - thank you for explaining it that way.
I'm honestly not too sure on where I stand regarding seeing a therapist or mental health professional. I'm still looking for employment, and I wouldn't be able to afford that as of now. I'd feel guilty asking my parents to pay for me (and they might want to know what I'm so scared about; and I'd feel uncomfortable witholding some truth from them). I did see my Chaplain often while I was at school, so I know how beneficial counseling can be. When I get a job, I might look into that. I'm still hesitant, but I think that would really help me. Wow, I feel so silly! No wonder the shot does so well with typical use! What you said about the IUD also makes sense. If I ever become more financially stable, perhaps I will consider the IUD; but I am still pretty happy with my pill (when my paranoia doesn't get in the way). I know I have a lot of paranoid posts here about the pill; but now that I know more about it, I feel safer and calmer using it. I'm hoping I feel better soon. In certain areas, I am able to say "no" to my partner and he doesn't press me. Perhaps I could talk to him like that, or just tell him how I feel about infections and STI's. He dislikes condoms a lot - though we now use them for vaginal sex - so I'm going to try bringing up condoms for anal sex again. Thank you so much for your time, Heather! I hope you had a good break - you deserve(d) it!
Member # 3
posted 08-08-2012 07:58 PM
This isn't something -- even just an assessment -- your NHS would pay for? I'm not the biggest expert when it comes to CAB healthcare, but I feel pretty certain an assessment visit would be covered.
Perhaps check in with your GP? Btw, therapy isn't your only option, or rather, only one kid of therapy, like talk-therapy isn't. My hope would be you could get an assessment from someone who could make a call on what you've been struggling with, then lay out all your possible options for you: kinds of psychotherapy, medications, nutritional, bodywork, etc. Per your partner, I wonder how you might do with an approach that isn't "Wel, I'll try again and see what he says," especially if the options are only that he says okay and you do, or he says no and you have that sex anyway in a way you're not comfortable with. In other words, I don't see the limit -- if it's one you want/need -- as up for discussion. "Condoms with anal sex or we nix anal sex," is a statement, and he can make his choices from there (and it's not like his life will be over if he can't engage in a certain kind of sex with you: we will all do just fine without a given kind of sex we can't have because what someone else needs with it isn't what we want). maybe up to discuss is why you need that limit, but the limit itself is non-negotiable. That's really what we mean when we talk about limits, and what differentiates them from say, preferences or guidelines.
Member # 20094
posted 08-08-2012 09:21 PM
Copper, what province are you in? Although each province is different in terms of what their healthcare covers, in some places prescriptions are covered, and sometimes therapists are as well (with a referral from a physician). Happy to take a look for you if you let me know where you are.
Member # 95710
posted 08-14-2012 01:25 PM
I'm sorry I haven't responded - the last few days have been up and down. I did take a pregnancy test 14 days after my risk (using first morning urine since that was what my box said to do if I was testing earlier than 5 days before my expected period) and the result was negative. I'm hoping I can trust those results. I've also been having cramps like usual, so I think I'm just being irrational again. To be honest, I'm not sure if my health services would cover that. I'm not even sure if I'm at all covered by my father's insurance (it stopped once I graduated). I might still get dental stuff, but I'm not sure about counselling evaluations. I'm really stuck when it comes to GP's. He's a 25-minute drive away and I have my license but only beginner's; and so I can't go to him for birth control or for a referral or anything like that. I'm also unsure about whether or not I trust him. My parents seem to think that I'm stronger than I myself do, so if I asked them to help me find someone to talk to, I'm not sure how they would react. This is why I really want a job with insurance. I'd hate it if an evaluation or counselling was not covered and then my parents had one other thing to help me with. I live in Ontario; but I'm nervous to post my postal code in case my identity is discovered (that'd be a fair leap, but still). I pay out-of-pocket for prescriptions without an insurance plan, but I do have a Health Card. I hate being so dependent on my parents; but I can't do much about that until I get a job. When that happens, I might consider seeing a counsellor. Is it possible to only see one when you feel like talking; or must it be a weekly or monthly visit? Thank you so much for listening to me. Sometimes I kind of feel thrown to the wayside in real life!
Member # 90293
posted 08-14-2012 01:45 PM
First of all, I hope you know that someone seeing a counsellor doesn't mean that they're not strong. It's often a huge sign of strength, actually. Seeing a counsellor, at least at first, does need to be a regular thing, especially when working on something specific like anxiety. There are short-term types of therapy, though, so it's not necessarily something where you'd have to go for months and months in order to see a difference. I used to live in Ontario myself, actually, so I know that therapy with a social worker or psychotherapist isn't generally covered, but there are always exceptions to things, such as, as Karybu mentioned, if there is a doctor's referral. Psychiatrists are covered, being medical doctors, and some psychiatrists do therapy; again, you would need a referral from your doctor. Sometimes there are therapists or community counselling centers that offer sliding scale fees, based on your ability to pay. If seeing a counsellor to work on this anxiety is something you want to do, I feel pretty sure that there are enough options to make it happen.
Member # 90293
posted 08-14-2012 01:49 PM
Looking back at the previous posts here, I'm wondering if you had any thoughts about what Heather said about limits?
Member # 95710
posted 08-14-2012 03:03 PM
I know you get these kinds of questions all the time, but is a minimum of 14 days okay to trust the result? I'm thinking of buying more tests anyway.
I've often gone to the Chaplain at my former residence for advice and for someone to talk to; and I remember feeling nervous doing that, but I know that it takes lots of courage to seek help. I'm certainly not trying to say that there is no strength in admitting you need help... I'm just wondering if my parents would "believe" that it would be needed. My mom knows I'm a bit anxious, but I can't tell her my big anxieties; so she might not think it is necessary. But I'm even sort of thinking about talking to my Pastor about anxiety in general and how to work around that. It wouldn't be a perfect solution, since I couldn't tell him everything, but it might help. That does make sense that a patient would have regular meetings for a while, especially if they wanted to work on a speficic issue and the psychiatrist wanted to monitor progress. I think this is something I'd like. I'm a little worried about confidentiality, but I know psychiatrists could lose their licenses if they broke that agreement; and I'm over 18 so I should be considered an adult in that case. I think I'll pull my money together and see what I can do in the meantime, while I'm looking for work. I have thought about what Heather had suggested regarding limits. It does have merit for sure. To be honest, I'm afraid to be that bold with my partner; but I have been getting a bit better at speaking my mind, both before, during, and after sex. I'll think more on that though.
Member # 90293
posted 08-14-2012 04:04 PM
Remember that your partner isn't the only one who gets to decide things. *gentle smile*
Yes, all types of mental health professionals are bound by confidentiality, and they should go over that with you in a first session, clearly explaining what they would have to break confidentiality about (varies based on locale, but essentially, threatened harm to self-or others, or disclosure of a child or other dependent being harmed) and have you sign something to say you understand. There's a lot of benefit to be gained from therapy, but there is also a benefit to any kind of helping relationship, and if you find your pastor is a good listener and someone you connect with, that could be really beneficial for you. When do you think you could talk to your pastor?
Member # 95710
posted 08-14-2012 06:13 PM
That is true, thank you. I'm not just "submissive" in my role with him (which isn't entirely "submissive" as it is, since I'm trying to be more vocal with him) - I'm just a very quiet and non-confrontational person. I absolutely hate arguments, so I try and avoid those types of conversations. That's not an excuse for my behaviour, but it is how I often feel with everyone and not just him.
Thank you for explaining the confidentiality process. I can agree to those terms for sure. I just loved talking to my Chaplain because I trusted her and when I'd talk to her about stuff back home, there was absolutely no way she'd know the people I knew. I live in a big city though, so I should probably relax on that front. With regards to my pastor, I'm not sure if I could see him in person. I'm not sure how often he is at church, and he lives out in the country when he's not at work. I was going to send him an email (as I've done a time or two before when I had needed help); and we usually have good correspondence. It definitely doesn't equal in-person counseling, but it would at least be a start to work on my anxiety.