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Author Topic: please help
beaver987
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Hi Scarleteen,
My botfriend and I have been thinking about having sex. We've been in a relationship for almost 3 years, but the only thing I've been worried about is, of course, pregnancy. I take my birth control pill everyday (an hour and a half at most late maybe once or twice a month), we've practiced putting on condoms, and I asked him to pull out to ease my mind even more. On top of that, I heard there is also no sperm in precum if they havent ejaculated in a day and have used the bathroom to wash all possible sperm in precum. I know that condoms and the pill are 98-99% effective, but I would really just like to know some comparisons to other things that are also 99% not likely to happen. It just seems like that 1% is a big number, when in reality it isn't. Also, I've seen online where people say they've gotten pregnant while usig a pill and condom. What are the top reasons for this? When do condoms fail and when does the pill fail? I just want to educate myself before I would make the desicion. Thank you!! [Smile]

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Redskies
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Hi beaver987,

by far the main reason for pregnancy while someone's using contraception is that person not using the method properly. The pill might fail if someone misses a pill sometimes, or takes them more than 12 hours late, or throws up within 2-4 hours of taking it. Condoms might fail when someone just doesn't use one, only puts it on half-way through, uses an expired condom, uses a condom that's been stored incorrectly and damaged, or if it breaks (which you can easily tell).

We list "perfect use" and "typical use" effectiveness of the methods, and "typical use" includes people doing the things I listed above. You can see the effectiveness rates here: The Buddy System: Effectiveness Rates for Backing Up Your Birth Control With a Second Method
If you're using the methods correctly, you can know that you'll be closer to the "perfect use" rates - that's 99.99% effectiveness - than the typical use 98.8% effectiveness. As you can see, the chance of pregnancy while correctly using the pill and condoms is minuscule.

If you need more information on correct use of the pill or condoms, that's here: Combined Oral Contraceptives (The Pill) and here: Condoms

Does that help?

[ 11-08-2013, 06:59 AM: Message edited by: Redskies ]

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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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beaver987
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Yes! That definitely helps! Thank you! So, if I take my pill everyday (and on time - I havent ever been more than 3 hours late and have never missed one in over a year and a half!), and we use condoms by correctly pinching the bottom, puttting it on beginnig to end, and holding the base when he pulls out and plus pulling out before he cums (I just want him to do that for the first few times to ease my mind), pregnancy, in this case, really would not be a concern? [Smile] thank you for your time and help!
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Robin Lee
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If you do all those things, you'll know that you've done everything you can to prevent pregnancy. That's all anyone can do, aside from choosing not to engage in the sexual activities that can lead to pregnancy.


Also, withdrawing while using condoms can actually decrease their effectiveness as, since as I think you know, there's a higher risk the condom will come off. Also, in the heat of the moment one or other of you may forget to hold the base. That can happen, and is no one's fault.


With the worry you're feeling, and the lengths you feel you need to go to to prevent pregnancy--really, withdrawal while using condoms does not increase protection against pregnancy in any significant way--I want to check in with you that intercourse is really what you're wanting, for yourself, right now. Feeling worried and stressed isn't a great way to go into any sexual experience. [Smile]

About the condoms and withdrawal, know that

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Robin

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beaver987
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Thank you! And I'm trying to educate myself so I don't feel as stressed, but I don't know if it's working. I don't understand how people can have sex without worrying about pregnancy. A couple of my cousins do and whenever I talk to them, they aren't worrying at all. I know I'm in the right relatioship, and I definitely want to. I'm just worried about that part of it.
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Robin Lee
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What do you think having intercourse would give you that you don't already have?

I'm asking because it seems to me that part of you isn't ready for this. I hear you voice that you want this; I also hear you voicing that the possible consequences are just too overwhelming right now.

When the facts don't help, it often means that we're not emotionally ready for something. (This applies to anything, not just sex.) I hear you trying very hard to make yourself believe something which, at a heart-level, you're just not quite at the point of believing--that you can have intercourse and whatever the consequences will be, you'll be able to manage them. That's not a bad thing. It doesn't say anything about anyone's maturity, or about how they feel about their partner.

So, as I asked above, what do you think intercourse will give you that you don't already have with your partner?

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Robin

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beaver987
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Hi Robin!
I had to take a few days to think about how to respond to your question. The truth is, I don't think it will give us anything more than what we have now. We are intimate in other ways that don't involve actual intercourse. However, I do believe it's a different way to show your love to each other (just like other couples)and take the intimacy to another level.

I've been trying to think of why these facts can't cover up my worry. I have always been freaked out on manual sex where I believe pre-cum or dried sperm could be on his hand and then get into my vagina by him fingering me. I think it's because my first experience ever getting fingered I didn't think I could ever get pregnant from. My period was 2 days late, so I started searching for answers online and I saw some things that it said pre-cum and fingering could impregnate somebody. I completely freaked out (didn't go to school, didn't talk to anybody, and got myself sick over it for the next couple days) until my period showed up. That single event scarred me.

Anyways, I did it again a few months later and had the same reaction. I bawled and ended up telling my mom. She got really angry at me for doing "such a horrible thing" at the end of my 10th grade year and didn't talk to me for a whole week. She told me if I kept doing what I was doing I was "going to get pregnant".

Well, almost two years later I stand here with the exact same worries and exact same anxiety. I went to a therapist for help, but even that didn't clear up my mind. My mom is expecting me not to have sex or do anything until after college (she also gave me the "make-out" talk when she caught me and my boyfriend kissing in the basement after 8 months of dating). I feel like I have all of the information I would need, but I can't seem to get past my mom. She has basically brainwashed me into thinking I will get pregnant if I do anything (manual sex, blow jobs, intercourse). It could also be the memory of the first time ever dealing with (what I thought was) a "pregnancy scare" and how horrible that was. I've tried everything to get help. I've gone to a therapist, I've talked to 2 of my friends' moms that are very open, I've practiced putting on countless condoms, I haven't missed or been late on one birth control in 1 1/2 years, and I've done tons research. I just can't talk to my mom. At all. And I know I will never be able to about this.

I really need help on how to solve this problem. My anxiety has gotten better about manual sex in the past year, but when I'm supposed to get my withdrawal bleed on day 4 of the sugar pills I get really nervous. The rest of the month is usually pretty good (other than when I really start to think about it).

I'm sorry this is so long. Your question has helped me think about some things.

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Robin Lee
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Hi Beaver,

It's good to think. [Smile]

First and foremost, it seems like it would be sound, given all this anxiety, to take intercourse off the table for now. It doesn't make sense, to me, to move forward with something when you're still feeling so worried. I'm wondering if trying to push yourself to do more sexual things, in spite of your worry, might actually be making this worry more intense. What do you think?

What kinds of messages have you gotten in the past from your Mom, or other people in your life about what it would mean if you did get pregnant?

It sounds like what your Mom says is really important to you, so I can understand how her saying things that contradict the facts you've learned would be really alarming and overwhelming.

When you worked with this therapist, did you work on ways to manage anxiety?

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Robin

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beaver987
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Hi Robin,
I would definitely say thinking about it in depth makes me a lot more worried.

As for your second question, my mom has said before that she would obviously be extremely upset and angry. She said it would screw up my entire life because abortions, adoptions, and keeping the baby all have downfalls. She said i'll have to live with an abortion, an adoption would be extremely difficult and I would go through my life not knowing what my baby was like, and keeping the baby would be hard because i'd have to risk not going through college and having an "extra load" I have to carry through everything. She also said most boyfriends don't stay once a girl gets pregnant.

And for your third question, my therapist tried to help me work on managing my worries. I usually don't get worried at all during my cycle about pregnancy until the third day of my sugar pills (when I've gotten my period every time for the past 6-7 months). She worked with me to manage my worries as that day approaches. We also talked a lot about relaxion, and coping with stress as well. Nothing really helped in the 3/4 of a year I worked with her. I've found that I am very stubborn when it comes to changing. I still thought that I was pregnant or going to become pregnant at the time of my period, and nothing anybody was going to say could change that. I've tried reading your articles, talking to friends' moms, therapy, and I can't get myself to change my thinking on this at all.

Thank you for the quick reponses and your help!

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Robin Lee
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Changing is difficult, that's for sure. Did your therapist give you strategies for managing anxiety you could try at home, as well as things you discussed when you were with her?

While your Mom is right that pregnancy would change things for you, I think it's extreme to say that it would screw up your entire life. There's a vast difference between life changing and life being screwed up. [Smile]

It also sounds like your Mom may be thinking that everyone's experience is the same. Since we're all individual, each person's experience is individual.

Many people who get abortions don't find that having done so hangs over them for the rest of their life. For many, it's just a fact of life, like going through any other medical procedure. Putting a child up for adoption can add complications to someone's life, and certainly they may not feel or think the same as they did before. Again, though, it's not necessarily true for all people that this experience would be hugely negative and lead to less enjoyment of or success in life.

Yes, parenting is a major life decision and a major life change. It's not, however, the end of success or happiness or the ability to pursue one's life goals. Again, a life change doesn't equal a screwed up life. Clearly, though, there are other options--and you would get to choose.

I'm not saying any of this to belittle what your Mom has said, only to, I hope, show that there's a broader range of experiences.

However, options should you become pregnant are not terribly relevant to you right now. I think the thing to focus on here is that you're doing everything you possibly can to prevent pregnancy. You're taking a highly effective form of birth control, and are not, as of right now, engaging in sexual activities that can lead to pregnancy.

Reality is always going to trump hypothetical (what if) situations.

I can't recall if we've discussed this already. Does your boyfriend know about your pregnancy fears?

[ 11-20-2013, 06:44 AM: Message edited by: Robin Lee ]

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Robin

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beaver987
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That made a lot more sense. Thank you for those scenarios! They helped me think about it in a different light.

My boyfriend does know of my pregnancy fears. We talked a lot about it. He said "although he'd like to have sex, he was going to wait until I was ready because he knows how much I worry and doesn't want to make that worse". We used to get in arguments about it because he didn't understand why I freaked out so much when we didn't have sex, but that's over. We talked and now he just knowa how I feel. He also talks me through everything after anytime we have manual or oral sex on what exactly we did and where he put his hands (that he never touxhed himself before he touched me), so I don't make up things in my head later which really helped me. He said he's just made the adjustment to explain how it can't happen.

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Robin Lee
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It's great to hear that your boyfriend is so supportive, and so willing to adjust how you both do things in a way that really helps you out.


Given that overthinking this is a big part of what's going on with you, I'm wondering if it'd be most helpful from here to not immerse yourself in pregnancy-related things. This would include not reading pregnancy-related material here or elsewhere, not talking about these beliefs you could get pregnant here or elsewhere, and just moving forward with how things are now, not changing anything in your sexual relationship. What do you think?

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Robin

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beaver987
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Yes, I have thought about that before and think you're probably right. What will I do about my anxiety that I shouldn't have in the first place? I wish I could talk to my mom so I could get my facts straight, but I don't think that's possible.

She doesn't say anything about it but I think she had a relationship ended because of something to do with sexual things. I put a couple pieces together from last year when she told me she did some things her senior year (I don't know what in specific) that ruined her relationship and thought I was to young to start doing the same. Then I learned that she was in a long term (2 year) relationship and got dumped. She didn't say anything else about it, but it was interesting.

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Sam W
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Hi Beaver,

I would definitely take Robin's advice to avoid pregnancy related things.

If you're not comfortable discussing your worries with your mom, is there another adult (such as a school counselor) you'd feel comfortable talking to?

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beaver987
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I've talked to a couple of friend's moms that were really open. But, I just couldn't help what my mom has said in the past. I think she had a bad experience with something sexual related and now is trying to scare the crap out of me.

If I don't go on anything thing pregnancy-related (which I am definitely willing to try). How will I get my information or help with my anxiety?

Thank you!

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Sam W
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I'm glad that there are a few adults who you do feel comfortable discussing things with. I'm sorry your mom had a bad experience, but her feelings around that are hers to deal with, not yours. So, when you can, try to leave her worries out of the equation.

We've given you some info on the risks you asked us about already (you're free to review it once more, if you like). Are there others you are concerned with that we haven't touched on?

The reason we recommend that you step away from pregnancy discussions is because we don't want you to fall into a cycle where the only way you can feel less anxious is by having us reassure you of facts you already know. It will be much better for you in the long run if you learn how to do that yourself, because when the anxieties start to arise, you'll know how to push them out. As for dealing with anxiety, why don't you start with a few tips from this article and see if they help:Self-Care a La Carte

[ 11-21-2013, 12:46 PM: Message edited by: Sam W ]

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