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Author Topic: Concerned...
NoName
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Hi. I am a little concerned about something that happened to me tonight. I have been in a long-term relationship for 7 years now and although me and my boyfriend never have intercourse, we regularly engage in manual and oral sex. I am a chronic (irrationally) pregnancy worrier as well. I have been really trying to relieve my worries lately by yet, taking even more precaution than I already do. When I gave my boyfriend oral and manual sex this time, I made sure I was fully clothed. The thing is, when he ejaculated, it accidently "sprayed" all over the place and a few spots landed right on my jeans. I immediately pulled them off and I ran my hands all over my legs and crotch area (after I washed them of course) and couldn't feel any wet spots where it could have soaked through. I had to wear my jeans home but I used a blow dryer to dry them off before I put them back on. I read "pregnancy scared" and the scenario it talks about is "all parties wearing clothes and ejaculation was not on or near the vulva"...well, while a few of the wet spots were further down the front of my thigh, there was one spot on my inner thigh and one near my zipper area. This has never happened in the whole 7 years we have done this and I am very concerned that this could pose a pregnancy risk. Could you please explain to me how it could/could not? Thanks.
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Kachina
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There is no pregnancy risk here. Sperm cannot travel through your clothes (it dries up) and up your leg and into your vagina. Sperm have no intelligence, they just kind of move around. If they are in the vagina, they only have two ways to go - so sometimes some make it to an egg. Otherwise, they can't "find" a vagina (or anything else), and being soaked in cloth dries the semen which sperm need to survive.

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~Kat
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Humans are allergic to change. They love to say, "We've always done it this way." I try to fight that. That's why I have a clock on my wall that runs counter-clockwise. - Grace Hopper

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NoName
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That is good to know. I was mainly worried about the spot around my zipper because the pregnancy scared article was basing the clothing scenario on there not being any semen near the vulva...and that spot sort of was. I actually read in a few places that "yes sperm can travel through clothes, otherwise, condoms would be made of cotton." I also read that since sperm are so microscopic, that they can swim right though the holes of any kind of fabric. Is that true? Thanks.
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Karybu
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Sperm move by swimming, and they need the fluid that they're in to do that (and to survive - they're fairly delicate and they need specific conditions to stay alive). As Kat said, clothing soaks up that fluid, and so sperm aren't going to get through your clothing or anywhere near your vagina without it. You really, really do not have to worry about a pregnancy risk.

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"Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." -Arundhati Roy

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NoName
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Thanks a bunch for your replies. This site has been tremendously helpful for me ever since I joined. Heather advised me to not look up things on other sites if they cause me distress...and I haven't ever since but it is hard to block out all of the stuff I have read in the past. From what some other sites say, you have a chance of pregnancy no matter what you do. I worry about this stuff way too much and it is to the point I have almost cut out sexual activity all together. If I hadn't had jeans on last night, I couldn't imagine how much more I would be freaking out right now. If I don't find a way to get over this ridiculous pregnancy anxiety, I will end up being celibate my whole life [Frown]
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Kachina
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Have you considered counseling? I suffer from anxiety as well and cognitive behavior therapy has helped immensely. I can now control my thoughts when they first start before they get to the point of bringing me to anxiety-meltdown.

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~Kat
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Humans are allergic to change. They love to say, "We've always done it this way." I try to fight that. That's why I have a clock on my wall that runs counter-clockwise. - Grace Hopper

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NoName
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Thank you for the reply, I really appreciate it. Well, you could look through some of my previous posts in the "ask scarleteen" threads and get my backstory. I actually have a psychology degree myself and have been to therapy and also given therapy to others and I have never gotten the help I need for my anxiety. It is immensely tough to beat something that has been with me for practically the last 14 years of my life. I am absolutely positive that I have always had OCD because I have almost every symptom you can have in that illness. Who knows, maybe I need to keep trying therapy and just hope that someone can reach me. I am quite used to the fact that I will live with my anxiety for the rest of my life but I would be super happy just to get past the pregnancy related anxiety for now because it causes me more distress than anything else does. I get so tired of worrying about silly things getting me pregnant. I am 23 years old for crying out loud! I shouldn't do this:(
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Kachina
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I have OCD as well, and that is the one thing that therapy alone was not able to fix. I have been taking meds for it for 15 years and am SO much happier now that OCD is not ruining my life. In fact, I couldn't even do the therapy properly for my depression and anxiety until my OCD was under control. I know you mentioned in your other posts you don't want to take drugs, but just thought I'd let you know how they helped me.

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~Kat
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Humans are allergic to change. They love to say, "We've always done it this way." I try to fight that. That's why I have a clock on my wall that runs counter-clockwise. - Grace Hopper

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NoName
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Thank you so much for sharing your experience. It means so much to me to hear from others who know what I am going through. I hear what you are saying about therapy alone...it has never helped my anxiety either, not one single bit of it. I mean, I intellectually understand OCD and understand what therapy is all about. So, there isn't much that a therapist can say to fix it or anything I can say to myself that I haven't already. The cognitive behavioral stuff sounds good on paper but no matter how hard I try, it just doesn't do the trick for me. I have been recommended anti anxiety meds before and have even gotten a prescription filled...but I never took any of it. I am really afraid of medications in general (really big part of my ocd is afraid of substances altering my body or mind). I know that psyc meds have helped tons of people function just fine...but I have also seen people that they didn't help at all, or only helped them by literally making them numb to any feelings at all. Drug abuse runs in my family as well and I am just soo afraid of addiction or that I could end up being like my mom or brother (who were/are heavily addicted to xanax and many other similar pills). If you don't mind me asking, how did the meds exactly help you gain control of your ocd? (i.e. stopped intrusive thoughts..helped you resist compulsions. etc.) Did you have any unpleasant side effects or a drastic personality change of any kind?
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Kachina
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I don't mind discussing this with you at all, I am happy to help! When you mentioned you thought you had OCD I knew right away that you not wanting to take meds was a symptom of that - I completely understand. I also have drug addiction in my family, so I understand that as well.

If you could get OCD meds rather than anti-anxiety to start with, I think that might be better for you, because OCD medication is NOT addictive. It is long-term, it takes a few weeks to notice anything, so you don't get high or something off of it like Xanax. You do have to slowly increase or decrease the dosage because it can have side effects if you change the dose too much. But it is not addictive.

Here's how the meds helped me with OCD:
  • MAJORLY helped with intrusive thoughts. I found I would have a thought ONCE, and then I used what I learned in cognitive therapy to not make that thought cycle and get worse. Before meds, it didn't matter what I tried to do, I had NO control of my thoughts. It was extremely frustrating!
  • My compulsions completely disappeared. I have no tics anymore, no repetitive behaviors, nothing.
  • I was able to take some anti-anxiety meds after my OCD was calmed down. I only took anti-anxiety meds for about 6 months or so and never needed them again. While I was taking them I was in therapy that taught me much on how to control my anxiety and so I don't need them anymore.
  • It enabled me to actually be able to make decisions. Before I was so worried that I was making the wrong choice, I would just go back and forth between my options, I saw every possible bad outcome that could happen and I was too paralyzed to actually choose anything that might result in something negative.
Throughout the years I've occasionally tried to stop taking the meds, but when I do, I feel my OCD creeping back up to me. That feeling of no control over myself is so scary, I always go right back on the medication. My doctor tells me I shouldn't feel bad for being "dependent" on the drugs, because some people are just dependent on medicine to survive. Some people need heart medication, some need insulin, and I need mine.

I do have some side-effects, but I consider the alternative worse. I need more sleep, about 2 hours more per night than a normal person my age. It makes me slightly constipated but coffee or a laxative fix that. When I first started it made me a little nauseous, but that went away in a couple weeks. The worst side effect is if I miss a dose, then I have a very unpleasant vertigo feeling. I should note, however, that the side effects are different depending on the drug as well as for each person. The only way to know how you will react is to try it.

As to personality change, I don't think it did at all. If anything, I feel more MYSELF now. I was so restricted by OCD, anxiety and depression I couldn't do the things I wanted to do, I couldn't BE who I wanted to be. I'm still the same personality, I just can actually do things I wanted to before but couldn't because I was so scared.

The hardest hurdle to jump is the first one, but I found once I did it, the next hurdles became progressively easier.

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~Kat
Scarleteen Volunteer

Humans are allergic to change. They love to say, "We've always done it this way." I try to fight that. That's why I have a clock on my wall that runs counter-clockwise. - Grace Hopper

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NoName
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All of your information is very helpful for me and thank you so much for sharing it with me. I have "sort of" lived in silence with this illness since I was about 12 years old, though I also exhibited signs of this much earlier than that. I can remember as early as 8 years old washing my hands until they bled and cracked and not knowing at the time why they always "felt dirty." Looking back, I completely understand. I have been in and out of therapy so many times and even when they hear all my symptoms, I have never been given an actual diagnosis of anything. Some reasons for this may be that I have no health insurance so the only place I can go to usually gives me interns and they are strictly psychologists. Also, I know therapy just goes in whatever directions it goes in but I feel that I have never been able to strictly discuss my probable ocd because therapists tend to keep deflecting back to other issues. I strongly feel that ocd is not given half the attention that it needs and that most up and coming therapists are very inexperienced in dealing with it...which is why they avoid it. Even in my education...we maybe discussed it...2 times? if even that? I am really really scared of medications, especially birth control...and it makes my life even harder. I just don't know what to do or where to turn and I feel like I just have to suffer for the rest of my life. I just want to be normal, that's all, or even something that resembles normal. All that keeps me going is holding on to hope that someday I will find the help I need or get the courage to face my fears enough to try something different. I don't know when or if that will ever happen. Thank you again for talking to me. I appreciate it more than you ever know.
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Kachina
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That feeling that you want to be normal, I completely understand that - I feel that way as well. I wish my brain would just work correctly or that I could "rewire" it since it seems so buggy! (yes I'm a computer person, lol) Another illness I suffer from is trichotillomania (compulsive hair pulling - my medicine and therapy helped this, I even went into remission for 3 years when I first started therapy, but I can't seem to get rid of it totally), and there are no medications or effective therapies for this, so that is something I suffer from still. But there IS treatment available for OCD and I know how hard it is to live with OCD (it was much worse than trich for me) and so I really encourage you to try medication.

OCD is something that usually needs BOTH meds and therapy (at least in the beginning) at the same time for treatment to work. I found my best therapists were the ones that were free or reduced charge rather than the psychologists, so that might be worth considering. Even though therapists can't prescribe medication, you can get medication from your normal doctor. My insurance won't cover mental health (stupid, I know) so I get my meds from my regular doctor.

I see you saying you hope to find the help you need but one thing I've found is that help will not search you out. You have to look for it, you have to work for it, and sometimes getting help is harder than suffering from the illness itself, and is certainly more expensive - but it is worth it in the end.

I understand your fear of medicine because I was also like that. If you manage to overcome your fear to even take ONE medicine I would recommend starting with something for your OCD. I would not worry about birth control for awhile now, there are plenty of methods that don't use medication and that really wouldn't help you nearly as much as something for your OCD and anxiety - which is really the core of your problem with pregnancy scares.

My mental illnesses were all self-diagnosed before being diagnosed by a professional, so I can relate to that too. If it was not discussed much in your education, I recommend researching it on your own.

Helpful links:
http://www.ocfoundation.org/treatment_providers.aspx
http://helpguide.org/mental/obsessive_compulsive_disorder_ocd.htm
A nice list of resources:
http://www.medicinenet.com/obsessive_compulsive_disorder_ocd/page3.htm#information

[ 07-18-2011, 06:07 PM: Message edited by: KatWA ]

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~Kat
Scarleteen Volunteer

Humans are allergic to change. They love to say, "We've always done it this way." I try to fight that. That's why I have a clock on my wall that runs counter-clockwise. - Grace Hopper

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NoName
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I am so happy for you that you were able to fight this thing so well. I have to find the same courage in myself to do the same or else I will never be able to be a full person or know what it is like to feel safe again. I am so happy I found this site. I was a little discouraged about posting again because the last post I had made, I think Heather got the wrong idea about me. All I was simply trying to tell her is that I find it hard to believe there are many males out there who do not like intercourse...and that I have that worldview because I have never came across any where I live or have never been in an environment where I would meet them (such as being a sexual educator). She took it like I meant that I was saying they were "invisible" and that isn't what I meant at all. I don't even deny the existence of ghosts or God...and I certainly wouldn't deny certain groups of people who have a certain sexual preference either. She told me that what I was saying "wasn't cool in these forums" and she didn't reply to me anymore. I didn't mean offense by anything I said and trust me, I may not always say the right things but I sure do worry about it when I think I made someone mad at me.
Thank you so much Kat for reassuring me that there are people out there who take time to understand the issues that us young people face (well, I guess I am sort of young lol). I will take all that you said very seriously in my own journey to (hopeful) recovery.

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Kachina
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Good luck, I know it is hard, but it is not hopeless, so don't give up.

I don't think Heather meant to hurt your feelings or anything, she just wants to make sure no one else reading these boards feels hurt either. And I bet you HAVE met guys who don't think intercourse is the best part of sex, but how would you even know? I assume you don't ask every guy you meet what their favorite sexual activity is! Even if you DID, they might say intercourse just because that's what's expected of them.

Also, you mentioned about your friends having kids as evidence that the guys liked intercourse a lot - but that really isn't evidence of that at all. If I wanted to have kids with my partner, we would probably be having intercourse a lot more than we do now - in order to get pregnant, not because it's my or my partner's favorite sex. And a lot of times people don't even know there ARE other kinds of sex besides intercourse. I think as you get older you might find that people know more about what it is they like. Men might think intercourse is the best thing until they've tried something else they like even better.

I don't even think you need to be in any special environment to meet guys that like other kinds of sex over intercourse. I met guys like that just by dating. That's actually how I learned about some other sexual activities I enjoy. Often I've liked intercourse more than the men do!

Honestly, what people like tends to vary sooo much from person to person, no matter the gender.

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~Kat
Scarleteen Volunteer

Humans are allergic to change. They love to say, "We've always done it this way." I try to fight that. That's why I have a clock on my wall that runs counter-clockwise. - Grace Hopper

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NoName
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Hi, I am literally having a full blown anxiety episode over this, and I have no idea why. Sometimes are just worse than others when it comes to my anxiety and there really is no rhyme or reason to it. I took your advice and I am calling first thing tomorrow to arrange my re-entrance into therapy to deal with this. I am sure that I ovulated early, because I had tons of the stringy, plentiful discharge that I always get around ovulation but this time, it came right after my period ended, instead of a week later (and none of it has came since and I have dried out). So IF my period is going to come, it will come by the end of next week. I don't think I can handle this until then so I guess I will have to take a test to ease my mind. I have done this a few times before but generally use them as a last resort because just taking the test in general causes a spike in my anxiety...until I get the negative. I am sooooo afraid it will give me a false positive and I will lose it. I bought them yesterday and they are at my boyfriends house...I plan to take one when I am there Wednesday because that would mark the "10 days since risk."
What is the liklihood that it would give me a false positive, and would 10 days be enough to give a reliable result (I bought first response early detection tests)? Also, is there any other reason that you would have really stretchy, plentiful discharge other than ovulation? (save for infections and semen leaking out..which aren't the case). I am so sorry to continue bothering you over this. I really need to get over this hump and get some help. I feel really angry at myself at the same time because I can't believe that I am worried that I got pregnant from semen landing on my clothes...but at the same time, I can't get my mind to believe that logic.

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Heather
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You really ideally want to wait longer than 10 days for a pregnancy test, but your best bet is to read the directions for the test you are talking to find out how early it can be used.

What it will probably say is at or after a missed period, or maybe a few days before you expect a period. And that's the best benchmark for testing, really. Because, yes, what can sometimes happen is a false positive from what's called a "chemical pregnancy." In other words, often enough, eggs get fertilized that don't wind up implanting or staying implanted (in which case, there won't be a pregnancy). But that can sometimes equal a positive result on a pregnancy test. Hearing you make clear the impact you feel that kind of result would have for you, I think it's smarter for you to wait a bit longer to test, until next week.

I'm very glad to hear that you're taking positive steps to help yourself in managing your anxiety. That's excellent news.

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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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NoName
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I understand what you are saying and really, I don't have a good reason why I should take one anyway other than a temporary feeling of relief that I really want right now. The test I got said that I works 6 days before your missed period so technically it should work by the middle of next week but I don't know how much I really believe that it could work that fast. Can you answer my question about ovulation discharge? Thanks.
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Heather
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I'm not sure that I can, especially without a clear picture of what your daily cervical mucus charting has looked like over a few months.

But even with that, we use that information for predictions, for relatively sound guessing, really, so I don't think I could give you the answer I think you're looking for regardless.

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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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NoName
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Well, I have only EVER had stretchy globs of discharge for a few days a month...and ALWAYS get a period 2 weeks after. That is what is typical for me. I was just wondering if there are other reasons that discharge would look like that, other than ovulation. I know the different types of discharge and have them at various times as well but on this kind a few days a month. I have examined my discharge since January of this year and my pattern is: menstruation-dry-sticky-sticky/wettish-slightly stretchy-very stretchy and very plentiful-sticky-dry-menstruation........which seems pretty typical according to everything I have read about ovulation. Everything seems to say that stretchy discharge always means ovulation and that if you get it again in the month without a period, that you are pregnant. Just wondering if that was true.
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Heather
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Usually, CM with egg white texture is about ovulation, but it still can vary in consistency somewhat and look similarly even not at that time.

But if you know your own discharges well and it looked like fertile mucus to you, then that's what it probably was.

However, I'm going to say to you what I always say when people have not seemed to have a viable risk of pregnancy but clearly are having high anxiety because of underlying anxiety. And that's that a) all the technical info in the world isn't likely to help, since anxiety isn't logical and b) that immersing yourself in all these details is probably going to trigger your anxiety rather than quelling it.

So, these kinds of discussions just aren't likely productive for either of us, you know? Treating your anxiety is probably what is, and as you know, that's not something we can help with, and also something it seems you've taken a step in doing. So, my very best advice is just to try and hang in there until you can move forward with that, and to do whatever things you know help you with managing your anxiety in the meantime.

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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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