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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » EXPERT ADVICE » Pregnancy Scares » Should my girlfriend take EC?

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Author Topic: Should my girlfriend take EC?
CollegeStudent23
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Hello, this is my first post on ScarleTeen after reading this site for many years to inform myself correctly on the use of contraceptives.

My girlfriend and I have recently started having intercourse, she does not take any birth control but we always use condoms correctly from start to end (pinching the tip, sliding it down all the way, no fingernails, etc..), we don't use the withdrawal method, as you recommended, and I pull out after I ejaculate before losing my erection to avoid leakage.

Anyways, last intercourse we did the same, one drop of lube inside the condom and lubed the condom from the outside to reduce friction. The unrolled condom fell to the floor but I picked it up and did not see any noticeable things such as tears and after we were done the semen was retained by the condom.

The thing that bothers me is that after intercourse, I checked the condom by filling it with water 3 hours later (had done this before) and as I recall (although I'm not really sure) everything seemed fine until a very thin shooting leak started to appear after testing the condom for around 5 minutes (drying the condom after filling it, picking it up, squeezing it, etc...), after seeing the leak I tried to pick up the condom but it burst.

Now I'm not sure what to do, my girlfriend doesn't know yet (I do not want to worry her with unnecessary stuff since she is pretty paranoid) but I'm scared this could lead to a possible pregnancy.

Could the added pressure by the water and myself in the condom cause a really small hole? (That later shredded everything). I am 90% sure that the leak appeared after testing for a while because it made the condom burst when I tried to pick it up as soon as it appeared and also, how could I miss a shooting leak of water for 5 minutes?, but if it was there before testing, could this very very thin leak lead to a pregnancy? (I think the hole was in the middle of the condom)

Do you think my girlfriend should take EC? If it is any help, we had sex the day her period ended and the sex we had was rough but lubed (this would break the hole if there was one in the intercourse right?).

I don't know what to do!

Thanks,
CollegeGuy23.

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Sam W
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Hi collegestudent23,

I think you are probably correct that the leak was caused by you filling the condom with water and then squeezing it for a few minutes. If the condom had broken during intercourse, the tear would have been pretty obvious and immediately. noticeable when you pulled out

However, if it would make your girlfriend more comfortable to take EC, then by all means that is something she can do.

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CollegeStudent23
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Thanks for responding.

Do you think this is something she should know? We are trying to avoid EC if it is not necessary and I don't want to make her paranoid (she is really anxious about pregnancy).

Do you think it is necessary on this situation? Or should I just wait it out? Does the fact that we had sex after her period ended reduces the chances?

Thanks.

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Heather
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Whether or not she wants to use EC and finds it needed is not something we or you can tell her: that's for her to decide. But by all means, I would say any sound information you get about a situation like this is something to share with your partner so you both have all the information. Especially since, ultimately, anything that involves a pregnancy risk is far more likely to greater impact her life than yours.

Having sex after her period ended does not reduce the risk of pregnancy, no.

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CollegeStudent23
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You're right Heather, I will tell her. I would like your opinion on the risk if possible please. Do you see any cause for concern on the risk? As I understand it, when a condom breaks it ALWAYS shreds, right? So how can that little hole appear?
Thanks.

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Heather
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The thing is, since condoms are not designed to be used like water balloons, or to be filled with so much volume, especially after use, there is no way for us to know if that leak was due to you filling it or not (as I suspect it likely was, since again, this is not something sound to do with condoms).

When condoms fail, it is either because they were not used at all, not used properly or (and sometimes because they were not used properly) because they slipped off or broke.

But again, we cannot know if there was an issue with your condom or not, since filling condoms with water after use is not sound nor something that can give us that information.

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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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CollegeStudent23
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So if I used a condom propedly
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CollegeStudent23
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Im sorry, posted by accident. So you are saying that if I used the condom for all contact, placed it on properly, used lube in both sides, stored it properly with an intact package and were recently bought and didnt break noticeable during sex, I shouldnt worry even though a leak appeared with the water test?
Thanks

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Sam W
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Since you used it correctly and did not notice a tear, then the likeliest answer is that, as heather said, the damage occurred due to it being filled with water. However, there is no way for us to say that with 100% certainty.
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CollegeStudent23
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Okay, thank you very much. Just one more curious question. If you can't say 100% sure that the leak was caused by the water test, then it is possible for a condom to get a pin sized hole during sex (using water lube) and not break completely? Would that still be considered condom failure?
Sorry for all the questions!

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Heather
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Yes, that is possible. Not at all likely with proper use -- things like checking the expiry date, putting it on properly, and using lube -- nor that it is likely a small hole would develop and not, given friction, very, very quickly become a larger tear, but one could not soundly say it was impossible.

Ultimately, I think what your girlfriend needs to just decide is how she feels about just using condoms alone, period, but also about the possibility a condom may have been, just may have been, potentially less effective. And then decide if she wants to use EC for this last incident or not.

[ 01-13-2014, 03:39 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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CollegeStudent23
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Would you take EC in that situation? We just want to assess the risk.
Thank you Heather.

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Heather
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When and if someone would take EC in any situation is deeply personal, and involves things that differ a lot between people and situations, like how much or how little someone cares about or wants to/feels equipped to handle an unplanned pregnancy, how someone does with that medication, if someone has access, etc. And for anyone just using condoms alone, unless they did not have access to anything else, I would assume they are comfortable with the typical and perfect use rates of the condom already, you know?

In other words, in so many ways, what choices someone will or will not make with EC doesn't tell us much, if anything, about the level of pregnancy risk of an activity or with a given contraception method.

I think you are trying to glean information from what I would do in that situation (and personally, long story short, I most typically would not be using condoms alone at any time I was not super-okay with a possible pregnancy and making whatever choices I think I would want to make with it) that isn't sound.

So, really, this is for her, as the person with the uterus, to sort out for herself. And if she doesn't know how to figure that out, then the route I would suggest is just her starting by asking herself if she would feel better or the same as she does about this now by taking or not taking EC.

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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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Heather
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Btw, if she wants to talk to us about that to figure it out, that would be a lot more doable if she were who we were talking to.

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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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CollegeStudent23
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I told her and she said that she wanted to discuss it with you. How should I link her to this discussion?
Thank you.

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Heather
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She can register for her own account, and then either make her own thread or pick this one up here, whichever she prefers.

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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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