Pregnancy Scare

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ladybug20
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Pregnancy Scare

Unread post by ladybug20 »

Hello!

Last time I had intercourse - July 18th, 3 days before my expected period. It was also the first time I had sex, actually. We used a condom and it did not break. However, he took it off at one point and masturbated. He used the same hand to finger me, so the only fluid I came into contact with was his precum, as far as I know. He did not ejaculate inside or anywhere near my vagina. That month, my period lasted 5 days, with a light flow during the first and last 2 days, and a heavy one during the other 2. Enough to fill more than one pad/day.

August, September, and October - I had my expected period, each lasting 4/5 days. As far as I remember, the period was normal. There was no detail about it that would have made me think otherwise. I think.

November - my expected period lasted 2 days only. Extremely light flow, pink in color, not enough to fill a pad. I never had a period like this, ever.

December - 4 days late.

During this time, I have taken 3 urine tests. The first one on August 27th, the second one around three weeks after, and the last one on November 16th. All of them came back negative. But then again, I'm anxious about the possibility of reading them wrong. I followed instructions but I am anxious about missing any details.

I am concerned because my body is acting weird. I got acne for the first time ever in my life (started around a month after intercourse), I have lower back pains (never had them before, started during the last month), abdominal pains around my belly button, under my stomach, sometimes my sides (started last month), weird fluttering feeling in my lower abdomen (started 2 weeks ago), had the flu twice (once in August, once in November), constipation mixed with diarrhoea (last time it happened was at the beginning of November), I feel tired. This past month, I've been urinating more frequently too (some days).

I never had morning sickness, never had cravings, never been nauseous. Two weeks ago, I checked and I lost 1.5 kg but when I look in the mirror I feel like my belly looks bloated or more rounded in the lower part.

The idea that scares me most is that fluttering. I heard and read of cases in which people didn't know they were pregnant till week 20 and they found out because of the movement of the fetus. Can't stop thinking if I'm one of those unlucky ones.

I scheduled an appointment with a specialist to be 100% sure once and for all, but I feel so anxious. My appointment is next week and I am mad with worry. Today, I could barely function or do anything because of how anxious I am about the situation. I can't stop thinking about the what if. This is why I reach out to you and ask you for your opinion, before I hear the doctor's. Do you think there is any possibility of a pregnancy (of any kind?). I am worried about those cryptic pregnancy cases, mainly. Or maybe a normal one but me not realising it.
Heather
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Re: Pregnancy Scare

Unread post by Heather »

I want to start with this, in the hopes it will give you some immediate ease:

When pregnant people report that "fluttering" they tend to romantically think it is the fetus. However, what that feeling usually is is gas.

Secondly, there are usually VERY specific circumstances to people not knowing they are pregnant until very late in like that, and they usually almost always involve the person being profoundly detached from being in and noticing their bodies in a major way NOT someone who is hyperfocused. Those circumstances tend to be things like people with severe trauma from sexual violence or IPV, people with substance abuse disorders, people with mental illness that results in extreme dissociation, and people who have such horror or fear about being pregnant they have gone into a very deep denial. I've encountered some people like this in the years I worked in the abortion clinic and I promise you, this is both rare and also not going to resemble what you might see out and about in the general internet (a place where people as a whole are also notoriously dishonest about their experiences of pregnancy).

No. Based on all you have said here I would say that you are not pregnant from an incident in July right now, with about 200% certainty. I also suspect that while yes, some of the things your body is doing are new for you, chances also are that your experience of them, and your notice of them, is strongly related to your looking for what you think might be "symptoms" of pregnancy.

How might you feel about shifting this conversation now to try and get to the bottom of the fears you're having in hopes that we can help you learn how to better manage or assuage them so that you don't have to feel like this (which you might still even after another negative at the doctors, because it seems to be what's going on in your head that's the issue here)?
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
ladybug20
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Re: Pregnancy Scare

Unread post by ladybug20 »

Hi!

Thank you for taking the time to read and being so detailed in your answer! It does make me feel better and I truly appreciate your response.

I am seriously considering seeing a mental health professional soon, as well. As you said, I think what is truly going on is that I am obsessing over a low probability of something "out of the ordinary" happening to me. Over the last couple of years, this kind of obsessive thinking has been present in various areas of my life. So, I suppose, it wouldn't be a first. After submitting my previous message, I looked through some old pictures of myself (dating back to May this year) and I was still battling with acne. For some reason, my brain decided to distort this fact and make me feel like I had acne problems only after the intercourse.

I think the fears I have are based on a lot of things. At this moment in my life, I definitely do not want children. I feel like I don't have my life figured out and I'm not financially stable enough to be a parent. I was scared my life would be ruined. The situation itself also scared me because the person I had intercourse with is no longer in my life and they live overseas, which would have made everything super complicated. I think above everything, I am scared of my parents. Of their reaction and lack of support. Their negativity and the fact that they would blame me and feel ashamed of me.

I think the biggest lesson I learned from this whole situation is that I need to get more educated when it comes to sex and my own body.

Also, this is going to be my first OB-GYN appointment... Quite late for someone in their mid-twenties but, unfortunately, I grew up in a community where anything genitals related is taboo. I was wondering if you, perhaps, have any general tips for me? Thank you.

Your comment feels like the light at the end of the tunnel. I now feel more confident about my doctor's appointment. Thank you for everything you do here! You really are a blessing for people like me who have no one to confide in when it comes to situations like these.
Last edited by ladybug20 on Mon Dec 11, 2023 10:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
Heather
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Re: Pregnancy Scare

Unread post by Heather »

I'm really glad to hear that it lightened your burden. You're so welcome.

I also get all of the ways you're talking about feeling here, and I think it's easy to see how, without knowing/learning how to manage fears, it's easy for them to get dialed up to top volume. It is scary to think about being pregnant when you don't want children any time soon, especially in the world we are all living in. It also is, speaking of that world, easy for any of our fears to have a bigger hold on us because of all of our mental states and the ways our world shakes them up. It is scary to think about how we could have to live through people who are major influences in our lives, like parents, could be pretty awful in these situations.

I do have some ideas when it comes to some ways to manage these fears:
1. Would having an advance provision of both an emergency contraceptive and the abortion pill always on hand make you feel less afraid? I'm post-menopause, so this isn't an issue for me anymore, but as someone who both didn't want to parent but also was made very very sick by pregnancy, I for sure would have both of those things myself now were the situation different, not just for my physical health, but for my mental well-being above all else. If so, we can connect you with ways to access those.

2. Do ask all the questions you want to at this appointment. Doctors can be in a hurry a lot, so who knows what time they'll give you, but if you feel like things you don't know about pregnancy, sex or your body are fueling these feelings, I'd do your best to milk what you can from that appointment when it comes to getting that knowledge. Happy to help you with that here, too.

3. Sounds like compulsive thinking may be a general issue for you, too? If so, I'd look into some mental health evaluation around that if you have access to it.

We do have a piece here to help folks prep for a first GYN appointment I wrote a long time ago (but which we keep current with informational updates), as well as a more recent (and so great) piece from a pelvic health PT who writes for us about pelvic exams, specifically. I'll link you to both of those:
https://www.scarleteen.com/article/bodi ... gist_visit
https://www.scarleteen.com/article/bodi ... dern_guide
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
ladybug20
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Re: Pregnancy Scare

Unread post by ladybug20 »

Thank you for the advice and, again, for how understanding you are.

Maybe that could help, yes. However, I think that for a while I will abstain till I feel like I am in control of my own emotions and when I decide to try getting sexual again, I was thinking of following the buddy method... I think knowing I have multiple layers or areas of protection would make me feel better.

I will try to get as much information as I can! I actually started bleeding today, though just like last month, it's very light. I decided to keep the appointment even if all I do is discuss with the specialist. I hope it will help me understand my body better.

A huge priority for next year will definitely be my mental health and I will try to investigate this compulsive behaviour that's going on. I think it's finally time to acknowledge that I'm a grown up and that I am in charge of my own life and well-being.

Thank you for the links to the articles. They were very helpful, indeed.
Sam W
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Re: Pregnancy Scare

Unread post by Sam W »

Hi ladybug20,

I'm so glad your conversation with Heather has been helpful!

I think both stepping back from sexual activity for the time being and planning on using the buddy system for birth control in the future are both excellent steps in terms of taking care of yourself and creating an environment where you feel more prepared to gauge and deal with the risks that might come with being sexual with someone else.

If it's helpful, either now or down the line, we're happy to talk with you about the different birth control methods you can combine if you're unsure which ones are a good fit for you. Too, if you decide you do want to have emergency contraception and/or abortion pills on hand in case you need them, when can help you figure out how to obtain them.

I think keeping the appointment is a sound call as well, if only so you have the space to talk with a healthcare provider and get your questions answer. If you haven't seen it before, this article has some sections towards the bottom that talk about how to have conversations with, and ask questions of, healthcare providers, since we know those things aren't always easy to do: Dealing With Doctors: Taking Control of Your Health Care Destiny

And I think taking charge of your mental health is a great way of taking an active part in your own wellbeing. If it would be helpful, we can talk about some ways to start the process of finding mental healthcare, or what things you might want to look for or consider to help you find a provider who's a good fit.
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