I’m Scared of Becoming Pregnant

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Reader’s Question

I am a teen, and last year I got pregnant. I made a decision and had an abortion. I’ve started taking pills now, and all works well, but I have been having less sex because of the fear of becoming pregnant again. Some boyfriends even complain, but I’ll never tell them why.

With every little stomach pain, I get paranoid. I have done so many pregnancy tests. It’s just so scary to think about going through it all again. I know that all these months the pill has worked well and that I can trust it. But every month I panic, worry and stress for nothing.

It’s really bothering me. I need advice now on how to overcome the fear and free my mind from it! Is anyone else going through the same thing? Please help, because I don’t want to keep going through this until I marry!

Psychologist’s Reply

Although it may be hard to believe, because of all the political rhetoric surrounding abortion, the fact is that it is a very common medical procedure. In the United States alone, more than 1 in 3 women will end a pregnancy by abortion at some time in their reproductive lives. Consequently, you can be assured that many women are going through the same thing that you are. You are not alone.

The pill is very effective in preventing pregnancy but, as I’m sure you know, it is not 100% guaranteed. Thus, in order to prevent pregnancy, it is always a good idea to practice what they call redundant forms of birth control. This means that you should use at least two methods of contraception. There are many contraceptive aids out there and you need to discover what works best for you. However, please at least consider using condoms because, in addition to preventing pregnancy, they also help reduce the possibility of getting a sexually transmitted disease. If you know that you have significantly reduced the chances of another pregnancy by adding yet another barrier, chances are good that you will not worry as much every month.

From your letter, I get the feeling that contraception and getting pregnant are not issues you discuss much with your sexual partners. This must change. Dealing with an unplanned pregnancy or a sexually transmitted disease are both possible outcomes of sexual activity, and should be talked about before having sex. While girls may bear more of the results of sex, contraception is the equal responsibility of both sexual partners. If your boyfriends are not willing to discuss, buy and use various contraceptive methods, then I would suggest rethinking your willingness to have sex with them. Anyone who does not respect your need to keep yourself healthy is not worthy of your time.

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I hope you realize that the choices about when, where, how and with whom you have sex are completely your decision. You mentioned that your boyfriends have complained about your unwillingness to have as much sex as they would like. While they are certainly entitled to respectfully discuss these matters with you, they are not allowed to dictate your choices. If you do not feel comfortable having sex, then they should respect that decision.

Sexuality can often be confusing, so having other people to talk to about it may be helpful. Your peers may not be as knowledgeable or experienced as you would like, so I hope that you can find one or more trusted adults with whom you can discuss your feelings about sex, abortion and healthy relationships.

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