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Fear of pregnancy (TW: Sexual relations)
I'm not sure if this belongs in "Relationship and Family Issues" but here goes.
I'm terrified of getting pregnant. I've always been, ever since sex ed in school.
When I was a teenager, my boyfriend at the time and I had an issue with a broken condom. I was so scared I cried for ages, I rushed to the chemist to get emergency contraception and still worried for the span of two periods. His comment was "But didn't it feel great?". Ever since that time, it has taken me a lot to trust anyone with my sexuality. Whenever I have sex, I just immediately throw myself into a spiral of anxiety, believing that I am pregnant.
Recently, I had relations with a man. In the morning I found a condom on the floor, empty. I got the morning after pill, but I'm still terrified. Does anyone else fear pregnancy as much as I do? Is there just something biologically wrong with me, because I would rather die than to have another living thing growing inside of me?
I'm so scared and I don't have anyone to talk to.
You are very welcome here on the Forum and can talk about this problem as much as you need. I'm sure many others have felt the same way - for lots of reasons. Having sex is something that can be a very fragile expereince, quite apart from the possibility of pregnancy. Just the emotional involvement is for many, myself included, a really big thing.
May I ask if you have sought specific professional advice on contraception?
Not wanting to have a child is perfectly reasonable at some -or all - stages of one's life and I would think it is something you should have a talk to a doctor about, preferably one who has expertise in the various forms of contraception. As I'd expect you realize here are other methods than the emergency pill and condom.
As far as I know all have advantages and disadvantages of one sort or another, and some are more reliable than others, which is why a practitioner versed in the field is best. It may be a case of trialing several alternatives to find one that suits you body best.
Having to establish a trusting relationship before becoming intimate strikes me as a good thing for a lot of people, myself included. Beyond that, if you know you beforehand are going to worry a lot afterwards that can simply make the whole thing unpleasant. It can also make relationships that much more complex.
Apart from the obvious practical reasons of not having a child when are not in a position to bring him or her into the world - there is anything else about becoming pregnant that worries you? Do you in fact think it might be just this one thing, or are there other aspects of your life you find equally hard to deal with?
I am only someone who at one stage in my life, having become ill wiht PTSD, anxiety and depression, was determined not to father a child and like you worried excessively about it. This faded over time, and my faith in contraception became more positive.
Thanks for your post.
I want you to know that there is nothing biologically wrong with you! You're afraid, and I think you have every right to be. It sounds like that experience with your boyfriend with the broken condom was kind of traumatising (not sure if that was your first) - when I have sex I'd like to think that my partner/boyfriend is on board with protection and just as concerned and cautious as I am.
I think that in a sense it's always going to be hard, because even with contraception, there is always going to be the chance that you/we will get pregnant. So for the most part, we do our research, take the best contraception that we can and hope for the best. It really doesn't help that you've had awful experiences with contraception, and no wonder that you have felt afraid.
What do you think you would need to do to feel less afraid? Do you think it would be about chatting with partners/potential people beforehand, organising your own contraception (like the pill or other things) or just not having sex for a while until you feel 'ready'? Either way, there's no right or wrong answer.
Hope this is helpful,
Hi Mr Wednesday,
I wanted to reply to your post because I have felt the same before. So nope there's nothing wrong with you.
What I learnt over time was me feeling this way was my mind/heart/gut telling me "cmon Nat if you are honest to yourself you know this man is not for you".
Having a child with someone is an enormous deal. First there is the issue of wanting children or not. Even if you did want children it is an enormous change. The responsibility is huge and changes your whole life.
Then you have to consider your partner. Is this someone you think will be a decent father? Will they treat you well even if you are financially dependent on them. Will they be a stay at home Dad if you want a career? Are they trustworthy?
Even if you separate nothing changes that this person will likely remain in your life somehow because they are the father of your child.
Lots of waffle but my point is this topic is one I feel warrants being concerned about. Most especially if you do not want children or aren't ready.
I hope it is ok if I share my story. I hope it helps you know you aren't weird or wrong.
In an abusive relationship in my teens and 20s I used to have exactly the same anxiety and paranoia you describe. So anxious that my period would be very irregular from stress and this made the cycle of anxiety worse.
Like RT mentioned my first step was multiple contraceptives. My Mum agreed to this because they help an irregular cycle. The doctor asked for time without my Mum in this appointment which helped.
I kept this fact from my partner because I didn't want the inevitable pressure to skip the condom. Yep he was a jerk.
But this didn't really help. My anxiety moved to the pill failing instead.
I realised my terror and revulsion (strong words but the sad truth) was less related to children but of the idea of being trapped with this person and connected for life. So I left.
But the anxiety returned even when I felt reasonably happy, in love even. I haven't had many partners. Perhaps this explains my reluctance.
Then I met my husband and was surprised to find this anxiety was absent. Always has been. It was a shock really. It wasn't a matter of feeling ready or wanting kids at that time but the fact that I knew whatever happened this person was a good man I could accept being part of my life always even if we broke up.
It is worth considering if this anxiety is a sign that you feel uncomfortable or unsafe.