10:55 pm - 12/18/2017

Sick with worry. Pregnancy phobia and a weird period.

Hi everyone. I should preface this post by saying that I have an irrational pregnancy fear. I'm a hypochondriac in general who tends to do too much reading on the internet. I'm looking into some mental health counseling in the new year. I guess what I'm looking for is someone to tell me I'm overreacting. Anyway.

Back in October I had a bartholin cyst turn into an abcess. The ER I went to lanced me in the wrong spot and I was in agony until my gyno appointment where I got lanced a second time. I was physically and emotionally traumatized. At one week post op I got my period almost an entire week early.I called my gyno and he told me the stress and trauma my body had been through was likely the culprit. November's period came at its normal time (since stopping a problematic HBC my cycles have become shorter in general, but always between 24-27 days). This period was heavy! Like making up for lost time or something. It lasted for my usual five days, heavy at first then tapering off.

My boyfriend and I were finally able to have sex December 3rd. I use an app to track my cycle. I know it's not 100% accurate but it's always been fairly spot on for me. According to my app it was around the time I would be ovulating. I'm not on any HBC so we use condoms. We were both tipsy at the time (a bit irresponsible on our part) but as far as I know the condom was fine. He pulled out, I took the condom off of him, and he finished on my chest. I then hopped in the shower to rinse off.

I got my period on Friday of last week, the 15th, right on time. It started off totally normal, cramping (I also get leg cramps) and pretty heavy bleeding/clots. This lasted all day Friday and Saturday, but by Sunday it was all but gone and today all I have is a tiny bit of pink spotting. My periods normally last 5 days.

I've been reading about implantation bleeding, and the fact that bleeding can still occur with pregnancy. Does pregnancy seem like a realistic outcome of the encounter I described? He finished on my chest, but what if some semen dripped down onto me while I was showering? What if I had semen on my hand and accidentally touched my vagina? I can't exactly remember the details, I just know that I showered. I woke up in bed with my towel on. I've been having extreme panic attacks and am still very traumatized and fearful my cyst will come back. My heart races all the time and I can't sleep. Now I'm super paranoid about this. Could the change in my period length be stress related? I have EBV and am currently having a flare up due to the stress I've been experiencing..literally making myself sick with worry. Could my body's cycle still be trying to readjust from the initial trauma?

Sorry for the length of this, thanks in advance for any input.
nightwind292 19th-Dec-2017 09:30 pm (UTC)
Most folks don't want to hear from a guy, but it's been a while and you don't have a reply from one of the regulars.

My telling you the odds are against it, won't help. Go to the dollar store, pick up a test, buy it and use it. Get your peace of mind back.

You have higher odds of being struck by lightening twice on the way to get the test vs the odds of being pregnant. Get a test anyway. You'll feel better. Honestly, you feeling better is the most important thing here.

Edited at 2017-12-19 09:31 pm (UTC)
jjggff0723 19th-Dec-2017 10:06 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the reply. Unfortunately my crippling phobia will not allow me to do that. In my mind, having to get one makes me think 'well if you need to get one, it is a possibility.' I know it's the obvious answer, but for me it's not that easy. It's kinda like telling someone with a clown phobia to go up and hug a clown. Not happening. I once was convinced I had HIV after a one night stand where I gave oral sex and it took me six months to work up the courage to get a test. Not because I thought there was a true risk, but because of my irrational thoughts/phobias. I wish I was exaggerating. I guess that's why I prefaced with the info I did. I'm just looking for the science-y end of things. The likelihood of pregnancy happening in what I described.
elialshadowpine 19th-Dec-2017 10:49 pm (UTC)
I'll freak out more if I have to go buy one at the time, so I make an annual trip to Dollar Tree and buy like ten of them. (I buy that many not because my phobia is that bad, but because this way I've got them on hand when friends need them. They know they can come by, grab one out of the stash in the cupboard, and don't have to say a word.)

I dunno why, but since I have them on hand much the same way as many other medical items (like how most people have tylenol or ibuprofen around), it doesn't trigger the gagging-retching-terrified-racing-thought-hell panic attack. It's more just like, "Okay, brain, you're being irrational. Look, we've got em right here. Let's take one and... see? Nothing to be worried about."

However, that is what works for me, and it may not work for you. I ONLY mention it because I had such terrible panic attacks needing to go to the store for a pregnancy test that I actually would ask my partner/s to please buy one for me. For some reason, having a stash around as just an ordinary thing took out a lot of the fear and stress of checking, again, for me. If you think this would bother you more, by all means, you know yourself. :)

There is a wise poster here, although I dunno if she's still around, who was fond of saying, "Sperm don't teleport." The possibilities that you've said you're concerned about both involve external contact. It's theoretically possible, but we're talking about the type of "possible" that results in terrible, contrived, and often bizarre Lifetime movie plots. Like... there are so many things that would have to happen all at the same time that it'd be probably something like a 0.001% chance. You get the idea.

*hugs offered* Tokophobia fucking sucks.
jjggff0723 20th-Dec-2017 12:42 am (UTC)
Thank you so so much for this reply, it sounds like you know where I'm coming from with this. I've personally never bought/taken a home pregnancy test. Way too scary for me. Like I said in my reply to the other poster, when I was concerned about my HIV status (which was totally irrational as my risk of exposure was little to none, and I had similar feelings to what I do now-can hardly function, heart racing, dread) it took me 6 months and sedation via Xanax to take the test. When they called and told me I was all good I broke down in tears. 6 months of my life wasted due to constant worry.

I don't think I could go into a store and buy one. My boyfriend would in a heartbeat but I just don't think I could go through with it. I'd rather wait until my next period is meant to come. It's sad but true. I'm going to be looking into mental health services soon to help me navigate these issues I have. My mind goes to the absolute worst scenario. If I by chance was pregnant, I would certainly not hesitate to terminate, but after what I've been through with the bartholin abcess I'm so traumatized with being poked and prodded, it would break me mentally.

It just feels so real to me. The irrational part of my mind takes over. The rational part of my mind tries to butt in and say 'well if you were really concerned about the encounter, you would have gotten plan b! But you didn't!' There's been a few scares with broken condoms where we did get plan b.

The phobia isn't talked about enough for sure. Lots of people say 'well if course any woman who isn't ready for pregnancy worries if they have a missed period etc' but this is beyond that. This is life-stopping, crippling, irrational fear and terror. Also, I don't think I missed a period? It came on heavy as ever! It's just the kind of abrupt end where it got weird.
full_metal_ox 20th-Dec-2017 08:17 pm (UTC)
I bet Christmastime (with its references to the Nativity) is rough for you, whether or not you're Christian.
jjggff0723 20th-Dec-2017 08:53 pm (UTC)
I'm not religious at all. This is actually the first holiday season where I'm not super stressed, because I left a corporate retail job to work for a small business. The only thing stressing me out is the stress! I want to be able to enjoy my holiday without feeling sick. Besides the worry, like I said I have EBV (Epstein Barr virus) that makes me run down and achy with swollen glands and whatnot. And guess what makes it act up-stress!

Edited at 2017-12-20 08:54 pm (UTC)
full_metal_ox 20th-Dec-2017 09:03 pm (UTC)
Then may the holiday season and the coming year bring nothing you're not prepared to bear.
kartos 22nd-Dec-2017 01:07 pm (UTC)
I hope you're not still panicky? By this time you would have other symptoms, but honestly to me it sounds like you're just super duper stressed, which has definitely made my periods shorter (when I even get them during super stressed times.) I'm also noticing shorter periods as I get older, thank god.

How thick was the actual bleed? Was there way more chunks at once than you normally notice? If so, that would indicate a more "rushed" period due to stress.
jjggff0723 23rd-Dec-2017 07:57 pm (UTC)
Hi there thanks so much for your reply. I'm feeling much less panicky now. My boyfriend told me I sounded irrational which I actually needed to hear, cuz it had become so real in my head. I also spoke with a friend who ironically told me she was pregnant haha! But she said it def sounded like a period, and that she had experienced short ones too. Coupled with the responses I got here, I'm feeling better.

The flow was fairly thick, even my boyfriend commented on the 'massacre' in the toilet lol. After my cyst I've been using pads and I could feel the blood seeping out of me. Blech. Other than it ending kind of abruptly as opposed to tapering off it was like any other period. I got acne and sore breasts a few days before, which I always get, It came right on time (one day earlier than my app predicted, but obviously it's not 100% accurate), and I had pretty bad cramps on the first day.

I've since had no other symptoms. My breasts feel a bit full at the moment but I am chalking that up to the fact I'm due to ovulate soon. I'm 29, so it would be nice if my period just decided to lighten up on me. I think stress is a huge factor for me as well. I really worked myself up.

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