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Am I Pregnant?

Our teenwire.com experts get hundreds of e-mails a week asking the same question: “Am I pregnant?” It’s a really nerve-racking thought. But before you freak out, take a deep breath and take the following steps.

Assess the Situation

Don’t panic. Ask yourself if it’s actually possible that you could be pregnant. What did you do, sexually speaking?

Pregnancy can happen any time ejaculate (“cum”) or pre-ejaculate (“pre-cum”) is spilled inside the vagina or on or near the vulva. Here are some examples of sex play that do NOT cause pregnancy:

  • kissing
  • masturbation
  • body rubbing
  • oral sex
  • anal sex

These are types of outercourse, and they won’t cause pregnancy — unless ejaculate or pre-ejaculate comes into contact with the vagina or vulva.

Did You Get Your Period?

It isn’t possible to have a period and be pregnant. But it is possible to be pregnant and have vaginal bleeding that may seem to be a period — but this is rare.

Keep in mind that while a missed period is a symptom of pregnancy, there are many other reasons why a girl might miss her periods — such as stress, illness, or a diet that’s too low in fat. Of course, if you’ve been having unprotected vaginal intercourse and you’ve missed a period, a pregnancy test may be the wisest choice you can make.

Take a Pregnancy Test

If a woman thinks she might be pregnant, the first thing she needs to do is find out for sure, either by going to a health clinic for confidential testing or by taking a home pregnancy test. She can call 1-800-230-PLAN to schedule an appointment for a pregnancy test at a Planned Parenthood health center.

Home pregnancy tests are available at pharmacies, and they usually cost about $8-15 in the U.S. Pregnancy tests are effective early — as soon as a few days after a missed period. But be sure to follow exactly the directions on the package in order to get an accurate result.

Women who take home pregnancy tests often go to clinics to have the results confirmed by a health care provider. Also, if the test is positive, and the woman is pregnant, the clinician can offer to counsel on the woman’s pregnancy options.

It’s All in the Timing

If you’ve had unprotected sex within the past five days, there’s still hope. Emergency contraception (EC) can reduce the risk of pregnancy after unprotected vaginal intercourse. Emergency contraception (EC) can reduce the risk of pregnancy if started within 120 hours (five days) of unprotected vaginal intercourse. The sooner it is taken, the better. If started within 72 hours of unprotected sex, it can reduce the risk of pregnancy by 75 to 89 percent.

For more information on emergency contraception, call 1-800-230-PLAN for the Planned Parenthood center nearest you.

Be Prepared Next Time

Why go through all that drama again? Besides, partners often find that sex is a lot more comfortable and enjoyable when they aren’t worried about pregnancy. Teens who have vaginal intercourse need to make choices about birth control. To learn about your options, check out Birth Control Choices for Teens, Facts about Birth Control, and Your Contraceptive Choices.

Related Links

Prenatal Care for Pregnant Teens

True Tales of a Teen Mom

Adoption Options