Could I be pregnant?
June 19, 2006 2:38 AM   Subscribe

Could I be pregnant? We didn't have sex but I've heard it's still possible...

I was with a man at the very beginning of April (the 1st or 2nd) and although we didn't have penetrative sex, and he didn't come at any point, we had physical naked contact in.. uh.. that area. He was never inside me but there was contact more than once.

Recently my breasts have been swollen and painful for over a week with no showing of my period, and I've felt nauseous for no apparent reason for the past 4 days or so. I THINK I had a period around the middle/end of May, but my periods have always been very irregular and I never pay them any attention because I'm not having sex. However, now, because I can't remember, I am frantic with paranoia.

I know we didn't have sex but apparently you can get pregnant just from having contact because of something to do with 'pre-come'?? I really don't know and I'm quite naive about this subject.

I just want to know if this HAS happened to anyone, or if I'm being (please God) stupid, and I'm not pregnant. I know I should buy a pregnancy test, it's just I won't be able to get out and buy one for a week or so (don't ask.)
posted by trampesque to Human Relations (20 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
It is possible. Please seek help, even if it's online, as soon as possible.
posted by b33j at 2:54 AM on June 19, 2006

Ummm... if the contact was at the beginning of April, you should, in theory, have had *2* periods since then. It *is* possible (pre-come is a [usually] clear liquid that often seeps out of the end of the penis as a man becomes sexually aroused. It can contain sperm cells) to get pregnant this way. There's every possibility that you are pregnant, but I would have thought that you'd be seeing these symptoms (swollen breasts and nausea) much earlier. Although a quick googling showed that it's possible for the symptoms to take weeks to appear. Go figure.
posted by antifuse at 3:22 AM on June 19, 2006

There are cheap OTC pregnancy kits available at most major pharmacies. If one of them gives a positive, see a doctor.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 3:33 AM on June 19, 2006

It sure sounds like the symptoms of pregnancy. But, pregnancy symptoms and other menstrual-issue symptoms can be very similar, so nothing is for sure until you take a test.

Can you really not stop at a drugstore for a whole week? Can you ask the guy in question to go get you a test? Or can you confide in a friend and ask them to pick one up for you? What about ordering on line? Surely sells pregnancy tests. The sooner you know, the sooner you can begin figuring out where to go from there. Good luck!
posted by boomchicka at 3:45 AM on June 19, 2006

The likelihood of this is beyond slim, it's practically nonexistent. For your own peace of mind, I second ordering a pregnancy test online.

Menstruation is weird and often periods have minds of their own. Yours is probably just messing with you. Best of luck!
posted by grapefruitmoon at 3:53 AM on June 19, 2006

Have a look at this link: researchers find no sperm in pre-ejaculate fluid. It is very, very unlikely that you are pregnant, although it is just about possible if he ejaculated just before you fooled around.
posted by teleskiving at 4:19 AM on June 19, 2006

You might be pregnant.

If his penis was pushed against your vulva, then you could have gotten a few sperm around the place. Pre-cum doesn't have many sperm compared to normal ejaculate, but it can have some. And while the chances of any of them getting all the way up into your fallopian tubes from outside are much much smaller than if you'd had full penetrative sex it is (remotely) possible.

Get a home pregnancy test kit, they're fast and easy and will tell you for sure either way.

I suggest you do a little further reading along these lines before you fool around again. Fooling around is great fun, but if you're not careful all sorts of bad things could happen. (i.e. the chances of an STD being passed on are much greater than the chances of you getting pregnant in this way). Safe fun is good fun.

If his penis wasn't pushed against your vulva at any point, then the chances are even more vastly remote that you're pregnant.
posted by The Monkey at 4:23 AM on June 19, 2006

The likelihood is pretty rare - yes, there is live sperm in precome, but especially if your activity was nonpenetrative, those few sperm present would have to navigate a really, really long and difficult journey northward. I would also imagine that the common symptoms (tender breasts, nausea, lack of period) would all have shown up a lot sooner; in my first trimester (and this, mind you, was with planning) right before my positive test, I had tender breasts and the onset of the fatigue.

Note also, that the nausea and tender breasts are also pretty standard symptoms of the onset of your period, too.

At any rate - do what these wise posters have said and get a cheap pregnancy test and put your mind at ease. Some free clinics will also help you out here.
posted by cajo at 4:51 AM on June 19, 2006

If you have something wrong in one of your ears, it could mimic morning sickness.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 5:28 AM on June 19, 2006 [1 favorite]

Your symptoms could be caused by a lot of things, including stress. Hormones are funny things.
posted by desuetude at 6:25 AM on June 19, 2006

I agree with grapefruitmoon. The chance of geting pregnant in your case is unlikely.
posted by teapot at 6:27 AM on June 19, 2006

You could be pregnant. Pre-come can have sperm in it if he's ejaculated before fooling around with you and hadn't taken a piss beforehand. But the amount of sperm is very low. It's just as likely that your hormones are just acting weird--many people get those same symptoms before their period. And if you feel nauseous and think "PREGGERS??!", the stress is probably going to make you feel more nauseous.

Go ahead and take a drugstore test when you can. But y'know, the average length of time it takes couples to get pregnant is between three months and a year. Something like that. And this is with people that are trying to have a baby. Safe, protected sex is really, really, really important and you should never take risks, given the consequences if something does happen. But penis fluids plus vagina does not equal automatic baby. This is hardly a license to start letting dudes ejaculate inside you every hour of the day, but let it put your mind at ease if in the heat of passion you do take a risk with pre-come or something.

Just don't do it again.
posted by Anonymous at 7:09 AM on June 19, 2006

Take a pregnancy test and practice safe sex next time.
posted by agregoli at 7:19 AM on June 19, 2006

y'know, the average length of time it takes couples to get pregnant is between three months and a year. Something like that. And this is with people that are trying to have a baby. - schroedinger

Don't let that fool you. I got pregnant the first time I ever had sex without a condom*. It happens. Trying to beat the odds is gambling. Do you really wish to gamble about becoming a parent (or going through the trying time of being pregnant only to give up the child at the end, or having to make a choice to terminate a pregnancy)?

Those symtoms can be PMS, or they can be pregnancy. IF there really was no penetration, and IF he really didn't ejaculate, those who say it's a slim chance are right, but it is NOT a zero chance. The only way to be sure is to take a pregnancy test. Can you get to the doctor or to a Planned Parenthood sooner than you could purchase a test at a drug store? I see you're in the UK - with socialized medicine you shouldn't have to pay anything for the test through a doctor's office (I didn't have to in Canada. YMMV.)

The sooner you get tested the better. The sooner you know the sooner you can either
A) relax and choose to be less risky next time
B) make choices about the pregnancy
- if you would want to become a parent at this point OR if you'd want to carry the pregnancy to term you'll want to start taking pre-natal vitamins and making sure you're eating right and taking really good care of yourself because it isn't just you anymore.
- if you don't want to go through with pregnancy and would consider terminating it: the sooner you have the abortion, the lower the risk is for you (and the risk is very tiny at the start of pregnancy. It's way safer for you than being pregnant and giving birth), and the cheaper and simpler the procedure is. Plus, there might be a wait time between when you decide you want an abortion VS when you can book an appointment.

Bottom Line: You need to know ASAP, so you can get on with your life, whatever it's going to look like now.

* And now I'm the proud parent of a beautiful smart 3 year old girl.
posted by raedyn at 7:40 AM on June 19, 2006

Also - if you're getting this close to having penetrative sex, it's time to get some form of birth control, and buy a supply of condoms to have on hand. Find out how to use it correctly before you need it. You can have condoms in the drawer and still choose not to have sex, but it's good to have them available for another time when you're all excited and might want to go farther. Because if he ejaculates on or in you, your chance of getting pregnant skyrockets. Even if he doesn't ejaculate, you can still get STD's from this kind of contact.
posted by raedyn at 7:45 AM on June 19, 2006

I agree that pregnancy is possible but highly unlikely. However, I recommend that you see a doctor if at all possible. The symptoms you describe - irregular periods, breast soreness, etc., could be indicative of a whole host of hormonal disorders. Even if you're not pregnant, you owe it to yourself to make sure that you're otherwise healthy.
posted by miagaille at 7:52 AM on June 19, 2006

I got pregnant the first time I ever had sex without a condom

So, as an aside, this is, to me, one of the biggest ironies of lifef. (Ok, it's not really ironic, but I don't know another word for the concept).

For every woman that finds herself accidentally pregnant, sometimes in spite of precautions, there is a nice couple somewhere who would make wonderful parents that are unable to conceive. The non-irony is that it's pretty stressful for both of those groups. It seems unfair.

I don't really have much to add - other commenters seem to have covered it pretty well.
posted by GuyZero at 7:56 AM on June 19, 2006

For every woman that finds herself accidentally pregnant, sometimes in spite of precautions, there is a nice couple somewhere who would make wonderful parents that are unable to conceive. The non-irony is that it's pretty stressful for both of those groups. It seems unfair. - GuyZero

I agree. Imagine how I felt working everyday with a woman who had been trying over 3 years, fertility drugs etc, finally got pregnant and then suffered a miscarriage the same month I concieved. Imagine how she felt. That was hard.
posted by raedyn at 8:03 AM on June 19, 2006

You're in the UK and a student so it should be easy enough to either go to your uni clinic or a GP or an FPA clinic and get a free pregnancy test. Avoid the pro-life clinics, they'll just hassle you. Good luck!
posted by speranza at 10:05 AM on June 19, 2006

You can get free condoms from a lot of places, including online. If the UK has a Planned Parenthood or equivalent, you can probably get on birth control pills pretty cheap and that will straighten out your periods as well (in my case, it makes them nearly non-existent.) You probably need to see a gynecologist anyways if your periods are very irregular - you could have polycystic ovarian syndrome or something else.
posted by IndigoRain at 6:45 PM on June 19, 2006

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