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You Asked: I Have an Irrational Fear of Getting Pregnant

Dear Sugar,

I have a rather strange irrational fear. Even though I am on hormonal birth control, use condoms, and never miss a period, I continually fear that I'll somehow magically get pregnant. This fear is quite literally taking over my life, not to mention ruining my otherwise wonderful sex life with my fiancé. I desire sex with him daily, but my fear of getting pregnant is so salient that I either make an excuse to avoid it, or just fall asleep while he is making a pass at me — we end up only have sex twice a week. I have been this way ever since he and I began having sex seven years ago.

My fear comes and goes with varying degrees, but it seems that it is worse during times of high stress. Every twitch, every headache, and every gurgle in my stomach is interpreted to me as a pregnancy sign. I feel like I am so alone. I know that I'm being ridiculous, but I cannot get it out of my mind. I am almost willing to go as far as sterilization to ease this anxiety. Do you have any advice? — Freaking Out Fionna

To see DearSugar's answer

Dear Freaking Out Fionna,

I'm glad to hear you call this an irrational fear because that's precisely what it is. Sure, there's always a chance you could get pregnant while using the precautionary measures you're using, but that is a very unlikely possibility, especially since you're doubling up on protection. Before you let this affect your relationship anymore than it already has, talk to your fiancé about what's going on — opening up to him will most likely make you feel less alone.

Since stress seems to aggravate your trepidation, do whatever you can to squash your fear whenever your worries surface. Put things into perspective and remember what the statics say about hormonal birth control and condoms. If you can't get control over this fear on your own, I suggest you consult your gyno or see a therapist so you can talk through your anxiety about getting pregnant with a professional. This is clearly taking over your life so it's imperative to nip it in the bud as soon as you can. Good luck.


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