When Anxiety Becomes Overwhelming: Pregnancy Scare

Pregnancy Scare

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Worried I Might Be Pregnant — How Do I Fight the Fear and Gain Clarity?

  • Are you afraid that you could be pregnant? This may be a major concern of yours for multiple reasons.

  • Although you may not be pregnant right now, you are probably familiar with the fear of getting pregnant. It may sneak up on you now and then. Many women experience such feelings of uncertainty and apprehension about a possible pregnancy.

This article addresses how to confront your anxiety about possibly being pregnant and how you can handle specific situations.

Worried About Being Pregnant on Birth Control

Although you used oral contraceptives or other forms of birth control, you are afraid that you may still have become pregnant. Usually, this concern is triggered by being new to birth control or unsure about how it works. Understandably, fear can easily creep in when you suddenly need to "rely" on something. But even after extensive experience, the fear of getting pregnant can still arise for various reasons.

Try to stay as coolheaded as possible while determining whether there is a specific reason for your suspicion. Did you accidentally skip the pill for a day, or could its effectiveness have been compromised by another medication or a stomach bug?

Perhaps you have started noticing symptoms that point toward pregnancy.

Becoming pregnant on the pill is theoretically possible since no form of contraception is foolproof. It can fail if you miss a dose or because of interactions with other medications. Nevertheless, the Pearl Index of 0.1-0.9 is relatively low (0.1-0.9 in 100 women on birth control become pregnant — only 1-9 in 1000).

Therefore, the likelihood of you being pregnant is rather small.

  • 📗 Wondering whether you are pregnant on the pill? Evaluate your situation by reading more ➡️ HERE.

  • 🤔 Wondering whether your symptoms are signs of a pregnancy? Take the Pregnancy Symptom Test and receive an immediate professional evaluation.

  • 💊 Wondering whether to take the morning-after pill? Take the Test ➡️ HERE and receive an initial assessment.

Scared of Being Pregnant Because of a Late Period

Most women have probably experienced this scenario before: Your period is late and you immediately start thinking, “Am I pregnant?” This may be what you are going through right now.

Of course, a missed period can signify pregnancy, but not necessarily.

Even if your cycle is usually regular, it can be delayed for various reasons. Your body is not a machine; your cycle can be affected by external circumstances such as stress, changes in diet, or variation in routines. There are multiple reasons for your period to be late. In most cases, menstruation eventually starts, eliminating any concerns.

Therefore, the best thing to do in such a situation is to remain as calm as possible, even if this is easier said than done.

When your period is (over)due (or at least two weeks after the sexual intercourse in question), you can gain clarity by taking a home pregnancy test. Find more information on urine-based pregnancy tests HERE!

Typical signs of pregnancy can include:

  • Missed period

  • Abdominal pain (cramps)

  • Tender or sore breasts

  • Nausea and cravings

  • Tiredness and fatigue

  • Frequent urination

  • Mood swings

Even then, every pregnancy is unique, and symptoms can differ.

  • 🤰🏻 Receive an initial evaluation of whether you could be pregnant by taking our Online Pregnancy Test.

  • 🤔 Are you experiencing additional symptoms which may point toward a pregnancy? Are you wondering which symptoms are typical for pregnancy? Read more ➡️ HERE.

  • 🧑‍⚕ Consult an OB/Gyn or a nurse-midwife, especially if you are experiencing pain or vague symptoms. Wondering how soon to see a doctor? Read more ➡️ HERE, or take the Test.

Pregnancy Scare — How Do I Get Through It?

You might be familiar with the following thoughts:

“The timing would be terrible.” “My plans are completely different, and I am very busy at work." "How could I have a child with him?" Or even, “Being pregnant right now would be a disaster."

You are not the only one who feels this way — many women experience these thoughts when they suspect a surprise pregnancy.

If the timing does not seem suitable for whatever reason, your thoughts may start to race, fueling your anxiety.

Pregnancy Scare Hacks:

  1. Gain Clarity

If you are dealing with a specific situation where you suspect you could have become pregnant, you are probably plagued by uncertainty.

Even if it is not easy to bear, you will have to wait it out. A home pregnancy test will only be conclusive if taken after your period is due or two weeks after your sexual encounter. Then you can know for sure. If you prefer, you can also have your pregnancy status confirmed and questions answered by a medical doctor.

  1. Understand Your Menstrual Cycle

In this context, you may find it helpful to track your monthly cycle. Your observations can help you understand what is happening inside your body and when your monthly fertile window occurs.

For more information, click ➡️ here.

  1. Confide in Someone

Try not to keep your fears and concerns to yourself. Is there someone you would feel safe confiding in (your partner, a relative, a close friend)? If you would rather speak with someone else, you could contact your local pregnancy resource center or find a life coach in your area.

Worried about Accidentally Getting Pregnant

Perhaps you are relatively sure that you are not pregnant right now. Nevertheless, you might be worried that you could become pregnant.

Or you had a pregnancy scare before and still remember the roller coaster of thoughts and emotions...

Maybe you hold your breath every single month before your period is due out of fear of being pregnant.

Going through this cyclical anxiety would indeed be exhausting in the long run.

Perhaps the following thoughts will be helpful to you:

What Is the Source of My Fear?

Fear is not a pleasant feeling. However, there are different kinds of fear.

One type of fear protects us from exposing ourselves to danger. Another kind of fear can indicate that something in our lives needs adjusting. This fear becomes a catalyst for change, encouraging us to live in harmony with our values. Yet other fears need to be overcome by facing them courageously.

Perhaps it would help you to consider the nature of your fear and the specific reason for it. What causes your fear?

If you are generally more cautious and anxious by nature, consider how you have dealt with fear in the past. Have you learned coping skills which you could apply to this situation? What helped you deal with your anxiety?

Discover your personality type and your strengths:

🖍 Everyone probably learns at some point that not everything in life can be controlled or planned. It may be helpful to make yourself aware of this by admitting, "I can't control everything — but I have the confidence that if something unexpected happens, I can use it for good."

In this context, consider the worst-case scenario. If you should become pregnant — what would be important to you then? Who could stand by you? What help and support would be available to you?

💛 If you feel that the fear relates to something specific, it may be worth taking a closer look and asking yourself:

Why exactly would pregnancy be associated with so much fear right now? And: Is there anything I can do about it?

If, for example, a possible pregnancy scares you because you are under a lot of pressure at work, it may be helpful to consider pursuing a job change.

Fears can become opportunities to reorient your life.

My Partner and I

At first, a pregnancy scare can shake up the relationship. This is normal, as a pregnancy may signal significant change.

It may be helpful to consider the "what ifs" in advance as a couple.

How do we want to react if a pregnancy were to be the case? What is important to us as a couple, and how do we feel about it individually? Would we manage if the unexpected happened right now?

🛡️ Open conversations can strengthen your trust and the relationship and disarm many fears.

Perhaps your fear of getting pregnant is also related to you and your partner not being in agreement at the moment about where the relationship is heading. Maybe your partner has even said that he cannot imagine having a baby now. Or your relationship may be rocky for other reasons.

💌 If this describes your situation, it is crucial to be aware of what your heart is telling you and to communicate your feelings and desires. Your convictions and emotions matter. Stay true to what you believe and take the path that is right for you.

By the way: Men often have specific fears about pregnancy, too. They may worry about finances or about being a good father. It may be helpful to talk openly about this. Learn more about how men commonly react to an unexpected pregnancy and how you can respond ➡️ HERE.

Are you feeling anxious because you are in a complicated relationship and don't know how you would deal with an unintended pregnancy? Click ➡️ HERE for advice.

Tokophobia — Fear of Pregnancy

Some women express an intense fear of pregnancy. This is also known as tokophobia.

Like other anxiety disorders, the symptoms include outbreaks of sweating, psychosomatic symptoms, and acute anxiety.

Note: Many women feel fear and uncertainty during pregnancy. This is normal to a certain extent and is not considered tokophobia. Emotional perceptions are often also intensified by hormonal shifts, especially in early pregnancy.

If you are hoping for a baby, fear of pregnancy can be tough to bear.

On the other hand, when dealing with a surprise pregnancy, the feeling of the unexpected is added into the mix, which can intensify one's anxiety.

🙌 Support is available! For the time being, it is crucial not to place yourself under pressure or to make rash decisions driven by fear.

Receiving the care and emotional support you need from loving individuals, such as your partner and family members, will give you the greatest chance to overcome your fears and allow you to thrive during pregnancy. Professional counseling – throughout your pregnancy, for example – may also be helpful because tokophobia, like any other anxiety disorder, can be treated with therapy.

🧑‍⚕️ Your gynecologist or midwife may also provide some reassurance: If your medical provider is aware of your anxiety, they are more likely to take more time to answer your questions in detail.

These things can provide you with a greater sense of security and support.

If your fear is mainly related to the birth (e.g., because of complications during a previous birth), find a method that best suits your needs. Some women find relief with a planned cesarean, while others find comfort in a birth center or in having a home delivery.

Are you already pregnant and feeling anxious?
➡️ Click HERE for additional advice.

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