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Could I be pregnant?

By April 11, 2012 - 2:55pm
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Hello, I am in my early twenties and take Ortho Tri-Cyclen and Tetracycline every day. I am occasionally a bit lax with my pills, but usually take them around 12 am every day.

About a week and a half ago, on the Friday and Saturday of Week 1 of my packet, I messed up. I completely skipped Friday's and was late taking Saturday's. I took both pills around 4-7 am on Sunday morning and then continued my usual practice of taking pills around midnight. However, that Saturday night I messed around with a male friend of mine He neither entered me nor ejaculated anywhere near my vagina, though his penis was around my vaginal area. He went to the bathroom several times before we did anything (he was drinking beer). I have heard that pre-ejaculate does not contain much sperm, particularly if the man has gone to the bathroom beforehand. I am very nervous, though, because I am in my third week of the packet and from around Sunday to Tuesday I experienced some unusual slight brown discharge. I have also experienced some lower back pain, which is where I usually cramp, though I am more inclined to attribute that to being hunched over my computer for several hours, than cramping. It also occurred mostly after the discharge stopped. I have read about implantation bleeding and I am afraid that I am experiencing that. I fear that his pre-ejaculate did contain sperm and it got into my vagina (either from his penis or from his hands, which did enter me), and because of my laziness with my pills, I ovulated and conceived. My sister claims that I am paranoid and what I experienced was probably just spotting related to messing up my pill packet, though experiencing spotting a week and half after that seems strange. I plan on purchasing pregnancy tests and taking them during my 4th week, but I am so nervous that I cannot focus much on my schoolwork.

So, please, tell me, am I being paranoid? What are the odds that I ovulated because of my pill-taking irregularity and because my Tetracycline might decrease the effectiveness of my pills? Is it possible that I am pregnant even without penetration or ejaculation near my vagina?

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Hello Concerned358,
To answer your questions, let's approach this step by step.

Tetracycline can make birth control pills less effective. It should not be taken if you are pregnant, because it could cause harm to the unborn baby, including permanent discoloration of teeth later in life.

Though you made up for the two missed doses by taking two pills on Sunday in the early morning, you were unprotected when you were fooling around with your male friend.

From what you described, there is a very small chance that sperm could have entered your vagina.

The spotting which you noticed, is probably related to missing two birth control pills and subsequently upsetting the normal balance of your menstrual cycle. Implantation bleeding is scanty and usually pink or brownish discharge. Normally, it occurs a week to a few days before your period should normally start.

If your period is more than one week late, then you should take a pregnancy test. Please keep us posted.

Please try to relax. Stress will only cause a delay in the start of your period.


April 11, 2012 - 4:58pm
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