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Pregnancy Scare: 17 Calm Steps for Women & Men to Handle It Together

Condoms can break and birth control can fail. When that happens, it’s good to know how to deal with a pregnancy scare for yourself or your partner.

Pregnancy Scare

If you’re sexually active, then you’ve most likely had a pregnancy scare at some point in your sexual history. Whether you’ve been two days late or two weeks late, the scare is all the same, aka, it is horrifically terrifying!

Your youth flashes before your eyes. Your career flashes before your eyes. Even your relationship flashes before your eyes. Suddenly, everything comes to a standstill and you don’t know what to think or what to do.

We understand how scary this can be, but it’s important to have self-control at times like these. So, we’ve prepared a step-by-step guide to calmly handle a pregnancy scare.

[Read: Pull out method – 28 pros, cons, and truths about the withdrawal method]

What you should do when you’re having a pregnancy scare

If you’re having sex, then you need to be prepared for the possibility of pregnancy. Even if you’re 100% consistent in taking whatever form of birth control you have and you always use protection, there is still a chance of having a baby if you’re engaging in intercourse.

It’s scary. It’s a hard thing to talk about. You’re probably searching a ton of different websites to confirm or deny that you’re pregnant when really you just need to know what to do. [Read: Tokophobia – everything you need to know about the fear of pregnancy]

If you’re worried that you might be having a pregnancy scare, here are the steps you can take next.

For the ladies

If we’re being really honest here, men and women deal with pregnancy scares very differently. That being said, we really need to address this issue from both ends. Here are the different steps that all of you ladies can take.

1. Remain calm

The worst thing you can do if you think you’re pregnant is freak out. It won’t make anything any easier. Since it’s only a scare at this point, you don’t have anything to really worry about. You have to keep an open mind and stay calm if you want to figure out the truth behind the mistake. [Read: Baby-free reasons why you missed your period]

2. Make a plan

Before you start running around like a chicken with its head cut off, you have to make a plan. Sit down, take out a notepad, and write down what you’re going to do next.

It’s easy to get flustered when you don’t have a plan. So decide what you’re going to do next and then stick to the plan, no matter what.

3. Take emergency contraception

Maybe you’ve just woken up from a night of fooling around with that one, horrible, thought, “did we use protection?” If you didn’t, or if you can’t remember, then don’t worry. Head to your local pharmacy and get yourself emergency contraception.

The sooner you take it after sex, the better it protects you against unwanted pregnancy, so don’t delay.

4. Figure out how far along in your cycle you are

Some people start freaking out about being pregnant before they have even missed their period. Miscounting the dates from your last period can be pretty easy when you’re in a panicked state.

If you don’t track your period, try to remember when you last had it and how long you usually go between periods. And don’t forget that periods can be late due to stress, increased exercise, and even diet changes. [Read: 15 things women wish men knew about the female body]

5. Take note of any potential pregnancy symptoms

When you notice how late your period is, it can be easy to let your mind run away with panicked thoughts of a pregnancy scare. But after figuring out how far along in your cycle you are, it can also be useful to think of any pregnancy symptoms you’ve had.

Symptoms include *but are not limited to*:

a. Morning sickness

b. Fatigue

c. Food cravings

d. Smell sensitivity

If you haven’t noticed any of these symptoms in yourself, then this can help you to calm down. However, if you have noticed symptoms like feeling nauseous in the morning or feeling unusually tired, then it might be time to plan your next step. [Read: How to tell if you’re pregnant – the early signs to keep an eye on]

6. Take an over-the-counter pregnancy test

When most people figure that they have missed their period or are late, they run down to the drug store and grab a pregnancy test. The best time to take one of these is in the morning, so wait until then if you can. It’ll be more accurate the more potent your urine is.

If you can’t remember if you’re late or not on your period, there are certain pregnancy tests that can detect early pregnancy up to a week before your missed period. Just don’t rely 100% on these tests, because they can be wrong and give you false readings.

7. Make an appointment with a professional

No matter what your over-the-counter tests say, if you have missed a period by more than a week, you should make an appointment with a healthcare professional. That’s the only way you can be 100% sure if you’re pregnant or not.

And if you’re not pregnant, then they can look into other health reasons as to why you’re not having your period.

8. Communicate and include your partner in every step

If you’ve figured out that your period really is late, you should talk to your partner about it. Now, some people will say that you shouldn’t tell them until you’re 100% sure one way or the other, but we have to disagree.

It takes two people to have sex and to get pregnant, therefore it should take two people to go through the steps if there just happens to be a pregnancy scare. Informing them may scare them a little, but it’s better that they know.

If you took the test and got either a positive or negative, tell them that. If you want to go see a professional, tell them. They may want to be there to support you, or it may give them peace of mind.

Either way, they’re in this for the long haul and should be included. [Read: 42 secrets to communicate better in a relationship and ways to fix a lack of it]

For the men

Men are often stereotyped as running away scared whenever they hear that their significant other could possibly be pregnant. Now, this isn’t true for all men, but for some men, a pregnancy scare can be incredibly, well, scary. So guys, here’s how you can handle a pregnancy scare.

1. Listen

Men have a tendency to let their emotions get in the way of their ability to listen to a situation fully, especially when it has to do with pregnancy. But make sure to listen to what your partner is saying before reacting because it could be better than what you’re imagining. [Read: 19 ways to be a much better listener in a relationship and read their mind]

2. DON’T freak out and run

When you hear that she might be pregnant, don’t freak out and run away. All you’re doing is abandoning her in a difficult time *yes, it’s hard for her, too* and potentially abandoning a child of yours.

So grow up and see the situation through. After all, there would not be a situation to handle if it weren’t for you. [Read: 60 perfect traits to be a good boyfriend that’ll make you better than the best!]

3. Make a plan with your partner

Sit down with your significant other and go through all of the steps you should be taking next. Make a list of what you need to do, and then make sure to ask her if she needs anything from you.

Oftentimes, women feel like they have to be the tough ones so that you don’t run away scared, but she could be breaking inside.

4. See the plan through

After the plan is set, see it through! Don’t just go through the motions and then plan to skip out at the first available opportunity. If you have certain things to do in this situation, then do them and do them well.

5. Be there for her no matter what

This is the most important step that you have to follow through with. You have to be there for her. No matter what happens and what the pregnancy tests say, at the end of the day, you have to be there for her and support her in any way she needs. [Read: How to know if you’re both ready to have a baby]

How to prevent a pregnancy scare in the first place

If you’re panicking over the thought of being pregnant now, you probably don’t ever want to worry about this again! Unfortunately, there are a lot of myths and misconceptions out there about what can and can’t cause pregnancy. [Read: Can you get pregnant from precum? And other answers you must know]

Just to refresh your sex-education memory, here are a few key points to remember to prevent a pregnancy scare in the future:

1. Track your period

If you don’t know when your period is meant to start, then you won’t know when your period is late. The best way to do this is to use one of the many apps designed to track periods that are available on the app store.

Using apps rather than a traditional calendar or period journal is way more useful as they can send you notifications when your period is late. [Read: Great relationship apps you need to download today]

2. Use at least one form of contraception

Whether that’s a condom, the pill, an IUD, or the injection, the best way to prevent a pregnancy scare is to use some form of contraception. If you combine two forms of contraception, such as taking the pill and using a condom, then you’re even more secure against unwanted pregnancies.

One thing to note here though is that some forms of birth control can’t be used together. For instance, using a male condom and a female condom is a bad idea, as the friction is likely to cause both to tear.

3. Make informed decisions about the birth control you use

It’s also a good idea to be informed about what form of contraception is best for you, as it certainly isn’t a one-size-fits-all situation.

For instance, the pill is great for preventing pregnancy without getting in the way of any sexual sensations, and with it being 99% effective at preventing pregnancies, it’s a great deal! But if you know that you’d forget to take it at the same time every day, then its efficiency drops to about 92%.

On the other hand, condoms are great, low-commitment options for preventing pregnancy, and they also protect against STDs, which other hormonal birth control options can’t. And with a 98% efficiency at preventing pregnancies, it’s certainly got your back. However, if the condom breaks, that percentage will drop right down.

4. Be smart about sex

If a guy is telling you that his pull-out game is flawless, ignore him. Even if he is an ace at pulling out at the last minute, precum can still get you pregnant, so it’s absolutely not a 100% effective method.

So long as you know what you’re doing when it comes to sex, you can make smart decisions to prevent sperm from getting anywhere near an egg.

Pregnancy scares can happen to just about any couple who is sexually active. If you’re ever stuck realizing that the condom that broke a few weeks ago may be coming back to haunt you, these steps can help get you through it.

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Preeti Tewari Serai
Preeti Serai
Preeti, the founder of LovePanky, is an eternal optimist and believer in the beauty of love and life. With an exhaustive experience in love, relationships, and ...