My girlfriend always thinks she is pregnant

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Hi, I am 19 years old and my girlfriend is 17 years old, we have been dating for a little over a year and really love each other but right now there is a serious relationship problem. We have been having sex routinely for around five months then in December (three months ago) we stopped having sex because she was scared to have it. We always had extremely safe sex; I always wore a condom and with drawled. She was very scared she was pregnant and thought her period was late so we bought two home pregnancy tests, they both came out negative. Two days later she had got her period. It was six days late and lasted seven days. She still thinks she is pregnant though, she has had no pregnancy symptoms. She keeps saying she’s getting fat and is making things up. A few weeks later she tells her mom that she thinks she’s pregnant so her mom takes her to the doctors and the doctor says she can’t be pregnant if she got her period, so they set up an appointment for an ultra sound and got another home pregnancy test which read negative for a third time. She still thinks she is pregnant and is really scared. Two weeks roughly she got the ultra sound and nothing appeared in it. The ultra sound was taken nine weeks after we had sex. She felt a little better for a few days and then again she was scared about it, the thought wouldn’t leave her head. After the ultra sound she got another period, this time her period was exactly on time and lasted six days. She felt better for a few more days then started to get scared again, she went to a therapist and it didn’t help her. She is so scared it affects her everyday life. Recently she bought two more home pregnancy tests and they both read negative, and yes she took the tests correctly. The last time we had sex was November 27, and today its February 4. Also January 17 she started birth control pill. And I don’t pressure her to have sex. She is still scared even though she hasn’t gained any weight, took five negative pregnancy tests, had an ultra sound, and had two periods. She also thinks she has pregnancy symptoms but she doesn’t, she thinks she is fat even though she hasn’t gained weight and is only 115 pounds, she also says her nipples are brown and I checked and they were pinkish, I wonder if she is seeing things. This is affecting our relationship and her life. Is she not attracted to me anymore and looking for excuses to not have sex? Does she have some sort of anxioty dissorder? Does she have a mental problem? Why is she scared all the time? Somebody please help me! Every day she tells me she is scared and I try to calm her down but she still thinks she is pregnant. Please help me! What is wrong with my girlfriend?

A: I’m sure this is very upsetting to you both. Your girlfriend is fortunate to have such a supportive and caring boyfriend. From what you wrote, I can only guess that, however much she cares for you, your girlfriend really isn’t ready to be sexual. For whatever reason, she doesn’t feel that she can just say no so she has developed symptoms that make it impossible to have a relaxed and loving sexual relationship with you.

My best advice is that you back way off. If it’s true, let her know that you love her and that you are willing to wait for sex until she is truly comfortable with it. If you can’t manage that, then it’s only fair to gently take some distance. Make sure you let her know that you respect her choice but that your needs are different at this time. It’s important that she not feel punished for having different values than yours.

Meanwhile, I do think it would be helpful for her to see a mental health professional. Her anxiety is now on overdrive. She may not be able to settle down without some help. She might benefit from some medicine to help relieve the anxiety and some talk therapy to help relieve her of any guilt she may be feeling.

I wish you both well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 2 Apr 2010

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2010). My girlfriend always thinks she is pregnant. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 26, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2010/04/02/my-girlfriend-always-thinks-she-is-pregnant/