I Know How Human Reproduction Works So Why Do I Keep Having Pregnancy Scares?

by Virginia Duan
Originally Published: 
Adene Sanchez/Getty

Friends, it brings me much pain to admit this, but I feel as if I must.

I used to scoff at people who kept having “accidents” and getting pregnant. Like, highkey judged. I mean, we’re grown folks. We know how human reproduction works by now, right?

But now — now, I get it.

Despite tracking my ovulation religiously and not particularly wanting a fifth child, my husband and I still keep not using condoms when we have sex — and of course, thanks to evolution, I only really really really want to have sex with another human who is not a BTS member when I’m fertile. Of course, then I have to wait another two weeks to make sure I’m not pregnant — and because I refuse to pay $15 for two pregnancy tests (if that’s not a rip off, I don’t know what is) and no longer have the pregnancy test strips I used to buy in bulk — there’s this period (no pun intended) of uncertainty where every premenstrual symptom is also an early sign of pregnancy.

It’s a lot.

Also, there were a non-zero number of times I did inform my husband that I was ovulating and that we’d have to use a condom but when the time came (still no pun intended), we did not use one.

What can I say? We like living on the edge.

The thing is, it’s totally preventable. Not only do I understand basic human biology, I have actively tried to conceive (and succeeded) four times, and have written many articles on fertility and pregnancy.

Why am I like this?

Well, for one, I really despise condoms.

It’s completely irrational. I’m not even sure I can tell the difference. I just hate the idea of condoms and even though I always take them out and make sure they’re there at the ready, we never use them.

Two, I refuse to go back on hormonal birth control. Like, I spent over a decade on birth control and then had four babies back to back — I paid my fucking dues. Why should birth control be my fucking problem now? Yes, yes. I do realize that me getting pregnant would be an even larger problem — but also — why the fuck is the onus on me not to get pregnant when he should also think about not impregnating me?

I understand that I could just get a copper IUD — but I don’t want to. I don’t want to get a tubal ligation (although I would have done if my last pregnancy had required a C-section). I don’t want to do any more labor (again, pun not intended) related to birth control.

Why can’t he just fucking get snipped already? They literally make you watch a video and then you make an appointment for an outpatient procedure! You show up, shave your balls, they give you some local anesthetic, they cut a hole in your scrotum, pull out your vas deferens, cut it and then seal it shut with stitches. The hole is small enough to heal without stitches — like my kid got more stitches when their forehead met an untimely sharp corner — and you go home with some ibuprofen and ice.

And then, after ten days of no sex or masturbation — you’re back! (Just wait until you get the all-clear at your three month check up to make sure you’re shooting blanks before you have unprotected sex.)

Why isn’t the urologist right next to the labor and delivery unit? It really should be a two for one drive-by special!

(To be fair, my husband isn’t unwilling to get a vasectomy — he’s just never made the time to make an appointment. It’s been 4.5 years since the last baby though. Like, come on, dude.)

Men, please learn how the female reproductive system works

Also, also — men need to bone up on the female reproductive system. Because when I told my husband that I was four days late and he got annoyed at the possibility of another kid and I said, hey, remember when I told you I was ovulating? And then my darling husband admitted he didn’t understand what that meant my brain record scratched to a halt and —

I —

My husband didn’t know what ovulation meant. Let me repeat. A grown-ass 44-year-old man did not know what my ovulating meant to him. Men are so unbearably stupid.

I was so stunned I may have said that to his face. (He just shrugged sheepishly.) His excuse? I normally took care of it so he figured that I would know if it was okay for him to come inside of me.

Alright, we’re both unbearably stupid

Now, before I get a bunch of emails about me being irresponsible and playing sperm roulette, please know that though my husband and I would prefer not to have a fifth child, we are financially and emotionally able to support one should we decide to keep a fifth pregnancy to term.

I’ve given away most of our baby stuff and though I get baby fever whenever I see my younger friends get pregnant or post pics of their adorable newborns, I know we’re done having children. Our kids are finally old enough to be mostly independent (or old enough to have their older siblings take care of them reasonably well). I relish the freedom of children who prefer to generally ignore me unless they want more screen time — though my youngest has perhaps an unseemly attachment to my breasts (I mean, someone should appreciate them).

Why am I risking it all?

My only conclusion is that perhaps, I really wouldn’t mind another snuffly baby and their fat arm rolls and ham thighs and the simplicity of solving all problems with either a clean diaper or a boob. Either that or I really am an idiot.

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