My period was late last month and it was very light, and I have not had spotting in between periods as I normally do. I’m not actually due for my period for another week, but I’ve been nauseous with frequent headaches. I’ve also had symptoms of heartburn/GERD, which I’ve read was a common symptom. We used condoms, but today it occurred to me that they were most likely stored outside in his cold truck. If the condom would have broken, we would have realized it, but can the cold weather affect its effectiveness without us realizing? Am I pregnant?
The temperatures that you store your condoms, hot or cold, effect the reliability of the condom. If it’s frozen and then brought back to room temperature, you might not see the difference, but the latex will be more brittle and prone to breakage. Same goes for heat over 85 degrees (hence why wallets in pickets are not the greatest place to keep ‘em). The ideal temperature range to story your condoms is in a cool dry place between 65-75 degrees.
Condoms break for a few reasons: space for semen was not left at the tip of the condom, the condoms are out-of-date, they have been exposed to heat or sunlight or cold, or they have been torn by teeth or fingernails. You can also prevent breakage by avoiding any oil-based lubricants — oils weaken latex If you store and use condoms properly, it is very unlikely that your condom will break, and very unlikely that you’ll get pregnant (97% unlikely, to be factual).
It is also unlikely that your condom failed without you knowing it. But, if you are worried about a condom’s effectivness and don’t see a tear, you can always perform a water test, and run water through the condom. If water leaks out, then I would get your hands on some Plan B ASAP.
I can’t tell you if you’re pregnant — I don’t know how long you’ve been getting your period, how regular they are, and the other factors a doc would need to know to figure that out. I”m also not a doctor, so if you’re really concerned, please go see one. Your symptoms could very well just be PMS — your body will change its patterns and cycles throughout your entire life.
But if you’re going to psyche yourself out each month about being pregnant, then I definitely think that you should consider having a second form of birth control in addition to the condom. And read up on our Fast Facts on PMS and vaginal fluids, as both can help you determine where you are in your cycle and if pregnancy is possible.
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