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To Sam

can you get pregnant without sex?

hey im 13 and it may sound stupid but i think im pregnant. i missed my period and right now i think im about 3 days late. i have diarrhoea and a big appetite. ive never had sex or  anywhere near a boy  that way. i do masturbate sometimes and im ashamed that i do this, can i get pregnant from this? im really terrified and scared and i dont understand. also if im not pregnant why else could my period be late? please help im really scared.
Ask Sam


Hi there,

Thank you for writing to me. I can hear that you’re worried you may be pregnant because your period is late. I don’t think that it sounds silly, I can hear how much it is scaring you.

For you to get pregnant, your vagina would have to come into contact with sperm (cum). As you’ve never had sex or any sexual contact with a boy, it would be impossible for you to be pregnant. Hopefully that helps put your mind at rest!

There could be lots of reasons your period is late. It’s not unusual for your periods to be a bit unpredictable during puberty. You can have one period and then wait several months for the next one while your body adjusts. Having an irregular cycle is normal when you first start, and it can take a few years for your periods to settle into more of a pattern.

You also said that you’d had diarrhoea and being really unwell can unsettle your periods. You’ve not mentioned how long you’ve had diarrhoea. I would suggest talking to a parent or to your local chemist or GP about this, as ongoing diarrhoea can make you ill, as well as not being much fun.

I want you to know that it is perfectly normal to masturbate, and it is also ok not to. Lots of people masturbate and this is a natural way of exploring and getting to know your body and discovering what kind of things make you feel good. For more advice about masturbation and periods you may want to look at the Girls puberty page in Explore. Like it is is another really good website that has lots of information about pregnancy and puberty.

It’s difficult to keep worries to ourselves and sharing your worries with someone is the right thing to do. You have been really brave writing to me about all of this. Maybe there is an adult you live with or an adult at school you trust you could talk if you feel you want some more advice or reassurance. Also your GP or school nurse should be able to help you out with any medical concerns you’ve got.

If you would like to talk more about this or how it makes you feel, you can speak to a Childline counsellor by calling 0800 1111 or logging on for a 1-2-1 chat.

Take care,


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