My girlfriend just let me know that she’s pregnant. I’m not ready to be a dad and I’m seriously thinking of telling her to get an abortion. I’d even pay for her to have one. What should I do?

None of us should be having sex if we are not ready for what could happen, because sex creates babies. But now that you found out that your girlfriend is pregnant you have a lot to think about. Try not to rush into a decision even if it feels like you need to. Talk with your girlfriend and discuss what your options are. Try to get some good counsel from wise people in your life. Maybe even go to a pregnancy care center where they will discuss the options over with you.

What your girlfriend probably needs right now is your support and knowing that you will be there for her. Most girls don’t want abortions, but often feel pressure from their partners to have one. Abortion is a serious decision and not necessarily over and done with after the procedure is finished. Some people experience post abortion syndrome (depression, anxiety, flashbacks, etc) that affect men as well. Don’t freak out. You’ve got some time to make this decision. Before you decide make sure you have ALL the information on the pros and cons of each possible choice.

Herpes

What herpes is:

It is a sexually transmitted disease that is common in both women and men. One in five Americans who are twelve or older has herpes.

The two types of herpes are HSV1 and HSV2. HSV2 is more commonly thought of as the sexually transmitted infection, but either type can be the cause of an infection or outbreak in the genital area.

HSV1 could be the cause of blister outbreaks around the mouth (cold sores or fever blisters) and not necessarily be a sexually transmitted infection. It can be passed on even without sexual contact (for instance, by sharing a cup or lipstick).

However, if a person had HSV1 on the mouth and performs oral sex, HSV1 could be transmitted to the genitals of the other person through this sexual activity. Also, HSV2 (or HSV1) could be passed from the genitals to the mouth in the same way.

Most people who have herpes don’t know it because many times there are no symptoms.

While herpes does not usually cause serious health problems, there is no cure for it, only treatments of the symptoms.

Symptoms and treatment of herpes:

Before and during an outbreak, flu-like symptoms may appear.

The most common symptoms are painful blisters and sores. This outbreak of blisters may last a few weeks then go away. But a person will likely have outbreaks like this several times a year, every year.

Herpes does not have a cure, only treatment of the symptoms.

A person may try to keep the outbreaks from lasting so long or from happening so often by taking medication prescribed by a doctor. This medication would need to be taken throughout a person’s whole life. The cost of this medication over a person’s lifetime could be quite high.

Other problems that herpes can cause:

Having herpes makes a person more at risk to get HIV if exposed to it.

Herpes in a pregnant woman can be passed on to the child, especially during the delivery. The doctor may do a C-section (cesarean section) deliver to reduce the risk to the baby. (Many women consider C-section delivery to be less desirable than vaginal delivery because of the added risks, discomfort and recovery time.)

How can herpes be passed on to me?

A person does not need to be in the middle of an outbreak to pass on herpes. Herpes can be passed on even if an infected person has no symptoms.

It can be passed on by any kind of sexual contact-vaginal sex, anal sex, or oral sex.

It can be passed on by skin to skin contact (touching the infected skin) of someone who has it.

It can be passed on by being in contact with an infected person’s bodily fluids, like saliva, semen, or vaginal secretions.

How can I avoid herpes?

The ideal situation for avoiding herpes is to not have sex until marriage and marry someone who is free from herpes and who is committed to being faithful to you.

(Never having sex would also work, but it is not necessary if a person chooses abstinence before marriage and faithfulness in marriage.)

Condom use can only reduce the risk, even with 100% correct usage 100% of the time. Herpes can be passed on to areas on the body that are not covered by a condom.

How do I know if I have herpes?

See a doctor for a blood test. A person can have herpes even if blisters or sores are not present.

What do I do if I have herpes?

Tell your current and past sexual partners. They will need to be tested also.

Since having an incurable STI can create feelings of anxiety, embarrassment, and depression, talking to a professional counselor may help some people.

Choose to stop being sexually active to avoid infecting others.

Honestly and carefully share your health information with a future possible marriage partner. This conversation will not be an easy one. But it is important to building a trusting, healthy relationship. Yes, that person may decide to end the relationship. But, that person may also decide to marry you, in spite of the health risk. Ultimately, it is right for that person to be given the information and the opportunity to choose.

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