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Hello, I suffer from a severe form of Obsessive Compulsive

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Dr. Rakhi Tayal

OBGYN

Practicing since :2001

Answered : 13381 Questions

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Posted on Sat, 5 Jan 2019 in Pregnancy
Question: Hello,

I suffer from a severe form of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), a psychiatric condition in which obsessive thoughts bring the sufferer great fear and uncertainty about a dreaded outcome he feels responsable for and which he has to prevent.

My fear is related to seminal fluids. It often happens that when I wake up in the morning after nocturnal emissions during the sleep, or after masturbation, being in a hurry I don't wipe the semen off very thoroughly and sometimes a bit of it remains in my underwear and on my hands. The obsessive thought which causes me a great deal of pain could be summed up like this : "A slight amount of semen remained on my hands, with which I touch objects on which I could leave some of it. Then a woman could touch it and accidentally get it to her genitals if she goes to the bathroom for instance right after touching that object. I might therefore get her pregnant".
Unfortunately, since my condition is extremely severe and treatement resistant, my psychiatrist tells me that I have to do a lot of exposure, that is : to voluntarily get myself to face the dreaded situations without doing any reassuring compulsions. These compulsions usually help me decrease the level of anxiety and I feel like I'm avoiding the feared outcome. The compulsions would be in this case thouroughly washing my hands with soap every time I touch semen, checking all the places in the house where semen could have remained and cleaning them, and avoiding to touch objects which women might touch afterwards.

Yet, my psychiatrist doesn't provide me any objective information to help me see the irrationality of my thought. He only tells me my tought is absurd and asks me to expose myself but he doesn't provide any proof to show me the falseness of my belief.

So I was wondering : is there any medical explanation you could give me which could help me understand that my fear is groundless ?

My disease is so severe that it makes me believe that there is a very real risk that I might somehow get someone pregnant this way. I feel I need at least a bit of medical objective information to make my uncertainty more bearable.

In other words : is there any genuine risk if I do the exposure exercices, that is, if I leave some amount of semen on my hands and on the objects without trying to wash it, and then I go out and touch objects which a woman might then touch ? Or if I directly give a woman one of these objects, or even shake her hand ? Can an undesired pregnancy occur for a woman this way ?

For instance, if I shake a woman's hand or if I touch some of her things and leave some traces of remaining semen, am I at risk of indirectly getting her pregnant ? Of course, I would never leave huge amounts of semen on my hands and then go touch people, but if I don't wash, there is a feeling of a bit of semen remaining, like after you ate chocolate and your hands are a bit greasy. Since my psychiatrist asks me to expose myself precisely by not trying to wipe it off, I feel like I am putting woman at risk because I can't have any critical insight on my fear nor have a glimpse at its irrationality...

Your answer would mean a lot to me, it would help me find a bit of peace. Would you be kind enough to give me a detalied explanation which could help my rational mind understand that there is no actual risk ?

Thank you very much !
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Follow up: Dr. Rakhi Tayal 0 minute later
Hello,

I suffer from a severe form of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), a psychiatric condition in which obsessive thoughts bring the sufferer great fear and uncertainty about a dreaded outcome he feels responsable for and which he has to prevent.

My fear is related to seminal fluids. It often happens that when I wake up in the morning after nocturnal emissions during the sleep, or after masturbation, being in a hurry I don't wipe the semen off very thoroughly and sometimes a bit of it remains in my underwear and on my hands. The obsessive thought which causes me a great deal of pain could be summed up like this : "A slight amount of semen remained on my hands, with which I touch objects on which I could leave some of it. Then a woman could touch it and accidentally get it to her genitals if she goes to the bathroom for instance right after touching that object. I might therefore get her pregnant".
Unfortunately, since my condition is extremely severe and treatement resistant, my psychiatrist tells me that I have to do a lot of exposure, that is : to voluntarily get myself to face the dreaded situations without doing any reassuring compulsions. These compulsions usually help me decrease the level of anxiety and I feel like I'm avoiding the feared outcome. The compulsions would be in this case thouroughly washing my hands with soap every time I touch semen, checking all the places in the house where semen could have remained and cleaning them, and avoiding to touch objects which women might touch afterwards.

Yet, my psychiatrist doesn't provide me any objective information to help me see the irrationality of my thought. He only tells me my tought is absurd and asks me to expose myself but he doesn't provide any proof to show me the falseness of my belief.

So I was wondering : is there any medical explanation you could give me which could help me understand that my fear is groundless ?

My disease is so severe that it makes me believe that there is a very real risk that I might somehow get someone pregnant this way. I feel I need at least a bit of medical objective information to make my uncertainty more bearable.

In other words : is there any genuine risk if I do the exposure exercices, that is, if I leave some amount of semen on my hands and on the objects without trying to wash it, and then I go out and touch objects which a woman might then touch ? Or if I directly give a woman one of these objects, or even shake her hand ? Can an undesired pregnancy occur for a woman this way ?

For instance, if I shake a woman's hand or if I touch some of her things and leave some traces of remaining semen, am I at risk of indirectly getting her pregnant ? Of course, I would never leave huge amounts of semen on my hands and then go touch people, but if I don't wash, there is a feeling of a bit of semen remaining, like after you ate chocolate and your hands are a bit greasy. Since my psychiatrist asks me to expose myself precisely by not trying to wipe it off, I feel like I am putting woman at risk because I can't have any critical insight on my fear nor have a glimpse at its irrationality...

Your answer would mean a lot to me, it would help me find a bit of peace. Would you be kind enough to give me a detalied explanation which could help my rational mind understand that there is no actual risk ?

Thank you very much !
doctor
Answered by Dr. Rakhi Tayal 7 hours later
Brief Answer:
Pregnancy cannot happen in this way.

Detailed Answer:
Hello,
Thanks for posting your query.
I have gone through your query and understand your health concerns.
Occurrence of pregnancy due to indirect transmission of semen through shaking hands or touching of objects is not heard of. The semen needs to deposited high up in the vagina directly for the pregnancy to happen. Just touching the non living objects with a minute amount of semen on the hands and then just touching the genitals from outside will not cause a pregnancy. Even the chances of pregnancy due to precum in case of a protected sex is less than 5%.
There is no medical literature available that supports that pregnancy can happen in this way. The sperms do not remain viable on a non living surface and the semen dries up fast. There is no need to worry.
I hope this answers your query.
In case you have additional questions or doubts, you can forward them to me, and I shall be glad to help you out.
For future query, you can directly approach me through my profile URL http://bit.ly/Dr-Rakhi-Tayal
Wishing you good health.
Regards.
Dr. Rakhi Tayal

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Raju A.T
doctor
doctor
Answered by Dr. Rakhi Tayal 0 minute later
Brief Answer:
Pregnancy cannot happen in this way.

Detailed Answer:
Hello,
Thanks for posting your query.
I have gone through your query and understand your health concerns.
Occurrence of pregnancy due to indirect transmission of semen through shaking hands or touching of objects is not heard of. The semen needs to deposited high up in the vagina directly for the pregnancy to happen. Just touching the non living objects with a minute amount of semen on the hands and then just touching the genitals from outside will not cause a pregnancy. Even the chances of pregnancy due to precum in case of a protected sex is less than 5%.
There is no medical literature available that supports that pregnancy can happen in this way. The sperms do not remain viable on a non living surface and the semen dries up fast. There is no need to worry.
I hope this answers your query.
In case you have additional questions or doubts, you can forward them to me, and I shall be glad to help you out.
For future query, you can directly approach me through my profile URL http://bit.ly/Dr-Rakhi-Tayal
Wishing you good health.
Regards.
Dr. Rakhi Tayal

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Raju A.T
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Rakhi Tayal 8 hours later
Hello Dr. XXXXXXX

Thank you very much for your kind and detailed answer. May I ask you a follow-up question ? I am sorry if I'm going into rather unpleasant details, the anxiety can be so overwhelming that it makes me want to be sure there is a very low risk of the feared outcome to be true.

If I was to think about the worst-case scenario, which my anxiety often makes me think of, it would go as follows : let's say I don't wash my hands after coming in contact with semen, then there might be traces of it left on my hands, which I could transfer to objects or directly on a woman's hands. Normally, there would be no risk since semen dries when it is out on surfaces.

But if, for instance, I have to go out immediately after, maybe the semen wouldn't have had time to dry. I read that it needed a couple hours to dry up. So if I have to go out minutes after having touched it, then it would theoretically still be active and capable of fecundation.

Of course, there is a slight chance that the woman who might indirectly touch it might then make contact with her genitals, that is right after touching that traces of semen. But in case she does, let's say hypothetically if she were to engage in fingering, wouldn't there be a chance for the sperm to fecundate her, if it didn't have the time to dry, and if that particular activity can send the sperm deep down the canal until the ovule ?

I know this sounds like an unlikely scenario, and I am ashamed of even having the thought of it. But unfortunately, as long as I can't eliminate even the slightest possibility, my anxiety will keep telling me there is an actual risk. My pathological anxiety is, indeed, an awful and cruel disease...

So if we were to accept these two variables : 1. I would have to go outdoors in minutes after having touched semen, hence it wouldn't have dried, and 2. A woman who might have touched surfaces I touched then engaged in fingering, then there would objectively be a considerable risk of pregnancy.

Is there any explanation you would think of which would help me understand that even in this worst-case scenario, pregnancy is highly unlikely to occur, if not completely impossible ?

The reason I'm asking this is because my psychiatrist prescribed me the following exposure exercice : he asked me to voluntarily come in touch with traces of my own semen, and then not wash my hands nor the objects I've touched, and go out and touch things. I cannot help thinking that this exposure exercise, while it is therapeutically very useful, is morally questionable. I feel like it asks me to do something that actually puts woman at risk of having a pregnancy !

Do you think, from a medical point of view, that I can safely engage in this exercise and not wash my hands nor the objects I touched and then go on with my activities like the psychiatrist suggests ?

Forgive my insistence, and thank you, sincerely, for your time !

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Follow up: Dr. Rakhi Tayal 0 minute later
Hello Dr. XXXXXXX

Thank you very much for your kind and detailed answer. May I ask you a follow-up question ? I am sorry if I'm going into rather unpleasant details, the anxiety can be so overwhelming that it makes me want to be sure there is a very low risk of the feared outcome to be true.

If I was to think about the worst-case scenario, which my anxiety often makes me think of, it would go as follows : let's say I don't wash my hands after coming in contact with semen, then there might be traces of it left on my hands, which I could transfer to objects or directly on a woman's hands. Normally, there would be no risk since semen dries when it is out on surfaces.

But if, for instance, I have to go out immediately after, maybe the semen wouldn't have had time to dry. I read that it needed a couple hours to dry up. So if I have to go out minutes after having touched it, then it would theoretically still be active and capable of fecundation.

Of course, there is a slight chance that the woman who might indirectly touch it might then make contact with her genitals, that is right after touching that traces of semen. But in case she does, let's say hypothetically if she were to engage in fingering, wouldn't there be a chance for the sperm to fecundate her, if it didn't have the time to dry, and if that particular activity can send the sperm deep down the canal until the ovule ?

I know this sounds like an unlikely scenario, and I am ashamed of even having the thought of it. But unfortunately, as long as I can't eliminate even the slightest possibility, my anxiety will keep telling me there is an actual risk. My pathological anxiety is, indeed, an awful and cruel disease...

So if we were to accept these two variables : 1. I would have to go outdoors in minutes after having touched semen, hence it wouldn't have dried, and 2. A woman who might have touched surfaces I touched then engaged in fingering, then there would objectively be a considerable risk of pregnancy.

Is there any explanation you would think of which would help me understand that even in this worst-case scenario, pregnancy is highly unlikely to occur, if not completely impossible ?

The reason I'm asking this is because my psychiatrist prescribed me the following exposure exercice : he asked me to voluntarily come in touch with traces of my own semen, and then not wash my hands nor the objects I've touched, and go out and touch things. I cannot help thinking that this exposure exercise, while it is therapeutically very useful, is morally questionable. I feel like it asks me to do something that actually puts woman at risk of having a pregnancy !

Do you think, from a medical point of view, that I can safely engage in this exercise and not wash my hands nor the objects I touched and then go on with my activities like the psychiatrist suggests ?

Forgive my insistence, and thank you, sincerely, for your time !

doctor
Answered by Dr. Rakhi Tayal 3 hours later
Brief Answer:
Pregnancy not likely.

Detailed Answer:
Hello.
Thanks for writing again.
I understand the worst case scenario. The semen after a spontaneous ejaculation at night usually dries up till the morning. The chances of having active sperms in the traces of semen and then transferring it to a lady's hand and who fingers herself almost instantly is extremely extremely unlikely. The possibility of fecundation in this way also is less than 1%. You can only take a precaution to wash your hands with water or use wet wipes to clean it after touching your genitals just to be 100% sure and to rule out all the weird possibilities.
Hope my answer is helpful.
Do accept my answer in case there are no further queries.
Regards.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Vaishalee Punj
doctor
doctor
Answered by Dr. Rakhi Tayal 0 minute later
Brief Answer:
Pregnancy not likely.

Detailed Answer:
Hello.
Thanks for writing again.
I understand the worst case scenario. The semen after a spontaneous ejaculation at night usually dries up till the morning. The chances of having active sperms in the traces of semen and then transferring it to a lady's hand and who fingers herself almost instantly is extremely extremely unlikely. The possibility of fecundation in this way also is less than 1%. You can only take a precaution to wash your hands with water or use wet wipes to clean it after touching your genitals just to be 100% sure and to rule out all the weird possibilities.
Hope my answer is helpful.
Do accept my answer in case there are no further queries.
Regards.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Vaishalee Punj
doctor
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