When Samantha Lynn Isabel was 19 years old, she realized her period was late. Pregnancy crossed her mind, but she didn't think it was likely, considering the fact that she and her boyfriend had never had penetrative sex. In fact, she'd fooled around, but never had sexual intercourse in her whole life.
Just to be safe, Samantha decided to take a pregnancy test. It came back positive, but she thought it was a fluke. So she took another one. And another. And another. And they ALL came back positive. She went to the doctor, and they told her she was five weeks pregnant.
Before we dive further into Samantha's story, I think it's important to go over some sex ed. Samantha told BuzzFeed she thought the conception probably occurred from her and her boyfriend touching each other's genitals during foreplay. She was also not on birth control.
I decided to reach out to gynecologist Dr. Jennifer Lincoln to get the lowdown on how someone can get pregnant this way.
"Sperm has to get into a vagina in order for pregnancy to happen," Dr. Lincoln told BuzzFeed. "It doesn't matter what puts it there — whether it's a penis, finger, turkey baster, you name it — but once it's there, it can travel through the cervix, into the uterus, and rendezvous with an egg in the fallopian tube and fertilize it."
Dr. Lincoln said getting pregnant without penetrative sex is a relatively rare occurrence, but still possible. "With fingering, if some semen is on the fingers that touch or enter a vagina, the amount is likely lower than with penetrative sex. But like I've said before, it only takes one sperm that's in the right place at the right time!"
When Samantha found out she was pregnant, she was extremely overwhelmed. "I did not feel ready to have a child," she said. "I had dropped out of high school twice due to my anxiety disorder, [but] went back to finally finish. I [also] had intentions of going to college after graduation."
She considered abortion, but ultimately decided to have the baby. "I was just nervous I wouldn't be able to give him everything. But he has it all and more," she said. Samantha's son, Bentley, is now 5. She's still with her boyfriend, Alex, and they also have a baby boy named Theo who's turning 1 next week. And yes, Theo was conceived the traditional way, Samantha added.
If you're curious about how to avoid an accidental pregnancy like the one Samantha experienced, Dr. Lincoln has some tips. "Keep the sperm out of the vagina, friends. And use a reliable form of birth control if there's any chance of something like this happening. Having emergency contraception on hand for accidents like this is also a great way to handle an 'oops' moment!"