Dear Abby: After a birth control failure, woman anxious about future intimacy

An accidental pregnancy earlier ended in a miscarriage, and now she’s worried about what will happen when her new relationship gets physical.

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DEAR ABBY: Two years ago, I had a miscarriage. The guy was nothing more than a fling. We were careful and never did anything without protection, but it happened anyway.

I have now been in a relationship with a really great guy for four months. I said I wanted to take it slow, and he has been very supportive, but we are both getting antsy to move to the next step of intimacy. My problem is, I can’t seem to stop having anxiety attacks when I think about the possibility of getting pregnant again, even using two forms of birth control.

Neither of us wants kids now or in the future. How do I get past this fear? — WORRIED IN WYOMING

DEAR WORRIED: A way to do that would be to talk to your doctor or pharmacist about what your options would be for using a long-term form of birth control such as a slow-release implant or an IUD.

If your state had a Planned Parenthood clinic nearby, I would normally recommend going there. However, when I checked online, I was shocked to discover there is no longer a clinic in your entire state, which means you may have to go as far as Colorado to find one.

DEAR ABBY: I am increasingly frustrated with a colleague’s daily demeanor. She’s a supervisor in my department, although I no longer report directly to her. But my office is adjacent to hers, and I see her frequently.

Every day when she arrives, I greet her with my standard, “Good morning, how are you?” and she replies with a heavy sigh and some vague remark about how tired she is or some other general complaint. Even if I don’t ask about her welfare, she will still offer the same negative remarks. She does this with other co-workers as well. Is there an effective response I can offer that would help her to reframe, or at least stop with the heavy martyrdom? — TIRED OF HEARING IT

DEAR TIRED: Because she constantly volunteers (with a heavy sigh) that she’s “tired,” consider pointing out that she has been saying this same thing for a long time and suggest she consult a doctor about it. The one thing you should definitely stop doing is personalizing it the way it appears you do.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

To order “How to Write Letters for All Occasions,” send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds), to: Dear Abby — Letter Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. Shipping and handling are included in the price.

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