Pregnancy Options When You Don’t Know What to Do
When you think about it, the average woman spends 3/4 of her life trying to avoid an unplanned pregnancy. Unfortunately, even the best efforts can fail. Statistically, a large percentage of pregnancies in the U.S. are classified as an “unintended
Although each unexpected pregnancy is different, the physical and emotional effects can be immediate and hard to handle. But knowing your options can make the process much easier. When you’re not sure where to turn, start with these steps.
Confirm Your Pregnancy
So many early pregnancy signs can mimic premenstrual symptoms or even conditions like polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Because of this, it’s important to confirm the pregnancy. Some women never experience the stereotypical signs of pregnancy like morning sickness. Also, women with irregular menstrual cycles may not notice if they miss a period. In other cases, women may “spot” throughout a pregnancy, giving the appearance of a menstrual period. This can make it easier to dismiss other symptoms that might otherwise be a red flag. For these reasons, it’s always best to confirm a suspected pregnancy with a medical-grade pregnancy test and an ultrasound. Worrying does no good if your symptoms could be related to something else. And, if you are pregnant, having this confirmation can let you proceed through the decision-making process.
Regardless of how you’d like to proceed with an unplanned pregnancy, you’ll need to be tested for a few different sexually-transmitted diseases and infections first. Having a surgical abortion while you have an active STD or STI could force vaginal bacteria through your cervix and into your uterus, causing pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). PID is often symptom-free for years, but chronic or untreated PID can cause permanent fertility and health-related damage.
Get an Ultrasound
Once pregnancy has been confirmed, it’s a good idea to have a “dating” ultrasound to see how far along you are. Many pregnancies end in miscarriage, so if an ultrasound shows that you have a blighted ovum or another issue that means your pregnancy isn’t viable, your options can change dramatically.
After you’ve confirmed the viability of your pregnancy, you’ll be able to determine what options are available. Although abortion is legal in the U.S., there are some major statewide restrictions on even medically-necessary termination procedures. Also, the options available for a woman who is 5 weeks pregnant can be much different from the choices available to someone who is 15 or 25 weeks pregnant.
Thrive St. Louis offers assistance, advice, and resources to women facing unplanned pregnancies. From free pregnancy and STD testing to ultrasounds, Thrive can give you the information you need to make an informed and confident decision! Contact us today to learn more about our services or set up a free, confidential appointment with our compassionate medical team.
Sources: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?%20db=pubmed&cmd=Retrieve&dopt=AbstractPlus&query_hl=11&%20itool=pubmed_docsum&list_uids=10471099, https://www.acog.org/Patients/FAQs/Early-Pregnancy-Loss, https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr5511a1.htm, https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/getting-pregnant/in-depth/symptoms-of-pregnancy/art-20043853?pg=2, Mayo Clinic Guide To A Healthy Pregnancy Harms, Roger W., M.D., et al, Part 3.