So you think you could be pregnant, but you’re not completely sure. You may realize you haven’t gotten your period in a month, had unprotected sex, – on purpose or by accident (condoms can break), or had a drunken hook-up and don’t even remember if he used a condom. Either way, this could possibly be one of the most terrifying feelings you have ever experienced. Your heart beats a million miles an hour every time you think about it, and questions run wildly through your mind.
Would I keep it? Would I get an abortion? Could I do that? What about adoption? Could I do that? How the hell am I going to tell him? How am I going to tell my parents? The first think you need to do is take a deep breath and calm down. We all know this is every girl’s worst nightmare, but there are ways to deal with a pregnancy scare without going absolutely crazy.
First things first, evaluate how you’ve been feeling. Obviously a missed period is a red flag of possible pregnancy, but for some people, their periods are always irregular and missing one is normal. There are other signs in the early stages:
- Abnormal food cravings
- Sore breasts
- Aches and pains in your back, head, or cramping.
- Heightened body temperature
- Mood swings
In addition to your feelings, think about your recent sexual experiences. When was the last time you had sex? Does the timing add up? Did you guys use a condom? Is there a chance it broke? Have you been on top of your birth control and taking it when you should be?
If you have been experiencing any of the symptoms, and if everything adds up, it’s time to move on to the next, and possibly most important step. Talk to someone you trust. It is not fun, nor helpful, going through something like this alone. Whether it be your boyfriend, best friend, a co-worker, a cousin, aunt, or even your mom, talk to someone about what’s happening. Not only can they help you figure out how you actually feel about the possibility of being pregnant, but the support will do wonders to ease anxiety and the fear you are experiencing. It helps to have a fellow woman on your side. They will ask you questions that you are probably too nervous to ask yourself.
Once you’ve come to terms with your current life situation, it’s time to take a pregnancy test. You can either go to your local drug store and purchase an at-home pregnancy test, or schedule yourself an appointment to get tested by your healthcare provider. Both tests measure the amounts of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) in your body, however, the at-home pregnancy test measures the hormone from your urine, while the test done at your doctors office detects it from your blood.
Advantages & disadvantages of an at-home pregnancy test:
- Can be done at home and in private.
- You can buy as many as you want to be extra sure.
- Fast results (usually 3 minutes)
- More room for error because it can be done too early or incorrectly.
Advantages & disadvantages of a blood test:
- More accurate
- Can immediately tell if there are any issues with the pregnancy
- Detect pregnancy about 3-10 days after conception.
- Usually more expensive
- Must be done in a doctor’s office
Once you take the test, and get your results, the pregnancy scare is over – well somewhat. It can either teach you some lessons about being more careful when you do have sex and making sure you take your birth control correctly. If you’re not on birth control, maybe you decide that you should be so you don’t have to go through this again.
The alternative is that your scare is over, but now you have to deal with the fact that you are pregnant. What’s next?
1. Evaluate your options. What you decide to do is entirely up you you. Whether you’ve decided to parent, considering abortion, or are looking into adoption, it’s important to really think about what it’s going to mean for the rest of your life.
2. Be secure with your choice. These are HUGE decisions you are making that are life-changing not only for you, but the people around you as well. No matter what you have decided, make sure you are totally sure before jumping in with both feet. You might think you’re ready to be a mom, or think you can handle terminating the pregnancy or placing the baby up for adoption, but picturing yourself doing it is much different than actually going through it.
Whatever you decide to do next, you need medical attention. So, see a doctor about the next steps. If you need help from a professional to really decide and be secure with your choice, don’t be afraid to reach out.