Not knowing if you’re pregnant can be a confusing and stressful time for some women. So many thoughts are going through your head and you might be weighing your options, even though it’s early. We’re here to tell you that it’s okay not to know what to do next! The important thing for you to focus on now is finding out if you are actually pregnant before making any decisions about your body. Below are a few ways for you to tell if you might be pregnant.
1. Be aware of the early signs and symptoms.
After having unprotected sex, you might be hyper-aware to any little changes in your body. While many of the symptoms listed below are regarded as early signs of pregnancy, many women experience these symptoms due to other reasons – or during their monthly period! In the first couple weeks after unprotected sex, it’ll be too early to take a pregnancy test because the pregnancy hormone will not show up. However, by monitoring the way you feel, you might be able to tell whether you are pregnant by the signs and symptoms listed below.
- Swollen or tender breasts. This is due to a change in your body’s hormone balance. While this is a common pregnancy symptom, many women experience this each month during their menstrual cycle.
- Frequent urination. During pregnancy, your body experiences an increased level of blood in your system. Pay attention to how long this occurs. There are other medical reasons you could have frequent urination other than pregnancy, such as diabetes, so it’s important to keep tabs on this symptom!
- Nausea, with or without vomiting. Although this is commonly referred to as morning sickness, it can happen any time of the day. Some women never experience morning sickness and some experience it later in the second trimester.
- Fatigue. Women often feel very sleepy during the first trimester, but this usually ends in the second trimester. Be aware of other reasons you may be more tired than usual.
- Light bleeding/spotting. If you experience some light bleeding or spotting a week or two after unprotected sex, this could likely be caused by implantation. Implantation happens when a fertilized egg attaches itself to the uterine wall. Make sure to be aware of the heaviness of the bleeding and call your doctor if you experience abnormal bleeding.
2. Recall your last period cycle and wait until you’re sure you’ve missed your next period.
By waiting until you’ve missed your period, you can be sure that your PMS symptoms are not actually signs of early pregnancy. Because the two are often similar, women think they’re pregnant when they’re really not. That’s why it’s important not to panic, even if you do miss a period!
Remember, every woman’s body is different. There will be occasions where your period is later than normal, due to a variety of factors including stress, weight change, contraceptives or being seriously ill. However, if you are a week or two late, it’s probably time to take a pregnancy test.
3. Use a home pregnancy test.
Once you’ve missed your period, now you can take a home pregnancy test to see if you’re pregnant. The longer you wait to take the test, the more accurate it will be, because it will be able to detect more of the pregnancy hormone in your urine.
While urine tests are not always the most accurate, they are a good place to start. Some women experience false-negatives, which means that they receive a negative result even though they are actually pregnant, so it’s important that the home pregnancy test is not your last step. If you get a positive result, it is very likely that you are pregnant, and should continue the process to verify your pregnancy.
If you cannot afford a home pregnancy test or are in need of privacy, schedule an appointment with Palm Beach Women’s Clinic. Our professional and friendly staff offers free and confidential pregnancy tests for all women in need.
4. Visit a pregnancy help center to receive a free professional test and/or ultrasound.
As noted above, home pregnancy tests are not always the most effective way to determine a pregnancy. A professional healthcare provider, such as Palm Beach Women’s Clinic, can help you be completely sure if you’re pregnant. We provide free lab-quality pregnancy tests to women who think they might be pregnant and then immediately discuss your results with you.
If your pregnancy test comes back positive, we can also offer you a free ultrasound. Ultrasounds are used to determine the state of your pregnancy and how far along you are. They are also the most effective and last step in confirming a pregnancy. Additionally, ultrasounds are required for women seeking abortion.
5. Know your options and next steps.
From adoption, abortion or parenting, it’s important that you know your options so you can make an educated next step.
Think you might be pregnant and aren’t sure what to do next? You are not alone! Schedule an appointment at one of Palm Beach Women’s Clinic’s four locations in Palm Beach County for a free pregnancy test and ultrasound. We can provide you with resources and information on all your options, so you can make an informed decision about your next steps. Browse our website to learn more about the other confidential women’s services we provide.