Maybe you were planning to get pregnant or maybe you were not, but either way you don’t know what to do now. Your period is late and you are experiencing symptoms like nausea, tender breasts, more frequent urination, or some of the other possible symptoms of early pregnancy, and you think you might be pregnant. If you have had sex, either protected or unprotected, you could potentially be pregnant, and you will need to find out for sure so that you can decide what to do next. Try not to panic as there are plenty of resources and people available to you to help you figure out if you are pregnant and what to do next.
What do I do next?
Many women do experience symptoms early on in their pregnancy, but many of the common early pregnancy symptoms are also period symptoms, so you cannot rely solely on symptoms when determining if you are pregnant or not. The most common early symptom of pregnancy is a missed period, so if your period is more than a week late, you will want to consider taking a pregnancy test. If you think there is the possibility you are pregnant, but you do not know if you should take a pregnancy test yet, take this pregnancy quiz first. If you take the quiz and receive a result that says you may be pregnant, or if you feel pretty sure you are pregnant, you will need to take a pregnancy test. Compass offers free pregnancy tests that you can take if you set up an appointment. Pregnancy tests are most accurate if taken at least one week after your missed period. If you take a pregnancy test any sooner than that, you may receive an inaccurate result. The most common type of pregnancy test is urine based which means that the test checks for a certain hormone in your urine (pee) that is only present if you are pregnant. The pregnancy tests that Compass provides are urine-based and easy to complete. The other type of pregnancy test is blood based and can be done at your doctor’s office.
What if my pregnancy test is positive?
While pregnancy tests are relatively accurate if taken at least one week after your missed period, they cannot tell you any details about your pregnancy. Compass can provide you with a referral for a no-cost ultrasound if your pregnancy test comes back positive. You will need to have an ultrasound for a few reasons.
First, the ultrasound medically confirms your pregnancy. An ultrasound also tells you how far along you are in your pregnancy, where your pregnancy is located, and if your pregnancy is viable. This is why it is important to see a trusted doctor.
All of this information is important to know as you start to make decisions about your next steps. Finding out how far along you are in your pregnancy lets you know what abortion procedures are available to you or what prenatal care you will need. Finding out where your pregnancy is located is very important as some pregnancies occur outside of the uterus instead of inside of the uterus which can be life threatening if not taken care of by a medical professional.
Lastly, some pregnancies end naturally through miscarriage, so having an ultrasound can usually tell you and your doctor if your pregnancy is viable and likely to continue or if it is unviable and likely to end in a natural miscarriage.
My pregnancy is confirmed and viable…now what?
Breathe. Be kind to yourself and begin to reach out for support.
Once you have a confirmed viable pregnancy, you have three options: abortion, adoption, or parenting. An abortion is a serious medical procedure that ends the pregnancy and growing fetus that comes with risks, so it is important to understand the specifics of an abortion as well as the risks as you work toward making your decision.
While Compass Women’s Center does not refer for or perform abortion, we will discuss all your options with you. Our goal is to offer supportive and compassionate services to you as you make decisions that will impact the rest of your life. Adoption can be a difficult but necessary and rewarding option for you and your child if you do not feel ready to parent but also do not want to have an abortion. Parenting a child can be an intimidating thought, especially if your pregnancy is unplanned, but you do not need to assume that parenting is not the right option for you just because you do not feel prepared to parent. There are many resources available to you if you decide you would like to parent your child.
If you are not sure that you want to be pregnant, or if you would like to learn more about your options, you can schedule an appointment at Compass, and we can talk you through your options in detail and empower you with the information you need to make the best decision possible. You can reach out to Compass anytime of day or night, and somebody will answer your call. Try not to panic, though we know your mind might be going crazy, because you do not have to go through this process alone.
I’m just a college student. I can’t deal with a pregnancy or parent a child.
If you are a college student who has just found out that you are pregnant, you need to know that you are not alone. You might have to be extra brave and reach out, but there are people and programs that are ready to help you succeed.
In addition to the resources and support available to you at Compass, West Virginia University also offers support for both pregnant and parenting students through the Standing with You program. This program offers information and resources on peer-to-peer support, housing, clothing, food, insurance, and more. Finding out that you are pregnant can be overwhelming, especially if you are a college student, but that does not mean that you need to feel alone in your situation or in your decisions. Reach out to the resources that are available to you through Standing with You and through Compass.
Reach out. We’re here to help.
Compass is here to help you navigate your pregnancy and beyond, so call, email, or text to reach us and let us help you as you walk through these next steps.
304-212-2131 call or text
“Am I Pregnant” blog written by a volunteer of Compass. Thank you!!