Finding out that you’re pregnant when you don’t want to be can feel paralyzing. Suddenly, you’ve got major decisions to make, all with a looming deadline. The question is, where do you start? How do you make an informed decision when it seems like the world is closing in on you?
Take a deep breath. You’re not alone in this! Bakersfield Pregnancy Center is here to help you put one foot in front of the other. Today, we’re sharing the first steps to take when you find out that you’re unexpectedly pregnant!
How Early Can Pregnancy Symptoms Start?
It depends! Some women don’t start to experience symptoms for a few weeks, while others start to show signs shortly after conception. Some early pregnancy symptoms to look out for include:
- Missed period. A missed period is the most obvious pregnancy symptom. Once you conceive, your body starts to produce the hormone human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG), which stops your period.
- Frequent need to use the restroom. Even before you miss your period, you may feel the need to use the bathroom more often. This is because your body’s blood supply increases significantly during pregnancy. The kidneys filter blood to remove waste, which leaves the body as urine. The more blood in your system, the more you’ll need to pee.
- Swollen or sore breasts. Your breasts can feel swollen or sore during pregnancy, similar to the way they do before your period comes. You may notice your bras starting to feel tighter as well. Thankfully, the soreness decreases as your body gets used to the increased hormone production.
- Morning sickness. Despite the name, you can experience morning sickness at any time during the day. Morning (or afternoon or evening) sickness can occur as early as two weeks of pregnancy.
- Fatigue. Many women feel physically exhausted in early pregnancy, due to low blood sugar levels, low blood pressure, nausea, and increased blood and hormone production.
When Can I Take a Pregnancy Test?
You don’t have to wait very long to take a pregnancy test. According to Cleveland Clinic, you can take a pregnancy test once you’ve missed your period.
Maybe you’ve already taken an at-home pregnancy test (or three) and want another opinion. Perhaps you just don’t want to be alone when you get the final result. Whatever you’re feeling, Bakersfield Pregnancy Center is here for you! We offer free pregnancy tests, free ultrasounds, and a safe place to express your thoughts and feelings–all at no cost to you!
Do I Need an Ultrasound Before an Abortion?
You may be wondering why you’d want an ultrasound if you’re considering abortion in California. Although state law doesn’t require women to receive an ultrasound before a first-trimester abortion, they provide crucial information that can help you make the most informed decision for your unplanned pregnancy.
Here’s what you can learn from an ultrasound:
If a pregnancy is viable, it is healthy and has a heartbeat. If a heartbeat can’t be detected during an ultrasound, you may be having a miscarriage. In that case, you wouldn’t need an abortion and you can seek out the appropriate medical care.
The March of Dimes states that most miscarriages happen in the first trimester, before the 12th week of pregnancy. It’s estimated that as many as 26 percent of all pregnancies naturally end in miscarriage. That’s very common! If your ultrasound determines that you’re experiencing a miscarriage, our compassionate team is here to support you, no matter what you’re feeling.
A pregnancy can only grow properly inside the uterus. In rare situations, the fertilized egg can implant outside of the uterus, such as in a fallopian tube or on an ovary. This is known as ectopic pregnancy and is fatal to the fetus and potentially life-threatening to the mother. The Mayo Clinic states that an abdominal ultrasound can confirm the pregnancy and detect internal bleeding, while a transvaginal ultrasound reveals the exact location of the pregnancy. Taking the extra step to get an ultrasound could help you to get the life-saving treatment you need before a rupture occurs!
How Far Along Am I?
Ultrasounds determine how far along you are in pregnancy, also known as your gestational age. It’s important to know your gestational age if you’re considering the abortion pill, as you can only take up to around nine weeks of pregnancy.
Should I Get Tested for STDs?
The Mayo Clinic encourages anyone who is sexually active to get tested for STDs. Many people don’t realize they have an STD because they’re asymptomatic. STD testing is especially important if you’re considering abortion in California. The procedure could exasperate the infection and cause it to spread to your uterus and create serious complications.
We understand–STD testing can feel embarrassing. But, you should never feel ashamed for protecting your health! Bakersfield Pregnancy Center offers free, confidential STD testing so you can get the care you deserve and take charge of your health!
Free Unplanned Pregnancy Resources in Bakersfield, CA
Considering abortion in California? You deserve to know all the facts, so you can make an informed and empowered decision! Bakersfield Pregnancy Center provides:
- Free pregnancy tests
- Free ultrasounds
- Free STD testing
You don’t have to face unplanned pregnancy alone. Our compassionate team is here to help, each step of the way! Give us a call at (661) 326-1907 or schedule your free appointment online today!
Please be aware that Bakersfield Pregnancy Center does not provide or refer for abortion services.
Am I Pregnant? Early Symptoms of Pregnancy & When to Test. Cleveland Clinic. (2022, July 26). Retrieved from https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/9709-pregnancy-am-i-pregnant
Miscarriage. March of Dimes. (2017, November). Retrieved from https://www.marchofdimes.org/complications/miscarriage.aspx
Dugas, C., & Slane, V. H. (2022, June 27). Miscarriage. National Library of Medicine. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK532992/
Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. (2022, March 12). Ectopic Pregnancy. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/ectopic-pregnancy/symptoms-causes/syc-20372088
Medical Abortion: What is it, Types, Risks & Recovery. Cleveland Clinic. (2021). Retrieved from https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/treatments/21899-medical-abortion
Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. (2022, August 24). STD Testing: What’s Right for You? Mayo Clinic. Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/sexually-transmitted-diseases-stds/in-depth/std-testing/art-20046019