Am I pregnant?
Thinking that you may be pregnant can be very daunting. The first step is to find out if you are actually pregnant.
Pregnancy may occur when a man and woman have sex without using contraception or when they have contraception failure (for instance a condom splits or a pill is forgotten or taken late). Sperm from the man is then able to fertilise an egg inside the woman by joining with it after sex and the fertilised egg will than implant itself in the uterine wall.
One of the first early signs of pregnancy is a missed period, but you don't need to wait until then - a store pregnancy test will work 16 days after you had the unprotected sex. Some young women do not have a regular menstrual cycle and may not be sure if they have missed their period. To find out more about your menstrual cycle go to Womens Health Qld Wide.
You may notice some other early signs of pregnancy too, such as:
- Shorter or lighter than usual period.
- Mood changes.
- Feeling more tired than usual.
- Feeling sick or vomiting.
- Stomach cramping.
- Sore or tender breasts.
- Peeing more often than usual.
- Restless sleep.
- Increased temperature.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms and particularly if you have missed or are late for your period you should find out if you are pregnant or not as soon as possible. The best way to do this is to take a pregnancy test to confirm the pregnancy.
Confirming the Pregnancy
A pregnancy can be confirmed in a number of ways including home pregnancy testing or contacting a doctor or family planning organisation for blood-testing and physical examination.
Home pregnancy tests can be bought from supermarkets and pharmacies and involve a simple urine test. The instructions on the packet should be carefully followed. You may like to have someone you trust with you when you take the test for extra support.
If you are not pregnant and you do not want to fall pregnant this may be a good opportunity to look at the many options available for contraception.
If you are pregnant it is normal to be feeling a mixture of emotions: fear, happiness, confusion, guilt, worry, and excitment. It is important that you seek support from someone you trust to help you with what to do next.
It is important to figure out how many weeks pregnant you are, this is called gestation.
Important Note: The gestation of the pregnancy is calculated from the first day of your most recent normal menstrual period (this tells you how many weeks the pregnancy is). This may be problematic. As a younger woman you may not have a regular menstrual cycle. However, it can be important to calculate the gestation as accurately as possible to ensure timely access to termination services or antenatal visits. Your GP or Family Planning Doctor can assist you to calculate it.
Talk to someone you trust. It is a good idea to speak to someone you trust who can support you at this time. Telling a parent or someone else that you are pregnant can be very scary. Check out our Telling someone: "I am pregnant'
If you don’t wish to talk to someone you know you can call Children by Choice for advice. Children by Choice is a free and confidential service and our counsellors support young people just like you to explore your options.
There are three choices to think about:
- Abortion - terminating the pregnancy.
- Adoption - continuing with the pregnancy and giving up the child after birth.
- Parenting - continuing with the pregnancy and becoming a parent.
If you are the man involved in the pregnancy or a parent or friend you can check out Supporting a woman through an unplanned pregnancy.
Remember: You are not alone and there is help and support available.