A surprise pregnancy can be stressful, especially if you are a teenager. Remember that you are the only one who can decide what to do, but you do not have to go through it alone. There are people who can give you correct information and support, so never hesitate to reach out and seek help.
How Do I Know If I Am Pregnant?
Pregnancy happens if semen enters your vagina or on your vulva. So, if you have not had penetrative sex or had any semen near your vulva since your last period, you may not be pregnant. The pre-ejaculation discharge also contains semen, so do not assume unless you are very sure.
It is important to remember that it takes a few weeks for pregnancy to occur after sex. So, if you had sex just a few days ago, you cannot be tested for pregnancy as yet, and there is still something you can do to prevent it, i.e. taking emergency contraception.
If you have had penis-in-vagina sex and missed your period, there is a chance that you are pregnant.
How To Deal With Unplanned Pregnancy ?
What to do if I suspect I am pregnant?
The first thing to do if you think you are pregnant is to take a pregnancy test, which is the only way you can know for sure. A pregnancy test can tell if you are pregnant as soon as your period is late. Many home pregnancy tests are available without a prescription at chemists and can be quite reliable and accurate in indicating a pregnancy when done correctly.
Don’t panic just because your period is late; there are many other things besides premarital pregnancy that can interfere with the timing of your period. This includes stress, diet, changes in your weight, and falling sick. It is also common to have irregular periods when you are a teenager. Thus, not getting your periods on time should not make you panic.
Apart from late periods, other symptoms indicate pregnancy like bloating, sore breasts, upset stomach, and tiredness. But as we stated before, these symptoms can be due to other things like PMS (Pre-Menstrual Syndrome), stress or being sick.
Thus, it is important to take a pregnancy test to know if you are pregnant. If your pregnancy test is positive, or your periods are missed for over 2 weeks, make an appointment with your doctor immediately so you can discuss the possibilities scientifically.
I’m pregnant- what next?
Premarital pregnancy can be scary, but you must try to stay calm. There are people who can help you. If you are pregnant, you will have three options:
- Parenting: giving birth and raising the child
- Abortion: ending the pregnancy
- Adoption: giving birth and giving the child to someone else forever.
If you choose parenting or adoption, you need prenatal care and ensure that you stay healthy during the pregnancy. If you think of getting an abortion, make an appointment as soon as possible with a Gynaecologist. Abortion is safe, but the risks increase the longer you wait. Also, it may be difficult to opt for this method if you miss the weeks allowed by law to get an abortion as time goes by.
Whatever you choose to do, get an appointment with a gynaecologist who can help you see your decision through.
Talking with someone about your feelings can help you a lot. Although it is a difficult decision, it is always a good idea to talk with your parents first about teenage pregnancy. Most assume that they will get angry but eventually they are your caregivers and will not be unreasonable. It also avoids carrying guilt afterwards which could potentially harm a healthy parental relationship. You could also talk to another trusted family member, boyfriend/girlfriend, friend, religious advisor or any other adult whom you can trust.
Teenage Pregnancy: How Do I Tell My Parents That I Am Pregnant?
Even though it might seem scary, talking with your parents can help in many cases. They can discuss your options with you and ensure you get the care you need, assist you in your decision-making and help you learn how to deal with unplanned pregnancy.
Most times parents may be shocked and angry, but they eventually support you and are understanding. There is no way to know how they will react until you talk to them about it.
If you feel that you can’t talk to your parents, or if telling your parents can put you in danger, try talking to another adult you trust, like an older sibling, aunt or uncle, grandparent, or counsellor. But do seek help in this situation. Support goes a long way emotionally and physically as well.