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© Love Matters | Rita Lino

Am I pregnant?

If you’ve had sex without using a contraceptive, there’s a chance you could be pregnant. How can you find out if you’re pregnant? And what can you do if you are?

Checklist:

  • Have you had sex without using any form of contraception?
  • Are you on the pill and you’ve taken antibiotics?
  • Are you on the pill, and you’ve vomited or had diarrhoea within four hours of taking it?
  • If you’ve had sex and the answer to any of these questions is ‘yes’, there’s a chance you could be pregnant.
  • Have you had unprotected sex and worried you might be pregnant? Read more about Emergency Contraception or the morning after pill

If you want to be pregnant: wait and see if you’re in luck! You can buy a pregnancy test from the chemist or drug store.

I am pregnant – now what?

If you were planning to get pregnant – congratulations! Head over to our section on pregnancy where you can find detailed information about what to expect.

For many people, though, pregnancy can come as a surprise. It’s easy to forget about the condom in the heat of the moment. Even if you use contraception perfectly, sometimes it just doesn’t work.

Either way, if you unintentionally get pregnant, you need to decide on what to do.

There are three options:

  • You could keep the baby.
  • You could deliver the baby and give it up for adoption, or to a family member.
  • You could have the pregnancy terminated (an abortion).

Whatever you decide, you need to think carefully about the next steps. Talk to someone you trust. Someone who can give you advice and support; preferably an adult such as your mother, an aunt, a friend, your partner, or your doctor. Someone who won’t judge you for the choices you ultimately make. In the end, you’re the one who has to make the decision.

It’s always best to talk your decision through with someone you trust. The surer you are of your decision, the better you will feel afterwards. Make sure you are the one who makes the final decision and do not settle for anything less. Don’t let anyone pressure you into a decision you don’t feel comfortable with.

Keep the baby

You could decide to keep the baby. This means thinking about the future: what will you have to put into place to ensure you can take care of a dependent? Do you have a plan and a social support system for instance from the baby’s father, or from family? What are the short-, mid-, and long-term implications for your life and plans? What about your education and career? Will you have enough support – from the baby’s father, or your family? Will you have enough resources to live on? If you have a partner, what do they think? Do they want to keep the child? How many children do you have already? Is it safe to have another? Is the foetus healthy? Are you healthy?

And the most important question: do you want this child?

Give the baby up for adoption

You could also have the baby adopted. Again, you need to think carefully, considering all your options. If you decide to take this option, how will you find someone to adopt your child?

You could contact an official adoption agency and have your child safely and legally adopted through the state. They will then take you through the process and explain what happens in adoption cases. They will ask you to sign a consent form and arrange a suitable plan for how you can get the baby to them once it is born. In most cases, adoption centres can make arrangements for you to leave the baby at the hospital, where they will collect it.

If you’re still very young and you live with your family, it helps if you can be honest with your parents. As a minor, you may be limited in some of the options you can consider. They may want to help raise the child or, if not, perhaps they can help you decide what to do. If it’s difficult to tell them, perhaps another family member or family friend could help you break the news.

Under no circumstances should you just abandon a child. Doing this is illegal and it is always better to leave a child with a hospital, adoption agency, or church, so the child can be taken care of.

End the pregnancy (abortion)

The third option is to have an abortion. Like the others, this is not an easy decision to make, and you may need some time to think it over. But don’t let anyone choose for you. This is about you, your body, and your choices, so in the end, you have to decide for yourself. Read more about the different types of abortions.

Your decision

There are no right or wrong answers to these questions. You should decide what feels right for you. If you’re really struggling, try talking through your options with someone you trust.

Comments

Hi Lina, the best way to get to know whether you are pregnant or not is to take a pregnancy test. A missed pregnancy is one of the early signs that one could be pregnant. DO visit a health centre for a test or take a home test. Check out this article;- https://lovematters.co.ke/our-bodies/female-body/menstruation

Hi... i usually have cramps during my periods kindly advice me on which painkillers i can use to reveal the pain. then if you have cramps during periods is it possible that you will not have pains when delivering your first born child please help me.
Hi Fizzy, Talk to your local pharmacists about what painkillers will be more effective for you to use. Aside from painkillers there are a few things one can do to help relieve the pain including the use of some birth control methods. Also, having cramps doesn't mean that one will have a painless first delivery. Check out this article;- https://lovematters.co.ke/our-bodies/female-body/dealing-with-period-pain
Hi Doris, fatigue in the context of pregnancy means feeling generally tired and exhausted. Most women will feel generally tired and exhausted during the course of their pregnancy. This is a common symptom during pregnancy. Check out this article;- https://lovematters.co.ke/pregnancy/being-pregnant/your-body-and-pregnancy
I had sex during my second day of period and three days later l had sex, could I b pregnant seen av been experiencing abdominal pain with back ACH
Hi There, a common side effect of the Depo-Provera injection is changes in ones menstrual cycle, which is what you are experiencing. It should be concerning if you were experiencing very heavy bleeding. You can consider speaking to your health provider for further information. Check out this article;- https://lovematters.co.ke/birth-control/types-of-birth-control/shot
hi, i have missed my periods from DEC 2017, went for a scan on January and wasn't pregnant got light sports on Feb and no any periods so far. my tummy is getting bigger by day and i have done home urine tests and are negative.. could i be pregnant? please help
Hi Irene, you maybe pregnant especially if you have had unprotected sex. A missed period is one of the earliest signs of pregnancy. I suggest you visit a health centre for other more accurate tests and perhaps another scan. The health provider should be able to advice based on the outcome of the tests.
Hey Mercy, yes one can still get pregnant even when they have an STI, when untreated however the STI can pose a risk to the unborn baby including causing a miscarriage. If you suspect you could having an STI, do visit a medical centre for a check up and possible treatment. Check out the following article for more information;- https://lovematters.co.ke/safe-sex/stds-stis
I haven't had my periods for the last two months and I use pills.. My pregnancy test was invalid but am having nausea and cravings. Could I be pregnant
Hi Nana, the signs you have described including a missed period are some of the early signs of pregnancy. If the test was invalid it is import to do another. Also, if you did a urine test, you may want to consider taking a blood test. This is the best way way to determine if you are pregnant. Do visit a health centre for the tests. Check out this article;- https://lovematters.co.ke/pregnancy/being-pregnant/your-body-and-pregnancy

Hi There, Some of the early signs of pregnancy include breast tenderness, headaches, fatigue, nausea and a missed period among others. It may however be important to take an pregnancy test 14 days after having unprotected sex to confirm if one is pregnant. Check out the following article for more information;- https://lovemattersafrica.com/pregnancy/being-pregnant/your-body-and-pregnancy

Hey, aside from pregnancy there are other reasons that can lead to a delayed period including stress, changes in diet, extreme exercise and also hormonal imbalance. Period may delay for upto 5 days, if after five days your period has not come you may have to wait for 14 days from the day you had sex to get a pregnancy test to get to know if you are pregnant.    

Hi, if he didn't ejaculate inside you or anywhere near your vagina then there is no risk of getting pregnant. However, there could be a risk of getting infected with an Sexually Transmitted Infection especially because of the fluid produced before semen by men during sex. Check out this article;- https://lovemattersafrica.com/safe-sex/sti-prevention/staying-safe

Howdy! Someone in my Facebook group shared this website with us so I came to check it out. I'm definitely enjoying the information. I'm bookmarking and will be tweeting this to my followers!

Hi, you can choose to use the Emergency Contraception Pill also known as P2. The Pill is taken after having unprotected sex and within the first 72 hours for the pill to work. Check out the following article for more information;- https://lovemattersafrica.com/birth-control/types-of-birth-control/emergency-contraception

Hi Love Matters, we had sex two weeks ago and it was not protected. Now I have missed my periods for 4 days I am also having having lower abdominal pains. Am I pregnant?

Hey Tish, the best way to get to know whether you are pregnant or not is to take a pregnancy test. If is has been 14 days from the day you had sex do get a pregnancy it should be able to confirm or rule out pregnancy. Having said that, there are a number of other reasons that can lead to a delayed period including stress, drastic weight gain and loss, extreme exercises and hormonal issues. The best place to start is to get a pregnancy test. Visit a medical centre to have a test done. Check out this article;- https://lovemattersafrica.com/pregnancy/unsure-about-being-pregnant/am-i-pregnant

Hi, there are a number of reasons that can lead to a delayed pregnancy. Pregnancy is one of them, but also, Hormonal imbalance, extreme exercises, eating disorders and also stress. It is best that you get a pregnancy test, to get to know if the delay is as a result of pregnancy. Visit a medical centre and get a pregnancy test done then you can decide how to proceed. 

Hi Jane, Irregular periods can be caused by a number of reasons. Changes in ones body's level of hormones can disrupt the normal pattern of their period. Other reasons include; too much exercise, stress, eating disorders, significant increase or decrease in weight, use of birth control methods especially hormonal methods among others. Usually, one wouldn’t require any treatment unless, they have been having a regular period and this has since changed to be irregular including missing three or more periods a year, the period comes more often than every 21 days, heavily bleeding than usual during periods, bleeding for more than 7 days and when one experiences more pain than usual during a period. The key to getting pregnant is to determine when it is you are most fertile; this is when you are about to or when you are ovulating. Having sex around this time greatly increases the chances of getting pregnant. The unpredictability of irregular periods might make it challenging for one to get to know when they are ovulating. However, one can still tell when they are ovulating or when they will ovulate and capitalize on this. Check out the following article for more information including how to tell when you are ovulating or when you will ovulate;

https://lovemattersafrica.com/our-bodies/female-body/menstruation

https://lovemattersafrica.com/pregnancy/before-pregnancy/getting-pregnant-dos-and-donts

Hey Sally, you didn't mention which method you are using...Depending on the method you are using it may affect your period. It is also important you a pregnancy test done to rule pregnancy out especially because birth control methods do have a failure rate. Check out this article;- https://lovemattersafrica.com/birth-control/types-of-birth-control

Hey Ess, the chances of becoming pregnant during menstruation are extremely small, but it can still happen. Though generally, it is a very safe time to have unprotected sex if you’re trying to avoid pregnancy, a man’s sperm has the ability to survive inside the woman’s body for a few days and there is a small chance that an early ovulation could cause pregnancy. If you want to avoid getting pregnant, it is best to use contraceptives. Check out this article for more information on sex during periods;- https://lovemattersafrica.com/our-bodies/female-body/sex-during-your-period-top-five-facts

Anonymous
Wed, 07/25/2018 - 13:40
I think I could be pregnant I missed my last period. I have not spoken with my partner yet and getting an abortion is just not an options for me. My challenge is how to break this news to my mother. She will be so disappointed with me I don't know hot to face her with such news.

Hi, it is important you get a pregnancy test done to be certain that you are pregnant since there are other reasons aside from pregnancy that can cause your period to delay including stress, hormonal issues, change of environment, change of diet and even increase or decrease in weight. The decision of how to deal with the pregnancy is your personal decision, take time and think about how you want to proceed to make an informed decision. Lastly, find a good time to talk to your mother about this especially because she will eventually get to know. You can consider seeking help from a family friend or relative who may help you talk to you mum. Also, do consider to inform your partner who may help in how to move forward. Remember though that the final decision of how to proceed is your personal decision. 

Hi Irenr, abortion pills may cause some bleeding, cramping, diarrhoea, and sickness. It may feel like really bad period pains. One is unlikely to notice the embryo among the blood clots – it’s still no bigger than a small grape at eight weeks, and even smaller earlier in the pregnancy. If the bleeding and pain feel too severe, you should go to the nearest clinic or hospital. I suggest you call Marie Stopes toll-free on 0800720005 or WhatsApp us on 0709819000 this is if you are in Kenya or otherwise visit a Marie Stopes Centre where you will get further assistance. It is also important to recognize what the law says about abortion services in your country. Check out the following article;- https://lovemattersafrica.com/pregnancy/unsure-about-being-pregnant/abortion

Hey Cira, the P2 is most effective at - 95 per cent effective - when taken within the first 24 hours after having unprotected sex and specifically between the first 12 - 24 hours. There is however a 5 per cent chance that one could get pregnant. The longer one takes to take the pill the less effective it becomes. Also, taking the pill is likely to affect your period so that the period comes early or is delayed. It is also important that you get a pregnancy test done to determine whether you are pregnant or not. Check out this article;- https://lovemattersafrica.com/birth-control/types-of-birth-control/emergency-contraception

Hi Victory, have you considered all your options aside from terminating the pregnancy? Have you talked to your partner about what support you need if you are to go through with this? The decision of what happens to your body is your own, only you can and should make that decision. The other option you have to consider is whether you want to terminate the pregnancy. I suggest you call Marie Stopes toll-free on 0800720005 or WhatsApp them on 0709819000 this is if you are in Kenya. Better still, you can visit a Marie Stopes Centre near you for further counselling and support. We wish you well. Check out the following article;- https://lovemattersafrica.com/pregnancy/unsure-about-being-pregnant/abortion

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