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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 Lavender, usually the first seven days before and after your period, as well as the time of your period, are relatively safe and one is likely not to get pregnant. After this period however, the chances of getting pregnant are higher. All this is depended on the length of ones period. Check out this article;- https://lovemattersafrica.com/our-bodies/female-body/menstruation 

I am a nursing mother,because of this my menstruation refused to come Tho I do have sex How can I know if am pregnant

Hey Damola, while you are exclusively breastfeeding you baby you will not menstruate which also mean can't get pregnant during this time. If however, you begin to supplement breastfeeding with other meals for your baby, your periods will resume and if you have unprotected sex you might get pregnant. To get to know if you are pregnant, get a pregnancy test done. You may also consider discussing birth control with you health provider. Check out this article;- https://lovemattersafrica.com/birth-control/choosing-the-right-birth-control/how-to-choose

Have sex 8days after my period,what will happen will i be pregnant,cause my last period last for twodays what will happen am i pregnant???

Hey Linda, there is no way to tell if you will be pregnant. There is a chance that you could be pregnant. You may have to wait to see if you will have your next period to determine if you are pregnant or not. Consider getting a pregnancy test done, this is the est way to get to know if you got pregnant.  

Hey Oluchi, One would need to get a pregnancy test done to find out if they are pregnant or not. Blood tests are more sensitive than urine tests and may detect pregnancy from about six days to eight days after ovulation. Talk to a health provider to get a pregnancy done. Check out this article;- https://lovemattersafrica.com/our-bodies/female-body/menstruation

I had sex last month with protection.. I ends my period today, and have been feeling weak since morning,my under belly has been panning me and I feel like vomiting,..those that means am pregnant

Hi Rose, if you just had your period then you are not pregnant since you can't be pregnant and have your period at the same time. If you are feeling unwell it maybe important to seek medical attention. Remember a missed period is one of the early signs of being pregnant. 

Hey Chidima, if you had your period this means you are not pregnant since one of the reasons for a missed period is pregnancy. A missed period can also be caused by stress, as well as extreme exercise, weight loss or weight gain, eating disorders, or hormonal issues. Also, there is a small chance that one can get pregnant if they have sex during their period. This is greatly depended on the length of a person's cycle. The chance is however small. Lastly, the best way to get to know if one is pregnant is to get a pregnancy test done, one can get the test a t a medical centre or but a home test from the pharmacy and carryout the test at home. Check out this article;- https://lovemattersafrica.com/our-bodies/female-body/sex-during-your-period-top-five-facts

I had unprotected sex and after around 2 weeks I received my periods though it delayed with 3 days,next month i had ovulation cramps, can I be pregnant

Hey Liz, first, if you received your periods it means you are not pregnant. One cannot be pregnant and receive periods at the same time. Same thing applies to ovulation, if you are pregnant you will also not ovulate. On the other hand, periods can be delayed for a number of reasons including hormonal issues, change in environment, weight gain or weight loss, stress among other reasons. The best way however, to get to know whether you are pregnant or not is to get a pregnancy test done. 

Hey Vicky, you can't have your menstrual period while you're pregnant. Some women do have vaginal bleeding during pregnancy. Some even report irregular bleeding that seems like a regular period to them. But vaginal bleeding during pregnancy is not the same thing as menstruation. Bleeding can be a serious issue or not and for this reason it is important to see a doctor if you experience any bleeding. Check out the following article;- https://lovemattersafrica.com/our-bodies/female-body/menstruation

I had sex may12 nd I saw my period dat same month nd d following month which is June, but I didn't see it July atall till now... could it be that I'm pregnant?

Hey Ewa, if the only time you had unprotected sex is the 12th of May then you are not pregnant. When you receive your periods it means you are not pregnant. One cannot be pregnant and receive periods at the same time. There are other reasons that can lead to a delayed or missed period including hormonal issues, change in environment, weight gain or weight loss, stress, use of birth control among other reasons. Other it may just be that one didn't get the dates right. 

Hi Eno, bleeding during and after sex is cause of concern. It maybe the result of an infection in the vagina or having dry sex where intercourse happens before the vagina is well lubricated and moist. Dry sex may cause bruises which will lead to bleeding. If this is something that happens all the time you have sex, it's important you seek medical advice for a check up. heck out this article;- https://lovemattersafrica.com/making-love/sex-problems-how-to-overcome-them/difficulties-with-sex-women 

Hey Peter, periods are likely to resume anytime from 6 weeks to 3 months. However when one is exclusively breastfeeding it may take longer. If your partner is not exclusively breastfeeding, it is important that you consider and take up a birth control method. Check out the following article;- https://lovemattersafrica.com/pregnancy/sex-after-pregnancy-myths-and-facts

Hey Chuchu, Ovulation is the process where the ovary releases a mature egg, which passes into the fallopian tube. Some women may feel a slight pain on one side of their lower back or abdominal area around the time of ovulation. This too is normal. Ovulation takes place about 14 days after the first day of your period. Check out this article for more information;- https://lovemattersafrica.com/our-bodies/female-body/menstruation

Hey Nancy, Emergency contraception should be taken within the first 72 hours after having unprotected sex. The sooner one takes the pill the higher the chances of it working. There is no way to tell if the pill will prevent pregnancy until after atleast two weeks or your next period. Check out the following article;- https://lovemattersafrica.com/birth-control/types-of-birth-control/emergency-contraception

Hey Ash, there is no negative effect associated with having sex during your periods, if you and your partner are comfortable with this. Infact, sex can help relieve some of the period pain. The chance that one can get pregnant having sex during periods is low. It depends with the length of ones cycle. Check out the following article for more information;- https://lovemattersafrica.com/our-bodies/female-body/sex-during-your-period-top-five-facts

Hello Sharon, first, the surest way to know if you are pregnant is by taking a pregnancy test. Have you already done the test? If not you may consider doing the test. Second, emergency contraceptive pill (morning after pill) does affect the menstrual cycle. After taking the pill your periods may come five days earlier or later than the day you expected. Perhaps that is what is happening to you. Finally, emergency contraceptive pill is only effective if taken within the stipulated time - seventy two (72) hours. Remember the sooner you take the pill the higher the effective rate. Check out this article for more information: https://lovemattersafrica.com/birth-control/types-of-birth-control/emergency-contraception-top-five-facts

Hi Terry, there are other reasons other than pregnancy that can cause once period to be late. These include, change in environment, change in diet, weight gain or weight loss, extreme exercises, stress, hormonal imbalance among others. If this however happens often, it may be important to consult a health provider.  

Hae I missed my period it's one month now I dint cume only my husband the only sign am having is tender breast aching at the nipple could i be pregnant?

Dear Joyce, you can only wait to see if it worked. The Emergency Contraception pill is likely to work when taken within the first 72 hours after having sex. Have a look at the following article for more information;- https://lovemattersafrica.com/birth-control/types-of-birth-control/emergency-contraception

Hey Sylvia, yes they do work however they are less accurate as compared to pregnancy tests that use blood samples. This can be done at a health facility. When doing a home urine test, follow the provided instructions for accurate results. If in doubt, get a blood test done which has a higher accuracy level and can also tell if one is pregnant sooner.

Hello,I have a cycle of 26days,and yesterday was my ovulation day,I've been trying t have a baby but in vain. I had sex yesterday, is there possibility of testing positive for pregnancy

Hey Zippy, yes there is a possibility that you could get pregnant. This is the time you are most fertile and most likely to get pregnant. However, if you have been trying to get pregnant for longer than 12 months, it is important that you seek the services of a Gynecologist who will be able to further advice. The earliest you can tell if you are pregnant or not is from 14 days. In the meantime have a look at the following article;- https://lovemattersafrica.com/pregnancy/before-pregnancy/getting-pregnant-dos-and-donts

Hi.I finished my period on 8th this month, and I had unprotected sex.then I did pregnant text on Monday it's positive. Then on yesterday I seen brownish it normal. Then its mean am pregnant. Help pliz

Hi Phyllis, the brownish discharge is normal. It occurs when you are about to get your periods or after the periods. If the test was positive then you may want to visit a clinic for a confirmation test  and to also begin your Ante-Natal clinic visits. We wish you all the best. 

Hi Eunice, a missed period can indicate pregnancy if one has had unprotected sex. To rule out pregnancy one needs to take a pregnancy test this is because there are other reasons that cause a missed or delayed period including hormonal imbalance, weight gain or weight loss, stress among others. 

I am scared I maybe pregnant and yet I am not ready for it becoz I am still in college. I had sex with my boyfriend 2 weeks ago but I used P2 but now I have missed my periods for 3 days. Could I be pregnant? What can make the P2 to fail? Help me am worried.

Hi there, one of the disadvantages of Emergency Contraception pill is that it affects the next periods so that the period comes early or late by a couple of days. However, it is important that you take a pregnancy test to rule out pregnancy. P2 is likely not to work if it is taken 72 hours after having unprotected sex or if one vomits soon after taking the pill. Take pregnancy test to find out whether you are pregnant or if the delay is as a result of the pill. Check out the following article;- https://lovemattersafrica.com/birth-control/types-of-birth-control/emergency-contraception

Hi, the chances of becoming pregnant during menstruation are extremely small, however this can still happen. If therefore one wishes not to get pregnant, it is important that they use birth control. Check out this article for more information;- https://lovemattersafrica.com/our-bodies/female-body/sex-during-your-period-top-five-facts

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