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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 Grace, having unprotected sex can lead to one getting pregnant. However, the chance of getting pregnant is depended on whether a person is ovulating when they have sex or around the time they have sex. This depends on a persons cycle. Have a look at the following article for additional information;- https://lovemattersafrica.com/our-bodies/female-body/menstruation

Hi Hellen, some of the early sings of pregnancy include; Tender, swollen breasts, fatigue, slight bleeding or cramping, nausea with or without vomiting, food aversions or cravings, headaches, constipation, mood swings among others. It is important that one takes a pregnancy test fourteen days after having unprotected sex or after one misses their next period. One can get the test done at a medical centre or get a test from a pharmacy to do it at home. 

I had anal sex without a condom can I get pregnant? We used a condom when my boyfriend and I had vaginal sex. I am asking because I have missed my period.

Hi Betty, one cannot get pregnant from anal sex unless sperm slips into the vagina from the anus. There a number of reasons that can cause periods to delay including stress, change in environment, change in diet, weight gain or weight loss, hormonal issues among other reasons. Give it afew more days before taking a pregnancy test.

Dear Belle, one of the side effects of the emergency contraception pill (P2) it is that it is likely to affect your next period so that the period either comes early or it is delayed. You may have to give a couple more days and if you do not have your periods, it will be important that you have a pregnancy test done to determine if you got pregnant. Have a look at the following article for more information emergency contraception;- https://lovemattersafrica.com/birth-control/types-of-birth-control/emergency-contraception

My period delay for just one day and the next day it came out and it flows very well, but immediately after the i started having adomel pain and back pains, sometimes feel like vomiting yet it's not coming out. I did a w

Hi Cherry, there are a number of reasons that may cause once period to delay including hormonal issues, change or diet, change of environment among other reasons. Sometimes it just be that one miscalculated the date. Also, the symptoms you have described above are expected during periods. If the pain far much more than what's normal to you, it maybe useful to talk to a health provider. Have a look at the following article for more information;- https://lovemattersafrica.com/our-bodies/female-body/dealing-with-period-pain

Hi, I had been having sleepless night alway stretching when sleeping and stomach pains for the past one month. Last I saw my period last month, I have done urine test, I don't know how to read it. Please I need your help.

Dear Ella, whether you are a virgin or not as long as there is ejaculation inside your vagina there is possibility of getting pregnant. Perhaps, if 72 hours or 3 days are not over, you can consider taking emergency contraceptive that can reduce your chances of getting pregnant: Check out this article: https://lovemattersafrica.com/birth-control/types-of-birth-control/emergency-contraception-top-five-facts

We had unprotected sex but my girlfriend told me she had taken P2 we had sex to be sure now she has morning sickness. Could she be pregnant and what can make P2 not to work?

Hello Lennie, I am not able to tell if your girlfriend is pregnant, she needs to take a pregnancy test for you to get to know. On the other hand, emergency contraception can fail to work or be less effective if one vomits soon after taking the pill. Also, the pill should be taken within the first 72 hours after having unprotected sex, the sooner one takes the pill the more effective the is likely to be. Have a look at the following article;- https://lovemattersafrica.com/birth-control/types-of-birth-control/emergency-contraception

Dear Diana, first the emergency contraception pill has to be taken within the first 72 hours after having unprotected sex. The sooner one takes the pill the more effective it is likely going to be. Secondly, the pill affects the next period so that it comes early or late. I suggest you give it afew more days before taking a pregnancy test to rule it out. Have a look at the following article;- https://lovemattersafrica.com/birth-control/types-of-birth-control/emergency-contraception

Hi Faith, different hormonal birth control methods will have an effect on ones periods including lighter periods or no periods at all. I suggest you discuss the side effects you are experiencing based on the method you are using for specific advice. Have a look at the following article for more information on the different birth control methods;- https://lovemattersafrica.com/birth-control/types-of-birth-control

Happiness
Sat, 06/29/2019 - 13:37
I had sex early last montg and took contraceptive and a week later I fell Ill so i had to take antibiotics.. I started feeling funny last week and I decided to do a pregnancy test.. guess what? I AM PREGNANT.. how on Earth is this possible??

Dear Happiness, do you mean you took emergency contraception? First, emergency contraception only works when taken within the first 72 hours after having unprotected sex. The pill is most effective when taken within the first 24 hours at 95 per cent. This decreases with the passing of time. It also means even when one takes the pill within the first 24 hours, there is still a 5 per cent chance they could get pregnant. Check out this article;- https://lovemattersafrica.com/birth-control/types-of-birth-control/emergency-contraception

Hi Dillys, some of the early signs of pregnancy include a missed period, nausea, vomiting, frequently urinating, fatigue, headaches among other. Some of these signs appear as premenstrual signs and for this reason it maybe important to have a pregnancy test done at a health facility to determine if one is pregnant. There are test that can do this from 8 days after. Do talk to your health care provider for further advice. 

We used a condom but it burst during sex. I was able to take emergency contraception days later. Will it work? How soon can I get a test to know if I am pregnant?

Hi Mirriam, emergency contraception only helps to prevent pregnancy when taken within the first 72 hours after having sex. If you took the pill within this time it will help prevent unplanned pregnancy. Remember, the sooner one takes the pill the higher chances it will work. You can also consider visiting a medical centre where there are test that determine if one is pregnant from eight days after having unprotected sex. Have a look at the following article;- https://lovemattersafrica.com/birth-control/types-of-birth-control/emergency-contraception-top-five-facts

Hello Stellah, P2 or Emergency contraception has to be taken within the first 72 hours after having unprotected sex for it to work. The sooner one takes the pill the more effective it is likely going to be, for instance P2 is most effective when taken within the first 24 hours after having unprotected sex.Remember, P2 only helps to prevent unplanned pregnancies but  one remains exposed to Sexually Transmitted Infections. Using condoms correctly and each time one has sex however, will prevent both unplanned pregnancies and STIs. Check out the following article;- https://lovemattersafrica.com/birth-control/types-of-birth-control/emergency-contraception

I've been having non stop headaches, vomiting in the mornings but not everyday,am not always tired and i don't have appetite.I saw my period this week but i tested positive for a pregnancy test...Can this be for real?
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