What are your options?
If you find yourself with an unwanted pregnancy, know that you are not alone. Many women undergo a similar situation at some point in their life. In fact, almost half of all pregnancies reported in the U.S. are unintended.
It can be stressful to find yourself unintentionally pregnant and not ready to become a parent. It’s normal to find this situation overwhelming, but there are a number of steps you can take to get guidance and help. No matter what you decide to do, it’s important to remember that this is ultimately your decision to make.
Most women who find themselves pregnant have the following options:
There are two main abortion options available:
- Abortion pill
- Surgical abortion
Some women prefer using a pill to terminate their unwanted pregnancy.
You might have to consider pills if:
- You are in the early stages of pregnancy (earlier than ten weeks)
- You want to terminate your pregnancy at home
- You want a less invasive procedure
Abortion pills affect each body differently. You might need advice from general practitioners about the best option and the expected side effects.
The most common side effects of these pills include:
There are two types of surgical abortion:
Dilation and evacuation (D&E) abortion. Viable up to the 15th week of pregnancy
Vacuum aspiration abortion. Viable up to the 24th week of pregnancy.
These procedures are performed in abortion clinics. During these procedures, your cervix is first numbed. After that, a tube connected to suction is inserted. The tube sucks out the contents of the uterus. The procedure takes less than an hour to finish.
If you are thinking of opting for adoption, then you should know there are two main types of adoption processes.
Closed adoption. You do not have access to the contact information of the family that adopts your child. Your child can have access to your contact information when they turn 18.
Open adoption. Communication between you and your child is kept open. You can contact your child through calls, visits, or letters.
It’s important to find a reputable adoption agency that will ensure your baby gets the best available care. You might consider asking a social worker or your adoption lawyer for a referral.
How to cope with an unwanted pregnancy
The following tips can help you make a healthy decision if you have an unwanted pregnancy:
- Find non-judgmental support. People have different opinions when it comes to unwanted pregnancies. It's crucial that you find a support group or friend that can offer confidential, non-judgemental support or advice.
- Accept that you are in shock. Give yourself time to accept your situation. It is normal to be in shock after finding out that you're pregnant, especially when it’s unplanned.
- Face your fears. Fear is common during pregnancy, whether planned or unplanned. Remember that nobody has the right to scare or shame you into a decision. Take time to collect your thoughts, then decide for yourself.
- Allow yourself to be emotional. Experiencing an unwanted pregnancy isn’t easy. It’s important to take time to experience your emotions instead of bottling them up. Consider writing your thoughts and feelings down for later reference. Doing this will help you make the best decision for your unique personal situation.
- Visualize your options. There are a variety of options that may help you handle your situation. It might help you to visualize each option and decide how you feel about it. Consider reaching out to trained professionals or close friends if you get overwhelmed.
- Think beyond finances. When it comes to raising children, your main consideration might be money. Although money is a key consideration, you should also factor in your emotional readiness and living situation before making a decision.
- FDA Panel Backs RSV Vaccine for Infants, Some Toddlers
- Seniors: Stay Social, Active for 'Optimal Aging,' Study Shows
- Diabetes Med Metformin Might Help Prevent Long COVID
- Disability a Growing Concern for U.S. Cancer Survivors
- Smoke From Wildfires Is Especially Tough If You Have Asthma. Here’s How to Protect Yourself
- More Health News »
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Hopeline PRC: "Coping With An Unplanned Pregnancy."
National Council For Adoption: "Find an Agency or Attorney."
Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Inc: "Pregnancy Options.","What facts about adoption do I need to know?"
The Victorian Government: "Abortion procedures - surgical."
U.S. National Library of Medicine: "Ending pregnancy with medicines."
United Health Foundation: "Unintended Pregnancy."
Top What Should I Do After an Unwanted Pregnancy Related Articles
3 Ways To Get Pregnant Without a ManNo matter why you are motivated to become pregnant without a male sexual partner, there are many ways in which you can still get pregnant. Three ways to get pregnant without a man include intrauterine insemination, in vitro fertilization (IVF), and egg and sperm donation.
4 Common Discomforts of PregnancyPregnancy comes with huge hormonal changes that can cause discomfort, including morning sickness, heartburn, constipation and headaches. Learn what causes these symptoms and how you can cope with them.
Are Blood Clots Normal in Early Pregnancy?Around 15-20% of pregnant women experience bleeding during the first trimester. Light bleeding can be normal, but heavy bleeding or clots can indicate something more serious. Always let your doctor or midwife know if you're experiencing any bleeding.
Can Dreaming of Being Pregnant Be a Sign?According to the National Health Foundation, we all have four to six dreams every night. A few dreams we remember, whereas the most we forget. Humans have been studying dreams and their significance since ancient times.
16 Early Signs & Symptoms of Pregnancy: Could You Be Pregnant?What are the early signs and symptoms of pregnancy? Can you know before your missed period? Read about nausea and vomiting (morning sickness), bloating, tender breasts, and more. Explore first trimester symptoms of pregnancy and learn what week pregnancy symptoms start.
Am I Pregnant QuizWhat are early pregnancy symptoms? In some women, symptoms range from a missed period to feeling lightheaded. Others may experience typical "morning sickness" and food cravings. Could you be pregnant? Take the quiz!
fentanyl patchFentanyl transdermal patch is a synthetic narcotic prescribed for severe pain in patients, for example, with cancer pain. Side effects may include yawning, nasal discharge, twitching muscles, nausea, diarrhea, and coughing. Because fentanyl is an opioid, it carries the risks of addiction, abuse, and misuse. Do not take fentanyl if pregnant or breastfeeding.
Is Shingles Contagious?Shingles is an infection caused by the varicella-zoster virus. Shingles symptoms and signs include skin burning, numbness, and tingling along with a painful red, blistering rash. Shingles is contagious until all of the blisters have crusted over.
magnesium sulfateMagnesium sulfate is a salt of magnesium, a naturally occurring mineral, used to prevent and treat convulsions (seizures) from preeclampsia and eclampsia (toxemia) in pregnant women. Magnesium sulfate is also used to treat certain heart rhythm disorders, magnesium deficiency, and acute kidney inflammation (nephritis) in children. Side effects include flushing, increased sweating, low blood pressure (hypotension), depressed/poor reflexes, flaccid paralysis, low core body temperature (hypothermia), circulatory collapse, depressed cardiac function, central nervous system (CNS) depression, respiratory paralysis, excess fluid in the lungs (pulmonary edema), extreme drowsiness, and others.
mifepristoneMifepristone (Mifeprex) is a synthetic steroid used to terminate early pregnancy. The Korlym brand of mifepristone is a cortisol receptor blocker, used to manage and treat high blood glucose levels (hyperglycemia) in people with Cushing’s syndrome. Serious and sometimes fatal infections and bleeding occur very rarely. A failed pregnancy termination could cause birth defects. Common side effects include abdominal pain and cramping, uterine cramping, nausea, fatigue, headache, vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness, endometrial hypertrophy, low blood potassium (hypokalemia), joint pain (arthralgia), swelling of extremities (peripheral edema), and others.
ondansetronOndansetron is an antiemetic medication prescribed to prevent nausea and vomiting caused by cancer treatments (chemotherapy and radiation, and anesthetic medications used during surgeries). It is also used to treat extreme and persistent nausea and vomiting during pregnancy, and itching caused by opioid medications and certain specific conditions. Common side effects of ondansetron include headache, feeling unwell (malaise), fatigue, constipation, low tissue oxygen levels (hypoxia), drowsiness, dizziness, and gynecological disorder. Consult your doctor before taking ondansetron if pregnant or breastfeeding.
Pregnancy: Multiple Births, Twins, Triplets, and MoreMultiple births occur when a woman bears twins, triplets, or even more babies during pregnancy. More multiples are born today thanks to assisted reproductive technology (ART), including in vitro fertilization using fertility drugs. Women carrying multiples often give birth via C-section.
Pregnancy Myths and Facts QuizBeing pregnant is a delicate time for both mother and baby. Take this pregnancy myths and facts quiz to separate the myths and facts about being pregnant, and learn the truth behind healthy pregnancies!
Bleeding During Pregnancy (First Trimester)Bleeding during pregnancy is never normal. Causes of bleeding during the first trimester of a pregnancy may be caused by implantation bleeding, ectopic or tubal pregnancy, subchorionic hemorrhaging, infections, and miscarriage. Bleeding during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy can be caused by a variety of factors.
Prenatal VitaminsPrenatal vitamins are recommended by most doctors prior to getting pregnant, throughout your pregnancy, and after you have your baby. The developing embryo and fetus need extra vitamins for healthy development. Prenatal vitamins contain iron, calcium and vitamin D, folic acid (to prevent birth defects), zinc, iodine, and vitamin A. Some prenatal multivitamins also contain other minerals and supplements like vitamin B 12 and omega-3 fatty acids.
Are Sharp Pains in Your Stomach Normal During Pregnancy?Many women experience sharp pains in their stomach during pregnancy. Learn the signs of normal stomach pains in pregnancy, what causes them, what you can do to treat them, and when you should see a doctor for sharp stomach pains during pregnancy.
Stages of Pregnancy: Week by WeekSee pictures on the various stages of pregnancy. See and learn what changes a woman's body goes through and view fetal images of how her baby grows during the 1st, 2nd and 3rd trimesters.
What Are the 3 Prenatal Tests?Prenatal tests are medical procedures performed during pregnancy to assess the health and development of the fetus and to help identify any potential problems or abnormalities. The three most common prenatal tests include ultrasound, amniocentesis, and chorionic villus sampling (CVS). Other prenatal tests include pregnancy test, first trimester screening, second trimester screening, noninvasive prenatal testing, fetal ultrasound, genetic counseling, biophysical profile, Group B streptococcus (GBS) test, glucose tolerance test, anomaly scan, and alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) test.
Pregnant? Don't Eat ThisDo you know which common foods may be risky during pregnancy? Learn which foods to avoid, while pregnant, such as queso dip, lunch meat, coffee and more.