I think I’m pregnant. Now what?
A surprise pregnancy can be stressful and scary. You’re the only one who can decide what to do, but there are people who can give you info and support. You’re not alone.
How do I know if I’m pregnant?
Pregnancy can only happen if semen (cum) gets in your vagina or on your vulva. So if you haven’t had penis-in-vagina sex or had any semen (cum) near your vulva since your last period, you’re not pregnant.
Also keep in mind that it takes up to a few weeks for pregnancy to happen after sex. So if the sex happened a few days ago, you can’t be pregnant yet — in fact, you can still use emergency contraception (like the morning-after pill) to help prevent pregnancy if it’s been less than 5 days since you’ve had unprotected sex.
If you’ve had penis-in-vagina sex and miss your period, it’s possible that you’re pregnant. But keep in mind that lots of things besides pregnancy can mess with the timing of your period, like stress, diet, changes in your weight, and being sick. It’s also really common to have irregular periods when you’re a teenager.
The first thing to do if you think you’re pregnant is take a pregnancy test — it’s the only way to know for sure. A pregnancy test can tell you if you’re pregnant as soon as your period is late. Read more about pregnancy tests.
Early pregnancy symptoms include bloating, sore breasts, upset stomach, and feeling tired. But these symptoms can also be caused by other things, like PMS or being sick. And some people don’t have symptoms at all in early pregnancy. So symptoms alone can’t tell you what’s going on — only a pregnancy test can.
If your pregnancy test is positive, make an appointment with your doctor or local Planned Parenthood Health Center right away so you can talk about your pregnancy options and make sure you stay healthy — no matter what you decide to do about your pregnancy. But be careful to go to a real health center and not a crisis pregnancy center — these are fake clinics that often say they offer pregnancy tests and counseling, but they don’t actually provide a full range of real health care. They won’t give you honest information about your pregnancy options, and they don’t have to follow privacy laws. Planned Parenthood can help you find somewhere trustworthy.
I’m pregnant — what do I do now?
Finding out you’re pregnant can feel overwhelming, but try to stay calm. You’re going to be okay, and there are people who can help you.
If you’re pregnant you have 3 options:
Parenting — giving birth and raising the child.
Abortion — ending the pregnancy.
Adoption — giving birth and placing the child with another person or family, forever.
If you think you might choose parenting or adoption, you need prenatal care to make sure you stay healthy during the pregnancy.
If you’re thinking about getting an abortion, try to make an appointment as soon as you can. It can be harder to get an abortion as time goes by. If you live in a state where abortion is illegal, you may have to go to another state to get an abortion and it can take time to arrange travel. Whatever you decide to do, go to a doctor right away so they can help you stay healthy.
The staff at your local Planned Parenthood health center can give you accurate information about all your options, answer your questions, and offer support. You can also find a trustworthy abortion provider at AbortionFinder.org.
You can also get information and health care from other family planning centers or your family doctor. Be careful when looking for a reliable health center — there are fake clinics that say they have pregnancy services, but they don’t offer a full range of health care, and they may not even have real nurses and doctors on staff. These are called Crisis Pregnancy Centers, and they’re run by people who won’t give you truthful or accurate information about pregnancy, abortion, birth control, or sexual health. Read more about Crisis Pregnancy Centers.
Talking with someone about your feelings can be helpful, too. If you can, it’s a really good idea to talk with a parent or caregiver about it — chances are they care about you and want to help you. You could also talk with another family member, boyfriend/girlfriend, friend, school counselor, religious advisor, or another adult that you trust. Choose someone who will listen to you, be supportive, respect your privacy, and won’t be judgmental or try to pressure you into anything.
If you’re having a hard time finding someone in your life to talk with, check out All-Options. All-Options has a free, private hotline where you can talk about your pregnancy and get support, no matter how you’re feeling.
No one should pressure you into making any decision about your pregnancy, no matter what. Only you know what’s right for you.
How do I tell my parents that I’m pregnant?
Even though it might feel scary, talking with a parent or caregiver can really help. They can talk through your options with you, and help you get the health care you need.
Many people worry that their parents/caregivers will freak out, but that’s not always what happens. If you can, try to be open and honest. Start by saying that you trust them and need their help and support. Most of the time, they just want to make sure you’re healthy and safe. If your parents/caregivers do get upset, they may just need some time to calm down.
Sometimes parents/caregivers are shocked or angry, and sometimes they're understanding. There’s really no way to know how yours will feel unless you talk with them about it. It might help to find a time when you can talk in private and there are no distractions. If you’re feeling really nervous or scared, you can always ask a friend or other family member to be there with you during the conversation. That way, you’ll have support no matter what happens.
If you really feel like you can’t talk to your parents/caregivers, try talking to another adult who you trust (like an aunt or uncle, grandparent, older sibling, school nurse, or counselor). If you’re worried that telling your parents/caregivers you’re pregnant may put you in danger, tell a teacher, nurse or doctor, or other adult you trust.