Pregnant But Don’t Want to Be?

You know that feeling when you forgot your purse hanging on a restaurant chair and realize it when you’ve already been home for an hour? Or how about when you are within seconds of missing your flight at the airport? These kinds of adrenaline-boosting scares are similar to what many women feel when they think they are pregnant and aren’t ready to have a baby.

This day in age, highly accurate pregnancy tests are pretty easy to get. They’re super simple to use and usually cost between $10 and $20 at the drug store or pharmacy. Granted, you need to wait about two weeks after the “pregnancy potential sex” before at-home tests can really tell if you’re preggers. But at least there are resources to help you get answers sooner, which can help you take action faster as well.

Having a baby isn’t an easy undertaking, so it’s important to be 100% committed to your decision before you move forward. If you’ve had unprotected sex and don’t want to get pregnant, you can try Emergency Contraception (EC). There are three brands of EC that can help prevent a pregnancy from occurring if taken within 5 days of unprotected sex (the sooner the better). And you can always get EC in advance and keep it on hand just in case you do need it.

If you find out that you are in fact pregnant and don’t want to be, EC can’t do anything to help you out, but you still have some options. First, try not to panic. We know that’s kind of obvious advice, and we also know it is easier said than done. But if you start an open dialog with the people you trust—maybe it’s your partner, family, friends and/or health care provider—you’ll be one step closer to getting the support you need. Discuss how you feel about adoption, abortion and parenting so you can decide what path is right for you.

For the future, you can trust safe and effective birth control as the key to a healthy sex life without the worry of getting pregnant. There are lots of available options, including some that last up to 10 years! Fancy that. Make an appointment with your health care provider or visit a no- or low-cost clinic to talk about your options and find a birth control method that you’re comfortable with.

Oh! And don’t forget to keep the conversation going with your partner to ensure you both know what you want in the future and when (or if) kids fit in the picture. This way, you’ll both be on the same page and can get frisky without fear.