Could I Be Pregnant?
Let’s get one thing straight: if you are female, have started your period and are sexually active, YES, you could be pregnant. Many people, especially teenage girls, fell that if they give it the ol double whammy (by using birth control pills AND using a condom) when they have sex that they are 100% sure not to get pregnant…WRONG!
How many of us have resulted from activity that held no promise of a child? There are lots of women who, even after having a tubal ligation, still get pregnant. There are no guarantees. As one physician put it “if you’ve got the parts and having sex, there’s ALWAYS a chance you could be pregnant.”
How do you know for sure, though? Well, there is always the handy dandy EPT! Guaranteed to give you accurate information after only missing one day of your period, this sure-fire way to determine if you’re pregnant or not is just about as accurate as that whole “double whammy” thing you tried to pull.
The only way to know for sure if you are pregnant or not is to see a doctor. There are two blood tests, one that tests for the presence of the “pregnancy hormone” in your system (which is the least accurate) and one that tests the actual LEVELS of that hormone in your blood stream (BINGO…that’s the one!) that can really determine if a zygote is growing inside your uterus.
There are signs and symptoms however, of pregnancy. Not all of these signs may be present and these signs being present do not necessarily mean that you are pregnant, so pay attention! Morning sickness: the most recognizable form of pregnancy. With this symptom, you are not hungry in the morning and therefore do not eat. Likewise, your stomach rejects even its own contents and you vomit.
Another one: weight loss or weight gain. Seems silly-right? Well, if you look at it logically (like you should have during the preventative phase of this whole process) it makes perfect sense. If you’re constantly getting sick, then you’re not retaining calories and you’re loosing weight. On the opposite side, if you are retaining your calories and eating more than normal (though you might not realize it yet) you will gain weight. As appropriate, the weight will be slowly distributed to the zygote, turning fetus to supply him or her with all the nutrients he or she will need to grow into a healthy human being.
HUMAN BEING! Yes, that is what a pregnancy denotes. If you are pregnant, it is imperative that you decide what route to take. Are you going to proceed with the pregnancy or terminate it? Are you going to keep the baby or place the baby in a caring adoption agency’s control to pass to a loving couple desiring a child for years? Are you going to raise and love the baby as your own and start planning for your future with this child as a part of your family? Those are all weighty decisions and ones that need to be made as soon as possible. There are many agencies and organizations ready to help assist you in your decision making process. Could you be pregnant? Yes, you could.
Chances for a Pregnancy
Most women at one time or another have “the big scare.” Either you wait it out in torture hoping your period arrives soon or you take charge, bite the bullet, and buy a home pregnancy test to find out NOW. Either way, most women have experienced it at least once. And let’s face it women today have more of a wide variety of choices in contraceptives than their grandmothers or even their mothers did.
Some of the old “tried and true” methods have been around a long time. Withdrawl – which is a lot like using nothing at all and has a 27% failure rate in one hundred couples in just one year. And let’s use the actual number because face it we’re dealing with humans so we should count the human error, but remember if any of these methods are used “perfectly” the risk goes down.
Now if you happen to be a breast-feeding mom, your chances of getting pregnant are about 6%. But who can find the time for sex when you’re a breast-feeding mom?
If you use condoms, it’s better to use the male condom, it has a failure rate of 15% versus the female condom at 21%.
The cervical cap and sponge are doubly partial to ladies who’ve never been pregnant – 16% as opposed to women who have a child at 32% failure rate.
The spermicides have a 29% failure rate, but remember this includes the human error factor. They can also lessen the risk if mixed with other methods.
Moving on to the pill, one of the most widely used contraceptives for years. Of course now it’s not just “the pill” you’ve got your choice of the original pill (various types), the mini pill and the new controversial morning after pill. The pill, with human error has an 8% failure rate, but if used perfectly has only a .3% failure rate. And ladies please do not forget that some antibiotics can cancel out the pill. Make sure to ask your doctor if he prescribes antibiotics.
There are two methods left that have been around awhile, one is the IUD. Only now there’s the IUD (copper) and the IUD (mirena). The copper IUD has a .6% failure rate while the mirena IUD has the lowest risk, best rating of .1%. The other “old” method is the diaphragm with a 16% failure rate.
Now there are the new methods – the shots, the patch, and the ring, in order of best to least. Depo Provera and Lunelle shots have a 3% failure rate while the ring and the Ortho Evra patch have an 8% failure rate. You also have to include the convenience factor too. Do you want to have to run to the bathroom every time “the mood” hits? Or would you like to have something more permanent? Of course there’s also Essure pbc and tubal ligation, (surgery) if you’re really sure you don’t ever want to be pregnant. But there are cases of women who have had surgery and then had it “undone” later so they could try to have children.
For all of you ladies who are unsure, you can get pregnant even if he doesn’t ejaculate, (hello pre-ejaculate), you can get pregnant while having your period, and of course you can get pregnant the first time you have sex. Some doctors will tell you that elevating your legs immediately after intercourse can improve your chances of becoming pregnant, however using a female cleaning apparatus immediately after intercourse does not keep you from becoming pregnant.
So do your homework ladies and stay informed. When in doubt ask your physician.