Do you think you might be pregnant? You’re wondering, “How could this happen? I thought we were careful! What am I going to do?” So many questions and thoughts race through your mind. You might think having an abortion will make the whole thing go away, but there’s no need to rush to a decision. Take a deep breath because you are not alone. The staff at First Step Women’s Center is here to help you make the best decision for you.

Before you make the abortion appointment and spend the money, do these three steps first.

Step #1 Confirm You Are Pregnant!

There are many reasons your period might come late. Sometimes it is delayed due to stress, a hormone imbalance, or weight issues. It’s even possible you could have been pregnant but are experiencing a miscarriage. One in four women has a miscarriage. Research shows the highest percentage of them occur before week 6 of pregnancy. A woman can have a miscarriage in the early weeks, not realizing she’s pregnant, and it will seem like a late period.

Even if you have taken an at-home pregnancy test, it’s essential to confirm your pregnancy at First Step with lab-quality pregnancy testing. Many women take a home pregnancy test too early, or they test incorrectly. Our lab-quality pregnancy tests will ensure your test results are accurate. For more information on other symptoms of pregnancy, read our last blog post.

Step #2 Find Out if the Pregnancy is Viable with an Ultrasound

The quickest and easiest way to get more information is to have an ultrasound after a positive pregnancy test. First Step offers ultrasounds at no cost to you. You will learn real-time details like what was the approximate date of conception (how far along your pregnancy is), if it’s viable (is there a heartbeat), and if your pregnancy is located in your uterus. You need to know all three of these before you have an abortion. More importantly, how far along you are in your pregnancy will determine what type of abortion you can have. Our free ultrasounds use high-frequency sound waves to reveal an image on a computer monitor.

Step #3 Do you have an STD?

Any time you have unprotected sex or sex with several partners, there is the possibility of being infected with an STD (Sexually Transmitted Disease). No matter what type of abortion you have, it will be an invasive procedure. An STD can be transferred into your uterus, possibly causing PID (Pelvic Inflammatory Disease). PID can cause permanent damage, which could lead to infertility. Protect your reproductive health by getting testing and treatment for the two most common STDs: Chlamydia and Gonorrhea. First Step’s mobile unit can examine all women, whether they are pregnant or not.

After you have done lab-quality pregnancy testing, taken an ultrasound, and tested for an STD, it’s time to sit down one-on-one with your consultant. Like the testing, your conversation will be completely confidential. Together, you can assess your life situation and the options you have moving forward. Get the information and test results you need, before doing anything else.