What are you doing to educate yourself?(Click on a topic to learn more.)
Pregnancy must be verified by a pregnancy test which measures hcg (the pregnancy hormone) and confirmed by a medical provider. There are other conditions which may mimic the pregnancy symptoms listed below. Contact us for a free pregnancy test and consultation.
You might be pregnant if you have one or more of the following symptoms:
- You have missed one or more menstrual periods
- Your breasts are swollen and/or tender
- You are nauseated or have had a change in appetite
- You are tired or dizzy
- You have to urinate more often
- You have recently gained or lost weight
Possible Psychological Complications Following Abortion
Abortion may cause one or more symptoms of psychological distress (see list below). These symptoms may occur immediately or be delayed. In those with delayed reaction the symptoms may occur weeks or years later following the abortion.
One study showed that 63% of post-abortive women experienced a period of denial following their abortion. This period of time was characterized by a temporary sense of relief. Women in this stage denied any negative feelings associated with the abortion yet exhibited increased psychological and behavioral problems such as those listed below.
*This information is taken from The Post Abortion Review published by the Elliott Institute, Springfield, IL.
- Depression and suicidal thoughts (56%)
- Increased feelings of anger and violence (86%)
- Increased feelings of fear (86%)
- Intense feelings of isolation (82%)
- A loss of self-confidence (75%)
- Sexual dysfunction (75%)
- Sleep disorders (58%)
- Increased difficulty in maintaining relationships (57%)
- Increased substance abuse (53%)
- Eating disorders (39%)
Other studies have shown post abortive women are likely to begin high-risk behaviors within the year following their abortion. These include carelessness, unsafe and abusive relationships, and abuse of drugs or alcohol. One recent study demonstrated that recently post abortive women are the highest risk category for death by each of the following: suicide, accident and homicide*. Other studies show that women have an urge to get pregnant again immediately following an abortion. Over 80% will get pregnant within one year.
* A study by STAKES of Finland's national Research and Development Center for Welfare and Health.
Possible Long-Range Physical Complications of Abortion
Listed below are some of the known long-range risk factors that may be caused by abortion. Other factors such as heredity, overall health, and age may increase the risks further.
This information is intended for general educational purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional medical advice.
- Increased risk of breast cancer, particularly risky for those who abort their first pregnancy. While study results vary, most demonstrate a 50% or greater increased risk. For more information on studies about abortion and breast cancer, click here.
- Increased risk of infertility (2% to 5% of abortions result in sterility).
See Induced Abortion, A Documented Report, Thomas Hilgers, M.D.
- Risk of other complications for future pregnancies. These risks include, but are not limited to:
placenta previa (60% increased risk1),
tubal (ectopic) pregnancy (30% increased risk2), and
miscarriage (risk increases with each abortion3)
1American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Vol 141, 1981, pp 769-772;
2American Journal of Public Health , Vol 72, 1982 pp 253-256;
3Journal of American Medical Association Vol. 243, no 24, June 27, 1980 pp 2495-2499
- Increased risk of pelvic inflammatory disease known as P.I.D. (Increased risk is 5%; 23% if the patient has chlamydia).
"Physical Health Risks of Abortion; Scientific Studies Reveal Significant Risk" The Elliott Institute.
Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)
"In the United States, more than 65 million people are currently living with an incurable STD. An additional 19 million people become infected each year."
Center for Disease Control
Many people who have STIs are unaware that they have an infection or are able to pass the infection on to others. Everyone who is sexually active or physically intimate outside of a monogamous relationship should be tested regularly for STIs. STIs can affect areas of the body other than the genitals or reproductive organs. Example: STIs may infect the mouth and throat.
The Most Common Sexually Transmitted Diseases
There are over 30 common STDs. Click here to learn of the most common including symptoms, damage and current number of people infected.
Exposure Chart Click here to view.
How common are STDS in pregnant women in the United States?*
Some STDs, such as genital herpes, are quite common in pregnant women in the United States. Other STDs, notably HIV and syphilis, are much less common in pregnant women. The table below shows the estimated number of pregnant women in the United States who are infected with specific STDs each year.
STDs Estimated Number of Pregnant Women Herpes simplex virus 2 880,000 Chlamydia 100,000 Trichomoniasis 124,000 Gonorrhea 13,200 Hepatitis B 16,000 HIV 6,400 Syphilis <1 ,000
The harmful effects of STDs in babies may include stillbirth (a baby that is born dead), low birth weight (less than five pounds), conjunctivitis (eye infection), pneumonia, neonatal sepsis (infection in the baby’s blood stream), neurologic damage, blindness, deafness, acute hepatitis, meningitis, chronic liver disease, and cirrhosis. Most of these problems can be prevented if the mother receives routine prenatal care, which includes screening tests for STDs starting early in pregnancy and repeated close to delivery, if necessary. Other problems can be treated if the infection is found at birth.
*Information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Abstaining from sex or intimate physical contact (including oral contact) is the only way to be 100 percent confident of avoiding STD/STI infection.
Prevention through avoiding exposure is the best strategy for controlling the spread of sexually transmitted diseases. Proper use of condoms with each act of sexual intercourse can reduce, but not eliminate, risk of STDs. (Center for Disease Control and Prevention)
Condoms provide the best (though not complete) protection against HIV and Gonorrhea. They are less effective protecting against Herpes type 2 and Chlamydia. Condoms provide little protection against bacterial vaginosis and HPV (the most common STD). (Cates, W. Jr & Stone, K.M. (1992, March/April). Family Planning, Sexually Transmitted Diseases and Contraceptive Choice: A Literature Update- Part I. Family Planning Perspectives, 24(2), 75-84)
Condoms must be used consistently and correctly each time to reduce risk of infection. Remember that condoms use does not insure that you will be protected.
We do not recommend or provide emergency contraception. The following information is provided for your education concerning your options and risks so that you can make informed decisions.
What is Emergency contraception? Emergency contraception is any artificial interruption or prevention of pregnancy prior to implantation in the uterus.
Emergency contraception is provided one of two ways:
- Using increased doses of certain oral contraceptive pills, called Emergency Contraceptive Pills (ECPs).
- Insertion of an Intrauterine Device (IUD).
Emergency Contraceptive Pills (ECPs)By federal law women 17 and under require a Doctor Prescription in New Mexico.
For Use within 72 hours of intercourse.
Emergency contraception, commonly called the "morning after pill," is a series of high dose birth control pills taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex. The pills may
Depending on the kind of medication administered, there is between a 75-89% chance of preventing pregnancy with the use of ECPs.
- prevent the release of the egg from the ovary,
- prevent the fertilization of the egg, or
- prevent the fertilized egg from implanting on the wall of the uterus.
Side effects and risks of ECPs may include nausea (in 1/2 of women), vomiting (1/3 of women), breast tenderness, irregular bleeding, fluid retention, dizziness and headaches.
The danger signals to watch for after taking the pill are:
Seek immediate medical attention if these symptoms occur.
- Chest or arm pain
- Shortness of breath or coughing
- Swelling or pain in the legs
- Severe headaches, dizziness, weakness, numbness in any part of your body
- Blurry or double vision
- Severe depression
Intrauterine Device (IUD)Doctor appointment required.
For use within 5 days of unprotected sex.
Involves the insertion of an Intrauterine Device (IUD).
The IUD is designed to prevent the implantation of a fertilized egg and is effective up to 99% of the time. Insertion of the IUD disrupts the current activity in the uterus and causes a developing zygote to be expelled. Once inserted, an IUD can be used for up to 10 years as a form of contraception.
IUDs are not recommended for women who have multiples sexual partners or who are at risk for sexually transmitted diseases because insertion of the IUD can lead to pelvic infection, increasing the chances of STD transmission.
Risks - lower abdominal cramping can be expected during or just after insertion of an IUD. Other side effects may include dizziness and, rarely, fainting. Emergency medical attention must be sought if severe cramping or fever occur. If left in place, IUDs can cause irregular periods and more cramping with periods. IUDs offer no protection against sexually transmitted diseases.
Click here for a picture of an IUD.