What can women do about pregnancy in the first trimester: from two to twelve weeks?
- First of all, make sure you're actually pregnant. Women are fertile for just one to five days during the middle of the periods. Two weeks is about the soonest you would know that you missed your period. Missing your period does not always mean you are pregnant. There are tests that can detect pregnancy as soon as six days after ovulation, but they are blood tests, not urine tests. You can't get an over the counter pregnancy test that detects pregnancy sooner than six days before the expected date of your next period, and the lines will be faint and hard to read. First Response is the earliest pregnancy detection test available over the counter in the USA. ClearBlue may be able to detect pregnancy five days before the day you would expect your next period, but its results vary a lot depending on how much water there is in your urine.
- If you confirm that you are pregnant and you decide to keep your child, seek prenatal medical care. The younger you are, especially if you are under 18, or the older your are, especially if you are over 35, the more you need prenatal care to have a successful pregnancy with a healthy child. Even if you decide to put your child up for adoption, make sure he or she gets as good a start in life as possible and make sure your own health is taken care of. You'll need prenatal vitamins; omega-3 fatty acids, especially DHEA, help develop healthy brains and eyes.
- You will need to be monitored for diabetes and preecelampsia.
- You will need to arrange for labor and delivery and for a home for you and your child. Not every woman has these things. The only moral suggestion I will make is that if you are opposed to some other woman's having an abortion, then help them have a successful pregnancy and make sure they have the resources they need to raise a healthy, happy, and productive child.
- There are many more options for abortion in early pregnancy than later on. Up to about 10 weeks, abortion can be medically induced, by taking a pill.
- Medications like misoprostol (Cytotec) methotrexate or mifepristone (RU-486) induce labor and result in the termination of the pregnancy. They are taken by mouth. They don't have to be taken at a clinic, and they feel more "natural." However, you should only get these medications from a doctor. About 10 to 12 percent of the time they cause heavy bleeding. The later in pregnancy that you take these drugs, the more bleeding they will cause. Also, about 1 percent of pregnancies are ectopic, with the embryo implanted outside the womb, usually in a fallopian tube. Abortion pills will cause labor in these cases, too, but the contractions will damage the tissues around the misplaced embryo, causing permanent loss of fertility or even death.
Pregnant women need all the support they can find. It's important that you find the help that supports your choices, not a center that has an agenda either for or against abortion. But the sooner you make your choices, the better it is for all concerned. Don't delay your decision about your pregnancy.
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