Am I? Is She?
Am I? Is She?
Am I Pregnant? Is She Pregnant?
You think you or your partner may be pregnant, but you don’t know for sure. You may be feeling a whole mix of emotions right now, but take a deep breath. Let's talk about your options.
Emergency contraception, also known as the morning after pill or Plan B, can be taken after you have unprotected sex or experience failure of your birth control method (like a condom breaking). The sooner you take the pill, the more effective it is at preventing pregnancy. It is most effective if you take it before 72 hours (three days) have passed, but it can work for up to five days after unprotected sex.
You don't need a prescription or permission from a doctor or your parents to get the morning after pill. You can get it from a pharmacist at a drugstore or from a health center. Find out where to get emergency contraception.
If you think there is a chance you might be pregnant, it's important that you take a pregnancy test soon. The sooner you find out about your pregnancy, the more options you have.
Timing is matters when it comes to taking a pregnancy test. Wait at least 14 days after you had sex, or until your period is late, before taking a pregnancy test. If you take it too early, it might show a negative result (not pregnant) even if you are pregnant. This is because the test measures levels of pregnancy hormones in your urine. If you take the test too soon, the hormone levels won't be high enough for the test to detect them.
If you wait for a long time to take a test and then find out you are pregnant, you may have missed the chance for important medical care related to your pregnancy. You may also be too late for some early options to terminate your pregnancy.
Taking a pregnancy test is nerve-wracking, but it's the right thing to do if you think there's a chance you might be pregnant.
How To Get a Pregnancy Test
Home tests: You can buy a pregnancy test at the drugstore. You don't need permission from your parents, and there is no minimum age. Tests usually cost $10–$20. It might seem like there are a million options, but don't panic. All the tests work the same way, by testing to see if there is any pregnancy hormone in your urine.
I took one. I waited for about three minutes and saw the two lines that show up if it is positive. Wow, my heart about stopped. I had to take the other one just to make sure.
—18-year-old mom, Cowlitz County
Clinic tests: You also have the option of getting tested for pregnancy at a medical clinic or doctor's office. They will also use a urine test to see if you're pregnant. Very rarely, a blood test is needed if medical problems are suspected. You don’t need anyone’s permission to make an appointment, and all of your information will be kept private.
If you are worried about the cost of the test, call (800) 322-2588 to find a free or low-cost clinic near you, or search our online list of clinics.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Not all places that do pregnancy tests offer information and support around termination (also known as abortion). If this is important to you, be sure to ask the clinic if they provide information about all options before you go. Every clinic on our online list offers information and support around all options for your pregnancy.
If you go to a clinic for a pregnancy test, ask about STD screening. The same kind of contact that causes pregnancy can also pass a sexually transmitted infection (STI) to either partner.
If the Test Is Negative
If the test is negative, and you have not taken it too early, you are most likely not pregnant. You’ve just been through a really emotional experience, so try to get support from someone who will understand. This is a really good time to think about how you can avoid a pregnancy scare in the future.
You have lots of options for birth control. It's also important to choose sexual partners who have your best interest in mind and agree that you should never have sex without protection.
If time goes on and you start to experience symptoms of pregnancy like nausea, vomiting, sore breasts, or frequent urination, you should take another test.
If the Test is Positive
If the test is positive, you are most likely pregnant. This is a really stressful time, but you will get through it. Reach out to someone who you trust to treat you with kindness and respect. Everyone’s feelings about an unplanned pregnancy are different. However you are feeling, it's okay to feel that way. No matter what, remember that you are a strong person who deserves love, respect, and support.
Things may get rough, and yes, it will be hard for you. But the best thing you can do, is to tell your parents as soon as possible.
—17-year-old mom, Clark County
If you are pregnant, there are many options to consider. Gathering all the information you need to make a decision is the first step. Consider talking to an adult that you trust can also be really helpful. You can also look into speaking with an unbiased professional who will help you talk through your options and give you accurate information about all of them without trying to influence you in any way. This could be your doctor, a guidance counselor, or another trusted professional.
It’s 100% your choice whether you want to stay pregnant and become a parent, arrange an adoption, or terminate your pregnancy. These are big decisions. No one can decide for you, and in Washington State, you don’t need your parent’s permission to decide. Here’s a starting place for what you need to know:
Staying pregnant: If you decide to stay pregnant, it's important that you get medical care as soon as possible to make sure that you and the baby are healthy. Learn more about healthcare during pregnancy.
- Parenting: If you decide to stay pregnant and become a parent, a lot will change. Start thinking about your future and preparing for life after the baby is born.
- Adoption: You can start planning for adoption right away, or start the process later in your pregnancy. No adoption is final until after the baby is born and you have signed papers agreeing to the adoption. Modern adoption plans can be flexible. You can decide whether you want to stay in touch with your child and their adoptive parents.
Termination/abortion: Terminating a pregnancy is safe. Your options for termination depend on how far along in your pregnancy you are. Before nine weeks, you may be able to have a medical abortion and take the “abortion pill” at home. After nine weeks, the procedure will take place at a clinic. Take the time you need to decide, but know that it is easier to terminate the sooner you have the procedure.
Just for Guys
Even if you’re not the one who’s pregnant, your life might change forever. It’s important to remember that it is up to her to decide what to do. You can let her know how you feel about the options, but you should be prepared to accept whatever she decides. If she decides to keep the pregnancy, it’s important to know what your responsibilities are.
When my girlfriend told me she was pregnant, I felt devastated, and fear like I’ve never felt before. I thought of my future and everything I was not going to be able to do. I thought of leaving, but decided I wasn't going to bring a child into this world and not take care of them. —18-year-old dad, Clark County
How Do I Talk to My Parents, My Partner, My Friends?
Telling your parents, your partner, or your friends that you are pregnant might be hard. Know that they will have their own emotions about your pregnancy. It’s important at this time to have people in your life who will respect and support your decisions.
Read more about adoption.
Call, text, or chat online with someone at Planned Parenthood to get answers to your questions about all of your options. 1-877-4ME-2ASK.
Call the Backline Talk Line to talk to a professional about your pregnancy options.
Check out this Pregnancy options workbook designed to help you think through your decision.