If you think you're pregnant...
If you have had sexual intercourse and you've missed your period, especially if your breasts are tender or swollen or you feel tired or sick to your stomach, you may be pregnant. If you think you might be pregnant, you need to get a pregnancy test right away to find out for sure. You can arrange an appointment to see your health care provider, or buy a home pregnancy test at a drugstore, supermarket or online. (They run $8 to $20 and you should follow the instructions carefully.) To find a clinic or provider near you, see the resource section of this guide.
If you experience...
_ sudden, intense pain or persistent pain or cramping in the lower abdomen, especially if it's on one side
_ irregular bleeding or spotting with abdominal pain, especially after a light or late period
_ fainting or dizziness that lasts more than a few seconds
_ sudden heavy bleeding with clots or clumps of tissue after a late period
_ or abdominal pain and a fever
call your provider or clinic or go to a hospital emergency room right away. These may be signs of a problem such as a tubal (ectopic) pregnancy or miscarriage.
If you find out that you are pregnant...
you essentially have three options to consider: to continue the pregnancy and keep the baby, to have the baby and put it up for adoption, or to have an abortion. These are big decisions; take your time, and talk with your family or other trusted advisers. If you want to discuss your choice with a clinician, Planned Parenthood offers pregnancy options counseling at their local clinics.
If you find out that you are not pregnant...
and you weren't intending to have a baby at this time, you've been lucky, so it's best not to risk another scare. One way to do this is to stop having intercourse. Abstaining from intercourse is the most effective way of avoiding unintended pregnancy. Lots of people are practicing abstinence these days, whether or not they've had intercourse in the past. Half of high school students have never had sexual intercourse. In fact, the majority of teenagers, even those who started having intercourse when they were younger, think teens should wait to have intercourse until they're older. A number of men and women in their early 20s are abstaining as well. But, if you are going to be sexually active, you need to use contraception each and every time you have intercourse to prevent pregnancy and STDs. Sexually active couples who don't use contraceptives during intercourse have an 85-90 percent chance of becoming pregnant over the course of a year.