What to Do When Your Pregnancy Is Unexpected


Pregnancy can be a very emotional time in your life. If your pregnancy is unexpected, you may be feeling scared or confused about what to do. It is important to remember that you have options. But first, you need to make sure that you're pregnant.

How do I find out if I am pregnant?

Take a pregnancy test. There are 2 kinds:

  • Urine test: These tests are also called home pregnancy tests. You can buy them at most drug stores, grocery stores, and discount stores, or have one done at your doctor's office. Most home pregnancy tests can tell if you are pregnant about the time you would expect to get your period. The test is typically very accurate if done correctly.
  • Blood test: This test is done at your doctor's office or at a health clinic. It can tell if you are pregnant about a week before you would expect to get your period. This test is very accurate.

If you take a home pregnancy test and the result is positive, you should see your doctor to confirm the results. Your doctor will likely do a confirming blood test or urine pregnancy test.

I'm pregnant. What choices do I have?

Deciding what to do about an unexpected pregnancy can be very difficult. There is a lot to think about. You have to make the decision that is right for you. Consider your personal situation and your beliefs. You have several options:

  • You can continue the pregnancy and raise the baby, even if you will be a single parent.
  • You can continue the pregnancy and create an adoption plan to allow someone else to raise the child.
  • You can end the pregnancy.

How do I make a decision?

It can be very emotional when making this decision. It will help to talk to someone you trust. This can be your baby's father, a family member, or a friend. Your doctor, minister, or rabbi may also be helpful. Try to find someone who won't pressure you into making a decision you are not comfortable with. If you don't feel like you have anyone you can talk to, your doctor may be able to help you find a specially-trained counselor.

Before you make any decision, you should learn about each of your options. Getting more information can help you make your decision. It can also help you feel more confident about your decision.

How soon do I need to make a decision?

If you are thinking about ending the pregnancy, it's best to try to decide as soon as possible. There are fewer risks associated with early abortions.

While you are making your decision, be sure to take good care of yourself.

  • Don't drink alcohol.
  • Don't smoke.
  • Don't do drugs.
  • Eat healthy.
  • Don't take any medicines without first talking to your doctor.
  • Get plenty of rest.
  • Exercise.

If you are thinking about continuing the pregnancy, you should schedule an appointment with your doctor. Seeing your doctor regularly while you are pregnant will help make sure that you and your baby will be as healthy as possible.

Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff

Reviewed/Updated: 02/16
Created: 07/05