What Should I Do After an Unwanted Pregnancy?

Reviewed on 9/14/2021

What are your options?

There are a variety of options that may help you handle your situation. It might help you to visualize each option and decide how you feel about it. Consider reaching out to trained professionals or close friends if you get overwhelmed.
There are a variety of options that may help you handle your situation. It might help you to visualize each option and decide how you feel about it. Consider reaching out to trained professionals or close friends if you get overwhelmed.

If you find yourself with an unwanted pregnancy, know that you are not alone. Many women undergo a similar situation at some point in their life. In fact, almost half of all pregnancies reported in the U.S. are unintended.

It can be stressful to find yourself unintentionally pregnant and not ready to become a parent. It’s normal to find this situation overwhelming, but there are a number of steps you can take to get guidance and help. No matter what you decide to do, it’s important to remember that this is ultimately your decision to make.

Most women who find themselves pregnant have the following options:

  • Abortion. Undergoing a medical procedure to terminate the pregnancy
  • Alternative care or adoption. Giving birth and letting other families raise your child permanently.
  • Parenting. Giving birth and raising the child.

Abortion

There are two main abortion options available:

  • Abortion pill
  • Surgical abortion

Abortion Pill

Some women prefer using a pill to terminate their unwanted pregnancy.

You might have to consider pills if:

  • You are in the early stages of pregnancy (earlier than ten weeks)
  • You want to terminate your pregnancy at home
  • You want a less invasive procedure

Abortion pills affect each body differently. You might need advice from general practitioners about the best option and the expected side effects.

The most common side effects of these pills include:

Surgical Abortion

There are two types of surgical abortion:

Dilation and evacuation (D&E) abortion. Viable up to the 15th week of pregnancy

Vacuum aspiration abortion. Viable up to the 24th week of pregnancy.

These procedures are performed in abortion clinics. During these procedures, your cervix is first numbed. After that, a tube connected to suction is inserted. The tube sucks out the contents of the uterus. The procedure takes less than an hour to finish.

Adoption

If you are thinking of opting for adoption, then you should know there are two main types of adoption processes.

Closed adoption. You do not have access to the contact information of the family that adopts your child. Your child can have access to your contact information when they turn 18.

Open adoption. Communication between you and your child is kept open. You can contact your child through calls, visits, or letters.

It’s important to find a reputable adoption agency that will ensure your baby gets the best available care. You might consider asking a social worker or your adoption lawyer for a referral.

QUESTION

The first sign of pregnancy is most often: See Answer

How to cope with an unwanted pregnancy

The following tips can help you make a healthy decision if you have an unwanted pregnancy:

  • Find non-judgmental support. People have different opinions when it comes to unwanted pregnancies. It's crucial that you find a support group or friend that can offer confidential, non-judgemental support or advice.
  • Accept that you are in shock. Give yourself time to accept your situation. It is normal to be in shock after finding out that you're pregnant, especially when it’s unplanned.
  • Face your fears. Fear is common during pregnancy, whether planned or unplanned. Remember that nobody has the right to scare or shame you into a decision. Take time to collect your thoughts, then decide for yourself.
  • Allow yourself to be emotional. Experiencing an unwanted pregnancy isn’t easy. It’s important to take time to experience your emotions instead of bottling them up. Consider writing your thoughts and feelings down for later reference. Doing this will help you make the best decision for your unique personal situation.
  • Visualize your options. There are a variety of options that may help you handle your situation. It might help you to visualize each option and decide how you feel about it. Consider reaching out to trained professionals or close friends if you get overwhelmed.
  • Think beyond finances. When it comes to raising children, your main consideration might be money. Although money is a key consideration, you should also factor in your emotional readiness and living situation before making a decision.

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors

References
British Pregnancy Advisory Service: "Surgical abortion."

Hopeline PRC: "Coping With An Unplanned Pregnancy."

National Council For Adoption: "Find an Agency or Attorney."

Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Inc: "Pregnancy Options.","What facts about adoption do I need to know?"

The Victorian Government: "Abortion procedures - surgical."

U.S. National Library of Medicine: "Ending pregnancy with medicines."

United Health Foundation: "Unintended Pregnancy."

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors