Love Matters | Rita Lino

How to handle a pregnancy scare

Have you engaged in sexual activity and wondered if you ended up being pregnant? How did that make you feel? This article discusses pregnancy scares and how to handle them.

Eze dropped the call from Tomiwa and stared at the wall. What did she mean by her period is late? Tomiwa is not his girlfriend; they are just friends who have great sex very frequently. Even if she was his girlfriend, a pregnancy scare was the last thing he needed. He picked up his keys and made his way over to her house, but first, he stopped at the pharmacy for a home pregnancy test kit.

The doorbell rang and Tomiwa answered it, it was Eze looking worried and with a pregnancy test kit at hand. She had already used one test which was negative, but it was a different less accurate brand than the one he had brought. Her period was also very late which was unusual for her. She used the second test stick while they both waited anxiously for the three minutes it would take to know if their lives would change.

It is not unusual for sexually active persons to have a pregnancy scare especially couples who practice unprotected sex. However, even with couples who use birth control or any other form of contraceptive, the risk of a pregnancy scare is still present. For example, if you use condoms perfectly every single time you have sex, they're 98% effective at preventing pregnancy. But people aren't perfect, so in real life, condoms are about 85% effective — that means about 15 out of 100 people who use condoms as their only birth control method will get pregnant each year.

Unplanned pregnancies are no fun but before your jump into conclusions or start to panic, here are a few things you should consider.
Relax

Don't panic before you have concrete proof of anything. No need to see your life going down the drain before confirming anything. Slow down.

Get a test done

Once you or your significant other suspects a pregnancy, the next point of action should be a Pregnancy Test (PT). You can easily get a home test kit in most stores and pharmacies. Whatever the result of the home PT, you still need to visit a hospital for confirmation. This step is just to give a preliminary assessment.

Go to the hospital

Get another test done. A blood PT (usually done in the hospital) is more accurate than a urine PT (done at home). If possible, you can also get an ultrasound done although sometimes, it might be too early to need this. Furthermore, if a delayed menstrual period is the primary cause for suspecting a pregnancy, you might want to also see a doctor because, other than pregnancy, many things can cause a delayed or irregular period.

Know your options

In case one or all the tests you have done comes out positive, you and your partner will need to make an informed decision about the next steps. Do some research and ensure you have all the information you need to decide. Also, whatever decision you do take, ensure that both of you (especially the pregnant party) is at peace with it.

Up your protection

Going forward, make a better effort to prevent a re-occurrence until you and your partner are ready to have kids. This may mean getting an additional form of birth control, for example, getting on the pill or an IUD in addition to using a condom. Consult a doctor and find out what works for you.

A pregnancy scare is no fun, but often it is just that – a scare. Get a test, information, talk about it, make decisions, and move on with your life.

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