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Feeling a Sense of Panic After a Positive Pregnancy Test

The prospect of an unexpected pregnancy can be emotionally overwhelming. Upon seeing two lines, a flood of fear, terror, or gut-wrenching panic may overtake you. You may even feel a tinge of excitement, but the anxiety that comes with the fear of the unknown may stifle that joy. It’s not uncommon that the news might send someone into a series of physiological reactions known as the “flight or fight” response. An unexpected pregnancy might have triggered an immediate emotional reaction, and our first instinct may be to seek a quick way to extinguish our fear. How do you respond well when you’re feeling a sense of panic after a positive pregnancy test? What are your next steps?

It’s understandable that you may be experiencing a sense of panic after a positive pregnancy test. Avenue Women’s Center offers free information and unexpected pregnancy support in each of our Chicagoland locations. To confirm your results, we offer medical-grade pregnancy tests, as well as the opportunity to meet with one of our expert staff for a private consultation. Contact us today to receive reliable information about abortion, adoption, and parenting!

What Should I Do If I Feel Panicked by an Unexpected Pregnancy?

After the test came back positive, and a mixture of feelings rose up, you might have begun to realize just how emotional an unexpected pregnancy can be. The moments that followed you learning about the pregnancy may have been accompanied by feelings of shock, and it’s normal for this phase to continue for a while. It can be hard to make a decision that has your best interests in mind when you feel overwhelmed by intense emotions, so it may be best to give yourself some time before you start thinking about your options.

But if you feel as if your panic is not subsiding, there are a few steps you may want to take to help you feel more prepared when it comes to making an unexpected pregnancy decision.

Acknowledge Your Feelings:

It may feel as if a tempest is brewing inside of you, and instead of denying your emotions, allowing yourself to experience them may be healthy. This does not mean you should give yourself permission to dwell on negative thoughts about the pregnancy and the future, but paying attention to how you may be feeling may prevent you from keeping your emotions bottled up and ready to explode. Writing your thoughts down during this time can be of benefit, as it can enable you to use your notes as a reference for how you may feel. If you need help sorting through the thoughts weighing on your mind, you may want to consider seeking professional help through a counselor or a pregnancy consultant.

Putting Aside Unnecessary Worries:

It’s normal for an unexpected pregnancy to invoke worries about how you’re going to prepare for the future, and while a lot of these fears are valid, some concerns can be set aside for later, or discarded entirely. After you received the positive test result, you might have begun to wonder how you’re going to handle school or your job while pregnant, and your sense of nervousness about these things can make it hard to settle down. But coupled with these understandable anxieties might have been unhelpful thoughts about how your life is over because of the pregnancy. It can be helpful to begin learning more information regarding how to process through your concerns, emotions, and stress. There are lots of effective techniques out there and resources available to you.

Seek Support:

Whether it’s through your trusted friends or family, a counselor, or a pregnancy consultant, communicating with those around you and obtaining their support can abate feelings of panic. Professional resources may also carry the added benefit of allowing you to speak with someone who is trained to help you clarify your thoughts and offer coping strategies. This can be a period where it may seem as if a lot of things are changing, and having someone at your side to help you attend to your feelings can assist with dealing with them honestly. With so many potential doubts and worries accompanying the moment after a positive pregnancy test, it can be difficult to assess your unique situation and contemplate a solution. But that’s why asking for help can be of benefit, as it prevents you from having to sort through an unexpected pregnancy alone.

Are you struggling with a sense of panic after a positive pregnancy test result? Helping each client throughout her unique unexpected pregnancy circumstances, Avenue Women’s Center ensures women have access to accurate information and compassionate support. Through our private consultation services, you’ll have the chance to meet with one of our caring pregnancy consultants for a discussion about your options, and talk freely about any of your concerns within a nonjudgmental environment. We’re here to assist you throughout all of your pregnancy decisions. Reach out today for help navigating through an unexpected pregnancy!


  • Harvard Health Publishing. (2018, May). Understanding the Stress Response: Chronic activation of this survival mechanism impairs health. Retrieved from
  • Botti, S., Hanko, K., & Inbar, Y. (2011). Decision speed and choice regret: When haste feels like waste. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 47(3), 533-540.

The information provided here is general in nature.  It is not a substitute for a consultation with a medical professional. Before any medical procedure, it is imperative that you discuss your personal medical history, risks, and concerns with your doctor. If you have questions during or after a procedure, your doctor should be immediately contacted. Avenue Women’s Center is not an emergency center.  If you are experiencing severe symptoms, such as bleeding and/or pain, seek immediate medical attention.  Contact your physician, go to an emergency room, or call 911.