Sometimes after receiving surprising news, we don’t feel comfortable making a decision until we have gathered more information first. Planning your next steps can seem like a tricky process, and in the case of an unexpected pregnancy, there are a few options to choose from. Attempting to think about these choices all at once can lead to anxiety. This, in turn can inspire a sense of panic that pressures us into a quick decision. There’s nothing wrong with taking some time to yourself to contemplate your feelings about the pregnancy and what options may be available to you. One of the steps that may help you in your reflection is to find out how far along in the pregnancy you are. If you’re feeling stuck about what to do next, obtaining this information can be a useful tool for moving forward.
Did you recently learn you are pregnant and want to know how far along you are, as well as what next steps you should take? Here at Avenue Women’s Center, we offer a safe place to explore not only physically what is happening with the pregnancy, but also information about options and resources. Our staff is trained to supply you with reliable consultations and answer any of your questions with honesty.
Call, chat, email, or text to schedule a free appointment at one of our six locations in Darien, Elmhurst, Glen Ellyn / Lombard, Naperville, West Chicago, and Wood Dale, Illinois!
How Do I Calculate the Date of an Unexpected Pregnancy?
Most women do not know the precise moment they conceived, so calculating the date of your pregnancy can be a little confusing. This is because it’s usually not possible to pinpoint exactly when ovulation may have occurred, so other methods have been devised.
How far along you are is usually measured by using the first day of your last menstrual period (LMP). Using LMP, pregnancy is typically expected to last around 40 weeks. If you have any questions about how LMP is used to count how far along you are, then feel free to consult a healthcare provider or a pregnancy consultant for clarification.
What Changes Happen to My Body During an Unexpected Pregnancy?
Depending on how far along you are, you might have begun to notice some physical symptoms. These changes may become more noticeable as the pregnancy continues, and these signs can be indicators of your gestational age.
For example, most women who are about 4-6 weeks into their pregnancy may begin to experience symptoms such as nausea, breast changes, and spotting. If you’ve recently discovered you’re pregnant, then it’s possible you’re somewhere within this timeframe. This is when most women learn about their pregnancy.
Should I Have An Ultrasound Exam?
An ultrasound often serves as a diagnostic procedure. It can not only confirm your pregnancy but assess its viability (whether or not your pregnancy is likely to continue). Even if you’re thinking about abortion, it’s recommended you schedule an ultrasound appointment through a doctor or a first step pregnancy clinic. This can help to rule out early pregnancy risks, which include miscarriage or an ectopic pregnancy. Since your health is a major priority, ensuring additional medical care is not necessary can be a crucial step.
Ultrasound exams can also inform you about the gestational age of your pregnancy. And they’re typically the most reliable method for determining how far along you are. Certain abortion procedures may be more expensive or unavailable depending on how many weeks into the pregnancy you are.
After obtaining relevant information about your pregnancy, you may want to begin to examine your individual feelings, and how the development of your pregnancy might factor into your plan.
Considerations Before Deciding
Some questions to ask yourself may include:
- What am I feeling about this pregnancy? How might my feelings be impacted by the suddenness of the pregnancy news? Will I still feel the same way about it after giving myself time to think?
- Whether I decide on abortion, adoption, or parenting, what kind of support will I have behind me?
- How does learning about the development of my pregnancy influence the way I feel about it?
- Should my personal and spiritual beliefs about my options be factored into my decision?
These are just some of the things to consider as you make your decision. Everyone’s situation is unique, but on top of gathering information, it’s often helpful to surround yourself with support and encouragement.
Are you feeling uncertain about your options? If you are basing your pregnancy decision on how far along you are, then Avenue Women’s Center is here to help. We serve women with compassion and nonjudgmental care. We can provide you with relevant information about your pregnancy through a private consultation and limited ultrasound exam. Learn about your pregnancy’s gestational age and viability (likelihood of continuing). We’re here to assist with sorting through your options by ensuring you have accurate answers to your questions.
Schedule an appointment today to sit down with our expert staff to discuss your unexpected pregnancy and your options!
- American Pregnancy Association. (2019, October). Pregnancy Week 6. Retrieved from: https://americanpregnancy.org/week-by-week/6-weeks-pregnant/
- healthline. (2016, May). Ultrasound. Retrieved from: https://www.healthline.com/health/ultrasound
Reviewed by Patricia Kuenzi, APN-CNP, MSN, ANP, PNP.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.