Abortion Facts & Pregnancy Information – Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know if I am pregnant? What are the symptoms of pregnancy?
Pregnancy symptoms differ from woman to woman and from pregnancy to pregnancy. However, one of the most significant symptoms is a missed menstrual cycle. If you have been sexually active and your period has not arrived, it is important to take a pregnancy test.
Below you will find some of the most common pregnancy signs and symptoms. If you have questions or think you may be experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to talk to a trusted healthcare provider. Click here to contact the professionals at Women’s Aid Center and get your questions answered.
- A delayed or missed period is the pregnancy symptom that most often leads a woman to test for pregnancy. However, some women do bleed while they are pregnant, as the embryo implants itself into the uterine wall. Many women experience spotting as well as some cramping, but typically the bleeding is lighter than a normal period. If you have been sexually active and your period is late, it is advisable to take a pregnancy test.
- Swollen or tender breasts are a common pregnancy symptom which may begin as early as 1-2 weeks after conception.
- Feeling fatigued or more tired than usual is a symptom which can also start as early as the first week after conception.
- Nausea, often referred to as morning sickness, can show up 2-8 weeks after conception. Some women are fortunate enough to have no morning sickness at all, while others feel nauseous throughout most of their pregnancy. Despite its name, morning sickness can occur at any time of day.
- Lower backaches may be a symptom that occurs early in pregnancy. It is common to experience a dull backache throughout pregnancy.
- The sudden rise of hormones in a pregnant woman’s body can cause headaches early in pregnancy.
- Frequent urination is common. Around 6-8 weeks after conception, you may find yourself making a few extra trips to the bathroom.
- Many woman experience darkening of the areolas. If you are pregnant, the skin around your nipples may get darker.
- Some women develop food cravings or aversions to certain types of food early in pregnancy. While you may not have a strong desire to eat pickles and ice cream, many women will feel cravings for certain foods when they are pregnant. This can last throughout your entire pregnancy.
Some women experience signs of pregnancy within a week of conception. For others, pregnancy symptoms may develop over a few weeks or may hardly be present at all. Noting the signs of pregnancy is critical because each symptom may be related to something other than pregnancy. If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, it is important to talk to a healthcare provider. Please contact us with any questions—we are here to help.
Which type of abortion should I choose – medical or surgical?
If you just found out that you are pregnant (your period is late and your pregnancy test is positive) the medical, or non-surgical, option is likely best for you. Often referred to as the abortion pill, many women find this option preferable because it can be completed earlier in the pregnancy, privately and discreetly. Most women do not want to undergo surgery and feel that the abortion pill offers more privacy since the procedure is generally completed at home. This procedure is non-invasive and requires no anesthesia. In addition, it does not require the same preparations as a surgical procedure—you do not need to rely on someone else to drive you to and from your appointment, and you do not need to arrive with an empty stomach. You can receive medical abortion treatment as soon as you find out you are pregnant, and up to 10 weeks after the first day of your last period. It has been deemed safe and effective, and it carries no long-term risks for future pregnancies.
If you and your healthcare provider determine that you are ineligible for a medical abortion, you can consider a surgical abortion with a local or twilight anesthesia. It is important to discuss your options with a healthcare provider you trust. Each woman should decide which procedure is best suited to her individual needs.
Do I need to see my doctor for a pregnancy test or ultrasound before my appointment?
No. You do not need to make a separate doctor’s appointment. We will perform a pregnancy test and ultrasound along with other laboratory tests on the day of your visit.
If I am under 18, do I need a parent’s consent to get an abortion?
You do not need parental consent to obtain an abortion in Illinois. However, state law does require that all medical providers give at least 48 hours’ notice to an adult family member of a pregnant minor before proceeding with an abortion. This law only requires notification, not consent. As long as an adult family member is notified, the minor can obtain an abortion. If you cannot or do not want to tell an adult family member, you will need to go to court and get permission from a judge. Please let us know if you need more information on the judicial bypass procedure.
How early in my pregnancy I can have an abortion?
You are qualified to have a medical abortion as early as a urine pregnancy test shows a positive result.
What if I am Rh negative?
The Rh negative blood type is inherited, like eye color. If you are Rh negative you must receive a special injection (RhoGAM) in our clinic to eliminate potential complications with future pregnancies. This injection will be given to you free of charge.
When do I get my normal period after an abortion?
In most cases, you will get your normal menstrual period 4-8 weeks after the abortion. If you do not get your period in 8 weeks, please contact us.
If my pregnancy test is positive the week after an abortion, am I still pregnant?
Pregnancy hormones can remain in your body up to 4 weeks after a medical abortion. We will schedule a follow-up visit at the clinic 2-3 weeks after your procedure. At this time, we will perform all necessary tests to make sure you are no longer pregnant.
Can I use tampons after an abortion?
We advise you not to use tampons for at least two weeks after surgical or medical abortion. Please use sanitary pads to avoid possibility of infection.
Can I have sex after an abortion?
We advise that patients wait until they have been examined at their follow-up appointment before engaging in sexual activity due to susceptibility to infection. Follow-up visits are typically scheduled 2-3 weeks after your first appointment.
Can I exercise or lift heavy boxes at work after a medical or surgical abortion?
Please refrain from any strenuous activity such as jogging, swimming, or weight-lifting until you see your doctor for a follow-up visit. If you lift heavy boxes or run on a treadmill, you may begin bleeding more heavily than normal.
Can I continue to take herbal supplements?
We do not recommend taking herbal supplements or any home remedies until after your follow-up appointment. There is no data on how these supplements might affect the medical abortion procedure, and your health and safety is our first priority.
I am considering an abortion. Why should I choose the Women’s Aid Center to have an abortion?
Women’s Aid Center is a small, private clinic owned and managed by women. We are committed to providing high-quality, compassionate healthcare. The safety and well-being of our patients is always our first priority. We meet with each patient privately in a professional medical setting to discuss concerns and needs because we respect your individuality and dignity. We value our patients’ trust in us.
Is everything we discuss confidential?
Yes. Our clinic follows strict confidentiality guidelines. No one will have access to your medical records unless personally authorized by you.
Do you provide birth control pills after my abortion?
When you come back for a follow up visit, we will discuss different birth control options. We will give you samples of birth control pills on the day of your appointment. You can start taking them right away.
Do you offer a payment plan?
We regret that we are unable to provide payment plans. Payment is expected in full at the time of your procedure appointment. We accept cash and all major credit cards, but no personal checks.