The most common sign of pregnancy is a missed period, although this may not necessarily mean you are pregnant. Other symptoms include nausea, vomiting, breast tenderness, lethargy and a desire to urinate more frequently. Some women may experience some of these symptoms or none at all.
The best way to make sure is to perform a pregnancy test. These can be purchased at any pharmacy and some supermarkets and if used according to the instructions, are accurate as early as 10 days following conception.
Or you can see your doctor for a blood test to determine whether you are pregnant.
Conventionally, a pregnancy is said to have started on the first day of your last menstrual period, not from the day you think you may have conceived. Determine the first day of your last period and calculate the number of weeks that have elapsed since then. This will tell you how many weeks pregnant you are.
If your cycle is irregular or you are unable to remember when your last period began, your doctor will be able to refer you for an ultrasound. If you are unsure of when your last period began or are unable to obtain a referral for an ultrasound, telephone the clinic to make an appointment for a consultation and ultrasound.
Pregnancy blood tests aren’t always accurate in determining pregnancy dates.
There are three options available to women who find that they have an unplanned pregnancy.
1. Continue with the pregnancy and become a parent
2. Continue with the pregnancy and choose adoption
3. Terminate the pregnancy
If you are unsure of what to do we can help you to come to a decision.
The counselling session is an opportunity for you to raise any issues or concerns and to discuss your options and get all the abortion information that you need.
The pregnancy termination procedure will also be explained and there will be opportunity to discuss contraception.
The counselling session is an opportunity for you to raise any issues or concerns and to discuss your options with all the information that you need.
The pregnancy termination procedure will be explained and there will be opportunity to discuss contraception. If appropriate, your partner is welcome to attend this consultation.
Counselling at Blue Water Medical clinics is objective, non-judgemental and unbiased. You will not be coerced into making a decision. If you have already made an appointment for a termination, this counselling session will form part of the time you spend at the clinic.
If you would like counselling without a termination appointment, this can be arranged. We can also refer you to other support services that may be able to assist.
Please telephone the clinic in your area for an appointment.
Your own local GP
Wilma ( Campbelltown) 4627 2955
Women’s Health Centre Liverpool 9601 3555
Women’s Health Centre Bankstown 9790 1378
Women’s Health Centre Penrith 4721 8749
Community Mental Health Campbelltown 1300669663
Traxside Campbelltown 46252525
Relationships Australia 1300 364 2777
LifeCare Counselling and Family Services Centres 1300130225
Bigge Parke Centre Liverpool 98278022
Family Planning Assoc Fairfield 9754 1322
Family Planning Assoc Penrith 4721 8330
Lifeline Counselling 131114
Beyond Blue 1300 224 636
PLEASE PHONE THE CLINIC 1 HOUR AFTER ARRIVAL TO BE GIVEN AN APPROXIMATE PICK UP TIME
During your visit here, there will be areas where you will be unable to accompany your partner, friend or relative. The privacy of our other patients must be respected.
After the termination most women are a little sleepy and may have mild cramps. Bleeding should not be heavy. It’s best to take the patient home, let them relax and maybe fall asleep. They can eat or drink anything they feel like, however, eating a large amount at once could cause vomiting, and absolutely no alcohol or recreational drugs.
Patients shouldn’t drive for 12 hours after the operation and even cooking, boiling water, or chopping with knives could be a problem. They are sleepy after the anaesthetic with poor reflexes. If you could cook dinner or get take away, take care of the children, (or getting a friend or relative to mind them) can help the patient to relax and recover.
It is rare to have complications after a termination. Each patient is given a post-operative leaflet which explains the normal physical symptoms and possible problems to look out for.
A few days after the operation there can be a hormone drop and some women, who may be feeling positive about their decision, can get depressed and weepy. This usually passes in a few days.
The support person can help the patient by listening and supporting them in a non-judgemental way. Some women need time to grieve and to express their feelings of loss. Sometimes a girlfriend or relative can be a better shoulder to cry on than the father of the pregnancy. He may also be feeling guilty or depressed, and be trying to deal with his own feelings. It can be important that he too find a trustworthy shoulder to lean on such as a best mate, brother or father.
A termination of pregnancy can also be an emotional time for a patient’s support person. This can be especially so for the father of the pregnancy who can feel regret, loss, anger, depression, guilt etc. The decision to have a termination can bring a couple closer together or can bring up areas of conflict and a reassessment of the relationship.
On the day of the termination, Macquarie Fields Women’s Clinic will concentrate on the wellbeing, both physical and psychological, of the patient. However, the support person or father of the pregnancy is welcome to book in for a counselling session on another day.
Ideally the decision should be a mutual one. However, because it is ultimately the woman’s choice, many men feel powerless and isolated.
Not only can they feel ‘left out’ but also ‘abandoned’ by their partner who may be so caught up with dealing with her own feelings that she may not see how the situation is affecting them.
A man may also experience feelings of relief, regret, sadness, anger or guilt. It is important to seek help if you are having difficulty coming to terms with the situation.
Should you require further help, we can refer you to organisations that provide ongoing counseling care. It’s important to bear in mind that it is quite normal to experience a range of feelings. You will not be judged or thought less of because you have decided to seek help.
Please phone the clinic nearest you for an appointment if you would like counselling.
It happens in approximately one in 100 STOPs. The symptoms are usually abdominal (menstrual) pain, heavy or prolonged bleeding or passing blood clots. This happens when tissue remains in the uterus and may require a repeat curette or the use of medication. We will do this at no extra cost.
You should contact the clinic if you are bleeding heavily or bleeding for more than two weeks.
Deciding what to do about an unplanned pregnancy can result in many complex feelings. The suggestions here were compiled from interviews with 100 women for a research study entitled “Post-Abortion Emotions and How Women Cope” by Anne Baker.
Anne is the Director of Counselling at the Hope Clinic, an abortion provider in the USA. In this pamphlet Anne has also utilised suggestions from ministers, priests, counsellors, and doctors.
“Just because I had an abortion doesn’t mean I’m a bad person.”
“Everyone makes mistakes.”
“Motherly women have abortions too.”
“I made the best decision I could at the time.”
“If I could have done any better, I would have.”
“When I look back and ask myself if I was being selfish, I know that caring for myself is as important as caring for others. If I don’t love myself, how can I love others?”
“Just because I’ve had more than one abortion doesn’t mean I’m a bad person.”
Some people are afraid that God will not forgive them. They interpret any bad luck they have after the abortion as a sign of God’s punishment. But whether or not you had an abortion, you will experience both good and bad in your life. Blaming God and seeing punishment in misfortune is self-destructive and you should avoid it. Ask yourself, “Do I believe that God is all merciful?”
If you do, then have faith that you are forgiven and be open to receiving the forgiveness that is always there for you. Some women think that after their abortion God will cause a miscarriage when they want a baby, or make them sterile. These thoughts are not about the loving nature of God. God’s forgiveness is limitless and always there for us. A valuable lesson is learning to cope successfully with guilt. This means learning what to say and do for yourself to achieve self-forgiveness, learning what to avoid, believing in God’s mercy, and then using your energy to improve your life.
1. “I’m stupid. I’m no good, I’m selfish. I should suffer for what I’ve done.” It just keeps the guilt going.
2. “I tried to block the abortion out of my mind completely by keeping busy. Because I wasn’t honest with myself and wouldn’t let myself express my true feelings, guilt came flooding over me later in life. The only way I found peace was talking with a counsellor. If I had done this sooner, I probably wouldn’t have had so much trouble.”
3. “I blamed my parents for the abortion. I guess I couldn’t face my own guilt at the time. But now with the help of my pastor, I’ve learned to deal with it.”
4. “I kept finding things to do that would make me suffer. I cut myself off from my friends and family. I didn’t eat. I always dwelled on the abortion. I let other people make me feel guilty, and I got involved with men who treated me mean. The only way I quit all that was by getting professional help. I wish I had got it sooner – maybe I wouldn’t have put myself through hell.”
5. Some women attempt to make up for their abortion by joining a Right-To-Life agency and focusing their energy on talking other women out of having an abortion. There is a drawback to this form of activity. Other women’s crises can prevent you from coming to grips with leftover anger, guilt and loss. As long as you continue this activity you can’t heal emotionally.
You may think it’s not “nice” to get angry. Some women won’t permit themselves to say they are angry. Instead, they often say they feel “hurt.” “Hurt” and “angry” are two labels commonly used for the same feeling. Remember, everyone gets mad at times. When people don’t acknowledge their anger, they can turn it on themselves and become depressed. It is better to admit you’re angry, discover what you’re angry about, and then cope with these feelings.
“I felt mad at myself because I didn’t use birth control… I gave in to my boyfriend sexually…”
“I felt mad at my partner for getting me pregnant… he pressured me… I had to go through the abortion, and to him it was no big deal…”
“ I felt mad at my parents because they wouldn’t let me see my boyfriend again… they wouldn’t let me talk to anybody afterwards… they made me have the abortion.”
Finding out why you’re angry can help you to take care of yourself. For instance, if you’re mad at yourself for not using reliable birth control, ask about how to protect yourself next time. It you’re mad at your boyfriend for getting you pregnant, ask yourself why you let him take risks with your body. What would you do differently next time?
“Talk to somebody who will listen. Get it off your chest.”
“If your mad at yourself, you need to forgive yourself.”
“I was mad at birth control that didn’t work. But any birth control can fail even if used perfectly. That’s the risk I have to take to have sex.”
“If you’re mad at your parents, you have to talk to somebody even if your parents say you can’t.”
You may want to tell the person you’re angry with. It is important to think what you will gain and what you may lose if you do so. If you decide it is too risky, then express it in a safer way. For example, tell someone else what you are angry about. Or pound your fist into a pillow or scream in a car with the windows rolled up. If you use a gym, have an extra hard workout or go for a longer run than usual. Physical activities like this can give a wonderful feeling of release.
Many women who are angry with their partners have difficulty knowing what to do. One way of coping is to write the coldest, angriest letter imaginable, telling your partner what you think of him and what you’d like him to do but do not send the letter. Not ever! Keep it to read and reread aloud.
Imagine him sitting in a corner on the floor. You are telling him everything you’d love to say. Have this fantasy whenever your anger comes back, or perform it dramatically for a trusted friend who will laugh with you. This allows you to release the anger safely. Then look at what you did and the risks you took with him. Then say, “We’re both human and capable of mistakes. We both should have taken better care, but we didn’t. He should have been responsible after the fact, but he wasn’t. I don’t have to have anything more to do with him.”
Focus your attention onto caring for yourself. People all too often hurt themselves when they are angry.
“If you hold your anger inside and pretend it’s not there, you’ll get depressed or develop headaches or heartburn like I did.”
“I was so mad at my parents because they said things to hurt me and wouldn’t let me see my friends or boyfriend. It was like prison. I started drinking and doing stupid stuff to hurt myself to get back at them. I messed myself up bad.”
“I was mad at myself but blamed all my hurt on the fact that a legal abortion was available to me and on the abortion clinic. As long as I blamed ‘legal abortion’ or ‘the clinic’ for my abortion, I didn’t have to face my own part in it. It was easier to point the finger at them than to take responsibility for my own actions. Not facing facts kept me stuck in my anger. What a waste!”
“I called up that bastard and tried to make him feel guilty, but all he did was laugh and hang up on me. It your boyfriend doesn’t care, don’t think you can make him feel bad. You wind up hurt, not him!”
Some people can forgive the person who hurt them, and that is a good release from anger. But don’t criticise yourself if you can’t forgive. It is enough to let go of anger by expressing it safely and taking care of yourself. If you can’t let go of the anger, contact a counsellor.