If you’re a young man in a sexual relationship with your girlfriend, you understand the possibility of pregnancy. Even if you’re taking precautions, you probably know that nothing in life is certain. Mishaps can and do occur, and an unplanned pregnancy has the power to throw most people for quite a loop. Waiting and wondering can be torturous, especially if your girlfriend is reluctant to talk about the possibility of pregnancy. She may know for sure and be afraid to tell you, or she may only have a reasonable suspicion that she may be pregnant and is still in a stage of denial about the situation. However, it’s easier to make a plan when you have concrete information to go on, and as scary as it might seem, the first step is to establish a dialogue with your girlfriend.
How Can I Tell if My Girlfriend is Pregnant?
This first step is difficult, but it’s an essential part of developing a pregnancy plan that you can both live with. Keep in mind that she’s probably just as, if not more, fearful and uncertain as you are at this point. Although it’s okay to express fear at this stage, it’s also important to be supportive and to let her know that you will be there for her no matter what she decides to do. Ultimately, even though it may not seem fair, the final decision about how to handle the pregnancy is up to her. Remaining as calm as possible helps take the emotional edge off of the conversation, and you should definitely refrain from showing anger.
If she denies that she is pregnant or expresses uncertainty but you are still wondering whether she may be pregnant after all, it’s important that you remain aware of specific signs and symptoms of possible pregnancy.
Signs of Possible Pregnancy
Missed periods are typically the first and most common sign of pregnancy, but it’s also not set in stone that a missed period automatically means a woman is pregnant. Missed periods have multiple causes, including the following:
- Rapid weight gain or loss
- Certain medications, including birth control
- Ovarian cysts
- Thyroid disease or other illnesses such as Type II diabetes
- Excessive exercise
- Excessive stress
- The onset of perimenopause or menopause
No matter what the reason, a missed period is a sign that the woman needs to see her healthcare professional as soon as possible.
Otherwise known as “morning sickness,” the sudden onset of nausea is another indication that a woman may be pregnant. Pregnancy-related nausea may or may not occur in the morning, and although it’s most common during the first trimester of pregnancy, it sometimes continues into the second and third trimesters. Most of the time, morning sickness resolves itself, but severe cases can cause dehydration and lead to a condition known as hyperemesis gravidarum, which may require hospitalization. Although medical science has been unable to pinpoint the exact cause of morning sickness, hormonal fluctuations are thought to play a part.
Like missed periods and other possible signs of pregnancy, nausea may have other causes. If it doesn’t go away on its own in a few days after pregnancy is ruled out, your girlfriend should make an appointment with her doctor to determine the cause.
Tender and/or swollen breasts are also a possible indication of pregnancy and can begin as early as a week into the pregnancy. However, they’re also a sign that a woman’s period is about to start.
Unexplained fatigue may also indicate that a woman is pregnant, particularly if it’s accompanied by other symptoms such as morning sickness and sore breasts. Feeling exhausted during early pregnancy is caused by high progesterone levels in the blood.
Bloating is another potential side effect of elevated progesterone levels. Like other possible indications of pregnancy, it rarely presents on its own and is typically accompanied by at least one of the conditions mentioned above.
As you can see, determining whether or not your girlfriend is pregnant is far from an exact science. Even if all, or most, of the possible symptoms listed above are part of the picture, the only way to know for sure if someone is pregnant is to have a pregnancy test. Pregnancy tests work by determining whether or not a hormone known as human chorionic gonadotropin is present in the urine. This hormone is only produced if a fertilized egg has attached itself to the lining of the woman’s uterus. Although pregnancy tests are easily available from a variety of brick-and-mortar and online retailers, you can get one for no cost at your local pregnancy clinic. This approach has other advantages beyond just being cost-effective.
Why Go to Willowbrook Women’s Center for Testing?
Taking a pregnancy test in the face of a possible unexpected pregnancy is a nerve-wracking experience for both parties. So it goes, as it is with pretty much everything else in life, knowing your options helps keep stress levels lower than if you and your girlfriend are in full-on panic mode.
Those who go to Willowbrook Women’s Center for pregnancy testing also have access to critical information and advocacy from licensed medical professionals, and this can make the whole situation far less scary for both you and your girlfriend. Whether you’re considering abortion, adoption, or raising the child yourself, the more knowledge you have, the better the two of you will be able to make the decision that best suits both of you. If you have no clue what direction you’ll go in, and in the event that the pregnancy test ends up being positive, a nonjudgmental, supportive environment provides the breathing room you and your girlfriend will need to begin creating an action plan.
Please feel free to contact Willowbrook Women’s Center for more information about our services.