How Can I Support My Partner When She’s Pregnant?

How Can I Support My Partner When She’s Pregnant?

Whether your partner’s pregnancy was expected or unexpected, it’s normal to feel a mix of excitement and anxiety as you think about the future. It’s normal to wonder how things will change for you, your partner, and your relationship. It may also feel like you’re sitting on the sidelines while your partner is experiencing the pregnancy firsthand and receiving all the attention, but your role is so much more than sideline supportive. It’s active and crucial.

It’s Vital for Your Pregnant Partner to Feel Your Support

Research is clear; mothers and infants are healthier when pregnant mothers feel supported by their partners. Your appropriate support means your partner is less likely to experience depression or anxiety. Studies also reveal that having a supportive partner impacts infants positively in addition to their mothers; they appear to display lower stress levels too.

When your support leads to your partner being emotionally healthier, her body will better cope with the physical demands of pregnancy, delivery, and recovery after giving birth.

Here’s a real-life example: Your partner feels sick, and you genuinely believe she needs privacy, so your first thought is to leave her alone. But the good news is that you’ve already had conversations with her about this, so you know if you leave her alone now, she will experience your well-intended efforts as abandonment.

You realize your support efforts to give your partner space would have the opposite effect you intend, so instead of leaving her alone, you offer ginger ale, crackers, and your presence. And your partner feels loved and supported.

The key isn’t whether you think you’re providing the support she needs, but if your partner perceives your actions as supportive.

You need to start somewhere, so here are practical suggestions on ways to support your partner when she’s pregnant.

Connect on an Emotional Level

When you and your partner discover she’s pregnant, emotions follow. You both need to talk about feelings of uncertainty, inadequacy, anxiousness, and excitement. Emotionally connecting while she’s pregnant sets a solid foundation for your relationship and the decisions you make about the pregnancy.

Invest time to learn about how to listen well, empathize, and validate her feelings. Validate doesn’t mean you agree; it means you empathize enough to want to understand her inner world. The goal is not to respond but to listen to understand her perspective. We all desire to be heard and understood, and when your partner perceives your attempts to understand her, she will feel incredibly supported.  

Connect on a Practical Level

When you support your pregnant partner with actions, it communicates, “I care,” far more than words ever could. Here are ways to connect on a practical level:

  • Prioritize your relationship — discuss needs, desires, and dreams
  • Take notice when she needs help and help out without being asked
  • Go with her to her doctor visits and childbirth classes if you choose to carry to term— ask questions
  • Encourage her to take a nap
  • Take walks or cook a balanced meal together

Avail supports women and men by offering a safe place to talk through your experiences and questions, especially when facing an unexpected pregnancy or abortion. If you have further questions or think your girlfriend might be pregnant, make a confidential appointment with a Male Client Advocate today. All services are free.

Avail exists to be a safe haven for women and men facing an unexpected pregnancy or seeking support after an abortion. We are not a medical provider.

Your Girlfriend’s Cycle: How Likely Is She to Get Pregnant?

Your Girlfriend’s Cycle: How Likely Is She to Get Pregnant?

Gone are the days when contraception was solely the woman’s responsibility. If your girlfriend becomes unexpectedly pregnant, it affects both of you. So, it makes sense that men like you are asking more questions, looking for answers, and want to be informed about their girlfriend’s cycles and when they are most likely to get pregnant.

Let’s get started.

1. What is a “cycle?”

Each month a woman’s body prepares for a possible pregnancy, and that hormonal process is her “menstrual cycle” or just her “cycle.”

The length of a woman’s cycle is measured from the first day of her period to the first day of her next period. Cycle length varies from woman to woman and can range from 21 to 35 days with the average being 28 days.

There are four phases to her cycle: menstruation, the follicular phase, ovulation, and the luteal phase. Let’s look at what that means in regards to getting pregnant.

2. Which phase in my girlfriend’s cycle is she more likely to get pregnant?

Your girlfriend is more likely to get pregnant in the ovulating phase of her cycle, but that doesn’t mean it can’t happen at other points in the cycle, and here’s why!

The ovulation phase is when a woman’s ovary releases an egg. If you think you might be “safe” and have unprotected sex during the follicular phase of your cycle, remember this: your sperm can live up to five days right into her ovulation cycle. That creates a situation where her egg and your sperm are in the same place at the same time, and she could potentially get pregnant.

A woman’s egg lives about 12-24 hours, and a man’s sperm lives up to five days. That means there is about a six-day window each month around ovulation that your girlfriend is more likely to get pregnant if you have unprotected sex.

3. When in her cycle is my girlfriend ovulating?

Ovulation occurs about two weeks before her expected period.

4. How can I tell when it’s two weeks before my girlfriend’s period?

Excellent question. If your girlfriend is one of more than 100 million women who use a period tracking app, ask her if she will share it will you. The popular period tracking apps have the capability for cycle sharing and push notifications.

If your girlfriend isn’t comfortable sharing her app with you, ask if it would be okay to download your own app and track her period yourself. This isn’t weird or abnormal. It’s taking responsibility and empowering yourself with knowledge!

Common Myths About Getting Pregnant

  • Myth: She can’t get pregnant if she has her period.
  • Myth: She can’t get pregnant if you withdraw before ejaculating.
  • Myth: She can’t get pregnant if she is taking the pill.
  • Myth: She can’t get pregnant if she is breastfeeding.

Avail supports women and men by offering a safe place to talk through your experiences, especially when facing an unexpected pregnancy or abortion. If you have further questions or think your girlfriend might be pregnant, make a confidential appointment with a Male Client Advocate today. All services are free.

Avail exists to be a safe haven for women and men facing an unexpected pregnancy or seeking support after an abortion. We are not a medical provider.

How Many Days After Conception Can I Take a Pregnancy Test?

How Many Days After Conception Can I Take a Pregnancy Test?

If you think you might be pregnant, you know the anxiousness of the wait until you know for sure. It’s particularly difficult when a possible pregnancy is unplanned. You question every symptom, wondering if it’s due to pregnancy or premenstrual hormones. And you wonder how soon you can take a pregnancy test so you don’t have to wait any longer for the answer.

At Avail NYC, we can help you sort through your next steps in a caring environment to help ease this stressful time.

Home Pregnancy Tests

After a fertilized egg implants into the uterine wall, a woman’s body starts producing a pregnancy hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). A home pregnancy test detects the hCG hormone in a woman’s urine.

Sometimes, you can take a home pregnancy test, and the results are confusing. Your mind feels like it’s playing tricks on you. Is that a faint line? Or are you imagining a faint line? You might question the reliability of the test.

There are claims that home pregnancy tests are 99% accurate, but it’s important to know the percentage of accuracy is not that high when the test is taken right at the time of a missed period.

Now you might be wondering how soon you can take a home pregnancy test and still get an accurate result.

How Many Days After Conception Can I Take a Pregnancy Test?

Conception occurs the moment an egg is fertilized. It takes about 4-5 days for the fertilized egg to travel through the fallopian tube to the uterus.  So, implantation into the uterine lining occurs about 4-5 days after conception or about 7-10 days after ovulation.

As soon as the fertilized egg implants into the uterine wall, the hCG pregnancy hormone is produced. This means a high-quality pregnancy test could detect a pregnancy in as little as 5 days after conception.

However, according to Mayo Clinic, it is advisable to take a pregnancy test after the first day of your missed period to reduce the chances of getting a false negative result.

False Pregnancy Test Results

False-negative results are much more common than false-positive results. A false negative result usually occurs because the pregnancy test was taken too early to detect the pregnancy. If you get a negative result, but you still think you could be pregnant, take another test in a few days.

False-negative results can occur for other reasons such as using urine that is too diluted and failing to follow the directions precisely. A false-negative result can also come about from an ectopic pregnancy. This is a serious condition that requires immediate medical treatment.

No-Cost Services Available

Make an appointment today at Avail NYC for a no-cost self-administered pregnancy test. Our compassionate advocates will answer your questions with unbiased and accurate information. We empower you and walk with you each step of the way, so you can examine your options and make an informed decision about your unexpected pregnancy.

Avail exists to be a safe haven for women and men facing an unexpected pregnancy or seeking support after an abortion. We are not a medical provider.

I Can’t Be Pregnant Right Now: What Are My Options?

I Can’t Be Pregnant Right Now: What Are My Options?

“I was supposed to get my period last week, but it didn’t come. I shrugged it off thinking it was late because that stuff happens, right? But it’s now been over a week and I’m really starting to freak out. I can’t be pregnant right now!”

When faced with an unplanned pregnancy, varied thoughts may be racing through your mind, along with what to do, how to tell those closest to you, and how this might impact your future.

Shock, anger, denial, despair, panic and hopelessness are only some of the emotions that can go along with an unplanned pregnancy. While it might seem you have little to no choice, there are more options than you might realize.

Avail NYC is here for you. We empathize, and our team of experienced and compassionate client advocates is here to help you on this journey. Our free pregnancy services—like a self-administered pregnancy test and referral to receive a free ultrasound—can confirm any of your suspicions. We also offer information and guidance so you can make the best decision for your future with all of the facts in your pocket.

Breathe. You Have Choices.

No matter what anyone might say, you can—and should—take a few minutes to yourself. Sit down in a comfortable place, somewhere you feel safe, and just breathe. Yes, you have some choices to make, and no, they are probably not going to be easy, but you need to make them according to what is best for you. You have plenty of time to calm and center yourself.

When you’re ready, give us a call or setup a free, online appointment. Let our advocates help you evaluate your choices so you can make a decision that gives you peace of mind. Avail NYC will be here while you consider your options, and we’ll be here after you’ve made your choice.

There are pregnancy support services if you decide to carry to term, and they are both free and confidential. We also offer free after-abortion support for those who have unresolved feelings and want to talk through it with someone who has been there. We are dedicated to you, making sure you have the time and freedom to consider all your possibilities so you can make the best choice for your future.

We’re Here For You

It’s possible that people in your life will try to tell you what is best, what to do, or what not to do. At Avail NYC, we help you wade through all the hype and hysteria so you can hear your voice. Listen to what you have to say. What you think and feel. Sometimes that process alone is enough for you to settle on what is best.

We will help you think and talk through what you can tell others—be it boyfriends, husbands, even your parents. No matter what choice you make, we are here for you. You are not alone. We support you and offer you our strength until you can find your own.

Contact us today to make an appointment and learn more about our free, confidential services.

Make an Appointment

Avail NYC exists to be a safe haven for women and men facing an unexpected pregnancy or seeking support after an abortion. We are not a medical provider.

How Far Along Is My Pregnancy?

How Far Along Is My Pregnancy?

Knowing exactly how far along you are in pregnancy can be confusing. Pregnancy symptoms are different for each woman and make for an unreliable guide to determine where you are in the gestational period.  So exactly how does one determine their date of conception or due date?

When Was Your Last Period?

Knowing the first date of your last period is key. This is the date most commonly used to determine gestational age. For most women, this date is about two weeks before ovulation and conception occurred. Conception typically takes place between 11 and 21 days after the first day of your last period.

Most women don’t know their exact day of ovulation, but they usually know when their last period began, so this is the most reliable way to determine how far along you are and when you would be full term.

How Do I Calculate My Due Date?

To account for the two weeks prior to conception, doctors take the first day of your last menstrual period (LMP) and add 280 days (or 40 weeks) to determine the due date.

From there, you can also determine how far along you are by counting how many weeks it has been since the first day of your last period. For instance, if your last period began on August 1st, you would be eight weeks on September 26th, 13 weeks on October 31st, and your due date would be May 8th. This example is based on a 28-day cycle. If your cycle is longer or shorter, it will change slightly.

Using Ultrasound to Determine or Verify Gestational Age

Another way to determine or verify gestational age is through ultrasound. This is especially helpful for women who have irregular periods or who cannot recall the first day of their last period.

Gestational age can be measured using ultrasound as early as five or six weeks after your last menstrual period. Measuring in this way is most accurate during early pregnancy and is best done between the eighth and 18th weeks. Ultrasound is less accurate after this timeframe.

Ultrasounds performed during the first 12 weeks are considered to be accurate within three to five days, while those performed between 12 and 22 weeks are accurate within 10 days. Those done after 22 weeks cannot be used to determine gestational age, according to UltrasoundCare.com.

Come in for a Free Self-Pregnancy Test

If you are unsure whether you’re pregnant or if you’re facing an unplanned pregnancy and would like to discuss your options, come see us at Avail NYC. All our services are free of charge, and we are a safe, confidential place to think through your next steps.

We offer clients a free self-administered, urine pregnancy test and a free ultrasound by referral to a women’s medical clinic if the test is positive. Our client advocates also provide a linear decision-making tool which can help you explore your values and goals in the midst of your situation.

Make a free appointment today—our caring, non-judgmental team is here you to support you.

Make an Appointment

Avail NYC exists to be a safe haven for women and men facing an unexpected pregnancy or seeking support after an abortion. We are not a medical provider.

Making a Confident Decision About an Unplanned Pregnancy

Making a Confident Decision About an Unplanned Pregnancy

An unplanned pregnancy can make even the most confident woman stumble for a moment. The shaky hands and panic are not far off. No matter where you are in the decision-making process, you can turn around the fear and anxiety. It’s okay to “hit pause” to get your bearings and sort out your options. It all starts with an appointment at Avail NYC.

Turning Confusion into Confidence

At Avail, we know that confusion can be the first reaction when you get this type of news. Our client advocates use reflective listening to help reduce your stress so you can get back on track and start looking ahead, able to make the best possible decision for your future.

“I felt understood and not judged. I felt that I wouldn’t be alone no matter what decision I decided to make,” shared one client.

Knowledge is Power

Understanding exactly what you face, and what all your options are, in detail, can be a powerful thing. Our advocates are here to help you from the first step to the last. Get started down the path to confidence with a free, self-administered pregnancy test to confirm the symptoms you may be having, or discuss the results of your at-home test with an Avail advocate.

Common pregnancy symptoms include: frequent urination (particularly at night), nausea and vomiting of pregnancy (also known as “morning sickness”), fatigue, headaches, food cravings or aversions, or darkening and/or sensitivity of nipples.

Once you have pregnancy test results, if they are positive, we can refer you to a third-party women’s healthcare provider for a free, on-site ultrasound to find out if your pregnancy is viable, if it is ectopic (a potentially-dangerous situation requiring medical care), and what the gestational age is. These findings add to your information arsenal, and are another step on the way to making a confident decision.

Reflection Leads to a Positive Future

Looking back, you will probably recall different times in your life when important life decisions were made—some by you, maybe some by others. When it comes to decisions surrounding an unplanned pregnancy, no one but you can make the right decision.

Others—your partner, family, and friends—may have good intentions, but at the end of the day it is your life, not theirs. The decision is yours alone and it can be daunting.

Consider your beliefs, your values, your goals, your current situation, and the resources available to you as you look at your options of abortion, adoption, and parenting. Our advocates are here to answer every question you have, and make sure you have clear, unbiased information to use in your decision-making process.

We offer same-day appointments because we know that waiting can be really hard, and we want to help you in every possible way. Get in touch today, so we can get started helping you make the best choice for you.

Make an Appointment

Avail NYC exists to be a safe haven for women and men facing an unexpected pregnancy or seeking support after an abortion. We are not a medical provider.

Balancing an Unplanned Pregnancy in a New Relationship

Balancing an Unplanned Pregnancy in a New Relationship

An unplanned pregnancy by itself is hard to deal with. Getting pregnant in the beginning of a new relationship adds another complicated dimension. You may not know each other that well yet and you aren’t able to predict your partner’s reaction to the news. Will he stick around and be supportive or will he walk away?

Maybe you’re crazy in love. Maybe you’re just “in like.” If he’s willing to stick around, do you want him to? What if he wants to get married? Uncertainty can be hard to handle and we are here to support you at Avail NYC.

When facing an unplanned pregnancy, you might not feel happy and excited, at least not in the beginning. Scared and confused might be more your speed right now. Or maybe you adjust quickly and are digging in, figuring things out, and are ready to make some decisions.

There is no “right” way to feel about an unplanned pregnancy, just as there is no “wrong” way, either. Whichever way you feel, that’s the right one for you.

What We Know

You’re not alone. In 2011, nearly half (45% or 2.8 million) of the 6.1 million pregnancies in the United States each year were unintended, according to the Guttmacher Institute. That’s 2.8 million women just like you, every year.

Your life isn’t over. With 2.8 million women each year finding themselves unexpectedly pregnant, it’s reasonable to expect that people are more used to single women getting pregnant than in the past, and there is no reason to feel ashamed. The only opinion that matters is yours. There are a lot of young single women who not only parent, but have successful careers, maintain strong relationships, and enjoy fulfilling, rewarding lives.

You Have Options

An unplanned pregnancy isn’t the end of the world because you have options. You can choose abortion, adoption, or parenting. At Avail NYC, we are committed to providing accurate, unbiased information so you can make the best possible decision for YOU. We will answer all of your questions and support you throughout the decision-making process and beyond.

Come in and See Us

Come in and see us at Avail NYC. We can give you a free, self-administered pregnancy test and if it confirms you are pregnant, we can offer you a referral for a free ultrasound to determine if the pregnancy is viable, if it is an ectopic pregnancy (which needs medical treatment right away), and the gestational age. The ultrasound is performed on site by a third-party women’s medical clinic.

Once this is completed, we will give you a decision-making tool that helps you take into account your situation, values, and goals as you decide which path is the best one for you to follow. Our caring advocates will be there for you every step of the way to listen and help you process.

Make an Appointment

Avail NYC exists to be a safe haven for women and men facing an unexpected pregnancy or seeking support after an abortion. We are not a medical provider.

What Happens if I’m Pregnant and Single?

What Happens if I’m Pregnant and Single?

Being pregnant and single may feel like the end of the world, but it’s not. There are caring, non-judgmental advocates at Avail NYC to help you and offer the support and understanding you might be needing. You aren’t alone.

Come In For Tests

The first step is finding out whether you’re pregnant or not. We can provide you with a free, self-administered pregnancy test.

If the test confirms your pregnancy, we will offer you a referral to a licensed women’s medical center, which operates a satellite office on-site at Avail, for a free ultrasound. An ultrasound can detect the gestational age and viability of a pregnancy, important information to have when making a decision about how to proceed. It can also rule out an ectopic pregnancy.

Be Informed, Empowered

When facing an unexpected pregnancy while single, you may feel alone, or you may feel pressure from family or friends to choose one path or another.

At Avail, our sole focus is you, and what you decide is best. We provide a linear decision-making tool that helps you consider your situation, values, and goals. You’ll have the opportunity to learn about the benefits and risks of each option you have, and to talk them over with your advocate.

We want you to be informed, so we aim to provide unbiased information so you will have everything you need to make the best possible decision.

If You Choose Abortion

If you choose to have an abortion, be sure to speak with a gynecologist about STD testing, even if you think it’s unlikely you have one. Women who undergo an abortion procedure without treatment for an STD or STI are at risk for pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), a condition that can result in pain and problems with reproductive health.

Avail offers after-abortion support, helping women who have gone through an abortion and may be experiencing unresolved feelings. Many people don’t have a safe place to talk about a past abortion experience. We can provide that safe place for you.

Our after-abortion support group curriculum incorporates “food for thought” quotes, self-care activities, journal prompts, and personal reflections. All group facilitators are staff or volunteers who have their own abortion experiences.

Choosing Parenting or Adoption

If you choose parenting or adoption, Avail will be there for you every step of the way, providing practical support and resources. We offer pregnancy and infant-care classes, a comprehensive parenting education program, ongoing social and emotional support, and other resources.

Make an appointment to come into Avail NYC today. Our caring, compassionate advocates are here for you.

Make an Appointment

Avail NYC exists to be a safe haven for women and men facing an unexpected pregnancy or seeking support after an abortion. We are not a medical provider.

 

Free or Low-Cost Ultrasound in NYC

Free or Low-Cost Ultrasound in NYC

After getting a positive result on a pregnancy test, especially when it’s an unexpected pregnancy, you may have a hard time at first trying to move through the shock and fear to figure out what comes next.

One of your first steps should be an ultrasound. There are several reasons for this to be an important next step for you. First, an ultrasound can confirm the viability of the pregnancy and also tell you how far along you are. The benefit of knowing this information is that you can begin to make decisions confidently with accurate information.

Come For Free Services

When you come in for an appointment at Avail NYC, our caring client advocates are ready to offer confidential support.

We will offer you a free, self-administered pregnancy test to confirm your pregnancy. The self-administered test takes only a few minutes to give results. If your pregnancy is confirmed, Avail can refer you to a licensed medical center for a free or low-cost ultrasound exam to measure the viability and length of your pregnancy.

Ultrasound exams will further confirm pregnancy, determine if it is viable or if it is an ectopic pregnancy (which can be dangerous and may require medical treatment), and will also tell you how far along you are into the pregnancy.

An ultrasound exam uses high-frequency sound waves to capture images inside your body and is generally performed at seven to eight weeks of pregnancy. An ultrasound exam can be a useful tool for you in your decision-making process, and results are often available the same day.

Be Informed, Empowered

Our client advocates are here to help you through not only the testing phase, but afterward, to process what you have learned. If you are facing an unexpected pregnancy, you are not alone. We understand how important it is to have emotional support while facing the unknown.

Our advocates will not only help you understand the choices you have–abortion, parenting, and adoption–they will be available to support you in your decision.

Your advocate will offer and guide you through a decision-making tool that will help you to decide the right option for you, in an unbiased manner, without any pressure. Our goal is to give you all the information you need in a clear and kind manner.

We will address any concerns you may have, and can even help you tell your family and partner. Our advocates are here to support YOU.

If you are pregnant (or think you are pregnant), contact us today to talk to an advocate.

Make an Appointment

Avail NYC exists to be a safe haven for women and men facing an unexpected pregnancy or seeking support after an abortion. We are not a medical provider.

How Can I Tell I am Pregnant?

How Can I Tell I am Pregnant?

How can you tell you’re pregnant? It’s a question that may keep circling around your mind, especially if you aren’t expecting, or wanting, to get pregnant. At Avail NYC, we understand and want to make sure you have all the information you need.

A missed period is the most obvious symptom, but there are a number of other symptoms that can also point to pregnancy, as long as you know what to look for.

In the end, though, there is only one way to be absolutely certain of pregnancy and that is a pregnancy test followed up by an ultrasound.

Symptoms of Pregnancy

  • A missed period, of course, is the main symptom of pregnancy if it’s a week or more late. If you have an irregular cycle, however, a late period does not necessarily indicate pregnancy.
  • Fatigue. The hormone level of progesterone increases rapidly in early pregnancy and can be the source of that tired feeling.
  • Nausea, also called morning sickness, can vary widely. Some women never experience it, while others can’t seem to stop vomiting. Most women, though, land somewhere in the middle. The nickname is a bit misleading as this can occur any time of day or night.
  • Tender, swollen breasts often catch your attention because they are uncomfortable. If you are one of those women who experiences this symptom each month when you get your period, it may not be an obvious sign of pregnancy. This usually does not last more than a few weeks.
  • Urinating more frequently. According to Mayo Clinic, “You might find yourself urinating more often than usual. The amount of blood in your body increases during pregnancy, causing your kidneys to process extra fluid that ends up in your bladder.”
  • Moodiness may be part of your period symptoms, but it can also strike when pregnant. You may find yourself more emotional and irritable than usual, or possibly having mood swings as well.
  • Food aversions or cravings can also be caused by hormonal changes. You may become temporarily more sensitive to certain foods, or their odor. For instance, you may decide you can’t stand the smell of microwave popcorn, something you have always loved. On the other hand, you might find yourself craving one type of food or food combination very strongly.
  • Bloating can be chalked up to hormones as well. You may feel bloated, similar to when getting your period.
  • Cramping can also occur early on, leading you to think your period is coming.
  • Light spotting is another symptom that can be misleading. “Known as implantation bleeding, it happens when the fertilized egg attaches to the lining of the uterus, about 10 to 14 days after conception,” Mayo Clinic notes. “Implantation bleeding occurs around the time of a menstrual period. However, not all women have it.” If you have any concern whatsoever about spotting, or bleeding becomes any heavier, contact your doctor immediately.
  • Constipation can also be a hormone side effect, where the digestive system slows down.
  • Nasal congestion can be another pesky symptom thanks to hormones and an increase in blood production.

Find Out For Sure

The one way to find out for sure if you are pregnant is a pregnancy test. Make an appointment to come into Avail NYC, where we can give you a free, self-administered, lab-quality urine test. If it comes back positive, we can refer you for a free ultrasound that will tell you if the pregnancy is viable, and how far along you are.

Our caring, compassionate advocates are here to empower you and help you get the information you need so you can make a thoughtful decision about an unexpected pregnancy.

Make an Appointment

Avail NYC exists to be a safe haven for women and men facing an unexpected pregnancy or seeking support after an abortion. We are not a medical provider