Navigating Pregnancy While Black

Navigating Pregnancy While Black

Facing a pregnancy as a Black woman can be filled with uncertainties, anxieties, and fears. In New York City and around the country, many of those uncertainties have only been elevated in the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak and protests against racial injustice. However, there are steps you can take right now to ensure that your voice is heard, your needs are met, and your dignity is honored. You and your baby matter. Read on to learn about your risks and how to combat them.

The Risks

If you are Black and pregnant, you are at a higher risk for complications during your pregnancy, birth, and postpartum recovery. In the United States, a Black woman is 3 times more likely than a white woman and almost 4 times most likely than a Hispanic woman to die from pregnancy-related complications. Because of systemic inequality for black Americans and “unconscious biases that are embedded in the medical system,” Black women are more likely to be left untreated for complications such as hypertension and blood clots. Research has found that it doesn’t matter if you are rich or poor, have a college degree or not: Black women are still dying at an alarming rate for a medically-advanced country like the U.S. 

There is Hope.

Though nearly 700 women died in childbirth in 2018, the chances of mortality are still relatively low when you consider that millions of babies are born in the U.S. each year. The likelihood of facing a prenatal or postpartum complication is further reduced when you seek prenatal care early in your pregnancy and surround yourself with a group of trusted friends and health professionals who will help advocate for your needs.

Know Your Rights

  • You have the right to receive quality health care from an OB/Gyn that you trust. Your care team might also include a midwife or doula who will check in with you throughout the pregnancy and be at your side for labor and delivery. They are professionals who are trained to help you feel comfortable, supported, and focused during the birth. You can discuss your needs and expectations ahead of time so that everyone in the delivery room will be on the same page. These health care professionals can also work with you throughout your postpartum recovery to ensure that all your concerns are being addressed. The National Black Doulas Association has a state-by-state directory to help you find a licensed Black doula in your area.
  • You have the right to deliver at a hospital where you will receive high-quality care. ExpectNY is a website dedicated to providing important information about hospitals in the New York City area. You can research hospitals near you and learn about the safety measures and success rates of each facility. You can also use a resource like Leapfrog’s Hospital Safety Grade website to check the rating of your chosen hospital or compare multiple hospitals in your area.
  • If you are employed in New York State, an employer cannot legally fire you for becoming pregnant. You also have the right to maternity leave when you give birth. Time off from work after a pregnancy and delivery is important. You deserve rest, recovery, and the opportunity to bond with your baby.

Safety in Birthing

Doula, birth advocate, and owner of The Starting Place, Ashley Causey-Golden, suggests taking the following steps when you are planning for your labor and delivery:

Create Your Birth Plan

  • Taking even a few minutes to write out what you want or don’t want from your birthing experience can help you advocate for your needs as you talk with your health care team. Share this birth plan with your care team and loved ones so everyone is on the same page.

Know What You Want from Your Hospital

  • Maybe you know you want to avoid things like a C-section, an episiotomy, or an induction. Likewise, you may want to explore options like an epidural or unmedicated birth. Know what your hospital will or will not provide ahead of time by using ExpectNY to research the data from your chosen birth facility.

Trust Your Body

  • Causey-Golden also encourages her clients to practice meditation and self-care throughout their pregnancy as they prepare for labor and delivery. “Sitting still and tuning into your body can help you build resiliency against fear or the uncertainty surrounding birth,” she explains. “Being in touch with your body can help you build the confidence to vocalize your needs.” She suggests using meditation apps like Calm or The Mindfulness App and dedicating specified times to tune into your body.

Talk to Someone

Having someone by your side to help advocate for you is essential to a happy and healthy pregnancy. Whether it is a partner, friend, family member, birth worker, or medical professional, it is important to have a person you trust to walk alongside you. The Family Institute at Northwestern emphasizes the importance of mental health counseling for Black expectant women and new moms. You can find a wealth of Black birthing resources in this article on their site, including a checklist that helps you recognize signs that mental health care may be needed.

Avail NYC exists to be a safe place where women facing an unexpected pregnancy can process their feelings and make a plan to move forward with confidence. If you are pregnant or suspect you might be pregnant, and want to discuss your options in a confidential setting, Avail is here to listen to you. We provide emotional support and a network of resources so you don’t have to figure it out on your own. Additionally, we can offer a referral to an OB/Gyn for comprehensive prenatal medical care for clients with or without health insurance.

To protect our clients and staff during the outbreak of COVID-19, all appointments are being conducted online. If you are in need of a pregnancy test, we can send one to your home, free of charge. We know this is a challenging time, especially if you are facing the uncertainty of an unexpected pregnancy. Click the Make an Appointment button to schedule a call with a compassionate client advocate today.

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.

Additional information retrieved from “Navigating the Birthing World While Black,” a presentation by Ashley Causey-Golden. 19 February 2019.

Planned Pregnancy, Considering Abortion and COVID-19

Planned Pregnancy, Considering Abortion and COVID-19

You were looking forward to growing your family. You planned, and your positive pregnancy test brought a rush of excitement and anticipation for your new future. Then COVID-19 happened.

Suddenly, the future you envisioned has been replaced with uncertainty. The world that once felt safe to bring a child into now holds all that accompanies COVID-19; fear, job loss, and insurance loss. Reminders that much has changed are everywhere, from the constant news updates to seeing masks and barriers at the grocery store. For the first time, you’re navigating shelter-in-place orders, quarantines, social distancing, and shut-downs.

Perhaps your pregnancy excitement has turned to fear and trepidation, you’re wondering if this is the right time to be pregnant after all, and you’re considering abortion for your planned pregnancy.

Your Feelings Are Valid

We often think that parenting begins once our child is born, but your feelings reveal that it more likely starts once you know you’re pregnant. It’s natural to want to protect this planned pregnancy, which is why you’re asking yourself important questions. What if I (or my partner) get COVID-19? Will COVID-19 cause birth defects or other problems with pregnancy? How can I financially care for a child amidst a pandemic?

You never imagined you would be in the position of a planned pregnancy, considering abortion, but know that the questions and uncertainty you’re feeling are valid. This is a scary time to be pregnant, and many couples are experiencing the same doubts and fears about bringing a baby into this changing world.

There is good news. COVID-19 is temporary, and support is available to guide you through your questions and provide you tangible help to get through this time.

COVID-19 and Pregnancy

All couples who are expecting ask how COVID-19 will affect the pregnancy. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that COVID-19 does not appear to cause harm to the unborn or nursing babies. The virus hasn’t been detected in amniotic fluid or breastmilk, even if the mother has become ill.

The CDC also reports, “pregnant people appear to have the same risk of COVID-19 as adults who are not pregnant.” Research indicates that if a pregnant woman does contract the virus while she’s pregnant, she isn’t at greater risk than any other adult who gets it. There doesn’t appear to be a higher risk of miscarriage or birth defects, either.

Despite the positives, the CDC recommends that pregnant women take precautions to protect themselves from illnesses since they may be at increased risk for some infections.

Financial Strain and Pregnancy

Do you feel like you suddenly lack resources to build your family? Has your financial situation considerably changed since you planned your pregnancy, causing you to consider abortion? You’re not alone. There is a tremendous amount of relief and financial resources available to you, ranging from food to rent relief and everything in-between.

Help Is Available

Our compassionate client advocates at Avail are here for you to listen to your concerns and fears without judgment. We understand the questions that come along with pregnancy, COVID-19, and considering abortion for a planned pregnancy.

We can meet with you (and your partner, if desired) remotely from the safety of your home to discuss your options so that you can move forward with confidence. Our advocates will listen to your needs and point you to the resources that are best for your situation. Contact us today for an appointment.

How Quickly Should I Expect to Feel Pregnancy Symptoms?

How Quickly Should I Expect to Feel Pregnancy Symptoms?

You might suspect you’re pregnant. Perhaps you have taken an at-home pregnancy test, and the results are positive. Maybe you didn’t expect this. Now it’s possible you feel overwhelmed and have many unanswered questions. At Avail NYC, we have confidential, caring advocates ready to listen to your concerns and provide the information you need to consider your next steps.

You might be wondering, “How quickly should I expect to feel pregnancy symptoms?” Knowledge is empowering, and here you will learn about common pregnancy symptoms and when you can expect to feel them.

Early Pregnancy Symptoms

Keep in mind that every pregnancy is different, and you may not experience all of the following symptoms. These pregnancy symptom timelines start with the first day of your last period.

Mild cramping: This is often the first symptom a woman has in early pregnancy. It can occur from 1 to 4 weeks after the first day of your last period. Sometimes women feel cramping around the time of implantation (when the fertilized egg attaches to the uterus lining), which happens 10-14 days after conception. Bleeding or spotting can also accompany implantation.

Missed period: Usually 4 weeks after the first day of your last period, you will miss your next period if you are pregnant.

Feeling tired: Fatigue can begin around week 4 or 5 as your pregnancy hormones rise and cause you to feel worn out.

Nausea and vomiting: About 4 to 6 weeks after the first day of your previous period, you may begin to feel nausea and sensitivity to smells, often accompanied by vomiting. Although you might hear the term “morning sickness,” nausea can occur at any time of the day or night.

Tingling or sore breasts: Changes in your breasts can occur as early as weeks 4 to 6. An increase in hormones may also cause your breasts to feel swollen or tender.

Frequent urination: When you become pregnant, your kidneys produce more fluid and fill your bladder more frequently. You may begin to notice you are making frequent trips to the bathroom between weeks 4 and 6.

Constipation and bloating: Also during weeks 4 to 6, you may start to experience constipation and bloating. This is thought to be from hormones slowing down your digestive system.

Mood changes: Around week 6, some women experience unpredictable emotions or abnormal mood swings.

Heartburn: Heartburn feels like burning in your chest. It happens when the valve between the esophagus and stomach relax, allowing stomach acid to travel upward into your esophagus.

These are early pregnancy symptoms and the timelines of when it is most common to experience them. Even though each symptom is normal and often manageable, you might be thinking “Am I ready for this?” Now what?

See Us for a Self-Pregnancy Test

Make an appointment today at Avail NYC to see us for a self-pregnancy test at no cost to you. If the test results are positive, we can offer a referral for a free ultrasound at a nearby women’s medical clinic to determine how far along your pregnancy is.

*COVID-19 Edit: To protect our clients and staff during the outbreak of the coronavirus, all appointments are being conducted online. If you are in need of a pregnancy test, we can send one to your home, free of charge. We know this is a challenging time, especially if you are facing the uncertainty of an unexpected pregnancy. Click the Make an Appointment button to schedule a call with a compassionate client advocate today.

If you are facing an unexpected pregnancy, our client advocates are here to help you explore your options. In an unbiased and nonjudgmental environment, we empower you to discover the best decision for you. Our advocates listen and provide answers to your questions in order to support you through each step of the process.

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.

When Should I Do a Pregnancy Test for Best Accuracy?

When Should I Do a Pregnancy Test for Best Accuracy?

Do you think you might be pregnant? Are you experiencing certain symptoms that make you wonder? If this is the case, taking a pregnancy test is probably your first step, and receiving accurate results from the test is crucial. You can take practical action to ensure maximum accuracy. Here are a few tips on when you should do your pregnancy test and – depending on the results – next steps you can take.

When Should I Do a Pregnancy Test?

Pregnancy tests are designed to detect a very specific hormone. This hormone, called human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), is found in a woman’s urine or bloodstream directly after a fertilized egg fastens itself to the uterus wall. This hormone begins producing exponentially and is detectable roughly one week after fertilization. Therefore, the best time to do a pregnancy test is about 7-10 days after having sex, or soon after your first missed period. Take the test first thing in the morning when you wake up, as hCG levels will be most concentrated in your urine.

Don’t panic, however. Your window to get an accurate result does not end in 7 days. In fact, a woman’s hCG levels substantially rise in the days after the first week of fertilization, “doubling every 2 to 3 days.” In other words, you have time!

What Types of Pregnancy Tests Can I Choose From?

As mentioned, hCG can be detected in urine or the bloodstream. Urine tests are noninvasive, and easy to administer wherever you feel is comfortable and private. Blood tests are done at a doctor’s office, typically after first confirming a suspected pregnancy with a urine test, and come in two general categories: qualitative hCG tests and quantitative hCG tests. Qualitative blood tests respond if hCG is present in the bloodstream at all. Quantitative tests determine the amount of hCG present. In general, qualitative hCG tests are utilized to further confirm the pregnancy so you can start thinking about next steps.

What are My Results?

At-home urine pregnancy tests show results in about 2-5 minutes. Clinician-administered blood tests require some time for results. Regardless of the test you choose, you can expect to receive a “positive” or “negative.”

If your test returns positive, you are most likely pregnant. Positive results mean there are many options ahead, one of which will be the right choice for you. Likewise, negative results indicate that you are most likely not pregnant. This result may produce mixed or complicated emotions, even if your suspected pregnancy was unplanned. Consider confiding in a trusted friend or your partner to express your feelings and find the support you need.

What are My Next Steps?

After receiving a positive test result, you will most likely wish to receive an ultrasound to confirm the viability of the pregnancy. At-home pregnancy tests are not 100% accurate, regardless of the time you administer them, and they cannot tell you if the pregnancy is ectopic (growing outside the uterus).

After your pregnancy is confirmed, three options are available to you: abortion, adoption, or parenting. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by your options and want to cut through the noise to make a confident decision you want, consider finding someone to listen to your story and advocate for you.

Avail NYC

Avail NYC is here to support you. We are an advocacy center for women and men making a decision about an unexpected pregnancy. Avail offers self-administered pregnancy tests, and we can refer you for a free or low-cost ultrasound. More importantly, Avail’s compassionate client advocates are here to empower you with emotional support and practical resources and referrals as you make a decision about how to proceed. We are a confidential, non-biased environment. Contact us today to begin a conversation.

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 if My Girlfriend is Pregnant?

How Can I Tell if My Girlfriend is Pregnant?

Do you think your girlfriend might be pregnant? Perhaps you asked her and she dismissed the question or quickly said no, but you still are uncertain.

Maybe you already suggested she take a pregnancy test, but she doesn’t want to take one because she’s afraid to face the test result. Or she might already know she’s pregnant but isn’t ready to talk about it—all of which are common responses.

Of course, the best way to know the answer is a pregnancy test, but you can also look for common signs to guage the early stages of pregnancy.

Common Signs of Early Pregnancy

When a woman becomes pregnant, her body produces human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), a pregnancy hormone that doubles in amount every few days until it peaks at about 11 weeks of pregnancy. hCG can cause symptoms in a pregnant woman, particularly in early pregnancy.

Missed Period

This sign might not be as obvious as it sounds. Sometimes women experience implantation bleeding in early pregnancy, which they mistakenly count as a period. Implantation bleeding is usually lighter and shorter than a normal period.

It could be helpful to track your girlfriend’s periods along with her. If interested, she can invite you to her period tracking apps like Flo or Clue.

Aversion to Foods or Smells

If your girlfriend suddenly feels disgusted by foods she once enjoyed, it could be a sign of pregnancy. You might also notice she has a new aversion to strong smells.

Nausea or Vomiting

Have you noticed your girlfriend eating less or eating starchier foods like crackers? Or is she complaining of feeling sick to her stomach, but she doesn’t have an illness? These could be signs of pregnancy. People often refer to nausea or vomiting in pregnancy as “morning sickness,” but it can affect a pregnant woman any time of day or night.


Is your girlfriend exhausted, not simply tired, but super drained? Pregnancy causes a woman’s body to begin enormous changes: blood pressure and blood sugar lower, which triggers fatigue; progesterone hormone levels rise, which adds to her exhaustion; and her body makes more blood to bring nutrients to sustain the pregnancy.   

Sore or Swollen Breasts

Sore or swollen breasts can be a sign your girlfriend’s pregnant, or they can be signs she is about to get her period. However, these signs are often amplified in pregnancy since hormones cause her body to retain more fluid leading to more swelling and tenderness.

What to Do If You Think Your Girlfriend Is Pregnant

If you think your girlfriend is pregnant, the first step it to talk with her about it. Keep in mind that fear is the most common reason your girlfriend might resist taking a pregnancy test, so it’s important she feels confident that you will respond to the result in a healthy manner. Reassure her that you can work through any scenario together—she needs to sense your support through your actions and not just words.

Answers Are Available

Avail NYC provides self-administered pregnancy tests (hCG urine test kits) at no cost to give you the answer you and your girlfriend need to move forward. Make an appointment with our experienced advocates who can answer your questions and give you unbiased information so you can make an informed decision about a possible unexpected pregnancy.

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 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. If the only thing going through your mind is “I can’t be pregnant right now”, we’ll 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

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.