Four Tips When Looking for an Abortion in Vista, California

When facing an unplanned pregnancy, it’s normal to feel overwhelmed by a lot of emotions, including negative ones. These initial negative emotions are common for all women, including women planning to become pregnant. We want you to know you are not alone.

Often due to your relationship status, or lack thereof, finances, career, or simply bad timing, you feel unsupported or unable to achieve your goals and be pregnant, which is why you may find yourself searching for abortion options in California.

Before you make an abortion decision, we want to encourage you to seek out these four abortion tips:

  • Get testing done:

Before you book an abortion appointment, it’s essential to confirm your pregnancy with a pregnancy test and ultrasound. An ultrasound will confirm that the pregnancy is located within the uterus, detect a heartbeat, and determine the gestational age of your pregnancy. You will need to know how far along you are if you’re considering abortion because abortion types are determined by how far along you are in your pregnancy.

  • Talk to a medical professional:

Talking through a procedure with a medical professional who has your best interest in mind is always a good idea. Having answers to what the procedure will be like, the risks, and how long the recovery process matters because this is your health, and your health is essential! In addition, understanding what happens during an abortion will help you make an informed decision. 

  • Check the clinics in your area:

It’s always a good idea to do a clinic check before you make an appointment. It’s smart to look at the reviews and research any issues they may have had recently.

  • Get affordable care:

Where can you find affordable care? Why not come to Pathway Health Clinic? All of our services are at no cost and confidential. Additionally, we can do a pre-abortion screening in which you will get a pregnancy test and ultrasound (if you’re far enough along), as well as be able to speak with a nurse and a trained staff member to discuss all your options. Although we do not refer or provide abortions, we can help you figure out your next best step.

You don’t have to walk this journey alone; we are here for you. At Pathway Health Clinic, YOU MATTER. Call 760.945.4673 to make your appointment today.

Casual Relationships

We all know about casual relationships. The Netflix and Chill epidemic has taken over and made an impact on society. This includes many of you reading this now. In 2018, we are very much in a culture that dictates fast-paced living. We want everything at our fingertips. Working for anything seems like a distant memory of the past. As easy as it is to find a partner to hook up with, you have to wonder if the ‘hook up’ culture is as easy as it seems? Is it really easier sleeping with those whom you have ‘no strings attached’ or is there more to it?

According to the CDC (2017), “half of the nearly 20 million new STDs reported each year were among young people, between the ages of 15-24” (CDC, 2017, Sexual Risk Behaviors). It can be easy to stay in the now and assume that you will not be included in these numbers. But actually, people are not always honest about their former relationships. Additionally, they also may exaggerate or downgrade how many people they have slept with . . . no matter how much you think you know them. It may be weird to ask your partner about their previous relationships, but it may just save you from a lifetime of doctors’ visits and medication. Pregnancy used to be the main concern when it came to hookups, especially in a world where contraception is so heavily pushed to the public; however, STDs are slowly taking the lead for the worst con of unprotected sex.

While casual relationships may seem exciting there are many health risks associated with ‘hooking up’. If you or someone you know are interested in learning more or simply needed our services. Give us a call for a confidential appointment. It’s never too late to be informed or ask questions about your body. You are in control of your choices, take charge and learn to educate yourself no matter how hard it may be.

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Reference

Adolescent and School Health. (2017, August 04). Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/sexualbehaviors/

Is smoking Safe During Pregnancy?

Recently, we have had a lot of questions at our center about smoking during pregnancy – “Is it safe?” “Should I stop?”

The short answer about smoking during pregnancy would be “No” it is not safe. According to the CDC (2017) women who smoke during pregnancy are at increased risk for pregnancy complications. This includes miscarriage, stillbirth, and even ectopic pregnancies (CDC, 2017). This is just to name a few of the complications provided by the CDC (2017).

 Smoking (no matter the substance) will affect mother and baby differently depending on the health history of the mom. Marijuana use is on the rise in many states today and with all the publicity it may be an easy choice to choose marijuana over cigarettes. However, according to the CDC marijuana use during pregnancy can be harmful to your baby’s health. “The chemicals in marijuana (in particular, tetrahydrocannabinol or THC) pass through your system to your baby and can negatively affect your baby’s development” (CDC, 2017, pdf). Each side effect (whether cigarettes or marijuana) will not affect everyone, but it could affect you or someone you know if you are currently smoking while pregnant. The CDC offers hope that if you decide to quit smoking that your chances of health complications are greatly reduced (CDC, 2017).

If you find yourself thinking that smoking is not for you. Talk to your doctor about the best way to quit smoking. Quitting cold turkey may not be an option right now but a game plan to protect your health is worth considering. If you are not under a doctor’s care or simply would like to speak with one of our nurses, please feel free to call us [760.945.4673]. We will work with you to set up a time for you to meet with a nurse.

*All information provided in this article can be found on the CDC Website and was approved by our Nurse Rebecca.

References

Center for Disease Control. (2017). Health Effects of Cigarette Smoking. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/health_effects/effects_cig_smoking/index.htm

Center for Disease Control. (2017). What You Need To Know About Marijuana Use During Pregnancy? Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/marijuana/pdf/marijuana-pregnancy-508.pdf

Intimate Partner Violence

Definition: Intimate Partner Violence [IPV]

“includes physical violence, sexual violence, stalking, psychological aggression (including coercive tactics,) and control of reproductive or sexual health by a current or former intimate partner” (CDC, 2010-2012, p.117). This can include anyone current or past that you have had sexual relations.

Intimate partner violence might seem like a distant thought if you are in a loving and respectful relationship; however, what if your relationship or someone you love suddenly find themselves in an abusive relationship? How would you respond? Would you blame yourself for not being informed of the signs of violence? Today, you have chosen to read this blog for reasons only you know but reading it could save a life. Knowledge is power and even if you never have to deal with IPV it’s important to be informed.

IPV, according to the CDC’s National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (2010-2012),  is estimated to have affected 44,981,000 women during their lifetime (CDC, 2010-2012). If your thinking this number is high, imagine if we combined decades of research from reported incidents of IPV. Intimate partner violence is a tragic epidemic that is affecting not only women, but men, youth, and even children in certain instances. IPV can have lifelong impacts on each person involved including but not limited to anxiety, depression, PTSD, homelessness, unintended pregnancy, substance abuse, high-risk sexual behavior, and or chronic pain syndromes (CDC, 2017).

The aftermath of IPV can be hard to live with but it’s important that those who experience this trauma understand that they are not to blame for the actions of others. They are still worthy of love and respect. They should be encouraged to find their new identity outside of the abuse they experienced. Intimate partner violence can be prevented by educating yourself on the signs and symptoms of this abuse.

Promoting positive healthy relationships is becoming more prominent as the years’ progress, but many women do not have access to the information that is being shared in America. Certain cultures, all over the world, have their own ideas about abuse and the rights of an individual. Think about how many people you see in a day. Are you providing a positive example of what a healthy relationship looks like or are you promoting IPV? Even a negative comment can turn someone off to your relationship, even if it’s behavior you and your partner engage in frequently. Encouraging one another and complimenting the positive attributes your partner is a great way to start leading others. This small step could change your relationship in ways you never imagined.

If you or someone you know is interested in more information on IPV or healthy relationships give us a call today 760-945-4673. If you or someone you know is suffering from abuse consider calling the National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-7233.

References

CDC. ( 2010-2012) Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pdf/NISVS-StateReportBook.pdf

CDC. (2017). Intimate Partner Violence: Consequences. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/intimatepartnerviolence/consequences.html

Of course, this week is national suicide prevention week. During this week, we remember those who felt alone and isolated to a point where life was no longer an option. According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (2017) “suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States” (American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, 2017, Suicide Statistics). This means that the number of completed suicides every year averages about 44,000 people. Which is conducive to correct reporting 100% of the time (American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, 2017). Today’s society is very focused on suicide prevention. In contrast, the American culture is simultaneously pushing independence which can isolate a lot of people.

Actually, the stigma of suicide alone makes most people uncomfortable because they are unsure what to say to people who are experiencing suicidal ideations. Erasing the stigma that comes with suicide is the first step. Starting a conversation about what the signs are is step two. This allows the outsider a glimpse of what the person may be struggling with. While we certainly will not understand their situation, we can allow ourselves to be empathetic as we try to address their needs.

Also, suicide entails many avenues ranging from mental, emotional, physical, and or relational aspects. We cannot assume that the problem is as simple as changing the circumstance or changing the people in their life. Those who suffer from suicidal ideations may have underlying matters that take more time. While most people will not be able to address psychological needs, there is always room to be a listening ear. To sit with those struggling and have empathy for the situation they are in; whether you agree or not. It’s important also to understand that asking direct questions such as “Are you considering suicide?” is okay to do. A clear picture of what their plan may be is vital in getting them the right help. Asking questions like this may also allow that person a way out of their situation without having to ask directly.

Also, we encourage you to join us in our study of preventative measures for suicide. You can do this by learning when to step in and understanding what common signs may look like.

Below are a few of the signs that may be associated with suicide:

  • Withdrawal or isolation
  • Talking about being hopeless or not wanted
  • Increase of drugs and or alcohol
  • Talking about being a burden
  • Displays of mood swings unusual to the character of the person
  • Talking through options of suicide methods
  • Agitated or reckless behavior

You may be wondering why is a pregnancy center concerned about suicide? Firstly, the Pregnancy Resource Center is concerned about the whole person, pregnant or not. Being mentally well is an important part of life because your mental capacity plays a role in everything you do. By starting the conversation about suicide prevention our center plays a small role in getting our community involved in prevention and assessment methods.

If you or someone you know is experiencing signs of suicide call the 24/7 National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255. This organization is trained to help in crisis situations and to get help for those suffering in silence. Be a friend, take the time to learn more information on suicide. It could save a life.

Reference

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. (2017). Suicide Statistics-AFSP.

Over the years, sexual assault has become a topic that is debated quite frequently by public figures, celebrities, and everyday people. According to the Department of Justice (2017) “Sexual assaults is any type of sexual contact or behavior that occurs without the explicit consent of the recipient. Falling under the definition of sexual assault are sexual activities as forced sexual intercourse, forcible sodomy, child molestation, incest, fondling, and attempting rape” (Department of Justice, 2017, sexual assault).

In your community, today, or even your immediate circle of peers, do you think you could spot the signs of sexual assault? This includes those peers in relationships or marriages, not just the peers that are single. Sexual coercion (abuse) can be used in any circumstance including a child or adult and for several reasons. Coercion, or the act of persuading, can be used to manipulate others into behavior that they normally would not engage in causing confusion and strife. In relationships, this can be frustrating for the partner who agreed in the moment but doesn’t want to participate in the act again. They may feel overwhelmed by their choice and unsure what it means and how to move forward. One of the most important things to realize is that as a human begin you have the right to say NO! Even if you said yes at one time or another. You are in control of your body and no one should force you to do anything you are uncomfortable with.

Communication is key in relationships and if there is none RUN [QUICKLY]!

Warning Signs that could lead to a sexual assault:

  • Withdrawing from other relationships or activities, for example, spending less time with friends, leaving sports teams, or dropping classes
  • Saying that their partner doesn’t want them to engage in social activities or is limiting their contact with others
  • Disclosing that sexual assault has happened before
  • Any mention of a partner trying to limit their contraceptive options or refusing to use safer sexual practices, such as refusing to use condoms or not wanting them to use birth control
  • Mentioning that their partner is pressuring them to do things that make them uncomfortable
  • Signs that a partner controlling their means of communication, such as answering their phone or text messages or intruding into private conversations
  • Visible signs of physical abuse, such as bruises or black eyes

Warning signs that a sexual assault already occurred:

  • Signs of depression, such as persistent sadness, lack of energy, changes in sleep or appetite, withdrawing from normal activities, or feeling “down”
  • Self-harming behaviors, thoughts of suicide, or suicidal behaviors
  • Low self-esteem
  • Sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
  • Anxiety or worry about situations that did not seem to cause anxiety in the past
  • Avoiding specific situations or places
  • Falling grades or withdrawing from classes
  • Increase in drug or alcohol use

Although there are many ways to look at sexual assault, it’s important to remember that the survivor is never to blame. If you have experienced sexual violence or need support, please call the RAINN Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

References

Department of Justice. (2017). Sexual Assault. Retrieved from https://www.justice.gov/ovw/sexual-assault

RAINN. (2017). Scope of the problem: Statistics. Retrieved from https://www.rainn.org/statistics/scope-problem

RAINN. (2017). Warning Signs of College-Age Adults. Retrieved from https://www.rainn.org/articles/warning-signs-college-age-adults

Often when someone goes in for a checkup or a procedure, the patient will seek to find out the most information about what is going on in their body as they can. As for any test, Ultrasound is a tool to learn everything we can about your pregnancy. It is a tool that could also be used to help you make an informed decision regarding your pregnancy.

At the Pregnancy Resource Center (PRC) we perform FREE limited obstetrical ultrasounds in order to:

  • Confirm pregnancy
  • Determine fetal age
  • Detect fetal heart beat
  • Determine due date
  • Find out if it’s a multiple birth pregnancy (twins, triplets, etc.)
  • Determine the location of the pregnancy (intrauterine/ectopic)

The ultrasound examination is not intended to determine the sex of the baby, nor will PRC diagnose any potential abnormalities and/or problems. Although, we cannot perform an ultrasound if a client is already under the care of an OB/GYN for this pregnancy.

What Is An Ultrasound?

Ultrasound exams are a very simple procedure that consists of sound waves that bounce off the tissue and produce a picture on the screen. Also, they are not x-rays and do not harm the baby or the mother. The PRC staff will provide any pre-instructions for an exam.

How to receive an Ultrasound:

Receiving an ultrasound at PRC is always a two-appointment process.

During the first free appointment, a free pregnancy test and consultation are given. We like to get to know our clients and establish a personal history and background. Then, if the pregnancy test is positive, the client will be assessed for receiving a free ultrasound. If eligible, a second appointment will be scheduled.

Pregnancy Test and Consultation appointments last about 30 minutes. The second ultrasound appointment lasts about an hour.

PRC is open for Pregnancy Tests and Consultations on Mondays and Wednesdays from 9am-4pm, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1pm-8pm, and Saturdays from 9am-12pm. Ultrasounds are scheduled in our center based on availability.

Pathway Health Clinic  is here to walk alongside you and it is our goal to help you make the most informed choice possible. If you think you might be pregnant and are interested in having an ultrasound done, call our center at (760) 945-4673 or text us at (760) 208-8811. 

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What does sexting mean? Am I sexting? Do I want to be sexting? Is it private?

Sexting in its simplest form is known as sending someone sexual messages or pictures via any mobile device. Sexting can be done in private or with others around encouraging the behavior. Often, teens get into sexting because all their friends are doing it (or so they think). Since sexting is done via mobile device it is not a private conversation. Anyone in the world can hack your device without you even knowing. Well, what if I am using a secure system? It doesn’t matter what type of security system you have once you press send it is available for all to see.

The person on the other end of your conversation could easily share it with other people causing it to go viral (and not in a good way). According to the article “11 Facts about Sexting” (2017) “17% of sexters share the messages, they receive with others, and 55% of those share them with more than one person” (11 facts about sexting, 2017). This number is huge compared to the one person you thought you were sending it to. I’m sure you are thinking my boyfriend or friend would never do that to me; however, the brain is not fully developed until about 25 years old, so how do you really know (University of Rochester Medical Center, 2017)?

Sexting can not only cause embarrassment but also ruin the reputation you once had.

As previously stated, once you send something you cannot get it back. This means that your family, friends, future employers, future children etc. might stumble across these pictures or messages. Especially in the era, we are currently in where technology is developing so rapidly most of us cannot keep up. Would you really want any of those listed above seeing you half naked? Or reading sexual messages you sent to a boyfriend whose name you cannot even remember?

Sexting is also a very serious crime in our world today.

“Currently, under California law individuals, regardless of age, who produce, distribute or possess an image of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct are committing a felony. If convicted under the child pornography statutes then an individual could receive up to 6 years in jail and will generally be required to register as a sex offender” (Mobile Media Guard, 2011). I don’t know about you but being in jail for 6 years + being a registered sex offender over a nude/ semi-nude selfie doesn’t seem worth it.

Let’s talk about your standards and how sexting fits into that.

Short answer… it shouldn’t fit your standards! You are more than just a sexual being. You were created to make an impact on this world but how can you do that locked up? Think about your goals in life and how they will be impacted by a text message. Do you really want to explain to your parents that you no longer can go finish high school or go to college because you are in trouble over something you had control over? Well, what if I’m being pressured? If you are being pressured we recommend that you talk to someone you can trust and that has your best interest at heart (i.e. family, friend, counselor, teacher, or someone like the Pregnancy Resource Center). Everyone has someone who looks out for them, you just must be willing to reach out.

Here at the PRC, we understand the pressures you face. Some of us here were in high school ourselves not that long ago and understand what you face at school to conform to the social norms. If you or someone you know has already participated in sexting, IT’S OKAY! Move forward with your life and choose today to stop this behavior, if not for yourself today for your future self! Only you can change your behavior so what you do with this information is up to you but just know, we believe in you! We stand behind you no matter what your decisions and if you need help we are always here.

References

11 Facts about Sexting. (2017). Retrieved from https://www.dosomething.org/us/facts/11-facts-about-sexting

Laws Pertaining to Sexting in the State of California. (2011). Retrieved from http://mobilemediaguard.com/states/sexting_laws_california.html

Understanding the Teen Brain . (2017). Retrieved from https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?ContentTypeID=1&ContentID=3051

Bullying. It’s something that is talked a lot about in today’s world. We are constantly hearing about how it is bad or not right. Many of us experience bullying on a regular basis may it be at school, at work, maybe just in the course of everyday life. We might find ourselves asking, Why should I care about bullying? It doesn’t affect me. However, maybe we don’t realize the facts surrounding bullying. A journal published in American Psychologist says this:

“There is compelling evidence of anxiety as an outcome of victimization, impacting young adults” (Copeland et al., 2013, p.7). “Consistent with media reports, childhood peer victimization has been tied to greater risk for suicidal behavior (attempts and completions)” (Mcdougall, Vaillancourt, 2015, p.304).

If you are bullying someone there is a real possibility that you could be contributing to anxiety or suicidal behavior (attempts and completions). Maybe still it is not enough to know what it might be doing to someone else, but it may not just be a problem for someone else to deal with:

According to the National Center for Education Statistics “Students who are both targets of bullying and engage in bullying behavior are at greater risk for both mental health and behavior problems than students who only bully or are only bullied” (Center for Disease Control, 2016, p. 1).

What does it look like in today’s world?

According to the National Center for Education Statistics “More than one out of every five (20.8%) students report being bullied” (Pacers National Bullying Prevention Center, 2016, p. 1).

It’s not just about what other people are doing anymore. It’s about what you are doing and what people are saying to you. I imagine every person can think of a time that they or someone that they know has been bullied. So it’s important to be informed.

People can talk about anything or anyone in school or online. Some of the most common things that are talked about amongst young adults are who is pregnant or thinks they might be pregnant, what someone’s sexual identification is, or who is sleeping with who. All these things are big parts of our world today and they are easy to get caught up in.

It is very common for us at the Pregnancy Resource Center to see young women who are experiencing an unplanned pregnancy. As a result, one of the things that these women might be worried about is how their peers will react. For instance, will they be pushed away by their friends? What will happen to their reputation? Will they be bullied by family as well to make decisions they are not comfortable with? In any case, it’s important that young women find comfort in some type of support system even if that’s only in their peer groups. Put yourself in their shoes and imagine how different your life would be if you were her… Choose today to see situations such as teen pregnancy, in a different light. Offer hope to those in unique situations and learn to stand out among those who only live to tear down others.

Whether it’s online to their face bullying has the same kind of effects. Sites like Facebook, Instagram, SnapChat, and other social media create places where it’s easy for young adults to talk about others while remaining “anonymous”. While these sites are great for connecting with peers and family they often breed hate because of the anonymity they offer. Be careful not to be dragged into that lifestyle.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics “More than half of bullying situations (57%) stop when a peer intervenes on behalf of the student being bullied” (Hawkins, Pepler, Craig, 2001, p. 519).

It may not seem like speaking up for someone will do much, but imagine what it would feel like to have someone in your corner? You can make a difference.

If you or someone you know is struggling with being a bully or being bullied call us (760) 945-4673 or come by. We would love to talk out these situations with you.

References

Bullying Statistics. Pacers National Bullying Prevention Center (2016). http://www.pacer.org/bullying/resources/stats.asp

Center for Disease Control. (2016). Understanding Bullying: Fact Sheet. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pdf/yv/bullying-factsheet508.pdf

Psychiatric Outcomes of Bullying and Being Bullied by Peers in Childhood and Adolescence. JAMA Psychiatry,70(4), 425.

Hawkins, D. L., Pepler, D. J., & Craig, W. M. (2001). Naturalistic Observations of Peer Interventions in Bullying. Social Development,10(4), 519.

Mcdougall, P., & Vaillancourt, T. (2015). Long-term adult outcomes of peer victimization in childhood and adolescence: Pathways to adjustment and maladjustment. American Psychologist,70(4), 300-310.

Who are you? What do you want to be? Are you open to change? Are you Real?

Each of these questions begs a thousand more that determine the type of person you are and will be. The character traits you set your eyes on will dictate your emotions, actions, and language. Setting ambitious standards of ‘Real’ personality traits will help you remain authentic toward yourself and others. Authenticity shows that you no longer follow the crowd but are ready to forge your own paths, no matter the trials ahead. Think about what the phrase ‘be real’ means in your life? Maybe it means standing out against a social norm or standing up for others who are misunderstood. Or possibly it means learning to say only the things we know to be real instead of false. Consequently, being real comes with a lot of responsibility. Although we want to follow our true feelings we should also be mindful that judgment and shaming do not count as being real.

Often, this means learning to be vulnerable with ourselves and our true feelings about certain situations and people. When we can address character traits that go against the phrase ‘be real’ only then can we learn to accept ourselves and others. Being real is more than just expressing your opinion, it’s about finding who you are and using that to allow others the safety of expressing their ‘real attitude’. Maybe today you have found yourself in a situation that seems impossible to remain real and in the moment. If this is you take a minute to decide how long you will let yourself be affected by this event and then pick yourself and move past it. Mistakes are simply lessons learned. Choose today to see your circumstance as a chance to remain authentic. To take on this lesson as a challenge that will make you stronger in the long run.