Thinking about an abortion appointment in Vista?

Are you experiencing an unintended pregnancy? Are you feeling rushed to terminate your pregnancy? The following information will help you be informed when scheduling any abortion procedure in Vista, or considering the pregnancy options available to you.

Know for sure you are pregnant.

Maybe you have taken an at home pregnancy test that came up positive. Have you had a lab-quality pregnancy test yet? According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), if your home pregnancy test shows positive results, you should see a health care provider to confirm the result. A health care provider can help you determine how far along you are.

Make sure your pregnancy is viable.

Limited obstetrical ultrasounds done by licensed health care professionals can determine gestational age, intrauterine pregnancy, and fetal heart rate. Gestational age determines how many weeks pregnant you are and what your estimated due date is. A licensed medical professional will check for intrauterine pregnancy, which determines that the pregnancy is occurring in your uterus (ectopic pregnancy). Ectopic pregnancy (extrauterine pregnancy) is a life-threatening condition and you should be seen by a doctor right away. Lack of a fetal heart rate means you are experiencing pregnancy loss.  Early pregnancy loss (pregnancy loss during the first 13 weeks of pregnancy or first trimester) is common and happens in about 10% of known pregnancies. Early pregnancy loss is also called miscarriage or spontaneous abortion. If your pregnancy is not viable, you will not need to have an abortion.

Have you been checked for STI/STD’s?

When you are pregnant, STD/STI testing is important because chlamydia, gonorrhea and genital herpes (to name a few) are infections spread by sexual contact. If STD/STI’s are left untreated prior to abortion you can be at risk to further spread bacteria into your reproductive tract anytime the normal barrier created by the cervix is disturbed.  You can be treated for certain STD/STI’s while pregnant. Treating STD/STI’s before your abortion procedure will put you at less risk for complications from abortion than leaving yourself untreated.

Check in with yourself and your partner.

Your age, values, beliefs, health, current situation and future goals all play a role in your pregnancy decision. You have three options, parenting, adoption, and abortion, and you don’t need to rush into choosing. Make sure you are comfortable with your decision. How will you feel about this decision in 6 months? Or in 5 years and beyond?  

At Pathway Health Clinic our Advocates and Licensed Medical Professionals are trained to be compassionate, nonjudgmental listeners who will take the time to hear from you and help you and address any concerns you might have with your pregnancy options or abortion procedure.

You Asked. We Answered, Vista.

We understand what you are going through.

When you’re worried that you may be experiencing an unplanned pregnancy, want answers to your questions quickly, and don’t want anyone to know- where do you go?

Your unplanned pregnancy might have you afraid. While you are figuring out your pregnancy options, and possibly putting an abortion plan together you can schedule an appointment for a NO COST pregnancy test to confirm your pregnancy and discuss your options with our licensed medical professional. The information below can help you by answering some of the most frequently asked questions, women, like you have been typing into their phones in California.

  • Will Pathway Health Clinic tell anyone that I came in for a pregnancy test or information about abortion in Vista?

We are here for YOU. You do not have to worry about anyone finding out what options you are considering when you make an appointment with us. When you are here your privacy is protected and everything you share with us is completely confidential. Our staff will accommodate your specific needs for privacy and communication from the moment you contact us. We will never call, text, or email you anything without your consent.

  • I’m a minor- do I need to have an adult or parent with me if I am considering abortion in Vista?

At your appointment, you do NOT need to have an adult, parent, or guardian with you. Again, we are here for YOU. We are able to get you the information you need to assess the situation, make an informed decision, and decide your next steps. However, of course, you can bring someone with you to your appointment if that makes you more comfortable! Even if you are a minor we are still able to offer you a NO COST pregnancy test. At your appointment, you can talk to a licensed medical professional about your pregnancy options- including abortion. We can even accommodate your school schedule if you are a student, so please let us know when making an appointment. We are a safe place for you to gather all the information for your specific situation, so our staff will never pressure you into any decision regarding your pregnancy or abortion.

  • Will appointments show up on insurance paperwork that comes in the mail or email?

Our best asset, next to the compassionate and high-quality care we offer, is that all of our services are NO COST to you- meaning we don’t collect insurance information at all. Because of generous supporters in Vista, you have access to medical professionals that are here to help you navigate pregnancy and abortion decisions. We will never contact you without your consent.

We are here for YOU! So, what are you waiting for? You don’t have to do this alone. Our pro-woman services are for every woman facing an unplanned pregnancy who is considering abortion in the North County San Diego area. To have more of your questions answered, make an appointment with us today!

What are my pregnancy options?

Unintended pregnancy is scary. It can be life-changing. There are so many factors to consider. Each person’s circumstances are extremely personal to their situation. One thing every woman who is pregnant has in common is pregnancy options.

What are pregnancy options?

A pregnancy option is what you ultimately choose to do after you give birth, or decide that you no longer want to be pregnant. Every pregnant woman has three pregnancy options- in alphabetical order- they are abortion, adoption, and parenting.

But what do each of those options mean?

Abortion- abortion is an option to end the pregnancy. You can have a medical abortion or a surgical abortion.

Adoption- Placing for adoption means that the baby will be born, but it will not be raised by its biological parents. You can have an open adoption, a semi-open adoption, or a closed adoption.

Parenting- Parenting means that the baby will be born, and the biological parents will raise the child.

While these options may seem simple, they are complex and often times emotionally difficult.

If you have additional questions about your options, we encourage you to explore the “Options Education” tab on our website or call us to make an appointment to discuss your options. At Pathway Health Clinic, we have Advocates and Licensed Medical Professionals who can help you explore all of your options in a safe, confidential, judgment-free way.

To make an appointment, call us at 760-945-4673 or walk-in during clinic hours. If you are in a crisis, you can text our 24/7 crisis text line at 760-208-8811 and an advocate will respond. We are here to help.

Am I at risk for an STI?

Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI’s) are extremely common!

According to American Sexual Health Association, by the age 25, half of all youth will have acquired one or more sexually transmitted infections. That’s more than 9 million youth with an STI. According to the CDC, in the United States alone there are about 20 million new cases of STI’s every year.

You may have heard them called STD’s (Sexually Transmitted Disease) before. The main reason they are now called STI’s is that the word “disease” implies that there are obvious signs and symptoms that you have one- but that isn’t always the case.  Depending on the STI, there could be very obvious symptoms, or there could be mild symptoms or even no symptoms, therefore the only way to know for sure whether you have one or not is to get tested on a regular basis. For an in-depth explanation of the difference, you can visit the American Sexual Health Association. 

You can get an STI by having vaginal, anal or oral sex with someone who has an STI. Anyone who is sexually active can get an STI. You don’t even have to “go all the way” (have anal or vaginal sex) to get an STI. This is because some STIs, like herpes and HPV, are spread by skin-to-skin contact.

Sometimes people are too scared or embarrassed to ask for STI information or testing. But keep in mind that many STIs are easy to treat — and dangerous if they’re not detected and treated. It is extremely important that you know if you have an STI so that you can get treated for the infection or take medicine to help with symptoms.

We understand that it might be uncomfortable to talk about sexual health and STI’s with your partner, but you should make sure you have an honest conversation with the person you are thinking of having sex with about your sexual history and STI exposure. Consider this- when is the last time you or your partner got tested? Before every new sexual relationship and every 6 months, you should get tested.  If you need a list of conversation starters, Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion have conversation starters to make talking to your partner easier.

If you have questions about STI’s, prevention, treatment, or want to get tested, contact us and we can get you the referral information you need.   

Casual Relationships

We all know about casual relationships. The Netflix and Chill epidemic has taken over and made an impact on society, including 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 and 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 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 people are not always honest about their former relationships. 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.

Contact Us

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, including 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

 

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 but the American culture is simultaneously pushing independence which can isolate a lot of people.

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, which 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.

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. We encourage you to join us in our study of preventative measures for suicide 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
  • Increase of drugs and or alcohol
  • Talking about being a burden
  • Talking about being hopeless or not wanted
  • Talking through options of suicide methods
  • Displays of mood swings unusual to the character of the person
  • Agitated or reckless behavior

You may be wondering why is a pregnancy center concerned about suicide? 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
  • Detect fetal heart beat
  • Determine fetal age
  • Determine due date
  • Determine 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. 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. 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 and 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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