Facing an Unplanned Pregnancy in College

An unplanned pregnancy can be overwhelming especially when it happens in college. Even though it may feel like it, your life is not over. You are not alone and you have options available.  It may not be the exact path that you thought you would follow, but everyday life and responsibilities do carry on. You can still finish your college degree.

One of the biggest fears for women in college is exposing this unplanned pregnancy to their friends and family. Additionally, not being able to continue their college education. 

What are my pregnancy options?

Pregnancy options are what you ultimately choose to do with your pregnancy when you are not pregnant anymore, 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 closed adoption.

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

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

There are community resources outside your college campus that can help provide no-cost pregnancy testing and are 100% confidential.  At Pathway Health Clinic, we respect your privacy and do not report your visit to anyone unless you have provided us with written consent and authorization. All our Advocates and Licensed Medical Professionals can help you explore all your options in a safe, confidential, judgment-free way.

To make an appointment, call us at 760-945-4673. 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.

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. Additionally, 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. This 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. Also, 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.

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 still, 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. We can get you the referral information you need.