What You Need to Know About STD Testing Before You Make a Pregnancy Decision

STD testing is probably the last thing you have on your mind when you discover you’re unexpectedly pregnant. But you may not realize the negative impact STDs can have on your health. At Willowbrook Women’s Center, we understand that accurate and unbiased information is empowering, and we are here to equip you with the facts you deserve so you can make informed decisions.

STD Testing is Important

In the United States, there are approximately 20 million new STD infections every year. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends yearly testing for Chlamydia and Gonorrhea for all women under 25 who are sexually active. Untreated STDs can lead to infertility, pain, and even cancer. Women age 25 and older should also get yearly STD testing if they have risk factors such as a new partner or multiple partners.

Common Myths About STDs

  • Myth: You will have symptoms if you have an STD: Often, we are alerted to problems or infections in our bodies when we experience pain and other symptoms. However, most common STDs, like Chlamydia and Gonorrhea, often have no noticeable symptoms, so you can’t rely on symptoms to warn you there is a problem. As a matter of fact, Chlamydia is called “the silent disease.”
  • Myth: You won’t get an STD if you have only had one partner: You are still at risk of contracting an STD if you have only had one partner because there is no way to know for sure if your partner has been exposed to an STD from a previous relationship. There is also the reality that you can think you are in a monogamous relationship, but your partner is having sexual relationships with others besides you.
  • Myth: You can’t get an STD if you always use condoms: Condoms reduce the risk of contracting STDs, but you can still get an STD even if you use condoms every time you are sexually active.

STD Testing and Abortion

All pregnant women need STD testing in the first trimester of pregnancy, including women who are considering abortion. If you are considering a medical or surgical abortion, it’s vital that you receive STI testing beforehand. If you proceed with an abortion while you have an undiagnosed, untreated STD, you will be at risk of developing pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). PID can cause the following serious, and some permanent, complications:

  • Scar tissue
  • Infertility
  • Ectopic pregnancy
  • Long-term pain

Reliable Information is Available

We understand how difficult it is to make a decision about an unplanned pregnancy. There is so much to consider as you make one of the hardest decisions you will ever have to face. At Willowbrook Women’s Center, we are here to walk with you step by step, so an overwhelming situation feels more manageable.

Make an appointment today for accurate, unbiased information and no-cost services. Our licensed medical professionals and compassionate advocates will listen to you, answer your questions, and empower you, so you can make a decision about your unplanned pregnancy with confidence.


Is it Possible to Have a Negative Pregnancy Test And Still Be Pregnant?

Perhaps you took an at-home pregnancy test, the results came back negative, but you still feel pregnant. Perhaps you have tried even twice; still, you feel pregnant, unsure of the accuracy of your result. You may be wondering if it is possible to have a negative pregnancy test and still be pregnant. The answer, quite simply, is “yes.”

If you’re concerned about the accuracy of your test result, that’s perfectly okay! In fact, at-home pregnancy tests aren’t conclusive, so taking further steps to confirm or deny a pregnancy is important. Let’s explore how to read an at-home test result, how to determine the conclusiveness of your result, and what are the best next steps.

How Do I Read My Test Result?

You have that feeling. Something is just a little “off.” Maybe your period is a day or two late. Maybe you feel more fatigued lately, perhaps more often than not. Maybe you’ve had to pee more often than usual and your mood is a constant roller coaster. Perhaps you Googled common pregnancy symptoms and one or two line up with your recent experience. So, you bought an at-home pregnancy test and took it. How do you read your test?

Classic at-home pregnancy tests have one or two result windows. To confirm that the test works, both provide a reference line. In single-window tests, if another line appears beside the reference line, the result is positive. If the test line remains alone, the result is negative. Two-window tests show the reference line in an entirely separate window. In the adjacent window, a plus sign indicates a positive result. A horizontal line indicates a negative result. Digital pregnancy tests simply say “Yes” or “No.” Every test, however, is slightly different. Read and follow the instructions to the best of your ability for maximum accuracy.

How Conclusive Is My Test Result?

To answer this question, we’ll ask two more! First, when did you take the test? Pregnancy tests are more accurate when administered at least a few days after a missed period. Second, how accurate are pregnancy tests in general? If you followed every instruction and waited for a few days after a missed period, most at-home tests are over 90% accurate. However, they aren’t conclusive.

What Are My Next Steps?

Because pregnancy tests aren’t conclusive, it is possible to have a negative pregnancy test and still be pregnant. What’s next? How can you conclusively tell if you are pregnant? At this time, contacting a trusted pregnancy clinic is your best next step. They can point you in the right direction depending upon your situation.

Willowbrook Women’s Center

Willowbrook Women’s Center is here to answer your questions. With a non-judgmental, welcoming atmosphere, we care about each and every woman who walks through our doors. This is why we provide no-cost pregnancy screenings if you qualify. Call us at 816-244-7824 or schedule an appointment today. We look forward to walking beside you.


What to Expect at a Pregnancy Screening Appointment

Unplanned pregnancy can be a startling interruption to daily life. You never imagined it. You don’t have a strategy to deal with positive pregnancy test results. You probably don’t have answers to the pregnancy symptoms you may be experiencing.

If you are like most people, you appreciate knowing what to expect – and the nature of your situation is entirely unexpected. You don’t know what to do next! In the midst of a flurry of emotions and questions, a trustworthy environment is more than welcome. You may be wondering where you can find such an environment, and can you expect this environment from a clinic that offers pregnancy screenings?

Here is a brief description of what to expect at your first appointment at Willowbrook Women’s Center, so you can confidently move into your next steps!

Environment

The clinic should be a safe haven. The environment will be professional, confidential, caring, and—most importantly—nonjudgmental. The clinic staff will answer your questions and address concerns you may have. You can expect complete privacy protection. Most clinics will have a detailed privacy statement and will take policy seriously. For example, at Willowbrook Women’s Center, no information will be filed or shared with insurance. Your privacy is valued and respected.

Services

Besides a confidential appointment, you can expect to receive a variety of services and resources with the goal of answering your questions. Lab-quality pregnancy tests are beneficial, either to confirm your positive, at-home pregnancy test or confirm symptomatic suspicions. If your pregnancy is officially confirmed, a host of questions can arise. Is my pregnancy viable? How far along am I? Is abortion an option? An ultrasound is an accurate, trustworthy source to provide answers to those questions and may be offered at your appointment should your pregnancy test be positive.

Options

After a lab-quality pregnancy test and an ultrasound, you’re probably weighing your options. When faced with an unplanned pregnancy, your three primary options are adoption, abortion, or parenting. Each option comes with its own unique set of questions and concerns, but Willowbrook’s staff is dedicated to making sure you have the most accurate information you need at a time when you need it the most.

A Trusted Resource

Willowbrook Women’s Center is dedicated to three-fold service: providing critical information, offering limited medical services, and creating a safe place where you can focus on your next step without feeling pressure. We are your first step to a confident decision that is best for you. You know what to expect – please do not hesitate to make an appointment. At Willowbrook Women’s Center, we provide completely professional and confidential services that won’t cost you anything. Let us walk beside you today!


When Did I Conceive and How Many Weeks Am I?

Discovering and confirming a pregnancy is a life-changing moment. However, after the initial tide of surprise, numerous questions begin to form. These questions can quickly become overwhelming, but receiving honest answers is a crucial starting point to taking healthy first steps. Common questions after a confirmed pregnancy usually involve conception. When did I conceive? How many weeks am I? The following helpful tools can help you answer these questions and more.

When Did I Conceive?

The exact date of conception can be difficult to determine without the help of medical professionals. However, following a few simple steps can provide a decent estimate. Conception occurs during a woman’s ovulation period. This generally takes place about two weeks after a regular menstrual period. If possible, then, think back to your last menstrual period and add two weeks. This is a rough approximation of your conception date.

Keep in mind that not every woman’s ovulation period will occur exactly two weeks after menstruation. Some women have irregular periods that are difficult to track. Therefore, calculating conception with this method is sometimes challenging.

An ultrasound is the most accurate way to get an approximate conception date. If a person has had sexual intercourse with more than one partner within a two-week period, it is virtually impossible to know the exact conception date.

How Many Weeks Am I?

Ultrasounds offer a clear picture of the pregnancy, allowing medical professionals to get a measurement and gestational age. If you are just finding out you’re pregnant, chances are you are in the first trimester of pregnancy. In this stage, you probably don’t look pregnant, but you will feel pregnant. What are you feeling? You may experience some aches, fatigue, increased urination, etc. These are normal and anticipated symptoms during the first fourteen weeks of pregnancy. Once you know how far along you are, you may wonder: what comes next?

What Are My Options Now?

You have three possible options for your unique situation. Learning about these options in-depth will help guide your choice.

1. Parenting: Though nearly half of women facing an unplanned pregnancy choose this option, choosing to parent certainly comes with its own set of questions. Writing down your questions, hopes, and plans may help you weigh if this option is best for you.

2. Adoption: If you desire to maintain the pregnancy but do not feel prepared to expand your family, this option allows adoptive families to step into the picture. When considering adoption, you can determine exactly what type of relationship you would like to have with the child afterward.

3. Abortion: Several abortion procedures are available to stop the pregnancy from moving forward. If you’re considering this option, make sure you understand the timeframe for each type of procedure.

Willowbrook Women’s Center Is Here For You

Willowbrook Women’s Center places your well-being first. We are dedicated to walking with you as you take first steps, explaining your options honestly and without judgment so you can make the decision that is best for you. We offer pregnancy tests and ultrasounds, allowing you to confirm your pregnancy and answer important questions at no cost to you. To make an appointment, give us a call at (816) 244-7824 or schedule online.