What To Do If Your Girlfriend Is Pregnant: Advice From A Father Of 12
Its 3 a.m. and your cellphones ringing.
You wonder whos calling. You vaguely recognize the number so you answer. You recognize your girlfriends fathers voice. Happy Fathers Day! he says in that half-yell, half-calm threatening voice fathers have.
But it isnt June, so it cant be Fathers Day.
Has this ever happened to you? Likely not.
So what does happen when your girlfriend gets pregnant? What do you do?
First, lets redefine the situation. Your girlfriend didnt GET pregnant. She is currently pregnant. And quite frankly, YOU didnt get her pregnant. The two of you acted together to create a new lifea human lifesince to date science hasnt shown any way two humans copulating can create anything other than a human life. This is male female teamwork at its absolute best. But it wasnt what you had hoped for. Chances are, it wasnt what she had hoped for either. So what happens next, now that your girlfriend is pregnant?
There used to be something called natural consequences. You have sex, you make a baby, you become parents. Today, you have sex, you make a baby, you are told you have OPTIONS.
Pregnant Girlfriend Option 1: Marry girlfriend from a sense of obligation, have baby, likely divorce, begin a life cycle of misery and pain for everyone.
Pregnant Girlfriend Option 3: Is there really an option 3?
Is that how you want to see yourself in 30 years?
But above all else, prepare to be the father you already are.
Learn When Ovulation Happens
Its a good idea to understand the basics of how ovulation works so you can monitor your body for signs and symptoms. Its a common misconception that ovulation always occurs on the 14th day after your period starts, but that only happens if your menstrual cycle is consistent and 28 days long. Every womans cycle is different. The average cycle is anywhere from 24 to 35 days, and it doesnt vary by more than three to four days on any given month, Levens says. Depending on how long your cycle is, ovulation can actually happen between 11 to 21 days after the first day of your last period . But while the timing of ovulation depends on the womans unique cycle, all healthy women will get their periods 12 to 14 days after ovulation.
How Does Pregnancy Start
Your cycle starts on the first day of your period and continues up to the first day of your next period.
This is what happens during the cycle and the start of a pregnancy.
- Eggs mature in your ovaries once a month.
- The lining of your womb starts to get thicker to prepare for fertilised eggs.
- Once the egg is mature it is released from one of the ovaries this is called ovulation.
- During ovulation your cervical mucus becomes thinner and clearer to help any sperm to swim to the egg.
- If you have sex, millions of sperm will swim up the cervix into the uterus and the fallopian tubes to meet a mature egg.
- If sperm is present at the point of ovulation, or during the next 24 hours, the egg may be fertilised .
- If the egg is fertilised, it starts to move towards the womb and divide into more cells.
- Once it reaches the womb the fertilised egg has to attach the lining of the womb, this is called implantation and is the start of pregnancy. Many fertilised eggs dont implant and are passed out of the body.
- If the egg has not been fertilised, the egg is re-absorbed by the body, the hormone levels drop, and the womb lining is shed the beginning of your next period.
Now that you know all about how to get pregnant, use our tool to find out if you are ready to conceive.
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Get A Preconception Checkup
Before you officially start trying, get a checkup. Ask your doctor about prenatal vitamins that have folic acid, which helps protect against some birth defects, such as spina bifida. Folic acid works during the early stages of pregnancy, so that’s why it’s important to make sure you’re getting enough folic acid even before you get pregnant.
“Do this the cycle before you start trying,” says Paula Hillard, MD, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Stanford University. “If you have any underlying medical problems, they need to be under control before you can safely become pregnant.”
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Start Tracking Your Menstrual Cycle
Each new menstrual cycle is marked by the first day of your period. And tracking your cycle along with any daily symptoms youre experiencing can be incredibly helpful. Why?
Tracking your cycle helps you get to know your body better, including how long your cycle is. The length of your cycle is what determines your fertile window, which well get to in the next section.
Tracking the symptoms you experience such as changes in sex drive, mood or cervical mucus can help you identify patterns throughout your cycle, including what you typically experience leading up to your most fertile days.
How do you get started? When your next period arrives, start tracking since that is Day 1 of your cycle. You can keep a journal and write things down, or you can use mobile apps such as Fertility Friend and Clue.
How Hard Is It To Get Pregnant While Breastfeeding
Breastfeeding naturally disrupts a person’s hormones and can effectively suppress ovulation, but the absence of periods after giving birth is temporary and they can resume even when a person is still breastfeeding. According to the World Health Organization , with consistent and correct use fewer than 1 out of 100 people will become pregnant relying on LAM during their baby’s first 6 months. But with typical use, that number increases to 2 out of 100.
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When To Call A Doctor
See a healthcare provider about your fertility if
- You’re 35 years or older and have been trying for at least six months
- You’re younger than 35 and have been trying for at least one year
If either of these situations matches your experience, seek medical advice, even if you have no symptoms of a fertility problem.
Can A Girl Get Pregnant If She Has Sex During Her Period
Can a girl get pregnant if she has sex during her period? Jamie*
Yes, a girl can get pregnant during her period. This might happen when:
- A girl has bleeding that she thinks is a period, but it’s bleeding from . Ovulation is the monthly release of an egg from a girls ovaries. It is the time when she is most likely to get pregnant if she has sex.
- Ovulation happens before the bleeding from a girl’s period has stopped.
- Ovulation happens within a few days after a girl’s period is over. Sperm can fertilize an egg for 3 days. So if a girl has sex on the last day of her period and ovulates in the next few days, the sperm may still fertilize the egg.
Having unprotected sex at any time is risky. Along with the risk of getting pregnant, you could also get an STD, such as chlamydia, genital warts, or HIV. The only way to completely prevent pregnancy and STDs is abstinence .
If you do have sex, use a condom every time to protect against unplanned pregnancy and STDs. For added protection, many couples use condoms along with another method of birth control, like birth control pills or an IUD. Talk to your doctor about the best type of birth control for you.
*Names have been changed to protect user privacy.
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How Hard Is It To Get Pregnant The Chances Of Conception Depend On Various Circumstances Ranging From Your Menstrual Cycle To Your Birth Control Here Experts Share The Scenarios Where You’re Least Likely To Conceive
Many people spend the better part of their fertile years actively trying not to get pregnant, so it might be surprising to learn that conception isn’t that easy. Indeed, there’s a relatively short window during the menstrual cycle that’s ideal for conceiving, whether or not a person is on birth control or actively trying, says Anate Brauer, M.D., a reproductive endocrinologist at the Greenwich Fertility and IVF Centers and assistant professor of OB-GYN at NYU School of Medicine.
According to the Food and Drug Administration , 85 out of 100 people of reproductive age who are sexually active and do not use any kind of contraception will become pregnant within a year. Of course, every person is different, and you should always use protection if you’re not trying to conceive. But if you’re wondering which occasions make for the least likely opportunity, check out these expert-stamped scenarios where your chances of pregnancy are the lowest.
Identify Your Fertile Window And Start Tracking Ovulation
Your fertile window usually occurs mid-cycle and is when you have the highest chance of getting pregnant. During this window, ovulation when an egg is released from an ovary occurs. Once this happens, conception is possible.
Tracking your cycle helps set you up for success by narrowing down your fertile window. But the next step to further improve your chances of getting pregnant is identifying when youre ovulating. Since conception cant happen until an egg is released, knowing your ovulation window helps you better time sex.
From monitoring your cervical mucus and basal body temperature, to ovulation predictor kits, there are several methods to help figure out your most fertile days.
Want to know more? Check out our guide to fertility and ovulation.
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Talk With Your Girlfriend
The second thing you should do is spend some time talking with your girlfriend about her plans. She is probably feeling more scared and overwhelmed than you right now. So, shes going to need your emotional support. Often, when guys hear that their girlfriend might be pregnant, their first reaction isnt always positive. If you said things that hurt her feelings, you may have to begin your conversation by apologizing. After the initial shock of my girlfriend is pregnant! wears off, youll be better able to communicate and think clearly. Youll both need time to think, so be sure that you continue to communicate with each other over the following days and weeks. In the meantime, show your support for your girlfriend as long as she needs and wants it.
As The Father You Have 6 Options When Your Girlfriend Is Pregnant
1. Help Parent
Taking responsibility for your actions and supporting both mother and child is honorable. This may mean you have to pick up a part-time job or adjust your school schedule. Youre not the first teen father and this is doable. We can even help talk through options with you.
2. Get Married and Raise Child Together
For some couples, getting married is the best option. They love each other and are committed to working together as a family. Sometimes they just need a little help. At PRC we offer classes that can help you learn to be a good parent as well as provide some material help such as diapers and baby clothes.
3. Temporary Foster Care
If you just arent able to care for a child, sometimes placing your baby in temporary care while you get it together is the best option. This allows you to make the final decision of whether or not to parent without all the pressure you are feeling now.
4. Help Place the Baby for Adoption
This can be a loving, unselfish choice and, depending on the circumstances, this can be the best option for the child. There are a few types of adoption available if this is the option you and your girlfriend choose. We have resources and staff that can help you navigate the process if this is the best option for you.
5. Abandon the mother and child
If we can help, please give us a call at 814-234-7340 or visit scprc.com.
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Icipate In The Adoption Process
If you think that you could never place your child for adoption, you arent alone. Many people who are deciding about an unplanned pregnancy dismiss the thought of adoption, but if you and your girlfriend arent ready to raise a child, adoption is a loving choice.
You may have heard the phrase, give your child up for adoption, but that isnt accurate. When you choose adoption, you arent giving your child away. Instead, you are lovingly gifting your child with life and allowing people to come alongside you and your child to help provide him with all he needs to have a quality life.
If you and your girlfriend decide on adoption, participate in the process with her. An advocate can explain the details of adoption to you and answer all your questions, but a few more things to know about adoption include:
- You and your girlfriend are the ones who choose the adoptive parents.
- You can choose a closed, open, or partially open adoption, which means you determine how much interaction you want to have with your child after the adoption. Levels of contact can range from not seeing your child at all to being an active part of your childs life and everything in-between. You get to choose.
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Know When To Get Help
Infertility is defined as the inability of a sexually active couple who are not using birth control to get pregnant after one year of trying, according to The American Society for Reproductive Medicine. Robins said he tells couples that a woman who is under the age of 35 and her partner should try to become pregnant for one year without success before seeking an infertility evaluation. For women who are 35 or older, the time before seeing an infertility specialist shortens to 6 months in couples who are having sex regularly without using birth control, he noted.
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Take Responsibility And Co
Pregnancy alone is not a good reason to get married, so dont feel obligated to get married if your girlfriend chooses to continue the pregnancy.
You do have the moral choice to take responsibility as a father and co-parent your child every child deserves and needs a hands-on father. Taking responsibility means providing for your child financially and emotionally.
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