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Possible Pregnancy

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Written by Andrew Le, MD.
Medically reviewed by
Clinical Physician Assistant, Summit Health
Last updated May 30, 2024

Possible pregnancy quiz

Take a quiz to find out what's causing your possible pregnancy.

Learn what to do if you think you may be pregnant, and explore your options.

Are you pregnant?

The earliest sign of pregnancy is usually a missed period, but you may also notice other symptoms. These may also be an early sign of a pregnancy.

  • Mild cramping in the lower belly
  • Spotting or light bleeding
  • Fatigue and wanting to sleep more
  • Breast tenderness
  • Nausea (“morning sickness”)

At-home pregnancy tests

If you think you may be pregnant, take an at-home pregnancy test or see your healthcare provider. Tests are available over-the-counter at drugstores and online. These test your urine for a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG)—sometimes called the pregnancy hormone—which the body starts producing when you are pregnant.

If you haven’t missed a period, it may be too early for a home pregnancy test. It can take about 3–4 weeks from the first day of your last period for hCG levels to be high enough to test positive on a pregnancy test.

A positive test is almost always correct, but a negative test can be wrong, most often because of taking the test too soon. If the result is negative, wait a week and take the test again.

If your test is positive, see your doctor or go to a health clinic to confirm that you are pregnant. They will do another pregnancy test and an ultrasound.

Your pregnancy options

Full-term pregnancy

If you choose to continue the pregnancy, you need to see a healthcare provider as soon as possible to confirm the pregnancy. A number of different types of providers can help you, including an ob/gyn or a midwife.

They will discuss prenatal healthcare, figure out a possible due date, offer advice about diet and exercise while pregnant, check any medications you’re taking, and start you on a prenatal vitamin. If you have any other health or mental health conditions or concerns, your healthcare provider can help you manage them.

If you are considering adoption, there are organizations that can help support you in making a decision and find an adoption agency, like All-Options Talkline.


If you choose not to continue your pregnancy or need to end it for any reason, your options are either a medication abortion or an in-clinic abortion. Both options are safe and effective.

Since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade (which had guaranteed abortion as a constitutional right), some state laws have banned or severely restricted legal abortion.

There are a number of organizations offering support and resources to girls and women who decide to have an abortion but live in a state where it is banned. Some organizations that offer resources—from logistical to financial to medical—include Planned Parenthood, the National Abortion Federation hotline, and Plan C (specifically for the abortion pill).

Medication abortion

A medication abortion (also called the abortion pill or plan C) allows you to end the pregnancy by taking certain medications.

You can have a medical abortion if your pregnancy is 10 weeks or less. About 40% of all abortions in the U.S. are done using the abortion pill. Women choose the abortion pill for various reasons—including wanting to have the abortion at home, prefer a non-invasive procedure, or feeling it’s more natural because it can seem similar to a miscarriage.

You should not take the abortion pill if your pregnancy is past the 10th week or there is a risk for an ectopic pregnancy.

How it works

The abortion pill method consists of two separate medications. The first, called mifepristone, blocks your body's progesterone, stopping the pregnancy from growing. The second pill, which can be taken up to 48 hours after you take the first pill, causes cramping and bleeding to expel the pregnancy.

How to access the pills

You can get the abortion pill at a specially certified doctor or health clinic like Planned Parenthood. It is also available online in some states. Plan C provides various options for obtaining the abortion pill.

In-clinic abortion

In-clinic abortion, also known as surgical abortion, is done in a clinic or doctor’s office. There are two types of procedures: suction abortion, and dilation and evacuation. Both use suction instruments to remove the pregnancy tissue from the uterus. Your healthcare provider will talk to you about which may be best for you.

You can have an in-clinic abortion as soon as you have a positive pregnancy test, though some doctors may recommend waiting until you’re 5–6 weeks pregnant. The latest you may have an in-clinic abortion is set by state law.

How it works

When you arrive for your procedure, you will be given pain medicine to help with cramping. You may also be offered medicine to help you relax or go to sleep. You will be given numbing medication and your cervix will be gently stretched.

Suction abortion (also called vacuum aspiration) uses gentle suction to remove the pregnancy. It is the most common type of surgical abortion and is medically appropriate until about 14–16 weeks after your last period.

Dilation and evacuation (D&E) uses suction and medical tools to remove the pregnancy. D&E is medically appropriate later in pregnancy, after about 16 weeks since your last period.

How to access an in-clinic abortion

An in-clinic abortion is done in a clinic or at a doctor’s office. You can find centers that do abortions at and


All options


  • National Abortion Federation hotline: A national, toll-free, multi-lingual hotline for abortion referrals and financial assistance in the U.S. and Canada.
  • Plan C : Provides resources for accessing the abortion pill

State by state abortion guide


Legal help

  • If/When/How Repro Legal Helpline: Offers legal advice on self-managed abortion, judicial bypass, and if you are questioned by police or arrested for self-managed abortion. They also provide advice about keeping your abortion confidential while researching it online.

Financial support

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Clinical Physician Assistant, Summit Health
Jeff brings to Buoy 20 years of clinical experience as a physician assistant in urgent care and internal medicine. He also has extensive experience in healthcare administration, most recently as developer and director of an urgent care center. While completing his doctorate in Health Sciences at A.T. Still University, Jeff studied population health, healthcare systems, and evidence-based medicine....
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