Pregnancy: General Information

  • Esta guía en Español


Should I be worried about getting pregnant if I have sexual contact?

YES. You should be worried about getting pregnant if you are having sex so that sperm is in contact with your vagina and you are not using birth control.

Can I get pregnant while I’m having my period?

YES. You can get pregnant even when you are on your period or any time you have vaginal bleeding. For example, a woman can have vaginal bleeding when she is ovulating. It’s possible to get pregnant any time you have vaginal intercourse, so it’s important to use contraception EVERY time you have sex.

Females have eggs, males have sperm: Females have two small, grape-shaped ovaries inside their belly on either side of the uterus. You are born with ovaries and they are filled with hundreds of thousands of eggs. When you reach puberty, your ovaries make estrogen. Once a month your ovaries will release one of the ripened eggs. This is called ovulation.

Most guys have two testicles in their scrotum. Sperm is made inside of the testicles. Unlike females, who usually release only one egg per month, males can release thousands of sperm with each ejaculation.

What happens when an egg and sperm meet?

A male releases sperm when he ejaculates and a female releases an egg each month, during ovulation. It only takes one sperm to fertilize an egg. So, if an egg and sperm meet the fertilized egg travels down the fallopian tube and implants in the lining of the uterus. If this happens, a female becomes pregnant.

During the early stages of pregnancy, the fertilized egg is called an “embryo.” As the embryo gets older it is called a “fetus.” It takes about 9 months for a fertilized egg to develop into a full-term baby.

How do people get pregnant?

  • You can get pregnant if you have intercourse and a male releases his sperm inside of your vagina.
  • You can also get pregnant if the male removes his penis from your vagina before releasing his sperm. This is because the fluid that comes out of the penis before ejaculation may have leftover sperm (from a previous ejaculation).
  • You can even become pregnant if you don’t have vaginal intercourse! This can happen if a male releases his sperm outside of your body near your vagina because sperm can find their way to an egg.

How is a pregnancy test done?

You can have either a urine or blood test done to check for pregnancy. These can be done at your health care provider’s office. You may also buy a home pregnancy test that you can do yourself. They cost about $4-$15 per test and are sold at many types of stores. They check for a certain hormone in your urine (HCG) and can pick up a positive reading even before a missed period, but you’ll need to know when your period was supposed to come.

How soon can I take a pregnancy test?

Although many home pregnancy tests claim to give positive results as early as the first day of a missed period, research shows it’s best to wait one week after your missed period. Talk to your health care provider about having a lab test (urine or blood), if you want to know sooner.

What should I do if I’m pregnant?

The most important thing to do if you think you are pregnant is to make an appointment with your health care provider. It’s very important for you to get medical care as soon as possible so you can have another pregnancy test and discuss your options with your provider. Start taking a multivitamin (if you weren’t already taking one) and make sure you don’t drink alcohol, take drugs, or smoke. If you become pregnant, you will have important decisions to make.

What will happen to my body if I get pregnant?

There are many changes that will happen inside your body if you become pregnant. You may feel very tired, extra hungry, and/or nauseous (feeling like you want to throw up). Your breasts may get bigger and feel tender, and you may have stomach pains like menstrual cramps.

Are teens more at risk for health problems?

  • Pregnant teens have a greater chance of having health problems than adult women. This is true because they are still growing and have more nutritional needs, and they often wait longer than they should to get the prenatal care they need. Sometimes teens may smoke, drink alcohol, or use drugs (illegal, prescription, or over-the-the counter) and not know they are pregnant.
  • Teens who become pregnant are at a higher risk than adult women for having complications including; health problems such as anemia, high blood pressure, diabetes, premature labor, social and emotional problems such as loss of support from parent(s)/guardian(s) or partner, depression and feelings of being alone, housing and money issues – unable to afford rent, buy things such as diapers, clothing, and food.

Will I have my period if I’m pregnant?

When you are pregnant the lining of your uterus does not break down, so you will not have your menstrual flow (your period). However, some pregnant women have “spotting” (bleeding which is lighter than a period). Sometimes this spotting is mistaken for a period, and you might not realize that you’re pregnant. Spotting sometimes happens for the first few months of a pregnancy. If you’re spotting and there’s a chance that you could be pregnant, it is very important to let your health care provider know!

Will I have morning sickness if I’m pregnant?

Morning sickness is the queasy feeling some women get when they are pregnant. Some women may throw up. However, not all pregnant women have morning sickness—some never get it. Pregnant women who do have morning sickness usually feel much better after the first trimester (first 3 months of pregnancy). Although people call this queasy feeling “morning sickness”, it can happen at any time of the day or night.

How do I tell my partner that I’m pregnant?

There’s no one answer to this question. How you tell the person who got you pregnant depends upon your relationship with him. Are you in a long-term relationship with him, or is it more casual?

Has the relationship been mutually respectful, or has it been abusive? Is he someone from whom you can get support, or are you not sure? Are you certain that he IS the person who got you pregnant?

If you feel you have good communication with him, you might find a quiet space and time to share your news and begin talking about whatever might be the next step. If, however, you and he do not communicate well or you feel at all unsafe, you may choose to tell him only when you have the support of an adult, or not at all.

How do I tell my parent(s) or guardian(s) about being pregnant?

If you are pregnant, it’s important for you to get health care as soon as possible so you can learn about your options. It’s best to get support from your parent(s), guardian(s), or another trusted adult. If you’re concerned about your safety, or afraid to tell your parents, you can first talk to an adult who you feel close to, or your health care provider. You can then decide whether you want the trusted adult or your health care provider to be with you when you tell them. You may decide to talk with your parent(s)/guardian(s) about making a decision about your pregnancy, or you may prefer to think about all your options first, and then talk with them.

What if I don’t want to tell my parents(s) or legal guardian(s) that I’m pregnant?

You have the right not to tell your parent(s) or legal guardian(s) that you are pregnant. Remember though, if you decide to continue the pregnancy, your parents will eventually find out. If you decide to have an abortion, talk with your health care provider about what the laws are in your state. Most parents are helpful and will help you think through your options and get you the medical care that you need.

Teens who are pregnant need a lot of support from important people in their lives. You’ll probably be nervous about having a conversation with your parent(s) or guardian(s) about such an important subject as pregnancy (this is normal).Talk to your health are provider about all your options and how to stay healthy.