Pregnancy: Frequently Asked Questions
Am I pregnant?
Is it true that I can get pregnant the first time I have sex?
Yes! You can get pregnant the first time you have sex. There are only a few days a month that you are actually fertile. If you have intercourse slightly before or during those days, the chance of pregnancy can occur. If you want to find out when you are most fertile come in and talk to one of our nurses. There are also many websites and books that help you learn more about your body's fertility by monitoring your period, body temperature as well as your mucus.
How soon after sexual contact can I have a pregnancy test?
The test can show a positive result 12 days after conception.
When is the best time to take a pregnancy test?
A test will read at its best when you are two weeks past your period due date. If your hormone levels are down, they will replenish within a few days.
Why does a pregnancy test come out inconclusive?
Sometimes tests simply do not take (perform) correctly. It could be that your hCG levels (the hormone your body produces when you are pregnant) are way down or you used a faulty test. Some women require a blood test to confirm pregnancy.
I took three home pregnancy tests and they were all "positive". Does this mean I am pregnant?
Home pregnancy tests are generally very accurate if administered correctly. ZoeCare can provide a nurse administered, lab-quality pregnancy test for you. Ultimately, a limited obstetric ultrasound will confirm whether or not you have a viable intra-uterine pregnancy.
Should I see a doctor if I have a second negative pregnancy test and have not started my period?
If you have concerns about missed periods and your pregnancy test continues to be negative, you should see your primary health care provider for assessment.
I think I'm pregnant. What should I do first?
The first step is to have a pregnancy test. Then, a physician should confirm the pregnancy and determine the length of time you have been pregnant. ZoeCare can provide these services at no charge.
I'm pregnant. What are my options?
You have a number of options including parenting, adoption and abortion. Statistically, one in four pregnancies end in miscarriage, but now is the time to gather all the information you can on each of your options and be prepared for the next steps.
How can I tell how far along I am in my pregnancy?
Dating for your pregnancy begins from the first day of your last menstrual period. If you are unsure of that date, then an ultrasound can be performed to determine the gestational age of the baby.
What is an ultrasound?
A prenatal ultrasound test uses high-frequency sound waves, inaudible to the human ear, that are transmitted through the abdomen via a device called a transducer to look at the inside of the abdomen. With prenatal ultrasound, the echoes are recorded and transformed into video or photographic images of your baby.
The ultrasound can be used during pregnancy to show images of the baby, amniotic sac, placenta, and ovaries. Major anatomical abnormalities or birth defects are visible on an ultrasound.
Most prenatal ultrasound procedures are performed topically, or on the surface of the skin, using a gel as a conductive medium to aid in the image quality. However, a transvaginal ultrasound is an alternative procedure in which a tubular probe is inserted into the vaginal canal. This method of ultrasound produces an image quality that is greatly enhanced, but it is not a common prenatal procedure. However, it may be used early in pregnancy to get a clearer view of the uterus or ovaries if a problem is suspected. It may also be used early in pregnancy to determine how far along you are in your pregnancy (gestational age). More information...
Is a prenatal ultrasound safe?
Yes. Studies have shown ultrasounds are not hazardous. There are no harmful side effects to you or your baby. In addition, ultrasounds do not use radiation, as X-ray tests do.
What is an ectopic pregnancy? Do I need to know if I have an ectopic pregnancy?
A fertilized egg in the fallopian tubes (an ectopic pregnancy) or outside of the womb is very dangerous. A woman diagnosed with an ectopic pregnancy needs to seek emergency medical attention. An ultrasound is used to determine whether a pregnancy is safe (not ectopic). If your ultrasound reveals signs of an ectopic pregnancy, you will be referred by our staff to seek immediate medical attention.
What do you mean that I "may not need an abortion"?
Many women can avoid having to decide what to do with their unintended pregnancy, because about 25% of all pregnancies end naturally. Pregnancies that end naturally are not viable, and result in what are called miscarriages. Who wants to go through the pain, cost and risk of an abortion if it's not necessary?
What are the risks associated with abortion? Am I more susceptible to some risks?
Abortion is a medical procedure (resulting in death of the fetus (baby)). With any surgical or chemical abortion, there are associated physical and mental risks. Studies suggest an increased risk of breast cancer later in life; other studies suggest that women with reservations prior to getting an abortion will often suffer from Post Abortion Syndrome (or PAS). Even if you're already committed to having an abortion, don't rush in as you may not need it! About 25% of all pregnancies end naturally. Why go through the pain and cost of an abortion if it's not necessary? Call or stop by ZoeCare. We're here to help!
Your ZoeCare appointment
Do I need to make appointment?
Walk-in pregnancy tests are welcome at any time during our normal business hours. However, we recommend you make an appointment so you do not have to wait. Please contact us to make an appointment.
What can I expect during my appointment?
Each appointment varies, but as a new patient you can expect to meet with a Patient Advocate who will work with you to fill out an intake form to gather general information. Most appointments are one hour in length and will be tailored to meet your specific needs.
How accurate is the ZoeCare pregnancy test?
Our tests are laboratory quality. They can detect the hCG pregnancy hormone as early as 7-10 days after conception. The test is over 99% accurate.
Can I have a retest if my test is negative and my period doesn't start?
Yes, you may reschedule another test. The hCG hormone doubles every couple of days during the first three months of pregnancy.
What is a limited obstetrical ultrasound?
Our licensed nurses administer limited obstetrical ultrasounds on women who are generally at least six weeks pregnant based on the first day of their last menstrual period. The ultrasound will confirm the presence of a heartbeat, whether or not the pregnancy is located in the uterus, and the gestational age of the baby.
I am not sure what I will decide to do if I am pregnant. Can you give me information about all of my options?
Absolutely. We are committed to providing you with all the tools you need to make an informed decision about your pregnancy. You have a right to know all the facts before making this difficult decision. We will give you information on abortion, parenting, or assist you in making an alternative parenting plan including adoption plans and options.
I want to take the morning after pill. Are there any risks?
Call our office and talk with our nurse. Many women use the morning after pill when the risk of pregnancy is very small. This is a strong medication with potentially serious side effects. Let us explain to you how it works before putting yourself at risk.
I want an abortion. What can you do for me?
We do not perform or refer for abortions but have many ways we can help you. First, we offer a free pregnancy test and a chance for a free exam that may include an ultrasound. You will need to know how far you are into the pregnancy and if you have a viable pregnancy. (Many women have miscarriages and an ultrasound often may show this risk before an abortion procedure, saving you money and pain.) Our practitioner can answer questions about the different abortion procedures. Your health and pregnancy history may put you at greater risk. Take advantage of speaking with our practitioner about this very important decision.
Do you offer referrals for abortion or birth control?
We do not perform nor refer for abortions or birth control. We are committed to giving you the best and most accurate information on all your options, including information on pregnancy development, abortion procedures and risks associated with sexual involvement.
I don't speak English. Do you have Spanish-speaking services?
Yes, we have Spanish-speaking interpreters who work with our Patient Advocates at ZoeCare.
Are you affiliated with any other organizations?
ZoeCare is an independent, local pregnancy and STD/STI testing center that has been serving the community since 1978. We are affiliates of Heartbeat International.
How much do you services cost?
As a privately funded Nonprofit 501(c)3 organization, our services are free of charge.