Abortion Clinic Redwood City

My Search for An Abortion Clinic in Redwood City

My search for an abortion clinic in Redwood City resulted in a visit to Support Circle’s clinic on Brewster. I needed an ultrasound to verify my pregnancy so I could get an abortion.

Everyone I spoke with at Support Circle was very nice and helpful. The nurse gave me an ultrasound to confirm my pregnancy, which is what I needed. When I asked about getting an abortion, she explained where I was in my pregnancy and my abortion options. The nurse said I was five weeks pregnant and it was still too early to determine if the baby is viable. That means I can have a miscarriage and not have to have an abortion at all. She scheduled a follow up appointment for two weeks from now.

While at Support Circle, Irene, the patient advocate, asked what brought me to Support Circle. I explained that I was looking for an abortion clinic in Redwood City because I knew I was pregnant and I need to have an abortion. I explained that my husband would NOT be happy if he finds out I am pregnant. He’s never happy. My husband and I have been having issues in our marriage and I am seriously thinking about getting a divorce. I can’t live the way we have been living. He is verbally abusive to me. He tries to control me and to control everything I do. Even though he hasn’t hit me yet, I think it is only a matter of time. Last week, I yelled back at him. That made him so angry that he punched the wall next to me. I’m scared that next time, it will be me, not the wall he hits. I can’t bring a baby into a home with violence. I was raised with an abusive alcoholic father that hit my mom and us kids and I swore I wouldn’t do that to my child.

This is not how I envisioned my life would be at the age of 30, after almost five years of marriage. I am so conflicted and don’t know what to do right now. I just got accepted to a graduate program. I love children and this child would be able to grow up with its cousins because my siblings have babies now, too. On the one hand, the timing is terrible but on the other hand, the timing is kinda good. Is it bad to pray for a miscarriage? There are all of these women out there trying to have a baby and I am pregnant and I don’t want it. Ugh! I feel so conflicted. I’m glad that I have time to think about it these next few weeks.

At Support Circle, Irene really listened to me. I felt heard. She even gave me this journal to write down my thoughts and feelings.  She said it could help me to process what is going on. I don’t know what I am going to do. I just know that I will be going back to Support Circle in two weeks. The emotional support I have received from Irene has been great for me. She said she would continue to help me regardless of my decision. I am SO glad I came to Support Circle for a free ultrasound when I was looking for an abortion clinic in Redwood City!

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Pregnancy and STD’s, STI’s

STIs, STDs and Pregnancy

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) or sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are not fun or easy to talk about. It can be embarrassing to talk about STIs or STDs, but they are more common than you might realize. And, when it comes to pregnancy and STIs and STDs, it is best to learn about how to protect yourself from and treat STIs and STDs.

Pregnancy and STIs STDsSTIs and STDs are infections that are spread by having sex with someone that has a sexually transmitted infection. This could include oral, vaginal or anal intercourse. While STIs are common among men and women who are sexually active, many people do not know they have been infected. Some women may not find out that they have an STI until their first prenatal appointment when pregnant. Prenatal STI screening is standard because it is best to find out about an STI early in your pregnancy.

How do I know if I have an STI or STD?
At the first prenatal appointment, many women are tested (screened) for STIs including: chlamydia, gonorrhea, HIV, syphilis, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C. Testing may be done through blood tests, vaginal swabs and urine tests. If you suspect you might have an STI/STD, you should ask for testing. Testing is routinely done on pregnant women who are less than 25 years of age as well as those women that have new or multiple sexual partners, have a sexual partner that has other partners, past or current needle drug users, not in a monogamous relationship, no or sporadic condom use, a sexual partner that has an STI, sex workers, exchanging sex for drugs or money, and/or those living in high risk areas.

What happens if I have an STI or STD?
If you test positive, you will be notified by your healthcare professional in several days or about a week. Usually, immediate treatment with antibiotics can clear up an STI. A follow-up test in the third trimester may be performed, depending on your age or risk factors. In the case of HIV, on-going treatment for you and your baby will be required. With all STIs, the sooner treatment is started, the sooner the infection can be treated and reduce the incidence of passing the STI on to your baby.

Will my pregnancy be affected?
Early testing during the first trimester and follow up testing during the third trimester, as well as treatment if an STI has been detected, will have a major impact on the chance of you and your baby being affected. In most cases, early detection and treatment will resolve any potential complications.

If untested and/or untreated, sexually transmitted infections in pregnant women could cause problems during pregnancy such as: preterm labor, premature rupture of membranes, and low birth weight. The infant could contract the STI during the pregnancy, during vaginal delivery, or after birth through breastfeeding, such in the case of HIV. Some STIs could have lifelong implications for your child. For these reasons, we strongly encourage women to have STI testing early in their pregnancy and to follow recommended treatment protocol(s).

Women who want to know more about STIs/STDs in pregnancy are welcome to talk to the team at Support Circle. Our caring staff will maintain your confidentiality while addressing your most pressing questions and can provide a list of clinics that provide STI/STD testing. We have three Bay Area clinics in San Francisco, Oakland and Redwood City for your convenience. Call or walk-in today.

Links
Am I Pregnant?
Pregnancy and HIV
Talk to a Nurse

 

References
1. https://www.cdc.gov/std/pregnancy/stdfact-pregnancy-detailed.htm
2. http://www.webmd.com/baby/pregnancy-sexually-transmitted-diseases

Image posed by model

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Miscarriage

Miscarriage

By Dr. Mary Hinckley, M.D.

 

Definition & causes of miscarriage

A miscarriage occurs whenever a pregnancy ends from natural causes before the 20th week of pregnancy. Miscarriages commonly occur in the first few days or weeks in the pregnancy, often before a woman knows she is pregnant.

There are many causes of miscarriages, the most common being a chromosomal abnormality in the fetus. This usually results from a problem with the sperm or egg preventing the fetus from developing properly. If the miscarriage occurs during the second trimester, problems with the uterus or cervix may be a significant factor. After age 40, more than one-third of pregnancies end in miscarriage.

Women suffering multiple and consecutive miscarriages are diagnosed with recurrent pregnancy loss (RPL), defined as two or more miscarriages in the first trimester or early second trimester.

Symptoms & treatments of miscarriage Miscarriage

Signs of a miscarriage can include:

  • Vaginal spotting or bleeding
  • Cramping or abdominal pain
  • Fluid or tissue passing from the vagina

Although vaginal bleeding is a common symptom when a woman has a miscarriage, many pregnant women have spotting early in their pregnancy but do not miscarry. Pregnant women who have symptoms such as bleeding should contact their health care provider immediately.

In most cases, there is nothing a woman can do to prevent a miscarriage. Women who have miscarriages can and often do conceive again and have healthy pregnancies.

Women who miscarry early in their pregnancy usually do not need any treatment. In some cases, a woman may need a procedure called a dilatation and curettage (D&C) to remove tissue remaining in the uterus. A D&C can be done in a health care provider’s office, an outpatient clinic, or a hospital.

For women suffering recurrent pregnancy loss, underlying factors may be hormonal, metabolic, or uterine related, among other factors. Treatments for recurrent pregnancy loss include aspirin, anticoagulants, hormone therapy, and surgery for uterine abnormalities.

Source: Dr. Hinckley’s Blog

Pregnancy Symptoms

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Why is my period late?

Why is my period late?

Women who are in their childbearing years sometimes miss a period. While a missed menstrual period is the hallmark of early pregnancy, missing a period can be due to a number of factors and conditions. If you’ve missed a period, try not to stress out. However, you’ll want to rule out pregnancy. You do not have to wait until you miss a period if you suspect you are pregnant. The trained staff at Support Circle can help by administering a free pregnancy test prior to expecting your period. This test is more than 99% accurate and performed by a nurse.

Once you have a negative pregnancy test, you may wish to repeat the test in a few days or your missed period may be due to the following:

  • Stress and anxiety– Stress isn’t good for your body, and it can cause you to have delayed ovulation.
  • Excessive weight loss, or weight gain– Losing a substantial amount of weight, or gaining too much weight too quickly can cause you to experience menstrual problems, like a missed period or a delayed period.
  • Contraceptives– Some women who take certain birth control don’t have regular periods.
  • Breastfeeding– When you breastfeed exclusively, the hormones that are allowing lactation to occur can block ovulation and your regular menstrual cycle.
  • Eating disorders– When you have excessively low body weight this can interfere with hormonal functions, which might stop ovulation.
  • Rigorous Exercise– Women who participate in activities and sports that require them to undergo rigorous training often experience skipped periods or no periods at all.
  • Medication– There are some medications that can disrupt menstrual cycles.
  • Hormonal imbalance– When you have hormonal problems, it can change the levels of hormones that your body requires to support ovulation and the menstruation process.
  • Problems with your thyroid
  • Uterine scarring– If your uterus is scarred from disease or medical procedures, this can prevent the normal buildup and shedding of the uterine lining common to a regular menstrual cycle.
  • Perimenopause – This is the time period before the complete cessation of menstrual periods and, in some women, may begin as early as their mid-thirties.

If you have a late or missed period, we encourage you to visit one of our three Bay Area clinics to have a pregnancy test or to talk to a nurse.

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Zika Virus – Other Common Questions

CDC Zika Virus Information

CDC Zika Virus Information

Zika Virus – Other Common Questions

In an effort to provide our Support Circle clients with information on Zika virus, a virus that has garnered much media attention due to the potential effects on the fetus, we have compiled this list of information directly from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) website.

How is Zika transmitted?

Zika is primarily transmitted through the bite of infected Aedes mosquitoes, the same mosquitoes that spread Chikungunya and dengue. These mosquitoes are aggressive daytime biters and they can also bite at night. Mosquitoes become infected when they bite a person already infected with the virus. Infected mosquitoes can then spread the virus to other people through bites. Men and women with a pregnant partner should use a condom or abstain from intercourse for the duration of the pregnancy. The virus can also be transmitted from a pregnant mother to her fetus during pregnancy or around the time of birth. Spread of the virus through blood transfusion and sexual contact have been reported.

Update July 2016: There is an increased need for women in the U.S. to take precautions to reduce their chances of becoming infected with Zika if pregnant. According to the CDC, there have been over 1,300 reported cases of Zika virus in the United States, including 14 sexually transmitted cases. In U.S. Territories, there have been over 2,900 reported cases of Zika infected people. There have been over 645 cases of pregnant women reported to have Zika in the United States and U.S. Territories.

What are the symptoms of Zika?

About one in five people infected with Zika will get sick. For people who get sick, the illness is usually mild. For this reason, many people might not realize they have been infected. The most common symptoms of Zika virus disease are fever, rash, joint pain, or conjunctivitis (red eyes). Symptoms typically begin two to seven days after being bitten by an infected mosquito. People usually don’t get sick enough to go to the hospital, and they very rarely die of Zika.

Does Zika in pregnant women cause birth defects?

Brazil has been having a significant outbreak of Zika virus since May 2015. Officials in Brazil have also noted an increase in the number of babies with congenital microcephaly (a birth defect in which the size of a baby’s head is smaller than expected for age and sex) during that time. Congenital microcephaly is often a sign of the brain not developing normally during pregnancy. Health authorities in Brazil, with assistance from the Pan American Health Organization, CDC, and other agencies, have been investigating the possible association between Zika virus infection and microcephaly. Additional studies are needed to determine the degree to which Zika might be linked with microcephaly.

More lab testing and other studies are planned to learn more about the risks of Zika virus infection during pregnancy. Because of the possible association between Zika infection and microcephaly, pregnant women should take steps to prevent mosquito bites.

How do I find the most recent CDC updates?

Visit the CDC’s website for more information about the Zika virus: http://www.cdc.gov/zika.

How to Protect Against Zika Virus

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How to Protect Against Zika Virus

How to protect against Zika virus

In an effort to provide our Support Circle clients with information on Zika virus, a virus that has garnered much media attention due to the potential effects on the fetus, we have compiled this list of most common questions and answers from the Center for Disease Control (CDC).

What is Zika virus?

Zika is a disease caused by Zika virus that is spread to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito.

Protect against Zika virus

Men with a pregnant partner should use a condom or abstain from sex for the duration of the pregnancy if they have visited, or live in, an area where mosquitos are spreading the Zika virus, which is strongly suspected of causing microcephaly in newborns, the CDC advises.

There is no vaccine or medicine for Zika. The best way to prevent Zika is to prevent mosquito bites. Here’s how:

  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
  • Stay in places with air conditioning or that use window and door screens to keep mosquitoes outside.
  • Pregnant and breastfeeding women may use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents(bug spray). Always follow the instructions on the label and reapply every few hours. The effectiveness of non-EPA registered insect repellents is NOT known. An example of a natural product with an EPA registration is oil of lemon eucalyptus.
  • Eliminate mosquito breeding sites, like containers with standing water.

What we know about Zika virus

  • Zika can be spread from a mother to her fetus during pregnancy.
  • Infection during pregnancies may be linked to birth defects in babies.
  • Zika is spread mostly by the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito.
  • There is no vaccine or medicine for Zika.

What we do not know about Zika virus

  • If there is a safe time during pregnancy to travel to an area infected with Zika virus.
  • If you do travel and are bitten, how likely you are to be infected.
  • If you do travel and are bitten, how likely it is that your baby will have birth defects from the infection.

How worried should I be in the San Francisco Bay Area?

No local mosquito-borne Zika virus disease cases have been reported in the continental U.S., but there have been travel-associated cases in some areas of the US, including California. With the recent outbreaks, the number of Zika cases among travelers visiting or returning to the United States will likely increase. For this reason, men with a pregnant partner should use a condom or abstain from sex for the duration of the pregnancy if they have visited, or live in, an area where mosquitos are spreading the Zika virus.

Update July 2016: There is an increased need for women in the U.S. to take precautions to reduce their chances of becoming infected with Zika if pregnant. According to the CDC, there have been over 1,300 reported cases of Zika virus in the United States, including 14 sexually transmitted cases. In U.S. Territories, there have been over 2,900 reported cases of Zika infected people. There have been over 645 cases of pregnant women reported to have Zika in the United States and U.S. Territories.

How do I find the most recent CDC updates?

Visit the CDC’s website for more information about the Zika virus: http://www.cdc.gov/zika.

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