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Pregnant? Considering your options?

Pregnant? Considering abortion? Considering your pregnancy options?

Need someone to talk to? We can help.

Oakland: 510-891-9998

San Francisco: 415-627-9175

Redwood City: 650-261-9115

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Pregnant? Need Options?

Pregnant? Unsure of your options? Need someone to talk to? We can help.

Oakland: 510-891-9998

San Francisco: 415-627-9175

Redwood City: 650-261-9115

Abortion – Are you considering an abortion?

Abortion – Are you considering an abortion?

If you are reading this article, you may be pregnant and considering abortion.  Most women do not come to the decision to abort lightly. Half of pregnancies in America are unintended. It may feel like you are alone and pregnant but many women in the San Francisco Bay Area have experienced an unplanned pregnancy. Approximately 75% of pregnant women know what they want to do with their unplanned pregnancy.  Women who have decided on abortion might seek out Planned Parenthood in Oakland or Women’s Options Center in San Francisco for their abortion clinics.  Women planning to parent might seek out their OB/GYN to begin prenatal care.  Women choosing adoption might seek out adoption agencies in the San Francisco Bay Area.  The other 25% of women in unintended pregnancies are unsure and need a safe place to discuss their pregnancy options.  They are typically looking for:

  • Lab Grade Pregnancy Tests
  • Limited Ultrasound
  • Decision Counseling
  • Community Resources and Referrals
  • Nurse Consultation
  • Proof of Pregnancy

Have you confirmed your pregnancy by visiting a medical office, pregnancy clinic, or pregnancy center in the Bay Area? Abortion procedures require a pregnancy verification.  Lab-grade pregnancy tests can be more accurate than home pregnancy tests purchased at your local CVS pharmacy or Walgreens pharmacy. After confirming your pregnancy at a Support Circle Pregnancy Clinic, you may choose to have an ultrasound performed. Why? The pregnancy ultrasound provided at our clinic is able to provide accurate dating of your unplanned pregnancy. This is important because your pregnancy options are determined by how far along in the pregnancy you are. And, a pregnancy ultrasound can go one step further to see if this is an ectopic pregnancy. Ectopic pregnancies are rare, but are serious conditions where treatment is needed to prevent complications.

Women contemplating an abortion are often in most need of their friends, family, partner. Sadly, this may feel like a very lonely time for you. Many women begin researching their options online.  Abortion clinics Bay Area, abortion Oakland, abortion clinics Redwood City, women’s options center San Francisco, abortion cost San Francisco are common searches. Whatever your reasons for considering abortion, at Support Circle’s pregnancy centers in the Bay Area, we are able to provide you with a caring, listening, non-judgmental counselor that can help you through this time and even in the months following your pregnancy decision.

Deciding to abort a pregnancy is seldom a decision made lightly. No one should pressure you into making a decision about your pregnancy. This includes the father, family, friends, counselors, etc. And sometimes, the greatest pressure comes from ourselves.

Call our pregnancy centers first.  We want you to be well informed about your pregnancy decision.  We provide the services you need to make your decision.  Our funding comes from local residents and other friends who believe that women should receive information from a place that doesn’t profit from either outcome of their pregnancy decision.

If you would like to talk to someone about your pregnancy decision, adoption decision, abortion decision, thoughts, emotions, or ask medical questions at any time, the caring counselors at Support Circle’s pregnancy centers in the San Francisco Bay Area are available to listen and to provide non-judgmental emotional support before and after your pregnancy decision for the coming year. Our nurses can confirm your pregnancy test results, provide you with pregnancy verification and assist with dating the pregnancy during an ultrasound.

Call or visit one of our three Support Circle Pregnancy Clinics in San Francisco, Oakland and Redwood City. All appointments are confidential and free of charge.

Support Circle provides information about but is not a provider of abortions.

Links:

Why is my period late?

Pregnancy Symptoms

Pregnancy Options

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Common Misconceptions About Unplanned Pregnancies

Common Misconceptions About Unplanned Pregnancies

We asked our patient advocate team to share some of the most common misconceptions about unplanned pregnancies they encounter when meeting with women in our three Bay Area pregnancy clinics.  We are sharing these so that you also can be educated about these common misconceptions about unplanned pregnancies.

Misconception 1:  There are no good options

A common statement women make is: “There aren’t any good options.” Women often feel that the only options are to parent completely on their own or to abort. It is very common to feel this way, especially right after discovering you are unexpectedly pregnant. Oftentimes, women say there aren’t any good options because they are thinking of their current situation as it is right now and can’t see the solution. But if they were to sit down with a patient advocate to weigh their options and identify the supportive people in their lives, it changes the equation. People that were not in the picture might come in and be helpful. People that could be helpful with work or schooling can be brought in and make the situation better. There are many community resources that women are often not aware of that they can greatly benefit from. Many times, our clients have commented that exploring options was good because there were many avenues they did not know existed.

Misconception 2:  It is irresponsible to have an unintended pregnancy

Half of all pregnancies in America are unplanned. With great diversity to the backgrounds and circumstances of each pregnancy, it is a false stereotype to categorically say it’s irresponsible to have an unintended pregnancy. But what is irresponsible is, now that you are pregnant, to make a rash decision without evaluating the short and long-term consequences of your options. The caring staff at Support Circle is dedicated to helping our clients be well-informed about their pregnancy decision. We encourage you to take time to evaluate your core values and the repercussions of your pregnancy decision, whichever decision you end up making.

Misconception 3:  The Morning After Pill can be taken at any time during the cycle

The “Morning After Pill” is a common name for emergency contraceptive pills (ECPs) designed to be taken within hours of unprotected sex — the sooner the better — because it works by preventing ovulation. The longer you wait, the greater the chance of ovulating. ECPs work to prevent ovulation before it occurs so if you have unprotected sex after ovulation (usually days 10–14 of your cycle), ECPs may not stop a pregnancy. Emergency contraception should not be used as a regular birth control method to prevent pregnancy. If you have unprotected sex in the days after ovulation, there is a risk of becoming pregnant. You can find out if you are pregnant by taking a free, lab-quality pregnancy test at one of our three Bay Area medical clinics. The pregnancy tests administered by Support Circle nurses are more than 99% accurate and are able to detect a pregnancy as early as 10 days after conception.

At Support Circle, we often encounter common misconceptions about unplanned pregnancies.  Our professional nurses and patient advocates are dedicated to providing time, space and support to women in unintended pregnancies. Our clients love our relational approach built on respect, trust and confidentiality. Thanks to the generous donations of our supporters, we are able to offer our services free of charge.

 

Links

Pregnancy Options

Morning After Pill

Schedule an Appointment

 

Image posed by model

Pregnant Women Considering Adoption

Pregnant Women Considering Adoption

Support Circle has been fortunate to work with women in an unintended pregnancy who choose adoption as their Adoptionfinal pregnancy decision.  We have found this population of women to be courageous, selfless and extremely contemplative about their decision.  As I reflect upon several women who chose to place their child for adoption, and the complexity of issues that they addressed during their pregnancies and the level of support they received throughout the decision-making process.  I am also struck by the various profiles and personal histories of the women and men who chose adoption for their pregnancy option.

Consider Jennifer and Mike, a young couple from the mid-west who traveled to the west coast seeking greater employment opportunities after graduating high school.  They discovered the pregnancy six months into their journey to California and came to our clinic to confirm how far along the pregnancy was by ultrasound and to discuss their pregnancy options. At ages 19 and 20, Jennifer and Mike were honest and transparent about their life in California, their limited support system (in the mid-west and the Bay Area) and their prospects for college education and an apprenticeship program in California. They had no family and very few friends in California and while the lack of support from friends was very bleak for them, returning to the mid-west was less appealing.

And then there was Jane, a 40-year-old, single mother of one child who came to our clinic at seven months and chose adoption because her physical and financial health could not sustain another child.  Jane wrestled with her decision and expressed feelings of guilt, resentment, anger and depression because her eight-year-old daughter was old enough to understand “where babies come from” but could not figure out why her mother was going to deny her an opportunity to have a little brother or little sister.  Our partnership with various adoption agencies, attorneys, and services in the Bay Area assisted Jane and her daughter with a healthy adoption plan and family counseling to help them for the remaining weeks of the pregnancy and during the transition and placement.

Adoption coupleLastly, there was Remi, a 28-year-old single mother and active leader in her church.  Remi was devastated to learn of her pregnancy after living an abstinent life since the birth of her 6-year-old son.  She met Dave, a relatively new member of their church and they dated about one year before discovering the pregnancy.  They were on the path toward a committed relationship but they did not feel they were ready for marriage or co-parenting and abortion was not an option for them.  Remi discussed the deep feeling of regret and sorrow about the pregnancy until the idea of a kinship adoption was introduced.  Remi was aware of a family member who wanted to begin a family but had experienced multiple miscarriages.  Remi (and later Dave) became open to exploring the idea of placing their child for adoption with another member of their family.  And again, our partnership with local adoption agencies and specialists assisted Remi and Dave with their adoption plan and placement.

What we have discovered during our work with women in unplanned pregnancies who desire to consider an adoption placement is their need for extra support.  Their profiles are different, their reasons for an adoption placement is different, but their need for women to advocate and promote the importance of their decision is the same.  And it is vital! The common struggle of pregnant women considering adoption is respect for their choice from family, friends, religious communities and, most importantly, from women who chose to birth and rear their children, as well as, from women who wanted to terminate their pregnancy.

It is important for society to make every effort to support and recognize the thought provoking period associated with a pregnant women’s decision to place their child for adoption.  Having support through the process is critical because of the level of grief experienced once the child is relinquished.  Studies report women who chose to place their child for adoption experience a complicated form of grief because they “suffer the loss of a child although they are experiencing the psychological trauma and awareness that the child is alive.”

Adoption can be a loving choice.  Most women who make the difficult choice to place their children for adoption do so because they love their child so much, they are willing to live apart to provide their child with a life they cannot provide at the present time.

The professional counselors and nurses at Support Circle are prepared to walk with an expectant woman considering adoption.  We have relationships with Bay Area adoption agencies, specialist, and community organizations to assist women with their medical, emotional and psychological needs.  We welcome the opportunity to serve you in one of our State licensed, medical clinics in the Bay Area.  We also support the choice to place a child for adoption.  It’s a selfless and courageous decision.

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Abortion – What if I decide to abort my pregnancy?

Abortion – What if I decide to abort my pregnancy?

What if I decide to abort my pregnancy?If you are reading this article, you may be pregnant and considering an abortion. Most women do not come to the decision to abort lightly. You may be concerned about your school or employment, housing, what your family will say, finances, etc. According to a recent Public Opinions survey, one of the biggest factors in women deciding on abortion is the relationship with the father. Women contemplating an abortion are often in most need of their friends, family, partner. Sadly, this may feel like a very lonely time for you. Whatever your reasons for considering abortion, at Support Circle, we are able to provide you with a caring, listening, non-judgmental counselor that can help you through this time and even in the months following your pregnancy decision.

Before going any further, first things first. Have you confirmed your pregnancy by visiting a medical office or clinic? Medical pregnancy tests can be more accurate than home pregnancy tests purchased at your local CVS or Walgreens pharmacy. After confirming your pregnancy, you may choose to have an ultrasound performed. Why? Ultrasounds are able to provide accurate dating of your pregnancy. This is important because your options are determined by how far along in the pregnancy you are. And, an ultrasound can go one step further to see if this is an ectopic pregnancy. Ectopic pregnancies are usually treatable with medication if discovered early but can be potentially life-threatening.

Medical Abortion

If the pregnancy is less than ten weeks from the date of your last menstrual cycle, you may be eligible for a medical abortion, also known as the Abortion Pill. Medical abortions are performed using two different drugs while under the supervision of a doctor, nurse practitioner, or midwife. The Abortion Pill is a drug called Mifepristone, Mifeprex, or RU486 and is available by prescription only. Mifepristone, when used in combination with Misoprostol, disrupts an existing pregnancy. Typically, during the initial medical visit, you will be asked to complete blood tests, an ultrasound and counseling prior to beginning the drug regimen.

The two-part drug regimen can only be obtained with a prescription. The first drug makes the uterus a difficult place for the fetus to remain implanted. The second drug helps to remove the fetus from the uterus. In technical terms, Mifepristone is an anti-progesterone that causes the lining of the uterine walls to shed and it softens and dilates (expands) the cervix, thus facilitating an abortion. Misoprostol, the second drug, is a prostaglandin that induces uterine contractions and softens and dilates the cervix. It is taken approximately 48 hours after taking Mifepristone. When these two drugs are taken in combination with each other, a medical abortion is complete approximately 97% of the time. A follow up visit 7-14 days later is very important to ensure there is no tissue left behind and that the abortion occurred successfully.

Some women experience mild cramping and/or nausea in addition to vaginal bleeding or spotting. The most common side effects of the Mifepristone and Misoprostol regimen include: pelvic cramping, vaginal bleeding, and spotting (including the expelling of tissue and blood clots) for an average of 9-16 days. It is also common to experience nausea, vomiting, dizziness, headaches, fever, chills, weakness and diarrhea. Contact your medical practitioner if you are concerned about the side affects you are experiencing.

Surgical Abortion

Depending upon how far your pregnancy has progressed, there may be two kinds of surgical abortion options available to you. Aspiration (also known as vacuum aspiration or suction curettage) can be performed up to 12-14 weeks after the start of the last menstrual cycle. It only requires one visit to a medical clinic. Typically, during that visit, you will be asked to complete blood tests, an ultrasound and counseling prior to the procedure.  A local anesthesia will be applied to the cervix to numb pain. You might feel some minor pressure but should not feel pain. The cervix is dilated (expanded) and the aspiration device empties the contents of the uterus. While the aspiration procedure only takes approximately 5-15 minutes, you will need to recover for about 30 minutes afterward.

For pregnancies from 13-24 weeks after the start of your last menstrual cycle, a Dilation and Evacuation (D&E) is the surgical abortion procedure available. A D&E is similar to the aspiration abortion. However, the cervix is dilated more and this procedure requires two or three visits. For the first appointment, blood tests, an ultrasound and counseling session are standard. Also on the first visit, either medication or fiber rods are used to begin to dilate the cervix. On the next visit, if your cervix is sufficiently dilated, the same aspiration device is used to empty the uterus. Additional instruments may be used to ensure the contents of the uterus are fully cleared. A local anesthetic to numb the pain and make you semi-conscious is often used. Sometimes, a general anesthetic may be used to put you to sleep, depending upon the medical facility. The D&E procedure is usually 10-45 minutes with at least one hour of recovery time afterwards.

Deciding to abort a pregnancy is seldom a decision made lightly. No one should pressure you into making a decision about your pregnancy. This includes the father, family, friends, counselors, etc. And sometimes, the greatest pressure comes from ourselves. If you would like to talk to someone about your decision, thoughts, emotions, or ask medical questions at any time, the caring counselors at Support Circle are available to listen and to provide non-judgmental emotional support before and after the pregnancy decision for the coming year. Our nurses can confirm your pregnancy test results, provide you with pregnancy verification and assist with dating the pregnancy during an ultrasound.

Call or visit one of our three medical clinics in San Francisco, Oakland and Redwood City. All appointments are confidential and free of charge.

Support Circle is dedicated to providing women with a safe place as they make a decision about their pregnancy and not to profit from any medical procedures resulting from that decision. For this reason, Support Circle provides information about abortion procedures to our clients, but does not perform or refer for abortion. We do not operate as an adoption agency.  We do not perform or refer for labor and delivery.

Why is my period late?

Pregnancy Symptoms

Pregnancy Options

Is the Abortion Pill and the Morning After Pill the same?

 

 

References:

  1. http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/PostmarketDrugSafetyInformationforPatientsandProviders/ucm111323.htm
  2. http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Drugs/DrugSafety/ucm088643.pdf
  3. http://www.rhtp.org/Abortion/mifepristone/default.asp
  4. http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/429755_3

 

Image posed by model.

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Is the Abortion Pill and the Morning After Pill the same?

Is the Abortion Pill and the Morning After Pill the same?

What is the “Abortion Pill?” Is the Abortion Pill and the “Morning After Pill” the same? The Abortion Pill and Morning After Pill are not the same medication and they each function very differently. This article is intended for informational purposes so that you can differentiate between the Morning After Pill and the Abortion Pill.

The Morning After Pill, also commonly known as Plan B, is a popular name for numerous brands of birth control pills that contain the hormone Levonorgestrel. These pills can be used to prevent ovulation and do not harm an existing pregnancy when taken as directed. In California, a prescription is not required to obtain birth control pills. To read more about the Morning After Pill, click here.

The Abortion Pill is a drug called Mifepristone, Mifeprex, or RU486 and is available by prescription only. Mifepristone, when used in combination with Misoprostol, disrupts an existing pregnancy (but not if the pregnancy is an ectopic pregnancy—a different procedure or medication will be needed). It is now approved for use up to 70 days (10 weeks) from a woman’s last menstrual period to terminate an early pregnancy. Mifepristone is obtained, with a doctor’s prescription only, at your local pharmacy such as Walgreens pharmacy, CVS pharmacy or Target pharmacy.

Disrupting an existing pregnancy is a two-part regimen when using these pills. Mifepristone, or Mifeprex, is an anti-progesterone that ends a pregnancy by blocking the uterine wall receptors to the hormone progesterone. This causes the lining of the uterine walls to shed like they do during a menstrual cycle. It also softens and dilates the cervix, thus facilitating abortion.

Misoprostol is used to help expel the pregnancy. Misoprostol is a prostaglandin that induces uterine contractions and softens and dilates the cervix. It is used approximately two days after taking Mifepristone to complete the abortion process. When used in combination with Mifepristone, abortion is complete approximately 97% of the time.

After taking the Mifepristone and Misoprostol regimen, it is common to experience pelvic cramping and vaginal bleeding and spotting, including the expelling of tissue and blood clots for an average of 9-16 days. It is also common to experience nausea, vomiting, dizziness, headaches, fever, chills, weakness, and diarrhea.

A follow-up visit 7-14 days after taking the abortion pill regimen is very important to ensure there is no tissue left behind and that the abortion occurred successfully. In the event Mifepristone has not worked, as determined by an ultrasound during the follow-up visit, a woman will discuss her options with her provider.

For women considering using the abortion pill but who would like to meet in person with a registered nurse or trained counselor to discuss personal questions, we recommend visiting one of our three Support Circle clinics in San Francisco, Oakland and Redwood City. All appointments are confidential and free.

Support Circle provides information about the abortion pill and morning after pill but does not prescribe or dispense these medications.

Links:

Morning After Pill – An Overview of Emergency Contraception

Plan B Emergency Contraceptive

Ella Emergency Contraceptive

Combination Pill Emergency Contraceptive

 

References:

  1. http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/PostmarketDrugSafetyInformationforPatientsandProviders/ucm111323.htm
  2. http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Drugs/DrugSafety/ucm088643.pdf
  3. http://www.rhtp.org/Abortion/mifepristone/default.asp
  4. http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/429755_3
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She’s No Stranger

video-shesnostranger3

 

In honor of someone you know that has been touched by an unplanned pregnancy, watch this exciting new 60-second video and share it with your friends and family on social media and email.  This is the perfect way to anonymously honor her.  She’s our sister, our daughter, our friend.  She is us!

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Pregnancy Options

Pregnancy Options

If you are pregnant, or think you may be pregnant, in an unintended pregnancy, you may have a floodgate of emotions and questions.pregnancy options What do you want to do? Do you want to parent, create an adoption plan, or have an abortion? Each decision carries its own set of unique results and will determine your next steps. Talking to a patient advocate may help you to sort out your thoughts and emotions and to think through each option.

 

Your three pregnancy options include:

Parenting. A decision to carry a pregnancy to term and raise the child. Many women would like to parent but they may have concerns about how to make that happen. You and your partner may choose to parent together, co-parent or you may parent alone. You will have many decisions to make but you do not have to make them all at once or alone. A patient advocate can assist in developing a plan, provide access to community resources and answer your questions.

Adoption. A decision to carry the pregnancy to term and to make an adoption plan involves relinquishing parental rights after the delivery. You may choose the level of involvement you may prefer. These options include: open (usually an on-going relationship), semi-open (usually letters and photos exchanged) and closed (no communication). A patient advocate can explain the different options, answer your questions and help you to develop an adoption plan.

Abortion. A decision to terminate or abort a pregnancy involves the use of either medication or a surgical procedure. Which abortion method depends on how far along the pregnancy has progressed. One of our nurses can answer your questions and provide accurate health information and education about the abortion procedure(s) available to you, including any possible health risks.

According to a recent Public Opinion Strategies survey, the most pressing need of women deciding about an unplanned pregnancy is sorting out their thoughts and feelings. A patient advocate can provide information on your options that will help you in your decision-making process. Whatever you decide should be in line with your beliefs and values. Ultimately, the decision is yours.

Support Circle exists to serve the woman who is unsure of her pregnancy decision by providing time, space, support so that you make the right decision for you. No matter what choice you make about your unintended pregnancy, our options, services and support are free.