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free STD testing

STDs vs STIs: What’s the Difference?

If you’re sexually active, there are some precautions you should be aware of to decrease your risk of getting an STD or an STI. Sometimes STDs and STIs are silent, meaning you have no symptoms and have no idea you’re infected.

Sexually-transmitted diseases and illness are very common and costly to our nation’s health and economy, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Approximately 20 percent of people in the U.S. have an STD or STI.

If you’re wondering what the difference is between the two, keep reading. In this article, you’ll learn about their similarities and differences.

What is an STD?

An STD is a sexually transmitted disease. Sometimes the term is used interchangeably with STI. No matter what you call it, both terms refer to diseases or infections you can contract during unprotected vaginal, anal, or oral sex.

Sometimes STDs have signs and symptoms, like burning or discharge. Other times, you may have no idea you’re infected and can pass the STD on to all your sexual partners. If you’re unsure whether you might have an STD, you can come by any of the Care Net Pregnancy Centers of Albuquerque’s convenient locations for free STD screening and testing.

What is an STI?

An STI is a sexually transmitted infection. You can get an STI in much the same way you get an STD: through unprotected sex. Sexually transmitted diseases and infections can damage your reproductive system and cause other long-term health consequences for both men and women.

If you’ve had unprotected sex – especially with multiple partners – it’s smart to get tested. It’s better to be safe than sorry if you have an STD or STI without any symptoms before more damage is done to your health.

free STD testing blood test
A free health screening and free STD testing can discover whether you have a sexually transmitted disease or illness.

How do you know if you have an STD or STI?

If you’ve had unprotected sex at any time, you’re at risk for an STD or STI. Any unprotected sexual contact – vaginal, anal, oral – puts you at serious risk. Not all people who get a sexually transmitted disease or illness know they have one. That’s why using protection every time you have sex is important for protecting your health.

Sexually transmitted diseases are caused by bacteria, viruses, or parasites. They move from one person to the next through blood, semen, and other bodily fluids. You won’t always know you or your partner have an STD or STI since they don’t always produce symptoms.

STD and STI symptoms

Symptoms of sexually transmitted diseases and illnesses can vary. Sometimes people confused the signs of an STD or STI with something else and can ignore it. Other times, there may be no symptoms present at all. Chlamydia is one of the STDs that rarely gives warning signs to the infected person. Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) is another STD that can act silent in your body. Most women find out they have it during their annual exams when a pap smear is taken for analysis.

If you do experience symptoms of an STD or STI, they might include:

  • Abnormal vaginal discharge, bleeding, rash, or odor.
  • Discharge from the penis.
  • Fever.
  • Lower abdominal pain.
  • Pain during sex.
  • Sores or bumps on or in the genital, oral, or rectal regions.

Most common types of STDs/STIs

There are many types of sexually transmitted diseases and illnesses. Some of the most common for both men and women include HPV (Human Papilloma Virus), chlamydia, gonorrhea, and herpes. HPV is one of the most dangerous, because it can cause oral and reproductive system cancers.

Since you won’t always have symptoms, testing is important. Care Net Pregnancy Centers of Albuquerque can give you peace of mind with a free screening and a free test for two of the more common STIs, chlamydia and gonorrhea. If you test positive, we can provide a prescription or refer you to a physician or clinic that can provide treatment.

free STD testing issues
STDs and STIs can cause lasting health issues, including infertility.

How do you get an STD or STI?

Sexually transmitted diseases and illnesses are mostly transmitted person-to-person through sexual activity. Although not very common, they also can be transmitted through other types of intimate contact. For some STDs, like trichomoniasis, you can contract it through contact with damp or moist towels, wet clothing, and even toilet seats. Having multiple sexual partners also increases your risk.

Pregnant women can pass STDs and STIs to their babies through the womb or during birth when the babies enter the birth canal. If you are pregnant or are thinking of becoming pregnant, it’s important to get tested for sexually transmitted diseases and illnesses for this reason.

Where can you get free STD/STI testing?

Sexually transmitted diseases and illnesses, if left untreated, can have long-lasting health consequences. Although women are more likely than men to suffer from ongoing issues, both men and women should be tested if they are sexually active.

Testing should especially be considered if you’ve had unprotected sex or have multiple sex partners. Most STDs and STIs are treatable and early detection are the best way to ensure a healthy outcome.

Contact Care Net today for safe and non-judgmental free STD testing for your best health.

why free pregnancy testing

3 Reasons to Get Free Pregnancy Testing

If you think you might be pregnant, you’re probably wondering about the next steps. Even if you haven’t yet missed a period, Care Net Pregnancy Centers of Albuquerque can validate your pregnancy status with our free pregnancy testing service.

With four convenient locations in and around Albuquerque, we make it easy to book an appointment to get tested. Walk-ins also are welcome at any of our sites, including our medical mobile unit.

How can you tell if you’re pregnant?

There are many signs that can point to pregnancy. Although women can experience different symptoms of pregnancy, some early warning signs are common. If you’re having any of the following symptoms, it’s worth exploring whether you’re pregnant.

  • A missed period can be one of the first indicators to alert you to a possible pregnancy.
  • Frequent urination happens in the early stages of pregnancy as your body ramps up production of the pregnancy hormones progesterone and human chorionic gonadotropin.
  • Fatigue can signal your body’s hormonal changes to support an early pregnancy.
  • Nausea and vomiting can happen anytime during your pregnancy but are most likely during the first trimester.
  • Tender breasts are another sign your hormones are fluctuating in early pregnancy.

There are some other less common symptoms that you might experience. Women unfamiliar with these as signs of pregnancy can overlook them.

  • Bloating.
  • Changes in mood.
  • Changes in the skin.
  • Food cravings.
  • Headaches and dizziness.
  • Light bleeding, spotting, or period-like cramping.
  • Metallic taste.

What are 3 reasons to get free pregnancy testing?

The symptoms of pregnancy can be linked to other illnesses. It’s important to confirm your intuition that you’re pregnant. If you discover you’re not pregnant after free pregnancy testing with Care Net, then you should schedule a follow-up appointment with your primary care doctor to explore other reasons for your condition.

Once pregnancy is confirmed, you’ll need to make an appointment with your doctor so you can get started taking prenatal vitamins and following other recommended regimens for a healthy pregnancy. 

free pregnancy testing confirming pregnancy
Confirming your home pregnancy test results is one of the many reasons why you should consider free pregnancy testing with Care Net.

Confirm your home test results

The first reason to get free pregnancy testing is to confirm you are, indeed, pregnant. While home pregnancy tests have come a long way and can be mostly accurate, they still don’t guarantee 100 percent accurate results.

Some home pregnancy tests differ in their ability to detect pregnancy in women who have recently missed a period. Other factors also can cause a false-negative or false-positive result.

False-positive results happen if you had a recent pregnancy loss or were taking a fertility drug containing HCG. They can also be caused by taking a home pregnancy test too early, testing with diluted urine, or not waiting the full period before reading the pregnancy test results.

An ectopic pregnancy, menopause, and ovary issues can produce incorrect pregnancy test results when testing at home. Care Net’s free pregnancy testing process uses hospital-grade kits to provide accurate results.

Explore your pregnancy options

Once your pregnancy is confirmed with a free pregnancy test, you can begin to explore your pregnancy options. Care Net’s knowledgeable staff can provide information about all your pregnancy options, including:

You can trust us to give you accurate details about each of your pregnancy options. While we do not refer or perform abortions, we do refer for adoption services, see our community referrals page for programs that can further assist you.

Provide proof of pregnancy

Whichever pregnancy option you choose, you must first have confirmation that you’re pregnant. It’s the first step toward getting pregnancy care from a medical professional who can guide you through the process associated with your pregnancy decision.

If you choose to work with an adoption agency, one of the primary requirements before they begin the placement process is to confirm your pregnancy. In addition to free pregnancy testing, adoption agencies might also request a free limited pregnancy ultrasound which can be done free of charge at one of our four locations.

free pregnancy testing adoption
Adoption is one of the pregnancy options you can choose once you confirm your pregnancy with free pregnancy testing.

What are my pregnancy options?

Sometimes a pregnancy confirmation is a joyous occasion – an awaited result of a planned pregnancy – with the soon-to-be parents anxious to raise their child. However, this is not always the case. A pregnancy confirmation might leave you surprised, worried, or wondering what to do next.

An adoption is a beautiful option. You can give others the opportunity to become parents when they haven’t been able to conceive on their own. Care Net can help you explore adoption, giving you the tools, resources, and guidance needed.

If you decide to explore parenting, we have pregnancy and parenting education resources that can help you prepare. Our parenting education classes and support groups make sure you’re up to the task of providing a healthy and safe environment for your baby.

Sometimes expectant parents decide abortion is the best choice for their situation. Care Net doesn’t provide or refer for abortion services. Our caring staff makes sure you have the most accurate and medically-sound information about abortion.

Where can you get free pregnancy testing?

Care Net is a safe place for women to confirm their pregnancies and explore their pregnancy options. We can provide free pregnancy testing and guidance in choosing the best pregnancy option for your situation.

Contact us today to begin your journey.

men abortion

What Men Need to Know About Abortion

Women facing an unplanned pregnancy – or who aren’t yet ready for the responsibility of raising a child – may consider abortion as one of their pregnancy options. Sometimes left out of the decision-making process are the men who fathered the babies.

Even when they are involved, some men find it difficult to provide the support their partners need to get through the process. Here is what men need to know about abortion if they want to support a friend or partner or are going through it themselves.

How are you feeling about abortion?

If your partner has told you she’s pregnant and is considering her pregnancy options, how are you feeling about abortion? Men often default to a “tough guy” persona instead of allowing themselves to experience the emotions that may come with this kind of life-changing news.

Being honest about how the possibility of abortion makes you feel – while allowing your partner to openly share her feelings – can be an important part of decision-making. Knowing you need to do it is easy. Navigating your way through the process can be more challenging.

Putting your feelings into words

There is no right or wrong way to feel when your partner tells you they’re considering an abortion. Some men feel guilty about causing an unwanted pregnancy. Playing the blame game doesn’t help either of you. It’s more important to talk about your feelings and discuss ways to prevent unplanned pregnancies in the future.

Men who wanted to become fathers may struggle significantly with putting their feelings into words with their partner. It’s important that they share their desire to keep the baby with their significant other. Expressing their commitment to raising a child might change their partner’s mind about having an abortion.

Seeking out the help of a counselor who can guide you through talking about your feelings can help in these situations.

Men can support their partners through abortion by letting them know they care about them.

How can men show their partners they care?

Showing their partner that they care can be as simple as letting them know they’re important and that they are there for them. Commit to exploring pregnancy options together and seeking out whatever help is needed to make the best choice. Offer to go with her to all her appointments, including a free limited pregnancy ultrasound to confirm the pregnancy.

Preserving their partner’s dignity and privacy throughout the entire process also demonstrates caring. Encourage her to seek out counseling to help with her choice, and to consider all her pregnancy options before settling on abortion. Never pressure her to do what you want or make her feel guilty about her choice.

Men who are having difficulty coping with their partner’s decision may benefit from counseling.

How do men heal from trauma after abortion?

Men can experience the same kind of emotional trauma as women before, during, and after an abortion. Those feelings can be intensified if they do not have the opportunity to discuss the best way to handle pregnancy with their partner before a decision is made.

Some of the possible emotions that men can undergo after an abortion include pain, regret, and shame. Even men who supported their partner’s choice to seek abortion can struggle with that decision afterward.

After abortion care can help both men and women heal emotionally and physically.

Abortion trauma in men can be difficult to spot, but may include an inability to control their anger.

Signs of abortion trauma in men

Abortion trauma can present itself in unsuspecting ways in men. They might find themselves struggling with newfound anger issues, substance abuse, and difficulties concentrating at work. Some of the other emotional and psychological symptoms of abortion trauma in men include:

  • Anxiety.
  • Depression.
  • Low self-esteem.
  • Panic attacks.
  • Suicidal thoughts.

Abortion trauma doesn’t just reveal itself through emotional symptoms. Men also might exhibit some uncharacteristic behaviors as well. They include:

  • Alcohol or drug addiction.
  • Frequent job changes.
  • Impotency.
  • Lacking trust.
  • Social isolation.
  • Withdrawal from normal activities.
  • Violence.

Men who experience any of these signs of abortion trauma can seek help.

Getting help with after-abortion trauma

Care Net Pregnancy Centers of Albuquerque offers after-abortion care resources to both men and women. Contact us to discuss your needs confidentially. We can help you find a support group location near you.

pregnancy ultrasound

Why You Need a Pregnancy Ultrasound

A pregnancy ultrasound can be an important part of your pregnancy. Whether your pregnancy was planned or unplanned, getting a pregnancy ultrasound can help you determine your next steps. Prenatal ultrasounds show you a picture of your baby as he or she is developing inside your womb. They can help your healthcare provider determine if you and your baby are both healthy.

If you’re on the fence about whether you should have one, read on to learn more about pregnancy ultrasounds and when you should consider requesting one.

What is a pregnancy ultrasound?

A pregnancy ultrasound, sometimes called a sonogram, uses sound waves to produce a picture of your developing baby. You also can use one to see your ovaries and uterus. Ultrasounds don’t use ionizing radiation, so they are perfectly safe for both your baby and you.

Some women get one ultrasound to confirm their pregnancy during the early part of the first trimester. Your doctor also might suggest having another one before 24 weeks of pregnancy to ensure the baby’s development is on schedule and that there are no other complications.

Standard pregnancy ultrasounds are what most women have, but there are more advanced options that provide 3-and-4-dimensional imaging for a more comprehensive examination of the fetus.

Who needs a pregnancy ultrasound?

Every woman should have at least one pregnancy ultrasound to confirm their pregnancy, especially if they’ve taken more than one pregnancy test and gotten different results. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that women get at least one sonogram between weeks 18 and 22 to detect any genetic abnormalities or other issues that may require immediate intervention.

Sometimes, parents ask for a pregnancy ultrasound for non-medical reasons, such as to determine the gender of their baby. While sonograms are safe, most healthcare practitioners discourage their frequent use if there is no medical purpose for performing one.

A second pregnancy ultrasound may be recommended between 18 and 22 weeks to check on the health of the baby.

What happens during a sonogram?

Sonograms done early in your pregnancy must be done transvaginally because the fetus is only about 2 centimeters long and may not appear on a regular ultrasound. Your ultrasound technician takes extra precautions to ensure your health and safety and that of your developing baby during the procedure. While it can be a little bit uncomfortable, a transvaginal sonogram should never be painful.

You may be asked to have a full bladder during your pregnancy ultrasound. It can seem like a bad idea to have a full bladder, but it helps produce a better sonogram image because it puts your uterus in an ideal position.

During the first sonogram, you can expect your technician to be looking for the following information:

  • Confirmation of pregnancy.
  • Fetal heartbeat.
  • Fetal size.
  • Single or multiple pregnancies.
  • Viability of fetus.

If you have any questions before the ultrasound, be sure to ask your sonographer or other trusted healthcare provider. Some pregnancy ultrasound providers offer free counseling to expectant mothers before the procedure.

Should you get a genetic screening ultrasound?

Later in your pregnancy, your OBGYN may offer you a genetic screening pregnancy ultrasound. You’re not required to have it, but you may find the information useful. Here are some questions to ask yourself before deciding if you want to go through with genetic screening.

  • Do I have a family history of birth defects/disorders?
  • Would I terminate my pregnancy if there was a risk of a genetic disorder?
  • Would knowing about any genetic defects make it easier to prepare for parenting emotionally and physically?

There are no right or wrong answers to any of these questions. Talking them through with a trusted healthcare provider or pregnancy counselor can help you come to a resolution.

Where can you get a pregnancy ultrasound?

Care Net Pregnancy Centers of Albuquerque offers free limited pregnancy ultrasounds. Our team uses a pregnancy ultrasound to confirm your pregnancy 6 weeks from the first day of your last menstrual period. You can use our free limited ultrasound to determine gestational age and the viability of your pregnancy. We do not offer additional pregnancy ultrasounds during your pregnancy, but we can refer you to a healthcare provider that does.

You can share the pregnancy ultrasound we perform with your regular healthcare provider if you have questions or require additional care or services that we don’t provide at Care Net. To schedule your free limited pregnancy ultrasound, contact any of our convenient locations.

abortion pill legal NM

Are Abortion Pills Still Legal in NM?

Are abortion pills still legal? Some women in New Mexico may be asking this question following the Supreme Court’s ruling on Roe v. Wade on June 24. The historic ruling has left women with questions about what pregnancy options still are available in New Mexico.

As of the writing of this article, abortion still is legal in Albuquerque. New Mexico and doesn’t have any of the abortion restrictions found in some other states. That doesn’t mean abortion is your only choice if you’re pregnant and not yet ready to become a parent.

Care Net Pregnancy Centers of Albuquerque is here to provide the answers and resources you need when faced with an unexpected pregnancy. Our supportive staff members make sure you understand all pregnancy options available to you.

Before you can be prescribed the abortion pill, your doctor must verify your pregnancy via ultrasound to ensure you’re not beyond the 10 weeks recommended for a chemical abortion.

How the abortion pill works

Abortion pills account for more than half of all abortions in the U.S. today. The two-pill method can be used in pregnancies up to 10 weeks but requires a prescription from a healthcare provider authorized to dispense medications in New Mexico.

Here’s how it works. Women receive two different doses of medication: mifepristone and misoprostol. They must take the mifepristone first, then wait 48 hours before taking the misoprostol. Mifepristone stops the pregnancy from growing, while misoprostol causes cramping and bleeding that empties the uterus.

Cramping and bleeding start 1 to 4 hours after taking the second dose of the abortion pill. Some bleeding and spotting are normal for a few weeks after taking the medication. However, a follow-up appointment with a healthcare provider is required to ensure the pill worked as intended.

Abortion pill vs. morning-after pill

It’s important to note that abortion pills and the morning-after pill are not the same things. Abortion pills require a visit to your doctor and a prescription to access them. The morning-after pill is an over-the-counter medication that women can purchase without first consulting their doctors.

Other differences include:

Accessing the abortion pill

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates the use of the abortion pill in the U.S. Access to the medication was expanded during covid, allowing women to request the abortion pill via a telehealth appointment instead of in-person. The change in FDA policy for the dispensing of the abortion pill also allowed it to be received in the mail instead of in-person at a pharmacy or doctor’s office.

In December 2021, the FDA made the decision to allow telehealth appointments and medication by mail for the abortion pill permanent.

Period-like cramping is normal after taking the second dose of the abortion pill. Severe abdominal pain may signal cause for concern and a call to your doctor.

Side effects of the abortion pill

While taking the abortion pill is relatively safe, it is not without risks. New Mexico law guarantees every woman the right to receive informed consent before taking the abortion pill or having another abortion procedure that includes:

  • Assessing the risks and side effects of each abortion procedure.
  • Learning about other pregnancy options.
  • Receiving an explanation of the abortion procedures available.

Women who take the abortion pill can expect to experience diarrhea, dizziness, headache, nausea, and vomiting. These are all normal reactions to taking the medication. Fever, heavy bleeding, and severe abdominal pain signal something more serious is happening that requires medical attention.

Changing your mind about the abortion pill

Sometimes women change their minds about having a medicated abortion. The good news is, if you’ve only taken the first dose of the abortion pill, you may be able to reverse the effects with the abortion reversal pill.

The abortion pill reversal procedure was developed as an emergency intervention for women who change their minds about having an abortion after they’ve started the chemical abortion process. While not always effective, it does have a 68 percent success rate when used as directed.  

It works by flooding a woman’s body with progesterone, which is the main hormone a woman’s body produces in early pregnancy to support the developing fetus. The abortion reversal pill is generally safe, but some side effects can include:

  • Breast tenderness or pain.
  • Constipation or diarrhea.
  • Fatigue or occasional tiredness.
  • Headache or migraine.
  • Muscle, joint, or bone pain.
  • Upset stomach.

The FDA doesn’t support progesterone use for reversing chemical abortions, but that doesn’t mean the process is unsafe or should be avoided. Our staff can provide you with more information about this pregnancy option during your confidential appointment.

Contact us today to discuss all your pregnancy options. We have four convenient locations in and around Albuquerque plus a medical mobile unit.

pregnancy options mental health

Pregnancy Options: Protecting Your Mental Health

Facing an unexpected pregnancy can leave you sorting through your pregnancy options. You might feel alone, confused, and overwhelmed throughout the process. Nearly half of all pregnancies are unplanned, but that doesn’t make it any easier to navigate through the situation when it happens to you.

If you find yourself with a positive pregnancy test and unsure of your pregnancy options, Care Net Pregnancy Centers of Albuquerque can help. We offer free pregnancy testing, free STD/STI testing, and free limited pregnancy ultrasounds.

One of the things our staff emphasizes is protecting your mental health as you explore your pregnancy options. Here are some helpful suggestions for safeguarding your emotional health.

Don’t let your thoughts consume you

It’s perfectly normal to feel a bit panicked if you discover you’re pregnant. You may start thinking about all the things you have to do until your thoughts literally consume you. Negative thoughts about your pregnancy options can be the most difficult – but not impossible – to overcome.

Losing the judgment about your situation can help you clear your head and start down the path toward making the best decision for your pregnancy. Care Net can help. We never judge you, shame you, use scare tactics to force you into a pregnancy option that is not best for your situation.

If you find you’re struggling to control your negative thoughts, we can refer you to support groups and other community resources you may find helpful during this time.

Getting help from the right sources while you explore your pregnancy options can help safeguard your mental health and well-being.

Get help from the right sources

Dealing with stressful situations is just a part of life. An unplanned pregnancy is about as stressful as it gets for some women. If you find yourself stuck in panic mode, getting help from the right sources can make all the difference. That’s where Care Net comes in.

Our team of caring professionals helps you navigate through all your pregnancy options. We can discuss adoption, abortion, and parenting. We never try to sway your decision-making process. You can feel safe and secure exploring your pregnancy options with us, knowing we give you access to the most accurate and medically-sound information for each of your choices.

You can schedule an appointment or walk-in at any of our locations to get the help you need.

Never ignore physical symptoms

Your body is a great indicator of how you’re feeling emotionally. When you’re stressed out and trying to make an important decision about your pregnancy, your body might send you signals that you’ve become overwhelmed and need help. Here are some of the physical signs you should never ignore about your mental health:

  • You have difficulty sleeping. Consistently getting less sleep can be a sign you’re not handling your emotions or your stress well. It’s normal to be a bit restless while exploring your pregnancy options. However, if you’re struggling to get a restful night’s sleep continuously, it’s time to speak with your doctor.
  • You get sick when you eat. Nausea can be a normal part of pregnancy. It also can be a sign that you’re suffering emotional distress. The longer you go without proper nutrition, the more you hurt your health and well-being.
  • You get terrible headaches. Pregnancy hormones can trigger headaches, but so can emotional stress. If you’re having headaches that are interfering with your sleep or other daily living activities, it’s time to seek help.

These are just a few of the most common physical symptoms of emotional stress. Speaking with a counselor or other medical professional can help you sort out what’s normal and what requires immediate intervention.

Seek help when needed

One of the things we repeat often here at Care Net is that you’re not alone. You don’t have to go through an unplanned pregnancy by yourself. Our team is here to help you through every step of your journey. We’ll explore all your pregnancy options with you and support whatever decision you make.

Care Net Pregnancy Centers of Albuquerque is a no-judgment zone. You can share your fears and goals for your pregnancy. We’ll be right there helping you with the resources you need to make the right choice for your situation. Drop by any of our center locations or contact us online to set up an appointment with one of our team members.

How to Deal with Abortion Guilt

Dealing with abortion guilt can be emotionally and physically draining. Whether you recently had an abortion, or it has been years since it happened, you might be struggling with your decision. Feeling regret or even sadness after an abortion isn’t unusual. Even if you know it was the right choice for your individual circumstances, it doesn’t make living with it any easier.

If dealing with abortion guilt has become a struggle for you, there are resources to help you cope. Care Net Pregnancy Centers of Albuquerque can help you sort through your emotions and refer you to after-abortion care programs designed to help you heal from your abortion trauma.  

What emotions can you feel after an abortion?

Every woman is different. What you feel after having an abortion may not be the same experience for another woman. Some of the most common emotions women reported feeling post-abortion included grief, guilt, sadness, and relief.

Depression after abortion

Women who initially feel relieved about their decision may later experience guilt over feeling happy about their choice. These feelings of guilt can eventually turn into depression. How can you tell if you’re depressed after an abortion? Look for these signs:

  • You struggle with feelings of irritability or anger.
  • You have a difficult time focusing and making decisions.
  • You lack energy and may be sleeping too much.
  • You lost interest in activities you previously enjoyed.

Grief after abortion

Even if you decide abortion is the best pregnancy option, you can still mourn the pregnancy afterwards. Grief after abortion can last for months or even years. Care Net Pregnancy Centers of Albuquerque offers one-on-one sessions with a trained member of our staff. We also can refer you to group or individual counseling services.

Relief after abortion

It’s OK to feel relieved after an abortion. Coping with an unplanned pregnancy can be stressful. After exploring all your pregnancy options, you may decide abortion is right for you. Feeling like a burden has been lifted can be a common feeling afterward.

Every woman is different. Some recover emotionally in a few weeks, while others may struggle for years and require counseling or support groups to cope.

How long does it take to recover emotionally from an abortion?

The short answer to this question is, it depends. For some women, they can rebound quickly. Others may struggle with their emotions and need mental health services to help them cope.  Healing emotionally after an abortion can happen sooner if you follow these steps.

  1. Allow yourself time to grieve
    Even if abortion was the right pregnancy option for your circumstances, you can still be sad about it. Allowing yourself time to grieve afterward can facilitate the healing process. If you had an abortion years ago but never gave yourself time to process your feelings, it’s never too late to do so, especially if you continue to struggle with the decision. Remind yourself that all feelings after an abortion are valid. Working through whatever you’re feeling is the first step toward healing.
  2. Find a safe space to process your feelings
    Processing your feelings after an abortion can be tricky. There’s no shame in realizing you need help to sort through them so your healing journey can begin. Finding a safe space to work through everything is essential. Care Net Pregnancy Care Centers of Albuquerque can be that safe haven for you.
  3. Share your story
    Sharing your story with other women who have been through abortion can help you heal faster. Group counseling sessions and support groups are ideal settings for connecting with other abortion survivors who share your grief, your guilt, or your relief. Care Net can refer you to these kinds of community resources to help you cope.  
Your partner may struggle with the decision to have an abortion and need additional support.

Can partners experience abortion guilt?

Absolutely. You’re not the only one who may be feeling guilty, angry, or grieving after an abortion. Your partner can struggle with all the same emotions. Very few studies have been done on the effects of abortion on men. The limited ones that exist confirm that men also may need emotional support after their partners choose abortion.

Men who pressured their partners into having an abortion may initially feel relief over their actions. Later, they can experience distress, guilt, and grief. These feelings can manifest differently in men than women. Men struggling with their feelings about their partner’s abortion can engage in self-destructive behavior. Drug and alcohol abuse are common.

If your partner is struggling with your decision to abort, support groups and counseling programs exist that can help them sort through their feelings.

Dealing with abortion guilt requires support

Care Net Pregnancy Centers of Albuquerque is a judgment-free zone. If you or your partner are having difficulty dealing with abortion guilt, we can help. Contact us today to schedule a session with a member of our caring staff at one of five convenient locations.

abortion clinic Albuquerque options

When Abortion Isn’t the Right Choice

Abortion isn’t the right choice for some women. They may be facing an unexpected pregnancy, but they already know visiting an abortion clinic in Albuquerque isn’t an alternative. That’s OK. When abortion isn’t the right choice for a woman, there are other pregnancy options.

Adoption, legal guardianship, and parenting are some of the other pregnancy options women can choose. Each comes with risks and rewards. Care Net Pregnancy Center’s caring staff members are here to help pregnant women explore their choices and identify the right one for their individual circumstances.

Reasons to avoid abortion clinics in Albuquerque

There are several reasons why a woman may not seek out services from an abortion clinic in Albuquerque. Some women hold a strong moral belief that guides them away from this pregnancy option. Others simply may not want to experience complications after the procedure, including damage to their uterine wall that would make future pregnancies high risk.

Whatever their personal preferences, women have an ally in Care Net Pregnancy Center. Our team provides updated information about all pregnancy options and helps women feel confident in whatever choice they make.

When abortion isn’t the right decision for a woman, adoption can be a viable pregnancy option.

Choosing adoption

Adoption can be a viable alternative to visiting an abortion clinic in Albuquerque. Roughly 135,000 children are adopted in the U.S. each year. Women who aren’t ready to be parents or who don’t have a good relationship with the baby’s father sometimes lean toward this pregnancy option. It allows them to bring their baby to term while ensuring he or she has a loving family to raise them.

Women who decide to place their baby for adoption have choices about the kind of adoption process they want. Two of the alternatives are open and closed adoptions, with each providing a different level of privacy and rights for birth mothers.

Open adoptions

Open adoptions provide birth mothers with the most contact with their children as they grow. Under this type of adoption, birth mothers and adoptive families stay in close contact. Women can write letters, make phone calls, and even have visitation rights with their children after the adoption becomes formalized.

When it comes to the best solution for the child, open adoptions offer them the best of both worlds. They can get to know their birth mothers while being raised by a loving adoptive family.

Closed adoptions

Closed adoptions offer the most privacy to birth mothers. No information about her or the adoptive family is shared. An adoption agency handles all arrangements, so the two parties never have contact. Each adoption agency has its own rules for handling closed adoptions, including criteria adoptive families must meet to qualify for adoption.

Choosing legal guardianship

Legal guardianship can be an option for women who feel unable to raise their children, but do not want to relinquish parental rights to them. This pregnancy option allows the birth mother to name a legal guardian.

Women dealing with circumstances that might prevent them from parenting may wish to consider legal guardianship. If their situation changes, they can become more involved in raising their children. Working with an attorney familiar with legal guardianship laws in New Mexico can ensure birth mothers navigate this option thoroughly before signing any agreements.

Something to consider with legal guardianship: birth parents may be required to make monthly child support payments. If finances are a reason for not choosing to parent, legal guardianship also might not be a reasonable alternative.

Choosing to parent can be scary, but Care Net provides resources to help with this pregnancy option.

Choosing to parent

Choosing to parent can be scary, especially when dealing with an unexpected pregnancy. Parenting is both rewarding and tough. With the right support and resources, choosing to become a parent can be easier.

Care Net Pregnancy Centers offers free pregnancy and parenting education for expectant couples. They can learn about their baby’s basic needs, plus how to provide emotional, physical, and social support as their child grows.  

Signing up for a parenting education class is easy. Contact us today to get started.

Choosing the best pregnancy option

There are no right or wrong pregnancy options. Everyone’s circumstances are different. Care Net Pregnancy Center’s staff never judges women. We simply help them discover the best choice and provide them with the resources they need.

options when pregnant test

What Are My Options When Pregnant?

Finding out you’re pregnant when you weren’t planning it can be terrifying and overwhelming. Knowing your options when pregnant can help calm your anxiety and help you cope with the decisions you must make moving forward. Whether you choose to keep your baby, place him or her for adoption, or have an abortion, requires careful consideration.

Any decision you make impacts you for the rest of your life. That’s why the compassionate staff at Care Net Pregnancy Centers of Albuquerque provides the guidance you need to make the right choice. You can make an appointment with one of our team members to discuss your options when pregnant. We never judge, only offer helpful advice and support.

Our team of advocates and licensed medical professionals provide information on the following options when pregnant:

Abortion clinics in Albuquerque

Care Net is not an abortion provider. We do not refer to abortion clinics in Albuquerque. However, our staff provides accurate, updated information about abortion if you determine that is how you wish to deal with an unplanned pregnancy. From pre-abortion care to post-abortion trauma therapy, we’re here for you every step of the way.

Services abortion clinics in Albuquerque offer

Most abortion clinics in Albuquerque offer chemical and surgical abortions. If you are less than 10 weeks pregnant, a chemical abortion using separate doses of Mifeprex and Mifepristone is usually recommended. You take the two medications 48 hours apart, then follow up with the abortion clinic or other healthcare provider.

If you decide to have a chemical abortion and change your mind before the second dose, our staff can provide you with information about the reverse abortion pill during your consultation with us.

A surgical abortion happens if you’re more than 10 weeks pregnant. There are several kinds of surgical abortion methods. Which one you receive depends on several factors, including how far along you are in your pregnancy.

Abortion costs and risks

How much an abortion costs depends on which kind you receive (chemical or surgical). Most insurance plans do not cover elective abortions. A 1998 ruling by the New Mexico Supreme Courts requires Medicaid to cover the costs of medically necessary abortion services.

While abortions are relatively safe, they are not entirely without risk. You may have a reaction to the anesthesia or develop blood clots or heavy bleeding after the procedure. Damage to the cervix and uterine wall also can happen.

Placing your baby for adoption with a loving family is one of your options when pregnant.

Placing your baby for adoption in Albuquerque

Another option when pregnant includes placing your baby for adoption with a loving family in Albuquerque. If adoption is a possibility for you, our staff can review how the process works. Care Net doesn’t provide adoption services, but we can refer you to community organizations that do.

If you realize you’re not ready for the responsibility of parenting, but having an abortion is not on your list of options, adoption can be a reasonable choice. Adoption agencies in Albuquerque offer different kinds of adoptions. You can find one that correlates with your preferences.

Open adoptions allow the birth mother and adoptive family to stay in touch. Semi-open adoptions give the birth mother the chance to meet the adoptive family before finalizing the adoption agreement. If you wish to maintain your privacy and anonymity, a closed adoption protects your confidentiality.

Parenting can be scary. That’s why we offer parenting education classes to help you prepare.

Becoming a parent

You may decide that even though your pregnancy was unplanned, you’d still like to become a parent. Parenting is a huge responsibility, chock full of challenges and uncertainties. Care Net helps you prepare with parenting education classes.  Our classes are free and include the following:

  • How to provide for your baby’s basic needs. Parenting skills aren’t inherent. They’re learned. Our parenting education programs teach you all about food, shelter, and protection and how to ensure your baby thrives from birth throughout childhood.
  • How to provide emotional support. Babies need more than food, shelter, and protection to thrive and survive. They also need love. Emotional support is a crucial component in a child’s mental health development. Learn the best tips for helping your child develop cooperation, self-control, and other social-emotional skills.
  • How to provide a safe environment. Babies are helpless. They need you to make sure they survive infancy. Part of keeping your baby safe means providing a secure environment.

Care Net for Options When Pregnant

Discussing all your options when pregnant helps you make the choice that’s right for you. Care Net’s staff never judges you or tries to guilt you into picking a solution that makes you uncomfortable. We’re here to listen and help, no matter what you decide. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation or to discuss the other services we provide.

abortion pill facts

Everything to Know About the Abortion Pill

More than half of all abortions in the United States occur from the abortion pill. Data from the Guttmacher Institute released in mid-February 2022 reveals the abortion pill accounts for 54 percent of all authorized abortions in the U.S. Those figures represent a substantial increase in women using the abortion pill, up from 39 percent in 2017.

Sometimes referred to as chemical abortion, the abortion pill uses a two-pill dose of medication to terminate a pregnancy. There are risks associated with using the abortion pill that must be considered before committing to the procedure.

In this article, we discuss what the abortion pill is, who can use it, and the side effects and risks of having a chemical abortion.

What is the abortion pill?

The abortion pill, also known as RU486, consists of a two-step medication administered to women who are less than 10 weeks pregnant. It’s a multi-step process that must be followed precisely or the medication can fail.

During the first phase, women are prescribed an oral drug called Mifeprex, which blocks the production of progesterone. An embryo can’t survive without this essential hormone. Within 48 hours of taking the Mifeprex, women then take a second medication called Mifepristone. It triggers heavy cramping and bleeding, which expels the contents of the uterus (including a fertilized egg or developing embryo).

How soon can you get a chemical abortion?

Women use the abortion pill up to around nine weeks of pregnancy. Never assume a pregnancy diagnosis based solely on a home pregnancy test. Women who test positive at home can visit any Care Net Pregnancy Centers of Albuquerque to receive a free pregnancy test that is more accurate. Our team can also perform a free limited pregnancy ultrasound to confirm a positive pregnancy test and to accurately date the pregnancy.

Once you confirm a pregnancy, you can visit your healthcare provider or an abortion clinic in Albuquerque if you wish to proceed with an abortion. Care Net does not perform abortions or make referrals for where to have the procedure done.

The abortion pill can be administered in the privacy of a woman’s home.

What happens during a chemical abortion?

A chemical abortion can happen at home. Women are prescribed the medication needed, provided with instructions for its administration, and sent home. Before doctors give their patients access to RU486, they evaluate their medical history and overall health. Many require an ultrasound to confirm pregnancy and ensure their patients are not experiencing an ectopic pregnancy.

After the medication is taken as prescribed, women must follow up with their doctors to make sure they’re healing properly. An exam can make sure women have not developed an infection or other complications from using the abortion pill.

Women should abstain from sexual relations for at least three weeks after having a chemical abortion to prevent an infection. Also, avoid using tampons until after the follow-up appointment.

What are the abortion pill’s side effects?

Most women don’t have serious side effects after taking the first dose of the abortion pill. If they do experience any issues, it’s usually nausea from the strong dose of hormones. The most severe side effects happen after taking the second dose of the prescribed medication. Here is what to expect:

  • Bleeding and cramping, starting 1 to 4 hours after taking the second dose.
  • Dizziness for up to 24 hours.
  • Fatigue for up to 24 hours.
  • Heavy bleeding, clotting, and cramping for several hours.
  • Low fever and chills that can last for up to 24 hours.

Women should expect to have a heavy period for 9 to 16 days. Some can bleed for 30 days. If bleeding continues after 30 days, women should call their doctors for a follow-up. Persistent heavy bleeding beyond the normal expectations for the abortion pill can signal an infection.

What are the abortion pill risks?

One of the biggest risks of the abortion pill is incomplete abortion. Women who fail to take the medication as prescribed can experience this complication. Moderate to severe bleeding with lower abdominal or pelvic pain can signal a failed chemical abortion.

Other risks can include an allergic reaction to the medications in the abortion pill, fever, and infection.

Having an ultrasound before taking the abortion pill ensures a woman is not beyond the first trimester of pregnancy, which can increase the risk of severe side effects and other complications.

Who should avoid the abortion pill?

The abortion pill is unsafe for women who are more than 10 weeks pregnant. Most healthcare professionals and abortion clinics in Albuquerque require a pregnancy test and ultrasound. They do this to confirm pregnancy and ensure a woman is not beyond the first trimester before prescribing the abortion pill.

Here are some other instances in which a woman should avoid having a chemical abortion:

Always be honest with your medical provider or abortion clinic in Albuquerque about your medical history when seeking the abortion pill. Being upfront about any conditions that might make RU486 unsafe is crucial for avoiding severe side effects.

What if women change their minds?

Women who change their minds about using the abortion pill have options if they haven’t yet taken the second dose. A technique called Abortion Pill Reversal (APR) serves as an emergency intervention. Our pregnancy center staff can discuss this pregnancy option with women who have second thoughts after taking the initial dose of the abortion pill.

Having an abortion is a difficult decision. For some women, it can seem like the best pregnancy option when faced with an unplanned pregnancy. Before choosing an abortion, consider seeking support at Care Net. Our caring staff provides the services needed to receive assistance and comfort during this difficult time.

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The information and graphics contained on this site are for informational and educational purposes only. This site is designed to promote broad knowledge of various pregnancy or sexual health topics and general understanding concerning pregnancy. It is not intended to be a substitute for legal advice, or professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Pregnancy and other health issues need to be diagnosed by your physician or other qualified health care provider in person. Home tests and online discussions do not qualify as diagnosis or advice for treatment. Make an appointment with one of our center medical team or with your physician to discuss any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment, and before undertaking a new health care regimen. Follow your medical provider’s instructions and never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking it because of something you have read on a website or social media.