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.

proof of pregnancy

How to Get Proof of Pregnancy

Finding out you’re pregnant when it wasn’t in your plans can be a shock to women and their partners. Sometimes they receive the news with joy and begin planning their future as parents. Other times, they may decide they are not prepared to take on the responsibilities of parenthood and explore adoption. Regardless of which path you choose you may require proof of pregnancy for several reasons. A pregnancy verification form can be provided by a healthcare professional or pregnancy verification testing site as evidence of pregnancy. Care Net Pregnancy Center of Albuquerque offers free pregnancy testing and free limited pregnancy ultrasounds that can be used as part of the pregnancy verification process.

What are some reasons to have proof of pregnancy?

There are several reasons why you might need proof of pregnancy. One of the most important is to receive Medicaid healthcare insurance under the Centennial Care program. Like most states, New Mexico’s Medicaid program provides healthcare coverage to low-income pregnant women who meet the earnings threshold requirements.

Medicaid requires specific documentation at the time of application for services. Verification of pregnancy form is among them. Specific guidance on how the information must be presented accompanies the application instructions. Applicants must present their proof of pregnancy results on official letterhead from any doctor, midwife, nurse, or other approved pregnancy testing location.

Other government assistance programs may require proof of pregnancy beyond Medicaid. They include:

Another reason you might need proof of pregnancy is when working with an adoption agency. Birth mothers must submit to a series of screenings before an adoption agency agrees to help them find adoptive parents for their children. Along with medical history and drug testing, birth mothers may be asked to provide verification of their pregnancy. Sadly, there are scammers who try to take advantage of people who want to become adoptive parents. Most reputable adoption agencies require proof of pregnancy before agreeing to represent birth mothers in their search for adoptive parents.

Making an appointment with your doctor or a testing facility once you receive a positive home pregnancy test is the next step in getting proof of your pregnancy.

Steps to take to confirm pregnancy

Most pregnancy verification forms require three separate steps to confirm pregnancy. From employers to health insurance providers, this multi-layer process protects birth mothers by providing ample evidence of their pregnancies. Here is each step and how to perform it.

Step 1: Take a home pregnancy test

As soon as you miss your period and suspect you are pregnant, take a home pregnancy test. While a personal test alone is not sufficient evidence of your condition, it is the first step most doctors and other pregnancy testing facilities require before conducting more thorough exams and tests to confirm or refute pregnancy.

Step 2: Schedule an appointment

If you already have a trusted healthcare provider, they should be your first call after receiving a positive home pregnancy test. Making an appointment and receiving confirmation of the visit serves as further documentation of your pregnancy. If you don’t have an established relationship with a medical practitioner, you can visit any one of our Care Net Pregnancy Centers of Albuquerque sites or our medical mobile unit to receive free pregnancy testing.

Step 3: Get verified

Following your visit to a healthcare provider or another pregnancy testing center to confirm your pregnancy, ask for the pregnancy verification letter on official letterhead. Alternatively, you also can download a pregnancy verification form and ask the medical professional to sign it and include evidence of their credentials. Either is accepted by most places that require proof of pregnancy.

Scheduling an appointment with Care Net

Care Net Pregnancy Centers of Albuquerque makes it super easy to schedule your free pregnancy testing or free limited pregnancy ultrasound. You can call any of our five physical locations or our medical mobile unit to arrange to test. Contact information for each of our sites is available on our website. Our caring staff conducts confidential testing and provides the documentation you need to get the help necessary for supporting your pregnancy.

drugs while pregnant

The Risks of Drug Use During Pregnancy

Drug use during pregnancy comes with many risks, including the potential for birth defects among the most serious. Illicit drugs like cocaine, ecstasy, heroin and other hallucinogens can do damage to both the mother and the developing fetus. However, they are not the only drugs that pose a hazard. Alcohol and some over-the-counter medications can contribute to birth defects and other developmental issues. Women who are abusing drugs or alcohol when they become pregnant must seek immediate care to protect their health and well-being, and that of the baby.

How do drugs cause birth defects?

More than half of all pregnant women take prescription medication or nonprescription medications during pregnancy. Another 5 percent admit to using social drugs (like alcohol) and taking illicit drugs at some time during their pregnancies. Almost all drugs eventually cross the placenta, which makes taking any medications during pregnancy risky.

Drugs that can do the most damage to the fetus are those that cross the placenta. Scientists have determined the most likely drugs – prescription and illicit – to cross the placental barrier include the following characteristics:

  • They have a low molecular weight.
  • They are fat soluble.
  • They lack binding properties.

Anesthetics, narcotics, and steroids are among the prescription drugs which fit into this risk category. Alcohol and all illicit drugs easily pass the placental barrier.

What kind of drugs carries the most risk?

One of the most dangerous drugs for pregnant women is isotretinoin, sold under the brand name Accutane. A powerful drug used to treat acne, Accutane increases the chances of your baby being born with serious birth defects by 35 percent. The drug is closely monitored by the FDA and prescribing doctors to ensure women prescribed the medication do not continue use if they become pregnant.

Other prescription drugs that pose the highest threat to a developing baby include:

  • Anticonvulsants for controlling seizures (Depakote, Dilantin, Lamictal, Tegretol, Topamax).
  • Antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications.
  • Anti-nausea medications (Zofran).
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

The safety of some over-the-counter medications is unknown, making them risky to use during pregnancy. Clinical recommendations from the American Association of Family Physicians provide insight into which non-prescription drugs pose the most threat to a developing fetus.

All illegal drugs can cause serious harm to your baby. You must avoid them during pregnancy, or seek help if you have an addiction, to protect your health and that of the developing fetus.

Graphic courtesy Merck Manual for Gynecologic Professionals.

How drugs affect child development

Nonprescription, prescription, and illegal drugs can cause visible birth defects. They also can cause behavioral, emotional, and social disorders. Children born to mothers addicted to alcohol and other substances have higher rates of anxiety, depression, and oppositional behavior. Certain drugs, especially illicit substances, can impact the brain’s development in the womb, which can lead to later deficits in short-term and long-term cognitive functioning.

In addition to birth defects, the greatest risk of using drugs and alcohol during pregnancy is the chance of stillbirth. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the likelihood of stillbirth increases with the following:

  • Marijuana use – 1.8 to 2.8 percent increase.
  • Prescription pain medications – 2.2 percent increase.
  • Stimulant use – 2.2 percent increase.
  • Tobacco use – 2.3 percent increase.

Symptoms of drug withdrawal in newborns

Newborns subjected to drug or alcohol use while in utero can display signs and symptoms of withdrawal up to 14 days after birth. Some of the most common indicators include:

  • Abnormal sucking reflex.
  • Blotchy skin tone.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Excessive crying.
  • Fever.
  • Hyperactive reflexes.
  • Poor feeding.
  • Rapid breathing.
  • Seizures.
  • Sleep difficulties.
  • Sweating.
  • Trembling.
  • Vomiting.

These effects can be long-lasting, even when treated by medical professionals immediately after birth. Doctors can test babies to determine if they suffer from Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS). Testing can reveal the severity of withdrawal symptoms, which are used to determine the best course of treatment. Babies may require medication to treat severe withdrawal symptoms, plus fluids to keep them from becoming dehydrated.

Risks with using drugs during breastfeeding

The risk for developmental delays and other harm does not end once the baby is born. Mothers who plan to breastfeed can pass along drugs and alcohol in their breastmilk. Some substances pass through your milk at higher levels than others. Premature babies, newborns, and babies born with poorly functioning kidneys are most at risk for complications of drugs or alcohol in their mother’s breastmilk. Some prescription medications and over-the-counter drugs are safe to take while breastfeeding. Your medical provider can offer guidance.

Help for pregnant mothers using drugs or alcohol

Care net Pregnancy Centers of Albuquerque offers free pregnancy testing and free limited pregnancy ultrasounds to pregnant women struggling with addiction. All appointments and testing are confidential. Our staff can refer pregnant women to community resources to help them overcome addiction during pregnancy. Contact us today to schedule your free and private consultation at one of our convenient locations.

sexual abuse pregnancy

Sexually Abused and Pregnant? We Can Help.

Sexual abuse victims who become pregnant have some tough choices ahead of them. For some women, the thought of giving birth after being raped causes further emotional trauma. Others may struggle with personal convictions about life that convince them they should carry the pregnancy to term. Whether they then choose to parent or place their baby for adoption after birth also is part of the decision-making process.

No matter which scenario applies to your personal situation, Care Net Pregnancy Centers of Albuquerque is here to help. Our team does more than guide sexual abuse victims through the process of handling a pregnancy. They also can test for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and sexually transmitted infections (STI) to ensure the baby and mother are healthy. Care Net connects pregnant abuse victims with the resources they need to recover emotionally and physically.

How many women are sexually abused?

Sexual abuse and violence affect one out of every six American women in their lifetime. Pregnancy resulting from sexual abuse happens in 6 percent of rapes of women of reproductive age (12 to 45). Women can be sexually abused by a stranger or someone who is known to them. In some cases, they are raped or sexually coerced by an intimate partner.

Rape-related pregnancy is similar across racial and ethnic groups, according to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Choices for sexual abuse victims who become pregnant

Sometimes sexual assault victims who become pregnant from the abuse feel victimized twice. These feelings are normal and never should be ignored or minimized by healthcare professionals or others providing care to the victim. Care Net Pregnancy Centers of Albuquerque is a no-judgment zone. Our primary concern is your health and safety. Whether you choose abortion, adoption, or parenting, our caring staff is here to help you through every step of the process. We also connect you with the resources you need to help you heal from sexual abuse trauma. If you choose abortion or adoption, we have support services in place to help you through the normal feelings and struggles you may have afterward. Whatever you choose, we are here for you.

Sometimes sexual abuse victims who become pregnant are forced by their abusers to have an abortion to hide the abuse. Victims who have been forced to terminate their pregnancies can suffer long-term emotional and physical trauma. Our team can connect victims in this situation with the resources they need to heal emotionally and physically from sexual abuse and trauma.

Spotting the warning signs of sexual abuse

Many sexual abuse victims suffer in silence because the people around them have no idea they are victims of something so horrific. There are behavioral, emotional, and physical signs of sexual abuse. Learning to spot them can mean the difference between a victim getting the help they need and continued suffering.

Some of the most common warning signs include:

  • Difficulty concentrating.
  • Emotional outbursts.
  • Extreme objection to odors, sounds, or specific people and situations.
  • Fear of being alone.
  • Inability to establish healthy boundaries.
  • Memory loss.
  • Restlessness or sleeplessness.

If you suspect someone is the victim of sexual abuse, reach out to the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline toll-free at 800-656-4673. The trained staff members can connect you with services in your area that can investigate and provide support to the victim of sexual abuse if it is confirmed.

How sexual abuse sabotages a healthy pregnancy

Beyond a woman becoming pregnant because of sexual abuse or other sexual violence, being sexually abused also can affect future pregnancies. Women who later choose to become pregnant with their partners can suffer the unwanted emotional side effects of their earlier trauma. All victims have triggers that can remind them of the crime to which they were subjected. For sexual abuse sufferers, one of those triggers can be their bodies. While they chose to become pregnant and are happy about their decision, that does not mean their pregnancy won’t generate unwanted feelings.

Pregnancy and childbirth can generate unwanted feelings during:

  • Routine prenatal care and exams.
  • Invasive delivery interventions.
  • Power struggles between the patient and her doctor.

Any of these scenarios can trigger a fight, flight, or freeze response in a pregnant woman who previously suffered from sexual abuse. Pregnancy – even one that is planned and perceived as a joyous occasion – can trigger higher levels of anxiety and fear in sexual abuse survivors.

Turn to Care Net for help

Victims of sexual abuse can seek help at any of our locations directly, no questions asked. We protect your confidentiality and will connect you with the resources you need to heal from the trauma. If you are pregnant, we can ensure you have the guidance needed to make the best decision about your pregnancy. Contact us at any time to learn more.

low-cost free prenatal care

How to Find Low-Cost or Free Prenatal Care

Finding low-cost or free prenatal care is a priority for women who choose to become parents. It can be a deciding factor in the choice a woman makes about how to handle her pregnancy. Sometimes pregnancy happens when you least expect it. Missing out on the ability to obtain reasonable healthcare and wellness checks throughout their pregnancy can have devastating results. A lack of prenatal care in the U.S. continues to impact how healthcare is delivered to women, including pregnant women. Gaining access to prenatal care and affordability of prenatal care are two aspects most pregnant women say need improvement in the U.S. If the only thing influencing whether a woman continues with her pregnancy is accessibility and cost, Care Net Pregnancy Centers of Albuquerque can help.

How prenatal care works

Most women do not need their first prenatal checkup until 10 to 12 weeks into their pregnancy. This first appointment follows a pregnancy confirmation visit between 5 and 8 weeks when most women first realize they may be pregnant. Women can expect a comprehensive examination during the first prenatal care appointment. Most obstetricians conduct an exam, listen for a heartbeat, and order routine physical and prenatal labs.

Pregnant women can expect other prenatal visits on this recommended schedule:

  • Weeks 12-27 – one prenatal visit per month.
  • Weeks 28 to 36 – one prenatal visit every two weeks.
  • Weeks 26 to 4 – one prenatal visit every week.

Weekly prenatal checkups continue until labor begins. Women who are pregnant with twins or who have any complications may need more frequent visits.

Risk factors that influence the frequency of prenatal care

Recommended prenatal care is not set in stone. Some risk factors can increase the number of times a pregnant woman must be seen. Additional fetal monitoring may be part of the process under certain conditions. Here are a few of the times when pregnant women may need more frequent prenatal care.

  • Age. Women older than 35 have an increased chance of having a baby with a birth defect. There also is a higher risk of complications during delivery.
  • Multiples. Women who are pregnant with twins have a higher risk of complications and must be observed carefully by medical providers throughout their pregnancies and deliveries.  
  • Pre-existing health conditions. Women with a history of diabetes or high blood pressure are among those at higher risk during pregnancy. Close monitoring of these and other pre-existing health conditions can ensure the health of the mother and the baby.
  • Pregnancy-induced complications. Some risk factors only happen after a woman becomes pregnant. They include gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, and preeclampsia. Women who develop any complications require additional monitoring.
  • Preterm labor. Pregnant women showing signs of going into early labor must be monitored more closely during pregnancy, which can mean more frequent visits and additional testing.
Ultrasounds may be part of a pregnant woman’s prenatal checkup.

How to find affordable or free prenatal care

Care Net Pregnancy Centers of Albuquerque offers free pregnancy testing and free limited pregnancy ultrasounds to pregnant women. Confirming a pregnancy is the first step in the decision-making process. Women who decide to continue with their pregnancies have two options: adoption or parenting. Choosing to work with an adoption agency means an expectant mother receives prenatal care and any other medical attention needed throughout her pregnancy and delivery. Ensuring a healthy baby for adoptive parents is a priority for most adoption agencies. While Care Net does not handle adoptions, our staff can make community referrals for programs that can assist if a woman chooses to go this route.

Women who want to become parents but need help finding low-cost or free prenatal care have options as well. Among their choices:

  • Medicaid. Most (but not all) states provide low- or no-cost medical coverage through their Medicaid insurance programs for pregnant women. Eligibility factors can include household size, income, and residency. New Mexico is one of the states that provides comprehensive medical coverage to pregnant women. Our team at Care Net can help connect pregnant women with their local assistance office to get started with this process.
  • Affordable Care Act. Pregnant women who do not qualify for Medicaid because of income levels or other criteria that makes them ineligible can shop for insurance plans on the New Mexico state-run exchange. Women at certain income thresholds qualify for government subsidies that can significantly reduce the cost of healthcare through the exchange.
  • Prenatal care clinics. New Mexico offers several free prenatal care clinics for women who are uninsured or underinsured. They charge based on income levels and need. Care Net can help connect pregnant women with these resources.

Care Net for affordable pregnancy care

The caring staff at Care Net Pregnancy Centers of Albuquerque wants to support women in their pregnancy decisions. Helping pregnant women gain access to low-cost or free prenatal care is part of the services we provide. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation with our knowledgeable staff.

homeless and pregnant

Homeless and Pregnant? How to Get Help.

Finding out you are pregnant can be scary enough without the added complication of homelessness. Maybe you already were displaced when you became pregnant. Or maybe you were thrown out of your home once you revealed you were pregnant to family members or your landlord. Regardless of the reason, homelessness poses a health and safety risk for both the mother and her unborn child. Pregnant homeless women are more likely to face complications than their sheltered counterparts, according to a study published by Health Affairs. Among the most common health issues for homeless pregnant women were anemia, early labor, hemorrhaging, and hypertension.

Homeless women who are pregnant have options beyond homeless shelters, which also can pose certain risks to them and their babies. A pregnancy help center can offer alternatives.

Exploring your unplanned pregnancy options

Before you make any decisions about your pregnancy, it is a good idea to confirm you are pregnant and how far along you are in your pregnancy. Care Net Pregnancy Center offers free pregnancy testing and free limited pregnancy ultrasounds. Our results are quick and accurate, so pregnant women have the facts they need to move forward.

Homeless women who did not intend to become mothers have unplanned pregnancy options: abortion, adoption, and parenting. Whichever options you choose, Care Net Pregnancy Center is here to help you through it.

Abortion

It is never an easy decision to terminate a pregnancy. Women who wish to pursue this pregnancy option can find help and support at Care Net Pregnancy Center. From pre-abortion care to post-abortion trauma therapy, our team is here to help you through every step of the process. Our center does not perform or refer for abortions. Women who opt for abortion must find their own abortion provider.

Adoption

Adoption is a good alternative for women who are not yet ready to be parents, but who also cannot make the decision to have an abortion. There are four different types of adoption: open, semi-open, semi-closed, and closed. The one you choose depends on whether you wish to remain in contact with your child and their adoptive family. Care Net Pregnancy Center offers pre-adoption and post-adoption education services.

Parenting

Women who decide to raise their babies have all help and encouragement they need with free parenting education classes and support groups through Care Net Pregnancy Center. Our Earn While You Learn program provides resources like maternity and baby items and other necessities.

Find homeless shelters for pregnant women

Until you decide what you want to do about your pregnancy, you will need shelter. Even after you decide that you want to adopt or parent, accessing housing is a priority for your health and that of your baby. Pregnant women are considered a priority need for housing. Agencies will work diligently to find you a suitable shelter. National programs like the Homeless Prenatal Program can assist with finding women’s shelters designed to accommodate pregnant women. If you decide to work with an adoption agency, your liaison with the agency can assist in finding you a suitable shelter. Some adoption agencies have housing options for pregnant homeless women who are their clients to ensure their health and well-being until delivery.

If you were evicted from your home after revealing you were pregnant to your landlord, you may have legal recourse. The Federal Fair Housing Act makes it illegal for a landlord to evict you based solely on the fact you are pregnant. If you have been evicted for no other reason than pregnancy, you can file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Financial help for pregnant homeless women

Medicaid offers certain benefits for homeless pregnant women. Several government organizations assist pregnant women, including those who are without adequate shelter. Here are some resources that can help:

  • Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Program offers nutritional food and education. Some screening services also are provided for women during pregnancy and through six weeks after birth. Breastfeeding mothers qualify for assistance that can last from six months to a year after birth.
  • Pregnancy Medicaid is a state-administered program. The federal government established general guidelines for medical assistance, but each state determines specific requirements.
  • Section 8 Housing, also known as the Housing Choice Voucher Program, helps with rental expenses.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) also provides several grant programs to assist the homeless, including pregnant women.

Secure housing for all pregnant women

Care Net Pregnancy Center is committed to helping all pregnant women find secure housing. Our community referrals program connects homeless pregnant women with resources designed to find the best housing solution. Walk into any of our clinic locations or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.

one-night stand

The Dangers of One Night Stands

Casual sex. Those two words sound so harmless until you realize they are not. There is nothing casual about sex with a person you have just met. Whether you are out for a night on the town with friends or using a dating app to find potential partners, hooking up can have devastating consequences. When alcohol is involved with the decision, it increases the likelihood both parties will make poor choices, like engaging in unprotected sex. Bad decisions lead to serious outcomes, like contracting sexually transmitted diseases and unplanned pregnancy. Yet, nearly 60 percent of men and women in the U.S. admit to having a one night stand at least once in their lifetimes.

Before you make the decision to be intimate with someone you have just met or barely know, take a few moments to read up on the lifetime of consequences you may face from that one choice.

Why do people have one-night stands?

There are several reasons why you may feel compelled to have a one-night stand. Some people like the anonymity of it, feeling freer to engage in sexual acts with a stranger they likely will never see again. Others may have just left a long-term relationship and do not want to jump right back into anything serious, so casual hook-ups seem like a better alternative to them. Still, others may have done it before, enjoyed it, and sought out that same feeling again. Research shows 35 percent of women and 20 percent of men regret the decision to have a one-night stand, even if they do not suffer serious consequences from their actions.

One-night stands and STDs

One of the biggest risks of having a one-night stand is the increased risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) or sexually transmitted infections (STIs). According to the STD Center, the risk of acquiring specific STDs from one instance of unprotected sex depends on the type of STD. Here is the breakdown:

TYPE OF STDVAGINAL SEXANAL SEX
HIV0.05-0.1%Receptive Sex: 1.4% Insertive sex: 0.06-0.16 %
Herpes0.3-0.7 percentNo exact data available
Gonorrhea20 percentReceptive Sex: 84% Insertive sex: 30-60%
Chlamydia4.5%32%
Syphilis51-64%30-60%
HPV4%Receptive Sex: 33.7-85.7% Insertive sex: 0.8-14.2%
Chart showing the risk for contracting an STD after a one-night stand.

Syphilis carries the highest risk for both vaginal and anal sex, with Gonorrhea the second most common type of STD contracted during one-night stands where safe sex practices were not used.  Even when partners use condoms, they can still spread certain sexually transmitted diseases like genital warts, herpes, and syphilis because those diseases are contracted through skin-to-skin contact.

If you had unprotected sex or have concerns about your health following a one-night stand, you can talk with one of our staff members. Care Net offers free STD/STI testing at select locations throughout Albuquerque.  Contact us to schedule an appointment at one of our four locations. When you receive free STD testing with us, you must make a follow-up appointment within 2 to 7 days to discuss your test results. If you test positive for any of the STDs/STIs we test for, our staff will refer you to the appropriate treatment center.

One-night stands and pregnancy

STDs and STIs are not the only unfortunate consequence of having casual sex. Unplanned pregnancies also can occur after hook-ups. Statistical evidence backs up the claim that women can be more reckless about their sexual choices when they are ovulating. Because women can feel more driven to have sex around the time they ovulate, it increases their chances of having an unintended pregnancy if they satisfy their hormonal urges with a casual hook-up that forgoes protection.

Becoming pregnant after a one-night stand can leave you with some difficult choices. If alcohol or drugs were part of the hook-up, your baby could be born with birth defects or other abnormalities. If your partner had an STD or an STI, that could pass to you and the baby. Certain STDs and STIs come with a higher risk for birth defects.

If you are concerned about the possibility of pregnancy after casual sex, Care Net can help. We offer free pregnancy testing. Appointments last between 30 and 60 minutes, and you know before you leave our offices if you might be pregnant. If your pregnancy test comes back positive, our staff will refer you for additional services.

Recovering from one-night stands

One poor choice does not have to define the rest of your life. Having a one-night stand does not mean you are a bad person. Care Net is a judgment-free zone. Our caring staff will never try to make you feel bad for your situation or any choices you make. Call any of our four locations or contact us online to schedule your confidential appointment today.

free pregnancy test and ultrasound

Pregnant? What’s your next step?

Nausea, fatigue, and those frequent trips to the bathroom can all be indications that a woman might be pregnant. Many women miss those early warning signs and do not suspect pregnancy until they miss a period. Even then, some women still do not worry about it because they may be prone to irregularity. It may take several months to spot – and correctly interpret – pregnancy symptoms.

Whether planned or unintended, a pregnancy can be a life-changing moment for most women. The first thing many women do is buy a home pregnancy test, pee on the stick, and wait for their results to confirm their suspicions. Trusting the results can be a little trickier. While home pregnancy tests claim 99 percent accuracy, they differ in their ability to diagnose pregnancy in women who already have missed a period.

Women who want to be certain about their negative – or positive – pregnancy test results can take a few steps to confirm their results. Getting a free pregnancy test and ultrasound is one of the first things they should do.

What interferes with results?

Women who have a negative test but exhibit typical signs of pregnancy have reason to doubt the results. Home tests work by detecting the presence of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) in urine. A few things can interfere with the ability to accurately measure hCG at home. Improperly using the test, testing too soon, using an expired test, and diluting your urine by drinking too much water before taking the test all influence the results. These things usually produce false negatives.

Some medications can mess with home pregnancy test results, triggering false positives. Women using fertility-enhancing medications like Clomid often get incorrect results from home testing. Clomid works by using a “trigger shot” of another medication designed to mature a woman’s eggs and induce ovulation. It can take 10 days for a woman’s system to clear this synthetic form of hCG. Pregnancy testing before the 10 days is up can produce a false positive.

How to be sure you’re pregnant

Free pregnancy ultrasound clinics can help confirm or refute a positive home pregnancy test. Most free pregnancy ultrasound clinics offer women a free pregnancy test and ultrasound. How does this help? Clinics like Care Net Pregnancy Centers of Albuquerque use hospital-grade pregnancy tests that can detect levels of hCG in urine sooner – and more reliably – than over-the-counter pregnancy tests. Our free pregnancy testing centers can detect hCG as soon as three weeks after a woman’s last period. Appointments take between 30 and 60 minutes, but women never have to wait long for an answer. We have results to share within three to five minutes of administering the test.  

If our testing returns a positive result, we follow up with a free pregnancy ultrasound. We do this for two reasons:

  1. To confirm the pregnancy.
  2. To learn information about the development of the fetus to determine an estimated due date.

Our free pregnancy ultrasound can be shared with a woman’s regular OBGYN or another healthcare provider to help guide her pregnancy care.

Free pregnancy ultrasound: what to expect

Free pregnancy ultrasound clinics have trained staff to administer ultrasounds. Women who have never had an ultrasound may have questions about what to expect. Ultrasounds do not use ionizing radiation, so they are safe for both mother and baby. Women must come with a full bladder to their ultrasound to ensure clearer imaging results. We recommend drinking at least 32 ounces of water at least an hour before the ultrasound.

Limited pregnancy ultrasounds answer specific questions about the fetus:

  • Is the pregnancy inside the uterus?
  • Can we measure the baby?
  • Can we hear the baby’s heartbeat?

Our ultrasound technicians do not provide comprehensive evaluations of fetal anatomy, developmental abnormalities, or gender during the ultrasound. Expectant mothers must follow up with their regular healthcare provider for those services. Women who need referrals for healthcare practitioners or other professionals to help them make decisions about their pregnancies can request assistance.

Scheduling a free pregnancy ultrasound

Care Net Pregnancy Care Centers is here to help women through every step of their pregnancies. We offer the services women need to make the best decisions about their pregnancies. We have four locations plus a medical mobile unit. Reach out to us today to schedule your free pregnancy test and ultrasound.

morning sickness

How to Fix Morning Sickness

Morning sickness is an unfortunate side effect of pregnancy. For some women, experiencing the waves of nausea and queasiness clue them in to the fact that they might be pregnant. Not every woman suffers from morning sickness. Only about 70 percent of women report this unpleasant result from pregnancy hormones surging through their bodies. Of those, 3 percent report nausea and vomiting as severe enough to warrant a call to their doctors.

While morning sickness might be a normal part of pregnancy, that does not mean you do not have to silently suffer through it. There are things you can do to help minimize your risk and reduce symptoms if you have them.

What causes morning sickness?

In one word, hormones. Specifically, the pregnancy hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) and estrogen. Pregnant women suddenly experience dramatic increases in both estrogen and progesterone, as well as changes in the production and function of other key hormones in their bodies. All these rapid shifts can cause moodiness. They also can cause what is commonly called morning sickness. Do not be fooled by the name. Although it can be more common first thing in the morning, women can be struck by nausea and vomiting at any time during the day.

How long does morning sickness last?

Most women who experience it say the queasiness and throwing up start around their fifth or sixth week of pregnancy. The worst part of it tends to happen around 9 or 10 weeks because that is when levels of hCG are at their highest. Around 11 weeks, hCG levels begin a downward spiral and drop by nearly half around week 15. The good news is for most women, the symptoms resolve by the beginning of the second trimester.

Natural remedies for morning sickness

Women with severe morning sickness who risk becoming dehydrated should contact their healthcare provider immediately. Prescription medications like Reglan and Zofran can help extreme cases of nausea and vomiting. If your morning sickness is mild to moderate, these natural approaches can help ease your discomfort.

  1. Eat smaller, more frequent meals
    While eating may be the last thing on your mind when you have nausea, not eating can make your upset stomach worse. Eating a large meal is not the best approach (and just gives your stomach more ammunition to expel). Instead, focus on eating smaller meals more often. Instead of the typical breakfast, lunch, dinner routine, try having five to six smaller meals spaced out throughout the day. Balance your meal choices with protein and carbohydrates. To ease the early morning get-out-of-bed-queasies, keep some plain crackers or dry cereal at your bedside and have a few before trying to get up.
  2. Avoid trigger foods
    Fatty and greasy foods might taste good going down, but they can wreak havoc on pregnant bellies. The list of foods to avoid list includes those that are too sweet or spicy and raw veggies because they can cause gas. High protein, carbohydrate-rich foods seem to work well for women experiencing morning sickness issues. The blander, the better. Another trick is to avoid eating and drinking at the same time. Try eating your meal first. Wait about 15 to 20 minutes, then drink something.
  3. Avoid strong odors
    Smoke, perfumes, and anything that carries a strong scent – even otherwise pleasing smells – can trigger nausea in pregnant women. Some women report not being able to tolerate the odor of cooking meat and other dishes they once enjoyed. Pregnant women who must cook should open windows and turn on ventilation systems to help keep odors at a minimum.
  4. Take prenatal vitamins at the right time
    Iron is one of the many vitamins and minerals pregnant women need to stay well and to help the healthy development of their babies. Prenatal vitamins include higher doses of iron than what is found in regular daily vitamins. When taken on an empty stomach, that extra iron can trigger your nausea and vomiting. Instead of taking prenatal vitamins in the morning, consider taking them at bedtime. That gives your body time to absorb the iron in case you experience nausea and vomiting in the morning.
  5. Stay hydrated
    Throwing up can cause dehydration, which is not a good thing during pregnancy. It might seem like a fruitless effort when your stomach is queasy, but the more dehydrated you become, the more you will vomit. It is a vicious cycle. Eating salty foods – which can settle nausea – prompts your body’s thirst response. You can calm your stomach and drink fluids at the same time. Sports rehydration liquids like Gatorade and Powerade can help stave off dehydration and help with upset tummy at the same time.

Help for pregnant women

Learning how to deal with morning sickness is just one of the things pregnant women must face. Care Net Pregnancy Centers has a multitude of resources for pregnant women and their partners. Reach out to us today to learn how we can help support your healthy pregnancy.

surprise pregnancy

Surprise Pregnancy? Do These 5 Things Now

A surprise pregnancy can leave you feeling anxious and unsure of what to do next. You may feel like you failed somehow and panic about the next steps you must take to respond. You are not alone. Finding out you are pregnant is a shock for nearly half of all women in the U.S. each year. The latest figures from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reveal that millions of women – married, unmarried, young, and old – deal with unexpected pregnancies.

Once you get past the initial shock, there are five things you can do to begin addressing your situation.

1 – Verify the surprise pregnancy

This may seem like common sense, but sometimes you get so caught up in the moment you forget that home pregnancy tests can produce false positives. Home pregnancy tests measure the level of Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG) in your urine. hCG is known as the “pregnancy hormone” because women only produce it in their bodies during pregnancy. The reason some over-the-counter pregnancy tests produce false positives has to do with the quality of the test. Hospital-grade pregnancy tests also measure hCG but can detect the hormone much earlier than OTC tests. Even hospital-grade pregnancy tests require further validation. At Care Net Pregnancy Centers, we confirm all positive pregnancy tests with a free limited pregnancy ultrasound. We can perform an ultrasound six weeks from the first day of your last menstrual period.

2 – Get screened for STDs

One of the steps we recommend following positive confirmation of your pregnancy is STD/STI testing. STDs and STIs pose serious health risks for expectant mothers and can be harmful to your baby’s development. Moms can transmit certain infections to their babies in utero, while others may pass to the baby during vaginal delivery. STDs can affect the development of the baby’s eyes, lungs, and liver. Some of the damage is irreversible. Many STDs are curable with proper treatment. Doctors also can help prevent the spread of non-curable STDs/STIs from mother to baby during delivery when they know about the need early in the pregnancy. Care Net Pregnancy Centers provide free STD/STI testing. Our staff will recommend scheduling the testing if you come to us to confirm your pregnancy.

3 – Consider your options

After you verify your pregnancy, it is time to consider your options. Since your pregnancy was a surprise, you may not be in a place in your life where you can raise a baby. Having children is a huge responsibility, so it is OK if you are not prepared to accept the challenge right now. While some women may opt for an abortion, others do not wish to end their pregnancies. Adoption is a viable alternative. Whatever decision you make about your pregnancy, the staff at Care Net Pregnancy Centers is here for you. We provide pregnancy help to navigate through these uncertain times. Our team ensures you have access to the most accurate and medically sound information to help make your choice. We provide a judgment-free zone for you and your partner. Best of all, our services are free and confidential.

4 – Embrace your feelings

There is no right or wrong way to feel when facing an unexpected pregnancy. It is perfectly acceptable to be angry, depressed, frustrated or overwhelmed. Even if you were not anticipating becoming a parent, maybe you are excited at the prospect and willing to embrace your pregnancy with open arms. Mixed feelings also are normal. You may be thrilled about becoming a mother but also scared to death at the same time. If you are struggling with your emotions and need help sorting through them, do not be afraid to reach out. Care Net Pregnancy Centers can hook you and your partner up with the resources you need to help manage your feelings.

5 – Schedule prenatal care

If you decide to keep your baby or choose to place him or her for adoption, one of the next things you should do is schedule an appointment with an obstetrician to have a wellness check. Expectant mothers have specific nutritional needs and will need an exam to check their overall health and that of the baby. If you work with an adoption agency to place your baby with a loving family, the agency may assist with finding you an OB and paying for all necessary medical care leading up to and including the birth. If you are keeping your baby to raise yourself and need help finding an OB for your ongoing prenatal care needs, Care Net Pregnancy Centers can help. Our community referrals program helps expectant mothers and their partners find everything they need to have a happy and healthy pregnancy, including:

  • Affordable housing
  • Medical assistance
  • Medical services
  • Support groups

Care Net helps you handle surprise pregnancies

Surprise pregnancies do not have to send your life into a downward spiral. Our pregnancy help center is here to walk you through your pregnancy options. We provide accurate information, free pregnancy and STD testing, and connect you with a multitude of resources once you decide how best to handle your pregnancy. Contact us today to schedule a consult.

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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 advise 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.