Have you missed a period and think you may be pregnant? Pregnancy symptoms include but are not limited to: missed period, fatigue, nausea, breast tenderness, and frequent urination, sensitivity to smell, mood swings, spotting, cramps, and constipation.
Reminder About Missed Periods
Keep in mind that if you start a hormonal contraceptive (birth control pills, Evra Patch, Nuva Ring, Depo Provera, Mirena IUD) mid cycle (between your two periods), your period can be delayed. You may also experience spotting or breast tenderness during the first three months of starting a hormonal contraceptive. If you have recently taken Plan B (the emergency contraceptive pill),, your period can come earlier or later than its usual time. Plan B may also cause spotting . Stress or travel can also cause a period to be delayed or missed. However, if it is more than a week late, it is advised to do a pregnancy test.
At our clinic, we provide urine pregnancy tests free of cost, with or without an Ontario Health Card. Pregnancy tests are done by appointment only. Appointments are made by telephone only.
Positive Pregnancy Tests
If you have been planning a pregnancy, a positive pregnancy test can be a very joyful time for you. On the other hand, an unplanned pregnancy can caused mixed emotions. Pregnancy options include the following:
1) Continuing the pregnancy and raising a baby
If this is the option you choose, be sure to start an over-the-counter prenatal vitamin such as Materna right away. Make an appointment with your family doctor as soon as possible to follow up with a blood test and ultrasound to determine how many weeks pregnant you are. Once the pregnancy has been confirmed, your family doctor may follow you through the pregnancy and to delivery, or refer you to an obstetrician.
For uncomplicated pregnancies, an alternative to an obstetrician is a midwife.They can guide you through the pregnancy and birth process at home or in hospital. The service of a midwife are available to women without Ontario Health Cards free of charge.
Planned Parenthood also offers prenatal care early in the pregnancy and later refers to a doctor or midwife for delivery. This service is available to women age 29 and younger. To find out more information about these services, please visit Planned Parenthood’s website.
2) Ending the pregnancy by having an abortion
Abortions have been legal in Canada since 1969. They are safe, simple and have no effect on the ability to get pregnant in the future. In Canada, women can choose a medical or surgical abortion. During a medical abortion tablets are inserted in the vagina to dilate the cervix. For a surgical abortion, individuals are given a local anesthetic (freezing to the cervix) and the contents of the uterus removed by a suction tube or by curette.
Surgical abortions can be performed at hospitals or abortion clinics. There are many abortion clinics throughout the GTA (Greater Toronto Area).
You can make your own referral to an abortion clinic and some of them have evening and weekend appointments but for a hospital abortion you need a referral from a family doctor.
Abortions are covered by the Ontario Health Card however some clinics may have a small administration fee. If you do not have a health card contact us for options.
Medical abortions are available through abortion clinics, some family doctors and the Bay Centre for Birth Control.
3) Continuing the pregnancy and placing the child for adoption.
There are two types of adoption, public and private. All public adoption is done through the Children’s Aid Society. For more information about public adoption, visit the Children’s Aid Society of Toronto website.
Private adoption can be arranged through a lawyer or an agency. For more information on adoption, visit the Adoption Council of Ontario website.
When considering pregnancy options, it is important to assess your life and all the factors that go into making your decision. Consider aspects such as the stage you are in your life and where having a baby will fit in. Think about your personal beliefs, values, and practices; speak to your partner about his or her attitude about the pregnancy and what it means to be a parent, evaluate the financial costs of having a child, and most importantly evaluate your support system. Find out if your partner will be involved in raising the child. Do you have family members or friends available to help?
Discussing pros and cons can be stressful and challenging, so be sure to seek support from someone you feel comfortable talking to and who will be non-judgemental. Our clinic provides counselling, information and resources to help with your decision making.