One of the most life changing experiences you could ever go through is finding out you are pregnant. It is typical to feel emotionally confused and worried about what you will do especially when you’re young yourself. Don’t make this decision alone! You need the support of your parents or other trusted adults. You will also need to talk to your partner to decide what’s best for you.
So what are your options when facing an unplanned pregnancy? You can choose to end the pregnancy, raise the child, or make an adoption plan. Below you'll find some basic information on the these choices, with links to help you learn more. A useful resource as you're thinking through these choices is the Pregnancy Options Workbooks, provided by PregnancyOptions.info, which contains information about abortion, adoption and parenthood, with exercises to help you make the best decision for you.
Abortion is either a medical or surgical way to end an existing pregnancy, performed by a licensed physician. With a medical abortion, a pregnant woman is advised to take medications that induce a miscarriage. Surgical abortions require an in-clinic visit for a medical procedure (either an asipration or dilation and evacuation). If you decide to have an abortion, know you're not alone and there is support out there for you. Planned Parenthood is one resource for more information on abortion.
If you do not want to end your pregnancy but don't want or feel ready to parent your child, you can choose to place your child for adoption. If you are considering placing a child for adoption, you can get more information on the process and what to expect from the Child Welfare Information Gateway .
Having a child when you're young yourself is a really tough, but not impossible, choice. First ask yourself if you have the support system you'll need. What kind of support would the father be able to provide? Ever hear the saying “it takes a village to raise a child”? Well there is a lot of truth to that. You will need a lot of help. See MTV's series Pregnant and 16 to get an idea of what it's like or read stories written by teen parents about their experiences at Sex, etc.
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Do you know how to use a condom? Where to store it, how to open it, how to put it on correctly? Are you sure? Check out ASHA's animation to learn about how to use one correctly and read more about condoms on IWK.