Open Arms Blog

Between parenting, adoption, and abortion, the decision can be challenging. There are several factors that should be considered. 

What Are the Side Effects of the Abortion Pill?

It's important to take the time you need to gather all of the information available before making such an impactful choice for your life.   If you found this blog, you likely have questions about the abortion pill.

What is the abortion pill?

The abortion pill, also known as a medication abortion, is a chemical process of ending a pregnancy. The abortion "pill" is actually two separate pills and can typically be taken within the first ten weeks of pregnancy.

The drug Mifepristone is administered first to stop the body's production of the hormone progesterone, which provides the pregnancy the nutrients it needs to grow.

Next, Misoprostol, the second pill, is taken to begin contractions and force the pregnancy from the womb.

What will completing the abortion be like?

The two pills are taken between 24-48 hours apart and the abortion is typically completed at home. The process of expelling a pregnancy by abortion is similar to that of a miscarriage.

One should expect to experience intense cramping, heavy bleeding, and the passing of large blood clots that contain the pregnancy tissue. These blood clots can be as large as a golf ball.

What are the side effects of the abortion pill?

Women who choose to undergo a medication abortion may experience some or all of the following physical side effects:

  • Cramping and abdominal pain
  • Heavy bleeding
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Headaches

What are the long-term risks associated with the abortion pill? 

Before deciding to have an abortion, you should take time to educate yourself on the various long-term risks some women have experienced.

Although rare, some of these potential long-term or serious risks include the following:

  • Life-threatening infections and hemorrhaging caused by an incomplete abortion
  • Trauma from the abortion experience, which can trigger mental health issues like depression and anxiety1
  • Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) caused by abortion and untreated Chlamydia2
  • Future fertility issues related to abortion complications3

What should I do before scheduling an abortion?

Before scheduling an appointment for an abortion, it is important to confirm a viable pregnancy and to understand how far along the pregnancy is.

Here at Open Arms, we provide no-cost pregnancy confirmation and information regarding all of your options.

If a viable pregnancy is confirmed, our caring medical staff will walk you through the options available to you and help you navigate this important decision.  You're not alone.  We are here to help.

  1. Broen AN, Moum T, Bødtker AS, Ekeberg O. The course of mental health after miscarriage and induced abortion: a longitudinal, fiveyear follow-up study. BMC Med. 2005;3:18.

  2. Westergaard L, Phillipsen T, Scheibel J (1982). "Significance of cervical Chlamydia trachomatis infection in postabortal pelvic inflammatory disease." Obstetrics and Gynecology, 68(5): 668-90; Ovigstad E, et al. (1983). "Pelvic inflammatory disease associated with Chlamydia trachomatis infection after therapeutic abortion." Br J Vener Dis, 59: 189-92; Heisterberg L, et al. (1987). "The role of vaginal secretory immunoglobulin a, gardnerella vaginalis, anaerobes, and Chlamydia trachomatis in post abortal pelvic inflammatory disease." Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica, 66(2): 99-102.

  3. Bhattacharya, S. et al. Reproductive outcomes following induced abortion: a national register-based cohort study in Scotland. BMJ Open. 2, (2012).

Photo by Annika Palmari on Unsplash




In this article, we discuss the three things you need to do before having an abortion, as well as how you can get them for free! Click here to find out more!

We know how hard an unplanned pregnancy can be. At the Open Arms Pregnancy Clinic, we've helped thousands of women and we can help you, too. You are not alone. If you are considering an abortion, there are some important steps you should take beforehand. Here are three things you need to do before an abortion and how to receive them for free.

1. Free Clinical Pregnancy Testing


Your first step to take before an abortion is a pregnancy test. This may sound like a simple step, but it's the preliminary indication that you may be pregnant. However, even if your at-home test came back positive, it's important to have a clinical pregnancy test performed by a medical professional. The Open Arms Pregnancy Clinic offers free and confidential clinical pregnancy testing.

2. Free Ultrasound


The next step in your preparation process is to have an ultrasound exam. Open Arms offers free limited OB ultrasound exams as well. This ultrasound will reveal how far along you are in your pregnancy and whether or not your pregnancy is even viable. This is vital information to have as part of your decision-making process.

3. Free Options Counseling


Once you have a viable pregnancy confirmed and know exactly how far along you are in your pregnancy, the next step is to explore all three options - abortion, adoption, and parenting. Deciding to move forward with any of these options is a big decision, but you don't have to face this decision alone.


We are here to help. We will provide you with resources as well as the information you'll need in order to make an empowered decision for your future. All of our services are completely free and confidential.


Make an appointment with us today to talk about your options.

If you're facing an unplanned pregnancy, it's possible one of the first things that came to mind is wondering what your parents would think if they found out.

How to Tell Your Parents That You Are Pregnant

For some women, the idea of having to tell their parents is the scariest part of being pregnant. Your mind is flooded with the worst-case scenarios— "How will they react? Will they yell at me? Will they kick me out? Will they ever talk to me again?"

The reality is, you will never know how your parents will react until you tell them. You may be surprised.  Their reaction may be far more loving and supportive than you could imagine.

Should I tell my parents I'm pregnant?

It's important your parents find out about your pregnancy from you, not your friends' parents or someone else in your community. While it may feel incredibly intimidating to tell your parents you're pregnant, regardless of their reaction, you will likely feel a sense of relief knowing you no longer have to treat your pregnancy as a secret. Hopefully, your parents will be supportive in the long run, and telling them sooner rather than later will give them time to adjust to the news and become a source of support as you walk through this important time.

Regardless of what pregnancy option you're leaning towards, the thought of telling your parents you're pregnant is likely pretty scary. However, it can be an important step to take as you walk through an unplanned pregnancy.

To help you out, here are our top tips for telling your parents you're pregnant:

1.Confirm the Pregnancy at Your Local Pregnancy Clinic

Before you tell your parents, you may first want to confirm that you're really pregnant. Your local pregnancy clinic will provide confidential, no-cost pregnancy testing and an ultrasound scan. The ultrasound scan will give you vital information on your pregnancy like whether or not the pregnancy is viable and how far along you are.

You might even consider bringing an image from your ultrasound scan when you tell your parents. Not only will this show them you're taking this seriously, but it might also help them move from shock to excitement.

2. Prepare for the Conversation First with Your Case Manager

It can be hard to know how to tell your parents that you're pregnant. If you're struggling to come up with the words to say, your case manager at your local pregnancy clinic can help you navigate this challenging conversation. It may seem silly, but rehearsing what you'll say will help you stay calm as you prepare to talk with your parents.

3. Choose a Time and Place Strategically

They say "timing is everything." When telling your parents you're pregnant, we recommend being strategic regarding when and where you choose to have this important conversation — more specifically, when and where not to. For a conversation that could become emotional and/or long, avoid telling your parents while they're driving, about to leave the house, preoccupied, or dealing with something else that's frustrating or emotional.

4. Tell Them How You're Feeling

When telling your parents, you might only be thinking about one thing: how they're going to react. However, it's important that you're honest with them in expressing your own emotions in the conversation. If you're feeling disappointed with yourself, tell them. If you're feeling scared and overwhelmed, tell them. Knowing how you're feeling will likely help them see the full picture of what you're experiencing. 

5. Prepare for all Situations 

As you prepare for this conversation, it might help you to run through the many scenarios in your head. While we hope your parents' reaction will surprise you in a positive way, you should also prepare for the worst. Instead of letting this worst-case scenario detract you from telling them at all, use it to help you prepare.

If you feel like your parents might be overly angry, or if you've ever experienced verbal or physical abuse, you might consider bringing a friend, mentor, or someone else you trust.  Again, we recommend you speak to your Case Manager at your local pregnancy clinic who will provide you with important considerations, suggestions and resources.

Experiencing an unplanned pregnancy isn't easy, but thankfully there's help available to you. Here at Open Arms, we're passionate about guiding women and men as they navigate their pregnancy options.  If we can help, call or text us to schedule your free and confidential appointment.

Finding out your girlfriend is unexpectedly pregnant can bring feelings of shock, fear, and maybe even anger.

My Girlfriend Is Pregnant - Where Can We Get Free Help?

While you want to be supportive and loving during this time, you're also likely finding yourself consumed with your own fears and worries. Whether you feel too young to be a dad or don't feel financially ready for the costs that come with parenting, you and your girlfriend need to take time to carefully consider the options available to you.

The good news is, you don't have to walk through this alone.  Here's our advice on next steps and where to find free help when facing an unplanned pregnancy.

1. Confirm the Pregnancy

Your girlfriend took an at-home pregnancy test and you both immediately freak out. When facing an unexpected pregnancy, these feelings are normal, however, it's important that you take a deep breath and take the necessary steps to confirm the pregnancy.  While taking a pregnancy test is a great place to start, you'll want to schedule an appointment at your local pregnancy clinic where you'll have access to free clinical pregnancy testing and an ultrasound scan.

The ultrasound will confirm how far along the pregnancy is and whether or not the pregnancy is viable.  Regardless of the pregnancy options you and your girlfriend are considering, an ultrasound is essential in helping you both make an informed choice.

2. Take Time to Consider Your Options

After you confirm your pregnancy, it's important that you take time to carefully consider the options available to you. When facing an unplanned pregnancy, there are three options — parenting, abortion, or adoption.

Instead of letting fear and anxiety drive your decision-making process, take time to gather information about the various options and the resources within your community.

Your local pregnancy clinic specializes in assisting those facing pregnancy-related decisions.  Schedule an appointment to talk with a male case manager who will guide you through your decision-making process and give you a safe place to process your thoughts and get answers to all of your questions.

The more knowledge you have, the more confident you will feel as you and your girlfriend make this important decision.

3. Tell Someone You Trust

It might be tempting for you and your girlfriend to attempt to handle this challenge on your own. However, making decisions in isolation can be dangerous and can lead to regrets.

While it can be hard to tell a friend or family member that you're facing an unplanned pregnancy, this important step might be key in making an informed decision, as those around you might be one of your greatest resources during this time. Anxiety over how your family member or friend might react may cause you to not want to tell them.  That's normal.  But consider how they would feel years later not having been trusted to help you through this.  Anticipate that the news may be hard for them at first, but you also might be surprised by the support and love you and your girlfriend receive from your community.

Whether you decide to tell a friend or family member or not, consider scheduling an appointment to talk to one of our male case managers. The Open Arms Pregnancy Clinic is a safe space for you and your girlfriend to process your thoughts and fears, ask questions, and make an informed decision.  

All of our services are free and confidential.  Call or text us today at 818.626.9404.

 Photo by freestocks on Unsplash

If you think you might be pregnant, there's no better way to find out than taking a pregnancy test. While this may seem a bit obvious, there's a lot more that goes into taking a reliable pregnancy test than you might think.

When should I take a pregnancy test?

How long after sex should I wait to take a pregnancy test?

Regardless of whether your pregnancy is planned or unplanned, waiting to take a pregnancy test can feel agonizing. However, if you're looking for the most accurate result, it's important to know when exactly to take the test.

Some pregnancy test brands advertise early detection, however, we still recommend waiting at least one week after your missed period for the most accurate results. While it's possible you could get an early positive test, it's also possible you could get a false negative. Your body needs time to develop detectable amounts of the pregnancy hormone hCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin), which is what pregnancy tests use to identify pregnancy.

It's also best to take the test when you first wake up in the morning before you've had anything to drink, as water could dilute your urine and affect your results. 

Because the accuracy of at-home pregnancy tests relies on the user following instructions perfectly, you might also consider scheduling an appointment for free clinical pregnancy testing at your local pregnancy clinic.

Signs you might be pregnant

If you're sexually active, there's always a chance you could become pregnant — even if you use birth control.

Aside from missing your period, there are few common symptoms to keep an eye out for that might indicate pregnancy.

These symptoms might include:

  • Breast tenderness or changes in the appearance of your nipples
  • Headaches
  • Exhaustion
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • New food cravings
  • Sensitivity to smells
  • Irritability and mood swings

My pregnancy test was positive!  What should I do?

Receiving a positive pregnancy test can be accompanied by a wide range of emotions. If you're experiencing feelings of fear, worry, or anxiety, you're not alone.  In an unplanned pregnancy, you have choices and it's okay to take the time you need to make the decision that's right for you.

Wondering where to start? Scheduling an appointment at your local pregnancy clinic is the perfect first step as you begin to explore the many options and resources available to you during this time.  If you're close to Northridge, we invite you to contact the Open Arms Pregnancy Clinic for your free pregnancy confirmation and options counseling.  We are here to help.

Photo by Kiwihug on Unsplash

Whether you expected it or not, finding out you're pregnant has likely brought on a laundry list of questions...

6 Risks of Medical Marijuana When Pregnant

"Can I really not eat sushi for 10 months?!"
"What kind of exercise can I do?"
"Is a glass of wine here and there okay for the baby?"

The reality is, your body is going through some major changes to be able to grow your pregnancy, and you may need to alter your lifestyle to meet its new needs.

Some women ask the question, "Can I use marijuana when pregnant?

While marijuana is legal in many states and sometimes even used by women to combat pregnancy nausea and pain, there are six risks to consider before continuing the use of medicinal or recreational marijuana while pregnant. 

1. Issues with Neurological Development

Studies show that babies born to women who have used marijuana during their pregnancies are more likely to have neurological development problems. Some babies born after prenatal use of marijuana show symptoms like slow responses to visual stimuli exaggerated trembling, or an unusually high-pitched cry.1  

2. Low Birth Weight

Another harmful effect of the use of marijuana during pregnancy includes physical developmental issues which can result in low birth weight and other neonatal complications.2

3. Can Cause Harm to the Woman During Pregnancy

In addition to having negative side effects on the health of the baby, using marijuana can also impact the health of the woman carrying the pregnancy. Studies show that marijuana can increase heart rate, decrease blood pressure, and cause dizziness, anemia, or confusion during pregnancy.

4. Impacts on Learning and Social Skills Later in Life

The use of marijuana can impact babies long after birth. Studies have linked the use of marijuana during pregnancy to long-lasting inabilities to focus, problem-solve, and behave normally in social settings later on in the child's life.3

5. Exposure to Chemicals

While marijuana is a plant, there are more than 400 active chemicals in some strands. When used by a pregnant woman, these chemicals can reach pregnancy through the placenta, leading to unnecessary and potentially harmful chemical exposure in utero.

6. Increased Reliance on the Substance

Women who use marijuana before or during their pregnancy may develop a dependency on the drug. Recent studies revealed that 30% of individuals who use marijuana may develop a marijuana use disorder — meaning they may experience a dependency on the substance and go through withdrawals without use.4  Babies could then be exposed to THC through breastfeeding, which could have long-lasting negative impacts on their young, developing brains.

Pregnant and not sure what to do? We can help!

Finding out you're pregnant can bring about feelings of worry and anxiety. From wondering if you're ready to parent to knowing how to keep you and your baby healthy, there's a lot to navigate. Thankfully, you're not alone.

Here at the Open Arms Pregnancy Clinic, we provide women with free and confidential pregnancy testing, ultrasound, options counseling, and pregnancy classes so that you can move forward with confidence.

Photo by Ömürden Cengiz on Unsplash

  1. De Moraes Barros MC, Guinsburg R, Mitsuhiro S, Chalem E, Laranjeira RR. Neurobehavioral profile of healthy full-term newborn infants of adolescent mothers. Early Hum Dev. 2008;84(5):281-287. doi:10.1016/j.earlhumdev.2007.07.001
  2. Conner SN, et al. (2016). Maternal marijuana use and adverse neonatal outcomes: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Obstet Gynecol. 128(4): p. 713-23.
  3. Richardson GA, Ryan C, Willford J, Day NL, Goldschmidt L. Prenatal alcohol and marijuana exposure: effects on neuropsychological outcomes at 10 years. Neurotoxicol Teratol. 2002;24(3):309-320.
  4. Hasin DS, Saha TD, Kerridge BT, et al. Prevalence of Marijuana Use Disorders in the United States Between 2001-2002 and 2012-2013. JAMA Psychiatry. 2015;72(12):1235-1242. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2015.1858

Top 5 Side Effects of Abortion 

When considering any medical procedure, it's important to sit down and do some research on the potential side effects and risks you might experience. The same can be said about abortion. 

Whether you're considering abortion as an option for your pregnancy, researching for a friend, or have a confirmed appointment for an abortion, becoming knowledgeable about the procedure is an important step to take and will help you make an informed decision.

First off, what is abortion? 

You likely know that abortion is the process of ending a pregnancy, but do you know exactly what happens during an abortion? We're here to help you understand the procedure as well as all of your pregnancy options.

First, there are two types of abortion — medical abortions (often referred to as "the abortion pill") and surgical abortions. 

Medical abortions utilize two drugs in the form of pills to end a pregnancy within the first 70 days of gestation. The first drug, Mifepristone, stops the production of progesterone, which is a naturally produced hormone that the body makes to help the pregnancy grow. This pill is typically taken at a doctor's office or clinic. The second step utilizes the drug Misoprostol, which forces contractions and pushes the pregnancy from the uterus. While the process is started at a doctor's office, it is completed at home. 

Surgical abortions are another form of abortion that involves surgical removal of the fetus from the uterus. There are several types of surgical abortions each varying based on the stage of the pregnancy. 

Regardless of the stage of the pregnancy, a surgical abortion will entail some form of dilation of the cervix to give the abortion provider access to the pregnancy and provide a way for the pregnancy to pass from the uterus. The fetus will either be removed through suction or scraping.

What are the side effects of abortion? 

Most abortions will be accompanied by minor side effects like abdominal pain, cramping, and bleeding. With a medical abortion, common side effects include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. 

Along with these minor side-effects, more serious complications are possible. Here are the top five side effects you should know about: 

Mental Health Issues 

Even if a woman does not experience any physical side effects from abortion, it is possible to encounter lasting mental health issues in the wake of the procedure. Many women have reported experiencing new mental health issues that are "caused, triggered, aggravated, or complicated by their abortion experience." 1 Mental health issues are not to be ignored and can have long-term implications. 

Life-Threatening Complications

Incomplete abortions occur when the abortion was not successful in expelling all of the pregnancy tissue from the uterus. This is one of the more serious risks of abortion.  When left untreated, it can result in infection or hemorrhaging. If a woman thinks she may be experiencing an incomplete abortion, it is very important a doctor be contacted immediately. 

Future Infertility

According to The Mayo Clinic, abortion can cause infertility. This is especially true for women who are using an IUD for birth control, have high blood pressure or diabetes, take blood thinners, smoke tobacco, or already have heart, liver, kidney, or lung diseases. 

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

It's important to get tested for STDs before scheduling an appointment for an abortion. Women who are infected with chlamydia at the time of their abortion procedures have an increased risk of 23% for developing Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID). 2 Once developed, PID can cause fertility issues, chronic pain, and increases the risk of ectopic pregnancy.  

Difficulty Bonding in Relationships

Many women experience this seemingly "hidden" side effect — the difficulty bonding in future relationships. This includes both romantic partnerships and future child-rearing. One study suggests that post-abortive couples have a 45 to 75 percent increase in the likelihood of breakup or divorce. Similarly, women who go on to have children after their abortion report difficulties bonding with their babies. 3

I'm pregnant! What do I do? 

Are you experiencing an unplanned pregnancy? You're not alone. In fact, millions of women experience unintended pregnancies each year. While it's normal to feel worried or scared, remember that you have options.

Here at Open Arms, we're passionate about guiding women through unplanned pregnancies by providing free pregnancy confirmation, resources, and options counseling. 

1. Reardon DC. The abortion and mental health controversy: A comprehensive literature review of common ground agreements, disagreements, actionable recommendations, and research opportunities. SAGE open medicine. 2018;6: 1–38. 10.1177/2050312118807624 . [PMC free article] [PubMed] [CrossRef] [Google Scholar]

2. Westergaard L, Phillipsen T, Scheibel J (1982). "Significance of cervical Chlamydia trachomatis infection in postabortal pelvic inflammatory disease." Obstetrics and Gynecology, 68(5): 668-90; Ovigstad E, et al. (1983). "Pelvic inflammatory disease associated with Chlamydia trachomatis infection after therapeutic abortion." Br J Vener Dis, 59: 189-92; Heisterberg L, et al. (1987). "The role of vaginal secretory immunoglobulin a, gardnerella vaginalis, anaerobes, and Chlamydia trachomatis in post abortal pelvic inflammatory disease." Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica, 66(2): 99-102.

3. Women's Health After Abortion: The Medical and Psychological Evidence Paperback – April 1, 2002. Elizabeth Ring-Cassidy (Author), Ian Gentles (Author)


You've likely heard of an ultrasound and have a general understanding of what they're for. You've probably even seen a few of them in recent pregnancy announcements as you scroll through your social media. However, if you recently found out you're expecting, you might have a few questions you need answered.

How do Ultrasounds Work?

Here's our guide to the ins and outs of ultrasounds — how they work and why you should get one.

How do ultrasounds work?

Ultrasounds, or sonograms, are imaging scans sometimes used to diagnose a medical condition, guide a surgeon, or most commonly, to create images of a pregnancy inside of the womb. Unlike other imaging scans, ultrasounds do not use radiation. Instead, they use high-frequency sound waves. These sound waves are produced by a small ultrasound probe and result in echoing that produces the ultrasound image.   

Medical professionals use ultrasounds in pregnancy to analyze the health, viability, and development of the pregnancy.

Do I need to get an ultrasound?

For some women, ultrasounds are an exciting and sometimes emotional part of the pregnancy process. However, if you're deciding whether or not to keep your pregnancy, you might wonder if getting an ultrasound is necessary.

Regardless of what you choose to do, here are some reasons why it's still key to schedule an appointment for an ultrasound.

Ultrasounds will determine°

  • if your pregnancy is viable (in the right location and has a heartbeat).
  • how far along you are in your pregnancy.
  • if there are multiples (twins, triplets, and so on).

When should I get an ultrasound?

An ultrasound is not provided until there is a medical indication of a positive pregnancy test.  Even if you've taken an at-home test, you should still schedule an appointment at a local pregnancy clinic for a free clinical pregnancy test.  

If the clinically-performed pregnancy test is positive, you'll then be offered a free and confidential ultrasound to confirm your pregnancy.  Before you get an ultrasound or make any other decisions for your pregnancy, this is a vital first step.

What happens after the ultrasound scan?

After an ultrasound, you'll be provided with information on all of the options and resources available to you.  Here at Open Arms, we provide women with all of the resources they need to make an informed decision, including abortion counseling, prenatal care referrals, parenting resources, and information on adoption.

Schedule a Free Ultrasound

If you're experiencing an unintended pregnancy and are considering your options, know that it's okay to take time to learn more about your pregnancy and the resources available to you during this time so you can make a fully informed decision.

Open Arms is here to help.

Schedule an appointment with us today.

The morning-after pill, the abortion pill, Plan B, Plan C, emergency contraception°it is all very confusing. According to the Mayo Clinic, abortion is a "major decision with emotional and psychological consequences." If abortion is what you are considering for your unexpected pregnancy, you need to know the differences and risks between Plan B and Plan C.

The Difference Between Plan B and Plan C

If you have questions and want to learn more about all of your options, give Open Arms a call. We will be happy to talk with you.

Plan B

Plan B is known as the "morning-after pill." It is taken after sex, but before conception. Depending on where a woman is in her cycle, conception can occur anywhere from a few minutes up to 5 days after unprotected sex. If fertilization has already happened and the egg has implanted, the Mayo Clinic indicates Plan B will not end a pregnancy that has implanted.

What are the side effects of Plan B?

  • Increased bleeding and cramping as you expel the pregnancy
  • Headache and possible dizziness
  • Breast tenderness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • A delay in your cycle and a change in your menstrual flow
  • The risk of an incomplete abortion

NOTE: Emergency contraception should not be used as a routine birth control method. Plan B is a 50x dose of the progesterone-only oral birth control pill that is designed for daily use. Although studies are continuing, in a Pharmacology Review by the FDA, a higher dose of levonorgestrel "might have the potential for masculinization of female fetuses exposed in utero." 

Plan C 

Plan C is known as a "self-induced abortion." It involves ordering the abortion pill (medication abortion) online and performing the abortion at home. Unfortunately, because they are not government regulated, some of the online sites are not legitimate drug providers. The FDA offers a warning for purchasing the pills online. No matter how authentic the pills may appear, a woman cannot determine the quality, the dosage or the effectiveness of the drug.

Self Magazine cites a number of reasons why a "self-managed abortion" is risky. They write, "you carry the risk of not being totally sure what you're actually taking if you obtain medication from an unverified source, and whatever is in that medication could carry additional unknown risks. And if complications arise, the solution is the same as after a clinic-induced medication abortion: you would need to go to the emergency room." 

What are the side effects of Plan C?

The known symptoms of a self-induced abortion are the same as a medication abortion.

  • Adverse side effects from unknown drugs
  • Severe cramping
  • Headache and possible dizziness      
  • Tender breasts
  •  Nausea & vomiting  
  • Fatigue
  •  A delay in your cycle and a change in your menstrual flow (usually heavier)
  • No FDA oversight to make sure the drugs are legitimate and the manufacturing is safe
  • The risk of an incomplete abortion requiring a surgical abortion

What is the difference between Plan B and Plan C?

Plan B is considered emergency contraception while Plan C is an abortion procedure.
Plan C is designed to have little to no doctor oversight. As a result, the possibility of taking ineffective or dangerous drugs is very real. Both have the same risks in terms of side effects if the drugs are manufactured the same, but since the country of origin for online drugs is not always known, you have no guarantee of their quality.

What You Should Do

The Open Arms Pregnancy Clinic is here to help you make an informed decision. Talk with us first about such things as the first day of your last menstrual cycle, when you ovulated, or if the drugs you take are safe. Schedule your appointment for a clinical pregnancy test and a limited OB ultrasound to confirm whether or not your pregnancy is viable. We offer both completely free of charge. We can help you know for sure and chat with you about all of your options. We truly care about you. Let us help.
Photo by Christina @ on Unsplash

Think you might be pregnant? First, pause for a second and take a deep breath. Before you start tossing around worst-case scenarios, it's important to confirm your pregnancy with a pregnancy test.

How Do Pregnancy Tests Work?

With something as life-altering as an unplanned pregnancy, you should be sure to take time to understand how pregnancy tests work, what kind to take, and how to get the most accurate results possible.

So how do pregnancy tests work?  

Whether you're hoping to get pregnant or not, it's no secret that the human body is capable of amazing things, and pregnancy is at the top of the list. Within moments of conception, the female body begins to change in preparation for carrying a pregnancy. One of the first things the body does is produce a pregnancy hormone called human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG).

This hormone doubles roughly every two days from conception until about nine weeks. Pregnancy tests identify pregnancy by detecting traces of this hormone in urine.

Pregnancy tests contain a strip that's treated to react in a certain way in the presence of hCG, indicating whether or not you're pregnant. Each pregnancy test is different in how it displays its results, so be sure to carefully read the instructions beforehand. Most frequently, a positive test will show two lines or a plus sign, while a negative test will show a single line or a minus sign.

Should I take a pregnancy test?

If you're sexually active, it's always possible you could become pregnant. Yep, even if you're using birth control. If you've recently experienced a missed period or have noticed any common pregnancy symptoms, it would be wise to take a pregnancy test.

In addition to a missed period, common pregnancy symptoms include:

  • Breast tenderness or nipple sensitivity
  • Headaches
  • Unexplained exhaustion
  • Nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to smells, or new food cravings
  • New mood swings and unexplained emotions

How soon can I take a pregnancy test?

If you think there's a chance you could be pregnant, it's tempting to want to take a test right away. However, since pregnancy tests measure hCG, you'll want to wait until there's enough of the hormone in your urine to be detected. We recommend waiting at least one week after your missed period and taking it right when you wake up.

Remember, the accuracy of an at-home pregnancy test requires that you follow the instructions perfectly. To ensure you're getting the most accurate results, schedule an appointment for a free clinical pregnancy test at a local pregnancy clinic like Open Arms. 

I'm pregnant. What do I do?

For some women, a positive pregnancy test is the farthest thing from their plan. If that's you, it's okay. You're not alone.  At Open Arms, we can guide you through any pregnancy-related decisions you may be facing.

After a positive pregnancy test, Open Arms can provide you with a free ultrasound. Your ultrasound scan will give you information about the viability of the pregnancy and its gestational age. These details will be essential as you consider your pregnancy options and learn more about abortion, adoption, and parenting.

Schedule a Free Appointment

Here at Open Arms, we believe that you should have access to the resources and information you need to make a fully informed decision for yourself and for your future. Come visit us for your free clinical pregnancy test. Schedule your appointment today!