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The Step-by-Step Guide to Calmly Handling a Pregnancy Scare

Condoms break. Birth control fails. His pull-out game might not be as strong as he claims. Pregnancy scares are a reality. Here’s what to do next.

pregnancy scare

If you’re sexually active, then at some point in your sexual history, you’ve probably had a pregnancy scare. Whether you’ve been two days late or two weeks late, the scare is all the same. AKA: it is horrifically TERRIFYING.
Your youth flashes before your eyes. Your career flashes before your eyes. Your relationship flashes before your eyes. Suddenly, everything comes to a standstill and you don’t know what to think or what to do.
What happens when you think you might be pregnant
If you’re having sex, then you need to be prepared for the possibility of pregnancy. Even if you’re 100% consistent in taking whatever form of birth control you have and you always use protection, there is still a chance of having a baby if you’re engaging in intercourse.
It’s scary. It’s a hard thing to talk about. I get it! You’re probably searching a ton of different websites to confirm or deny that you’re pregnant when really you just need to know what to do. If you’re worried that you might be having a pregnancy scare, here are the steps you can take next.
For the ladies
If we’re being really honest here, men and women deal with pregnancy scares a LOT differently. That being said, I think we really need to address this issue from both ends. Here are the different steps that all you ladies can take.
#1 Remain calm. The worst thing you can do if you think you’re pregnant is freak out. It won’t make anything any easier. Since it’s only a scare at this point, you don’t have anything to really worry about. You have to keep an open mind and stay calm if you want to figure it out the truth behind the mistake. [Read: 10 baby-free reasons why you missed your period]
#2 Make a plan. Before you start running around like a chicken with its head cut off, you have to make a plan. Sit down, take out a notepad, and write down what you’re going to do next.
It’s easy to get flustered when you don’t have a plan. So sit down and decide what you’re going to do next and then stick to the plan, no matter what.
#3 Decipher how far along in your cycle you are. Some people start freaking out about being pregnant before they have even missed their period. I mean, miscounting the dates from your last period can be pretty easy when you’re in a panicked state.
If you don’t track your period, try to remember when you last had it and how long you usually go between periods. And don’t forget that periods can be late due to stress, increased exercise, and even diet changes. [Read: 15 things women wish men knew about the female body]
#4 Talk to your partner. If you’ve figured out that your period really is late, you should talk to your partner about it. Now, some people will say that you shouldn’t tell them until you’re 100% sure one way or the other, but I disagree.
I think that it takes two people to have sex and to get pregnant, therefore it should take two people to go through the steps if there just happens to be a pregnancy scare. Talk to them and be sure to let them know that you’re not SURE yet, but you could be late. Informing them may scare them a little, but it’s better that they know.
#5 Take an over-the-counter pregnancy test. When most people figure that they have missed their period or are late, they run down to the drug store and grab a pregnancy test. The best time to take one of these is in the morning, so wait until then if you can. It’ll be most accurate the more potent your urine is.
If you can’t remember if you’re late or not on your period, there are certain pregnancy tests that can detect early pregnancy up to a week before your missed period. Just don’t rely 100% on these tests, because they can be wrong and give you false readings.

#6 Make an appointment with a professional. No matter what your over-the-counter tests say, if you have missed a period by more than a week, you should make an appointment with a healthcare professional. That’s the only way you can be 100% sure if you’re pregnant or not.
#7 Communicate and include your partner with every step. If you took the test and got either a positive or negative, tell them that. If you want to go see a professional, tell them. They may want to be there to support you, or it may give them peace of mind. Either way, they’re in this for the long haul and should be included. [Read: A guide on effective communication in a relationship]
#8  Next… Whether you’re pregnant or not, the next steps are quite different. If you’re in the clear, you can go back to your normal daily routine – just use a bit more protection. And if you are pregnant, well, that’s a whole different ball game.
For the men
Men have the stereotype of running away scared whenever they hear that their significant other could possibly be pregnant. Now, this isn’t true for all men, but I do believe it derives from men’s tendencies to be more panicked by the situation. So guys, here’s how you can handle a pregnancy scare.
#1 Listen. I think men have a tendency to let their emotions get in the way of their ability to listen to a situation fully, especially when it has to do with pregnancy. But make sure to listen to what your partner is saying before reacting, because it could be better than what you’re imagining. [Read: 10 ways to be a better listener in your relationship]
#2 DON’T freak out and run. When you hear that she might be pregnant, DON’T freak out and run away. All you’re doing is abandoning her in a difficult time *YES, it’s hard for her, too* and potentially abandoning a child of yours. Be a man and see the situation through. After all, there would not be a situation to handle if it weren’t for you. [Read: How to be a good boyfriend – 10 traits that matter]
#3 Make a plan with your partner. Sit down with your significant other and go through all of the steps you should be taking next. Make a list of what you need to do, and then make sure to ask her if she needs anything from you. Oftentimes, women feel like they have to be the tough one so that you don’t run away scared, but she could be breaking inside.
#4 See the plan through. After the plan is set, see it through! Don’t just go through the motions and then plan to skip out at the first available opportunity. If you have certain things to do in this situation, then do them and do them well.
#5 Be there for her no matter what. This is the most important step that you have to follow through with. You have to be there for her. No matter what happens and what the pregnancy tests say, at the end of the day, you have to be there for her and support her in any way she needs. [Read: 11 ways to know if you’re both ready to have a baby]
Pregnancy scares can happen to just about any couple who is sexually active. If you’re ever stuck realizing that the condom that broke a few weeks ago may be coming back to haunt you, these steps can help get you through it.

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Annabel Rodgers
Annabel is a lifestyle writer, cheese enthusiast (Wisconsin native over here) and fantasy adventure author-in-progress who enjoys all things love, dog,...