First Resort

Follow Us!

Ask the Doctor at First Resort

Please note that Ask the Doctor is a public service of First Resort and should not be construed as a substitute for consultation with your own primary care physician.

FAQs Ask the doctorWoman doctor



My period is late and I think I might be pregnant. What other symptoms should I be having?

If you have missed at least one period, you may be pregnant. The other signs of early pregnancy can be nausea and/or vomiting, tender and enlarged breasts, frequent urination, fatigue and increased vaginal discharge. Some women have a craving for certain foods and/or an increased appetite. The ligaments in your pelvis get softer and more stretchy. The amount of blood circulating in your body increases, making your heart and lungs work harder. You may get tired with activity more than usual. The only sure way to know is by having a pregnancy test or pelvic exam. At First Resort we offer free and confidential pregnancy tests.
- back to top -

Can I be pregnant and have menstrual cycles?

Yes, a small number of women can have monthly spotting thinking it’s their period due to regular hormonal change.
- back to top -

When do I ovulate? (What IS ovulation?)

Ovulation occurs when one of the ovaries releases an egg into the pelvic cavity. The egg is retrieved and passes through one of the fallopian tubes. Ovulation usually takes place 14 days after the beginning of your menstrual cycle, if you have a 28-day cycle. The day of ovulation can vary depending on a woman’s longer or shorter cycles.
- back to top -

I’m worried that I could have gotten pregnant last weekend. How soon after the fact can your test tell me if I’m pregnant?

First Resort offers laboratory quality urine tests. Our test is more than 99% accurate. It can detect the pregnancy hormone, hCG, at 20 units, as early as 7 to 10 days after conception. You can come in for an appointment 24 to 28 days after your last menstrual period. The test is completely free.
- back to top -

I just did a home pregnancy test and it was positive. My period is almost 2 weeks late. Can I get a medical abortion?

Medical abortion can be performed in the United States up to 49 days into a pregnancy (this is about 3 weeks late for an average 28-day menstrual cycle). Medical abortion usually involves the use of RU-486, a drug combination that disrupts the lining of an expectantmothers uterus (womb) and destroys the attachment of the early human embryo. The synthetic prostaglandin, misoprostol, causes intense cramps and expels the embryonic/fetal tissues. This process resembles the symptoms of a miscarriage, with pain and bleeding. A percentage of women will also need surgical intervention for persistent bleeding or for failure to expel their embryo/fetus. Consult a board-certified obstetrician-gynecologist to discuss the appropriateness of this process in your case and to explore the possible alternatives.
- back to top -

I’m thinking about having an abortion. How much will it hurt?

The pain of a surgical abortion is very individual, depending on a woman’s pain tolerance and the types/amounts of anesthesia or pain medications used during the procedure. Pain also varies depending on the weeks of gestation (age of the embryo or fetus). Earlier abortions are somewhat less dramatic than later-stage abortions. The typical pain most women describe involves intense cramps and sharp, poking pains, as well as a pulling or tearing sensation in the pelvis. If you are concerned about the pain associated with abortion, ask the provider to explain the types of medications that will be used to minimize your pain. Remember, fear and uncertainty will cause pain to intensify. Be fully informed prior to the procedure.
- back to top -

Can I get a slip from you that verifies my pregnancy?

Yes. If your pregnancy test is positive you will be offered a free ultrasound that will confirm your pregnancy. In order to receive a verification slip, you must have an ultrasound. The verification form will have your pregnancy dates and positive pregnancy confirmation. You may pick up your pregnancy verification form two business days after your ultrasound procedure.
- back to top -

What is an ultrasound?

Ultrasound is a technique that uses sound waves to project a picture of an embryo or fetus in the womb. Ultrasound works by sending and receiving sound waves off the developing fetus. Echoes from the waves are converted into an image, called a sonogram, as seen on a monitor. Ultrasound has been used for more than 30 years, and no risks have been identified. The ultrasound offered at First Resort will:
- Verify your due date
- Measure the size and age of the fetus
- Identify possible miscarriage
- Confirm more than one fetus
- Rule out the possibility of ectopic pregnancy
- back to top -

Why do I need to get an ultrasound before an abortion?

Abortion is the elective termination of a pregnancy that is viable (i.e., would be able to proceed and result in the baby’s live birth if left alone). To be viable, a pregnancy must also be inside the uterus. An ultrasound examination can assure that your pregnancy is in the correct location (i.e., is not a tubal pregnancy) and can assess if there is a miscarriage or blighted ovum (empty egg) present. These events (tubal pregnancy, miscarriage, blighted ovum) have been reported to occur in as many as 20-25% of pregnancies (perhaps higher in first pregnancies). If one of these situations exists, then abortion may be medically unnecessary or potentially hazardous and inappropriate surgery. In fact, abortion isn’t even the right word for resolving these types of abnormal pregnancy events. Most of these abnormal pregnancy diagnoses also have numerous alternative methods of treatment that you should discuss with your medical provider. It is important to add that all of these conditions (tubal pregnancy, miscarriage, blighted ovum) will include positive urine/blood tests. Therefore, a positive pregnancy test should never be used alone to determine the need for an elective abortion. Insist on knowing if you really need an abortion before you pay for one.
- back to top -

I sometimes wonder, if I have an abortion, will I have trouble later on when I DO want a baby?

This is a speculative question and a difficult one to answer. If an abortion procedure is done correctly and no complications occur, then the likelihood of a single early abortion causing future fertility problems is very low. Some studies have suggested that greater than 3 abortions can adversely affect future fertility, but the full extent of this is not yet known. If a complication (such as infection, damage to your cervix or uterus, or perforation of the uterus) occurs, it is possible that these events could lead to decreased fertility and increased incidence of ectopic (tubal) pregnancy. Consequently, it is important to investigate the complication rate at any clinic you might utilize. These rates should not exceed 2-3%.It is also important to note than later-term abortions have higher uterine and cervical injury rates; hysterectomy even becomes a possibility. All of these complications could certainly affect future fertility. If you are concerned about your future fertility, discuss this with your medical provider. Each person has different risk factors and conditions that could greatly affect these general comments.
- back to top -

I am about 8 weeks pregnant and am spotting. Am I on my way to a miscarriage?

There are many possible causes for mild pain in early pregnancy. Implantation of the human embryo can cause period-like cramping; increased blood flow to the pelvis can cause pressure and discomfort. Most pregnancies have an ovarian cyst on one side (the corpus luteum), which can cause discomfort. All of these are normal conditions. If your pain is moderate or severe, it must be evaluated in a timely fashion. Tubal pregnancy, ruptured cysts, miscarriage, infection, and enlarged ovaries are just a few of the possible conditions that need to be assessed. Consult your medical provider whenever you have pain that concerns you. Never self-diagnose pain. It could lead to a serious error.
- back to top -

I’m about 8 weeks pregnant and having some mild pain and cramping. Does this mean something is wrong and I need to have an abortion?

There are many possible causes for mild pain in early pregnancy. Implantation of the human embryo can cause period-like cramping; increased blood flow to the pelvis can cause pressure and discomfort. Most pregnancies have an ovarian cyst on one side (the corpus luteum), which can cause discomfort. All of these are normal conditions. If your pain is moderate or severe, it must be evaluated in a timely fashion. Tubal pregnancy, ruptured cysts, miscarriage, infection, and enlarged ovaries are just a few of the possible conditions that need to be assessed. Consult your medical provider whenever you have pain that concerns you. Never self-diagnose pain. It could lead to a serious error.
- back to top -

What happens when I come in to First Resort for an appointment?

When you come in for your appointment, you will be asked to provide a urine sample for the pregnancy test. You will be seen right away by a trained counselor in a comfortable, private setting. You can talk about your pregnancy concerns and have your questions answered. The counselor will give you information, if you want it, about abortion, parenting or adoption. You will then be given your test results the same day before you leave the office. If you decide you want more counseling, it’s no problem. Just make an appointment for additional appointments at no cost.
- back to top -

(For minors only) Do my parents need to know?

Any counseling or medical services related to prevention or treatment of pregnancy that you receive at First Resort does not require parental consent. All of our services are confidential.
- back to top -

I’ve heard that some women experience depression after having an abortion, even if they were sure about their decision. Why does this happen?

During early pregnancy, a woman’s hormone levels are very high (8 to 12 times higher than normal). These levels are even higher than the hormone levels at the end of pregnancy (40 weeks) and postpartum depression is a well known event. When a pregnancy ends or is aborted, these high hormone levels drop rapidly (within 48 hours). This rapid drop disrupts several chemicals in the brain (neurotransmitters), and can lead to many unusual emotional reactions. Most of these reactions are intense in elective termination of early pregnancy because the beginning hormone levels are much higher and their fall is greater. If you have a history of depression, suicidal thoughts, premenstrual syndrome or postpartum depression, please let your medical providers know. These conditions can increase the possibility of post-abortion depression. Recent studies have shown that suicide attempts (and successes) are much higher in women after abortion. If you are experiencing emotional problems after an abortion, seek medical help immediately. Silence does not solve these chemical imbalances.
- back to top -

What other feelings can a woman have after an abortion?

As with any medical procedure, it is important to consider the impact on your emotional well-being. After an abortion, some women feel a sense of relief that may last from days to decades. Others may feel sad immediately after the procedure. For some, this sadness goes away in a few weeks. Other women may experience some emotional disturbances that last a longer time. Our counselors will help you evaluate your personal circumstances. There are a variety of predictors that help to determine if a woman will be more at risk for a negative emotional reaction to abortion such as:
- Ambivalence
- Coersion or pressure
- Previous abortion(s)
- Spiritual beliefs Some of the common emotional disturbances are: sadness that doesn’t seem to lift, anger, general numbness, sexual dysfunction, feelings of guilt or anxiety, reactions on dates related to the abortion, dreams or sleep disturbances, increased use of alcohol or other substances, and disturbances in relationships.
- back to top -

If I’ve already had an abortion and am feeling some of those symptoms, what should I do now?

If any of the above symptoms linger for longer than a few weeks, it is helpful to seek post-abortion counseling. First Resort offers free and unlimited post-abortion counseling tailored to your own needs. A counselor will help you evaluate your situation. There is relief and hope for a woman who is experiencing emotional pain as a result of abortion.
- back to top -

How much do your services cost?

All of our services are free.
- back to top -

How can your services be free?

First Resort is a Not-for-Profit California Public Benefit Corporation. As a result of volunteerism and financial donations, we are able to provide quality care to our clients at no charge. Most of our medical professionals volunteer their time. Many of our counselors are volunteers as well. Individuals, foundations, and organizations throughout the Bay Area and beyond make tax-deductible donations to First Resort.
- back to top -

If I decide to carry-to-term, what other services does FR offer?

Information on resources for women and children Including referrals for housing, insurance, financial aid, paternity testing and prenatal education. Pre-natal care through your second trimester and doctor referrals for your third trimester, labor, and delivery. Adoption plan referrals.
- back to top -

Three licensed clinics in
the Bay Area.

Call & Book
free appointment at
1-888-252-1822
Same-day appointments available


743company779side_bardirectorieshttp://www.reputationdatabase.com/525015
First Resort
55555
Rated: 5 Stars By 40 Users