Agape is dedicated to helping women who are facing unplanned pregnancies. We recognize there are some very difficult decisions you will have to make. The lay counselors and staff at Agape Pregnancy Resource Center are dedicated to providing you with all of the information that you need to make an informed choice about your pregnancy. The team wants you to know that you are not alone and you are not a number. You may be feeling pressure to make a decision, but in reality, you have plenty of time to get all of your questions answered.
A website alone could never give you the solution to your pregnancy. But this site and the compassionate professional staff at Agape Pregnancy Resource Center are here to help you find the solution that is right for you.
Listed below are several commonly asked questions with helpful information. Even if your question is listed, please don't hesitate to ask one of our caring team members whatever you need to know. We are here to help you.
The pregnancy test can quickly determine whether or not a woman is pregnant. These tests are effective even early in the pregnancy. The method uses immunochromatography to measure a certain hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG), produced by the placenta. The test can detect a positive pregnancy as early as 7-10 days after conception. The test is very specific, meaning other hormones or substances do not interfere with the results. Our pregnancy tests are 99 percent accurate and are of a medical grade. You will receive the results during your appointment. After a positive test result, see your doctor for confirmation of pregnancy. You may come back and receive a retest at any time. Of course, just like our other services, our pregnancy tests are 100% free and confidential.
Yes, you may be rescheduled for another test. The hCG hormone doubles every 2.2 days during the first three months of pregnancy.
If you have concerns about late periods and your pregnancy test continues to be negative, you should see your health care provider for assessment. If you need resources for health care, we can provide you referrals.
Don't get caught worrying about being pregnant before you are sure. A late period is the most common indication, but it doesn't necessarily mean you are pregnant. The most common symptoms are nausea or vomiting, backaches, swollen breasts, being tired or dizzy, as well as having to urinate frequently.
Many women don’t experience any symptoms until after they have missed their period or are at least a week or two along. Every woman’s body is different and you may have different symptoms. Although pregnancy could be a reason for missing a period, it could also be caused by illness, travel, worry or stress. The only way to be sure is to have a pregnancy test.
We will provide you with a free, medical grade pregnancy test. You will have the results during your appointment. Call us today to schedule a confidential appointment.
Abortion has many risks to your body, mind and spirit. If you are considering an abortion, please take the time to explore all of your options.
Possible physical consequences:
- Post-Abortion Syndrome (PAS)
- Eating disorders
- Alcohol or drug abuse
Possible mental consequences:
- Feelings of guilt, anxiety, depression, shame, and grief
- Thoughts of suicide
- Re-experiencing the abortion
- Fear of not being able to get pregnant again
Many women do not experience grief and other side-effects until months after and often wish that they could go back and "undo" the abortion. Most of these things are not typically talked about because of the extreme guilt felt by these women.
The fact that 43% of all women have experienced abortion¹ is a good reference. While a woman may initially feel relief, the forever pain of being a mother of a dead child has long outlasted any initial relief.
Yes, abortion can cause many types of permanent damage to the mother. One woman said, "I never realized that the abortion could make me unable to have a baby." Not only can women die during abortion procedures, but they can also be hurt incredibly. An abortion can weaken the uterine lining, causing the placenta to tear away—a condition called “placenta previa.” This is common in post-abortive women.
Before taking the Morning After Pill, you should understand what it is, what it could mean to your health and how it works. Call for an appointment and one of our staff will be happy to discuss it with you, confirm if you're pregnant and advise you on your options.
What is it? The “morning after pill” is a large dose of oral contraceptive. Known as Plan B, the pill is actually 2 tablets, one taken within 72 hours of intercourse and the second 12 hours later. It is NOT the same as RU-486.
How does it work?
The morning after pill is an abortifacient—a drug that causes the uterus to shed its lining and abort any baby forming there. Plan B is believed to act as an emergency contraceptive principally by preventing ovulation or fertilization. In addition, it may inhibit implantation of a fertilized egg. It is not effective once the process of implantation has begun. You must have a prescription in order to obtain this pill.
Things to Consider
Emergency contraception is not effective if a woman is already pregnant.Plan B does not protect against HIV infection (AIDS) and other sexually transmitted diseases.The most common side effects in the Plan B were nausea, abdominal pain, fatigue, headache, breast tenderness, possible blood clot formation, and menstrual changes.The manufacturer warns that Plan B is not recommended for routine use as a contraceptive.
Manufacturer's Prescribing Information for Plan B (Levonorgestrel) tablets, 0.75 mg. Mfg. by Gedeon Richter, Ltd., Budapest, Hungary for Duramed Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Subsidiary of Barr Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Pomona, NY 10970. Revised Feb 2004. BR-038 / 21000382503
Before taking RU-486, or Abortion Pill, you should understand what it is, what it could mean to your health and how it works. Call for an appointment and one of our staff will be happy to discuss it with you, confirm if you're pregnant and advise you on your options.
What is it?
RU-486, also known as “the abortion pill,” is actually a combination of two drugs -- mifepristone and misoprostol -- that cause early abortion. It should not be used if it has been more than 7 weeks since your last period. It is NOT the same as the “morning after pill.”
How does it work?
The first pill, mifepristone, is taken orally and blocks the hormone progesterone needed to maintain the pregnancy. The second pill, misoprostol, is given two days later later, causing the uterus to contract and expel the placenta and embryo.
Things to Consider
An RU-486 abortion requires 3 visits to a health care provider. Most medical abortions using mifepristone are completed within 2 weeks, but some can take up to 3 or even 4 weeks.Side effects include heavy bleeding, headache, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and cramping.If this method fails, a surgical abortion will be required.
Women who choose to abort a baby by using Mifeprex will likely experience more emotional trauma than women who have their babies aborted surgically, because of the amount of time required for the abortion to be completed. In addition, it is much more likely that the woman will actually see her dead baby after it has been expelled from her body. According to the pro-abortion Alan Guttmacher Institute (the research arm of Planned Parenthood), one of the primary disadvantages of Mifeprex is "not knowing when the abortion will actually take place."
According to Wisconsin state law, if you are less than 13 years old, and your partner is more than 3 years older than you, it is illegal and considered statutory rape. And if you are older than 13 (and under 18), having sexual relations with a partner more than 2 years older, it is also illegal.
Facts in Brief: Induced Abortion, 2000 www.agi-usa.org
By law, in Wisconsin, abortion clinics are required to offer you true education about abortions. However, as lawsuits have shown, this does not always happen. Abortion clinics are selling a service and history has shown that it is possible that the abortion clinic may provide you with incorrect information in order to obtain your abortion fee.
This is not only true in Wisconsin. Carol Everett is a woman who used to provide abortion services in Texas. She testified in front of Congress that she sold abortions to women who were not pregnant but were afraid that they were.
For the best medical input on abortions, we recommend that you speak with a medical professional that has nothing to gain by you having an abortion. We have listings of such medical professionals available at our Center. Please contact us today.
A pregnancy can become a crisis when it is complicated by:
- School or career pressures
- Family tension
- Broken relationships
- Financial needs
- Health concerns
Talk to someone you trust. Although you may feel alone and helpless in your pregnancy, there is support. The Agape Pregnancy Resource Center peer counselors care and are trained to help. They can help you explore all the options available to you and prepare you to discuss your pregnancy with your parents. You may be pleased at the support your parents and friends will give you. They may express anger or disappointment at first, but give them a chance to support you.
The Agape Pregnancy Resource Center can help you connect with income support programs and offer referrals for housing and other resources you may need. Our services are offered free of charge. Your counselor will help you look at all your options: parenting, adoption and abortion. We believe that information on all options will help you make a choice that is best for you.
You can acquire information concerning the development of your child at the Agape Pregnancy Resource Center. You can also learn about how pregnancy will affect you. You will also find some helpful resources on our website.
An unexpected pregnancy does not mean you have to drop out of school. Our peer counselors can explore with you how you can continue your education.
What is a condom?
A condom is a thin, flexible covering that goes over the penis during sex. Most condoms are made of natural latex (from rubber trees).
What are they used for?
Condoms are supposed to capture a guy's semen so it won't enter a girl's body. And that's supposed to help prevent pregnancy and the spread of STDs (sexually transmitted diseases).
Do they work?
Well, let's look at the facts. Obviously they don't work at all unless they're used in the first place. And they don't protect very well if they are used "inconsistently" or "incorrectly." In other words: you have to use them every single time- with no exceptions and follow the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) recommended seven steps for correct usage.
Do most people use them consistently and correctly?
Studies vary in specifics but generally report bad news:Only about half of sexually active adolescents report using a condom the last time they had sex.When given a basic list of procedures for correct condom use, less than half of sexually active adolescents report they use them correctly.The more partners a person has, the less likely they are to use condoms (more partners means greater risk, too).In a study of couples who knew their partner was HIV positive, only about half used condoms consistently.
What if I use them most of the time?
You're at risk. In fact, the CDC says, "Used inconsistently (less than 100 percent of the time), condoms offer little more protection than when they are not used at all." Good intentions won't protect you. About 15 percent of couples who rely upon condoms to avoid pregnancy will still get pregnant within the first year of use. And even if you do manage to use them consistently and correctly, 2-4 percent of condoms leak, break or slip off. And you're not just at risk for pregnancy.
Do condoms prevent all STDs?
An STD is a virus, bacteria or other small organism that can be acquired through through sexual contact with someone who has the disease. Some have cures. Some do not. Some are relatively harmless if treated. Some are deadly. Condoms do reduce the risk but do not eliminate the risk of acquiring such STDs as HIV and gonorrhea. They're even less effective at preventing genital herpes, trichmoniasis and chlamydia. Plus, they offer no protection against HPV- one of the most common STDs in America- which causes 90 percent of all cervical cancer. So even if you use them right every time, you're still at risk for some STDs.
Should I trust my future to a condom?
You figure it out. Based on what you've learned, does it make any sense to trust your life to a little latex? Condoms, when used consistently and correctly, help reduce the rates of pregnancy and the spread of some STDs, but they don't eliminate the risks. Sex is still risky, whether you use a condom or not. It's your life. It's your future. It's your choice.
What's the Alternative?
In a word - abstinence.
Your only safe choice is to save sex for marriage. What fun is that? Well, for starters, you'll be free to pursue your dreams without having to worry about pregnancies or STDs. You won't have guilt, memories or excess baggage to bring to your marriage. And your honeymoon will be a special evening for both of you. And if that's not enough, did you know that studies show that married people report more satisfaction with their sex lives than unmarried couples?
What If I've Already Had Sex?
It's never too late to start making smarter, healthier choices.You can't change your past, but you can certainly shape you future. Make a new commitment today and live it out.
Remember: Condoms don't make sex safe. Only abstinence works every time .
Is oral sex "safe sex"?
On this point, everyone agrees. Oral sex, like other methods of sex, carries with it the risk of serious, untreatable and even life- threatening diseases in both men and women. Oral sex has been found to spread syphilis, gonorrhea, HIV (HIV causes AIDS), HPV, genital herpes, chlamydia and possibly hepatitis C.
Is oral sex really sex?
There is a common, growing idea among young teens that oral sex isn't really sex. What they say is "real sex", or sexual intercourse, is technically called "coitus" (or vaginal sex - the penetration of the male genital into the female vagina). However, almost any dictionary also contains the secondary definition for sexual intercourse: "intercourse involving genital contact between individuals other than penetration of the vagina by the penis." In other words, any genital contact is "sex." Oral sex really is sex.
Have you ever thought about what is growing in your womb? From the moment of conception, a unique human being with some of your characteristics is starting its life. From conception until birth nothing is added to your baby except time and growth. Within 5 to 9 days, your baby’s sex can be determined, at 18 days, your baby’s heart begins to beat. To learn more what your child looks like, go to JustTheFacts.org.
Remember, no person will be required to live with the consequences of this decision as much as you will. If your boyfriend, husband, parents, or even friends are pressuring you to make a quick decision, explain your needs and try to involve them in counseling to explore your positive options. You have the right to continue with this pregnancy.
You may see this unplanned pregnancy as a major roadblock in your life. Thankfully, there are other routes that can get you back on track. Be encouraged to know that many women in the same situation have found the necessary help and resources to make positive choices to parent or adoption, and still realize their dreams. At Agape Pregnancy Resource Center we are here to help you.
If you’ve had an abortion, or are thinking about having one, consider that 90% of all women who have had an abortion regret their decision and live with Post-Abortion Stress (PAS), the psychological response to abortion.
Women with PAS experience one or more of these symptoms:
- Suicidal Thoughts
- Anniversary Grief
- Flashbacks of Abortion
- Sexual Dysfunction
- Relationship Problems
- Eating Disorders
- Alcohol and Drug Abuse
- Psychological Reactions
PAS is an ongoing inability to:
Process the painful thoughts and emotions – especially guilt, anger and grief – which arise from one or more unplanned pregnancies and subsequent abortions. Identify (much less grieve) the loss that has been experienced.Come to peace with God, herself and others involved in the pregnancy and abortion decision.
What about the Spiritual Consequences?
People have different understanding of God. Whatever your present beliefs may be, there is a spiritual side to abortion that deserves to be considered. Having an abortion may affect more than just your body and your mind – it may have an impact on your relationship with God. What is God’s desire for you in this situation? How does God see your unborn child? These are important questions to consider.
My life is overwhelming, and I still am not sure…
Whatever your situation or crisis you are facing, we are here to help you. If you want to talk to a counselor please contact us.
If you choose to abort your baby, we are still here for you and care for your well-being. Make sure you keep our number (608) 784-4966 for safe-keeping, so we can be there for you. You will not be judged, or condemned. Only loved and attended to. We’re here to help you through your time of need.
Millions of women have thought that their unborn babies were just a blob of tissue… yet unformed at the time of their abortions.
Some claim no regrets, while others face immediate emotional, spiritual, and/or physical issues. Some women who’ve experienced abortion are shocked & remorseful when they later understand the remarkable development and abilities of their unborn babies.
Many women wish they had been shown how developed their babies were… they wish they’d have been able to see fetal models, or have had an ultrasound before making the decision!
Here is a basic timeline of life before birth:
The second your egg is fertilized by a sperm, it contains the plans for every detail of the baby’s development, including sex, hair and eye color, and height.
The brain, spinal chord, and nervous system develop. The heart begins to beat.
The backbone and muscles are forming.
Arms with hands and fingers, legs with feet and toes, and eyes can be seen.
Brain waves can be detected.
The body is nearly complete. Internal organs are present and functioning. Changes after the ninth week are primarily changes in size, rather than appearance.
The baby moves vigorously and can make a tight fist. The mother will not be able to feel movement until the fourth or fifth month. The fetus can experience pain.
The baby is 8-10 inches long and weighs 1/2 pound.
The baby may jump in response to a loud noise.
If the baby were to be born during this month and given special care, he or she could survive.
All our services are confidential which means we won’t tell your parents, friends, etc. that you visited us and won’t contact you without your permission. We are here to help you!
The father's legal responsibilities include providing financial support for your child. Most states have a child support enforcement agency that will withhold money from his paycheck if he is unwilling to pay. If the father is unable to provide child support, you need to plan how you will care for your baby without him. A birth father's support record may influence court decisions about custody and visitation rights. You and the father should also discuss your individual rights and responsibilities. A child's needs are best met when you and the father work together.
We can help you explore your housing options before you deliver. Most single parents need to work. Consider your childcare options in each situation:
- Living with a friend or relative
- Staying in a group home for single mothers
- Living with your parents or the birth father's parents
- Finding an apartment in public, subsidized housing
Agape Pregnancy Resource Center has many material resources for you and your baby. We can help you with maternity clothes, baby clothing, child birth and parenting classes, etc. Learn more!
Making the choice to place a baby for adoption is one of the most important decisions you will ever make. It is an incredibly selfless act. A birth mother who decides to place her baby for adoption is not only choosing to give life to her child, but is choosing to give her child important things that she may not be able to provide herself – such as a two-parent family, or financial and emotional security. She may also feel as though she is simply not in a stage in her life where she can provide a secure home for her child.
An advantage to adoption is that the birth mother can feel confident about her decision, knowing that her baby is going to be loved and well-cared for. An important thing to know is that you, the birth mother, can be the one to choose the family who will raise your child. You can meet the family and perhaps have an opportunity to get to know them personally, which can help you determine if adoption is the right choice for you.
Many women have the baby blues in the days after childbirth. If you have the baby blues, you may:
- Have mood swings
- Feel sad, anxious, or overwhelmed
- Have crying spells
- Lose your appetite
- Have trouble sleeping
The baby blues most often go away within a few days or a week. The symptoms are not severe and do not need treatment.
The symptoms of postpartum depression last longer and are more severe. Postpartum depression can begin anytime within the first year after childbirth. If you have postpartum depression, you may have any of the symptoms of depression listed above. Symptoms may also include:
- Thoughts of hurting the baby
- Thoughts of hurting yourself
- Not having any interest in the baby
Postpartum depression needs to be treated by a doctor.
Postpartum psychosis (seye-KOH-suhss) is rare. It occurs in about 1 to 4 out of every 1,000 births. It usually begins in the first 2 weeks after childbirth. Women who have bipolar disorder or another mental health problem called schizoaffective (SKIT-soh-uh-FEK-tiv) disorder have a higher risk for postpartum psychosis. Symptoms may include:
- Seeing things that aren’t there
- Feeling confused
- Having rapid mood swings
- Trying to hurt yourself or your baby
Yes. Many men have questions about pregnancy, abortion and other issues. We invite you to speak to one of our counselors or make an appointment for your wife or girlfriend and come in together.
We know that your decisions are yours to make. We’ll listen and answer any of your questions. We have services to help you in deciding what option is best for you, and support services for you after your decision is made. We will help you deal with the emotions and challenges you might face with each option.
The United States has an epidemic of sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Over 70 million Americans currently have an STI. 19 million new cases occur each year. Half of these are in people under 25. Each year, 15.3 million new STD infections occur, including over 4 million infections in teens. The two most common STDs, herpes and human papilloma virus (HPV), account for 65 of the 68 million current infections. It is estimated that 20 percent of all Americans age 12 and older are infected with genital herpes.
1 in 4 Americans presently have an STD and nearly 80% of people that are infected with an STD do not know it. You can have an STD and have no symptoms for months…or even years…but, STD’s are contagious even if no symptoms are present.
Women are often more at risk for STDs because their bodies don't always display symptoms and damage can result. Infections can cause severe damage to delicate reproductive organs, resulting in infertility. If you are involved sexually, you need to know these facts.
Source: The Medical Institute for Sexual Health (MI), We encourage you to visit the “Sexual Health” section of their website located at medinstitute.org to learn more about STIs and other issues related to sexual health. You will find fact sheets for all the major STIs as well as data and research covering a range of topics.
STIs can be caused by bacteria (eg, chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis), viruses (eg, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis, herpes, HPV), or parasites (trichmoniasis). Chlamydia is the most common bacterial STI. Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is the most common viral STI.
You get STIs during sexual activity. This includes vaginal sex, oral sex[4-9] and anal sex.[9-12] A few—HPV and herpes—can even be spread by contact with infected skin. Others, such as HIV and hepatitis, can be spread through needle-sharing. You can get STIs from someone who has no symptoms.
The Most Common STIs include:
- Genital Herpes
- Human Papilloma Virus (HPV)
- Hepatitis B
- Hepatitis C
Most people with STIs have no symptoms. Even without symptoms, they can still pass on the infection. Some STIs cause symptoms such as an abnormal discharge from the penis or vagina, burning sensation when urinating and abdominal pain. Skin changes can also occur; these include rashes, ulcers and warts.
Because most STIs cause no symptoms, they are not detected until complications develop. If you or your partner have had more than one sex partner or have ever injected drugs, talk to your doctor about getting tested.
In women, complications from infection include pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), tubal pregnancy, infertility and cervical cancer. In pregnant women, STIs can lead to miscarriage, stillbirths, preterm delivery and birth defects. In men, HPV infection can cause penile cancer. Some STIs, such as HIV, can be life-threatening.
Adolescents and young adults (15-24) are the age groups at the greatest risk for acquiring an STD. Approximately two-thirds of all people who acquire STDs are under 25. The Centers for Disease Control states that adolescents and young adults are at greater risk for many reasons, including:
- They may have less immunity than adults
- They may be more likely to engage in unprotected intercourse
- They may select partners at higher risk
- Age at initiation of sexual activity has decreased while age at first marriage has increased, resulting in more nonmarital sexual experience
- They may be more likely to have multiple sex partners
According to former U.S. Surgeon General, C. Everett Koop, "when you have sex with someone, you are having sex with everyone they have had sex with for the last 10 years, and everyone they have had sex with for the last 10 years."
Most bacterial STIs can be treated and cured with antibiotics. Treatment does not guarantee that complications have not already occurred. A few viral STIs can be treated and occasionally cured. These are hepatitis C and B. However, other viral STIs can be treated for symptoms, but not cured. These include HIV and herpes. Vaccine research on viral STIs is ongoing. Vaccination for hepatitis B is effective and widely available. An HPV vaccine has recently become available and is recommended for young women. However, this vaccine does not protect against all types of HPV that cause cancer and warts. How long it works is also unknown.
While medical science has made great advances, the STD epidemic continues to grow. Chlamydia and gonorrhea can be "cured" with antibiotics, but can leave scars, which often require future treatment and may cause infertility. And certain strains of gonorrhea are becoming increasingly resistant to antibiotics.
Viral STDs pose a major problem, because no medical cure has been found for any virus-not even the common cold. This means if a person becomes infected with a viral STD (such as herpes, HPV or HIV) there is no cure. A vaccine for herpes has been rumored for years, but has not yet been produced. Antiviral drugs reduce the number of outbreaks a person with herpes experiences, they cannot eliminate the outbreaks entirely. A cure, or vaccine, for the HIV virus is probably years away. We do know, however, that even if vaccines or cures for these infections were available today-the STD problem would not be solved.
Source: Medical Institute for Sexual Health
Yes, STIs can be prevented. Avoid all sexual activity if you are single or be faithful to one uninfected partner for life. This is the only way to avoid the risk of an infection. There are also a number of ways to reduce the risk of infection. The fewer people you have sex with, the lower your your risk of getting STIs. Correct and consistent condom use can also reduce (but not eliminate) your risk of getting most STIs.
Consistent condom use (100%) during vaginal sex reduces your risk for:
- HIV by 85%
- Gonorrhea by about 50%
- Chlamydia by about 50% [
- Herpes by about 50%
- Syphilis by about 50%
- HPV by 50% or less
Few studies have been done to see whether condoms reduce the risk of STIs, including HIV, during oral sex or anal sex. Waiting to have sex until you are in a faithful, lifelong relationship (such as marriage) is the only certain way to avoid being infected sexually. You might think, “Well, it’s too late for me…I’ve already made so many mistakes…” The truth is though, that it’s not too late. You can make a change that will lead to a healthier life from this day forward! Hey! You are worth the wait!
Source: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Workshop Summary: Scientific Evidence on Condom Effectiveness for Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) Prevention. Bethesda, MD: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; 2001. Available from: http://www.niaid.nih.gov/dmid/stds/condomreport.pdf. Accessed: 2006 Nov 20.