Is She Pregnant? Ask Questions to Find Out
A woman should try not to start certain family planning methods while pregnant.
Asking questions usually is enough to find out if a woman might be pregnant. Pregnancy tests and physical examinations usually are not needed, and they discourage clients.
If the woman answers “Yes” to any of these 6 questions, it is reasonably certain she is not pregnant. (Once she answers “yes” to a question, you can skip the other questions.)
1. Did she give birth in the last 6 months, and is breastfeeding often, and has not yet had a menstrual period?
2. Has she abstained from vaginal sex since her last menstrual period?
3. Did her menstrual period start in the last 7 days?
4. Has she been using family planning effectively and was her last menstrual period less than 5 weeks ago?
5. Did she give birth in the last 4 weeks?
6. Did she have an abortion or miscarriage in the last 7 days?
Source: Adapted from Family Health International and Technical Guidance/Competence Working Group.
If the client answers “No” to all of these questions, the woman might be pregnant; pregnancy cannot be ruled out. Has she noticed signs of pregnancy? If so, try to confirm by physical examination.
If her answers cannot rule out pregnancy, the client should either have a laboratory pregnancy test or wait until her next menstrual period before starting combined or progestin-only oral contraceptives, injectables, Norplant implants, IUDs, or female sterilization. She can use condoms or spermicide until then. If she wishes, she can be given oral contraceptives, too, with instructions to start them when her menstrual period begins.
COPYRIGHT 1998 Department of Health
COPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group