How Healthy is My Relationship?

A loving and healthy relationship is something everyone deserves, but creating one takes hard work from both partners. Every characteristic of your relationship, such as how you communicate or how you feel when you’re around each other, contributes to the relationship as a whole.

Healthy Relationships

What characteristics make up your relationship? A healthy relationship is made up of characteristics like encouragement and support whereas an unhealthy relationship is made up of characteristics like put-downs and disrespect. Ask yourself these five questions to find out how healthy your relationship is.

1. How does this relationship make me feel?

When you are with your significant other, you deserve to feel respected, happy, comfortable, and free to be yourself. Are you excited before you see your partner? Does your significant other respect your values and opinions? Do you leave your time together feeling happy?

Healthy:

  • Your partner is supportive of the things you do and encourages you to try new things.
  • Your partner makes you feel happy with a general feeling of comfort and freedom to be yourself.
  • Your partner listens when you have something on your mind and is uplifting with his or her words and makes you feel special.

Unhealthy:

  • When you are together, you feel like you can’t do anything right or like no one else would want you.
  • You feel anxious around your partner with a general feeling of “walking on eggshells.”
  • Your partner uses more put downs than compliments and is critical of what you wear or what you say.

2. How do my friends and family feel about this relationship?

The opinion of your friends and family matters because they know you well and want what’s best for you. Ask your friends and family specifically what they like or dislike about you and your partner being together. Has being with your partner strengthened your friendships? Or do you see your friends and family significantly less than you used to?

Healthy:

  • Your partner gets along with your friends and family.
  • You and your partner are able to spend time together with friends and family.
  • Although your partner might miss you, he or she is supportive and understanding when you spend a weekend with the girls, have a guy’s night out, or go on family vacation.

Unhealthy:

  • Your partner does not attempt to get along with your closest friends and family.
  • Your partner complains that you spend too much time with your family and rarely accompanies you to get-togethers.
  • Your partner attempts to control who you see and when, constantly checks in on you when you’re away, or gets extremely jealous when you talk to someone of the opposite sex and accuses you of flirting or cheating.

3. How do we resolve conflict?

Conflict is normal in relationships, romantic or otherwise. The question is not if there is conflict, but what causes conflict and how it is managed. Are you and your partner able to listen to one another and compromise? Or do you sweep conflict under the rug or place blame?

Healthy:

  • You and your partner can both express your thoughts and feelings to each other.
  • You are able to disagree with your partner.
  • You keep your personal conflict between the two of you and may seek help solving conflict from a trusted friend or family member together.

Unhealthy:

  • Your partner may express his or her thoughts and feelings to you, but does not listen when you express yours or vice versa.
  • Your partner blames you for everything or you automatically claim that the fault is yours in order to keep the peace.
  • Your partner yells and humiliates you in front of other people or threatens to hurt you, your friends, your family, or themselves.

4. How does my partner express anger?

Whether it is family drama, a work-related incident, or the car broke down, you will see your partner angry at some point. How do they express their feelings when things don’t go their way or the two of you disagree?

Healthy:

  • Your partner is able to calm him or herself down.
  • Your partner is able to talk about what happened and does not place blame on you or others.
  • Your partner remains level-headed and reasonable despite being upset.

Unhealthy:

  • Your partner sometimes threatens to destroy your things, or breaks/throws things as a warning when angry and you are the only one who can calm your partner down.
  • Your partner punishes you with the silent treatment and will not talk about what happened or seek to solve the problem.
  • Your partner is unable to control anger and often yells one minute then is sweet and apologetic the next.

5. Does my partner respect my physical boundaries?

You get to create the limits that identify what behavior is permissible towards you and how you will respond when someone surpasses those limits. Does your partner respect you when you create boundaries around your time and physical comfort level?

Healthy:

  • Your partner gives you the time and space you need.
  • Your partner knows your physical limits and respects them.
  • When your partner touches you, it is affectionate and within your boundaries.

Unhealthy:

  • Your partner calls and texts constantly or shows up at your workplace unannounced, especially during times of conflict.
  • Your partner pressures or forces you into having sex or going farther than you want to.
  • Your partner has grabbed you harshly or has shoved, choked, punched, slapped, held you down, or hurt you in some way.

Whether it has happened only once or multiple times, anyone crossing your physical boundaries is NOT okay.

If you have noticed unhealthy signs in your relationship, help and support is available. At Wish, we can help you develop a healthy relationship whether you are single, dating, engaged, or married. Call Wish today at 208-892-WISH (9474) or schedule an appointment online for Healthy Relationship Support.

For assistance with domestic violence or abuse, contact one of the agencies below:

National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)

Alternatives to Violence on the Palouse (ATVP) 208-883-4357 or 509-332-4357

Abuse Recovery Ministry and Services (ARMS) 509-484-0600

My Girlfriend is Pregnant – What Do I Do?

When your girlfriend or partner comes to you with news of pregnancy, it’s natural to feel many different emotions. You might be scared, confused, upset, or even excited. But no matter how you feel about the situation, there are some things you need to do to ensure you and her are both healthy and safe.

Girlfriend is Pregnant

Verify the Pregnancy

The first thing you need to do is to get a pregnancy test performed at a trustworthy clinic or doctor’s office. At Wish Medical, we provide free pregnancy tests for any woman who needs one. You can be assured that our pregnancy tests are accurate and safe.

If the pregnancy test is positive, you should confirm the viability of the pregnancy with an obstetric ultrasound. An ultrasound can give you information that a pregnancy test can’t, such as the approximate age of the pregnancy and whether or not it is viable.

Recognize Her Needs

Along with making sure the pregnancy is safe, you should also make sure your partner is. As much as you’re going through, recognize that your girlfriend is experiencing all that and more. Women’s bodies go through rapid and difficult changes during pregnancy, and your girlfriend may have trouble handling them all. Make sure you’re understanding and compassionate during this time and realize that she may need help even if she doesn’t ask for it.

Recognize Your Own Needs

Many men in this situation make the mistake of concentrating so much on their girlfriend and the pregnancy that they forget to take care of themselves. However, it’s perfectly natural to take some time to talk to a trusted friend, family member, or counselor. You shouldn’t feel like you have to suppress your own emotions to make it through this situation. Instead, find an outlet for these feelings.

Other Advice

Here’s some more quick advice and guidance that you may find useful:

Things to Do

  • Listen

Remember, you’re not the only person in this situation. Listen to your girlfriend and try to understand her perspective and feelings.

  • Be Available

Your partner needs your support and help. Don’t distance yourself or disappear. Instead, make yourself available to her and be there to support her.

  • Talk to Each Other

Make sure you’re on the same page and that you express your feelings to her. Make sure she feels comfortable doing the same with you. Discuss how you’ll tell others and what your next steps are.

  • Get More Information

Don’t assume you know everything already. Get information about your options, your rights as a parent, and what your next steps should be.

What Not to Do

  • Run Away

Your first instinct might be to distance yourself or deny responsibility. This will only make everything else harder. Don’t run from your responsibilities – face them and deal with them.

  • Pressure Her

You both need to agree on what your next steps are. You shouldn’t pressure her to think, act, or feel a certain way about the pregnancy. Doing so will only push her away.

  • Close Yourself Off

Finally, remember to be an active participant in the relationship and pregnancy. Don’t close yourself off or be passive. You have responsibilities to fulfill, and you shouldn’t put all the pressure on others to fill your role.

You Can Do It. We Can Help

At Wish Medical, we provide both women and men with the resources and information they need to handle an unplanned pregnancy. Call or visit our clinic today to access free pregnancy testing, free limited ultrasounds, parenting education, and more. Call 208-892-WISH (9474) today to schedule an appointment now.

What Should I Know About Abortion?

Finding out you’re pregnant when you didn’t plan on it can be overwhelming. Many women in this position see abortion as their best option. Before you make a decision about your pregnancy, it’s important to gather information about your options. Abortion may seem like a quick and easy solution up front, but not all abortion options are the same.

 

Click “read more” under each option to learn more about it.

Abortion Procedures in the First Trimester

RU486, Mifepristone: (Abortion Pill)

RU486, or mifepristone, is commonly known as the “Abortion Pill.” RU486 is only approved for use in women up to 70 days after their last period. That is about 10 weeks along in pregnancy.

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The abortion pill method requires an appointment at a clinic that provides this service. During the visit, you will be given mifepristone, which causes the death of the embryo. You will then be given another drug, misoprostol, to take a couple of days later that will cause cramping and uterine contractions which expels the embryo from your body. You will then have a follow-up appointment for an ultrasound verifying your pregnancy was terminated.

Manual Vacuum Aspiration

Unlike RU486, Manual Vacuum Aspiration (MVA) is a surgical abortion method that is immediately effective but much more invasive. MVA can only be performed early in your pregnancy within 12 weeks of your last period. Most MVA procedures take 10 to 15 minutes, but appointments can last up to a few hours to allow for monitoring and recovery.

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In the MVA procedure, a long

, thin tube is inserted into your uterus. A syringe is attached to the end of the tube to suction the embryo out. You may be given pain medication or a local anesthetic before the procedure. MVA can cause discomfort, cramping and bleeding. You may also need a second appointment for ultrasound verification that your pregnancy was terminated.

Abortion Procedures in the Second and Third Trimesters

The following abortion methods are generally reserved for when your pregnancy is further along. They require significantly more preparation and are more invasive and expensive. The availability of any procedure is based on the laws of that state.

Suction and Curettage

Suction and Curettage is the most common surgical abortion procedure. It can be performed later in your pregnancy than MVA or RU486. The procedure may take about 15 minutes, but you will likely spend several hours at the clinic for observation and recovery. You may also need to take antibiotics after the procedure to prevent infection. Suction and Curettage commonly causes cramps, bleeding, and abdominal tenderness for several days after the procedure.

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First, your cervix will be opened with a device called a tenaculum and several absorbent rods. You may be given a local anesthetic to prevent extreme discomfort. Then, a hard plastic tube will be inserted into your uterus, which is connected to a suction machine. The suction pulls the fetus’ body apart and out of your uterus. A curette – a thin, loop-shaped knife – may also be used to scrape the remaining fetal parts out of the uterus.

The procedure may take as little as 15 minutes, but you may need to spend several hours at the clinic for observation and recovery. You may also need to take antibiotics after the procedure to prevent infection. Suction and Curettage also commonly causes cramps, bleeding, and abdominal tenderness for several days after the procedure.

Dilation and Evacuation

Dilation and Evacuation (or D&E) is one of the most involved and invasive surgical abortion procedures. Because this procedure is only used later in your pregnancy, it can have several extreme side effects. D&E can be performed up to 24 weeks, or approximately six months, after your last period. At this point in pregnancy, the fetus is too large for a suction machine to function properly.

D&E procedures take about 15 to 30 minutes to complete, and require several hours of recovery afterward. They commonly result in nausea, bleeding, and cramping for days or weeks after the procedure. In some cases D&E can result in damage to your uterine lining or cervix, which may make it harder for you to become pregnant in the future.

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First, your cervix will be dilated extensively one to two days before your abortion procedure by your abortion provider.

On the day of your procedure, you may be given a local anesthetic to prevent discomfort. Then your cervix will be further dilated using a tenaculum and cone-shaped rods. A shot may be given to ensure fetal death has occurred. Then, the fetus will be removed using a suction tube, a curette, and sometimes forceps.

Get Informed

Abortion isn’t a simple, risk-free procedure. All abortion methods take time and may have serious side effects. As you consider this option, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Am I pregnant?
    • Get a lab quality pregnancy test and ultrasound to see how far along you are and if the pregnancy is viable (has a heartbeat and is in the uterus).
  • What are the risks?
    • All medical procedures come with the risk of complication. It is your right to give fully informed consent to an abortion procedure.
  • Have I considered the alternatives?
    • Abortion might seem like the best option with your current circumstances, but it is not the only option. Some women are surprised to find they enjoy being a parent. Others who might not feel ready to parent choose adoption.
  • What do I do if I change my mind?
    • It is your choice and you can change your mind at any time before the procedure. Don’t let anyone pressure you. If you have already taken the first part of the Abortion Pill, call (877) 558-0333 right away.
  • How does the abortion clinic handle complications?
    • Ask the clinic about their follow-up or emergency care. Ask them if they have admitting privileges to a nearby hospital.
  • What do I know about the abortion provider?
    • Find out the name of the main doctor at the abortion clinic and if he or she is licensed and board certified. You can also find out if there are any disciplinary actions or malpractice cases against the doctor at www.abms.org/verify-certification/
  • Will I feel pain?
    • Ask the abortion provider about your anesthesia options. Usually these options will include sedation, and maybe local or general anesthesia.
  • How will I feel afterwards?
    • Often, women may feel initial relief. However, many women also struggle with their decision for months, maybe years, after. If this is you, contact Wish Medical today to speak with an advocate for help.
  • What are my rights as a minor?
    • No one, not even your parents, can legally force you to have an abortion. Contact the police if you are being pressured to have an unwanted abortion.
  • Should I get tested for Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI’s)?
    • An infection can complicate any kind of surgical procedure. Most STI’s show no symptoms so it’s important to get tested.

If you want to learn more about these procedures and your other pregnancy options, call Wish Medical today at 208-892-WISH (9474) or schedule an appointment online.

What to Do When You Have an Unplanned Pregnancy

Did you miss a period? Maybe a home test came up positive? Or, maybe, you’re experiencing other pregnancy symptoms that make you think you might be pregnant. No matter how you got here, thinking you might be pregnant when you didn’t plan on it can bring a lot of different emotions. Whether you are excited, afraid, or shocked, there are some questions you’ll want answered when you think you might be pregnant.

1. How am I really feeling?

Whether you are feeling afraid, disappointed, confused, or excited, allow yourself to express your feelings. Talk them through with someone you trust. If you decide to get a pregnancy test at Wish Medical, you will get to speak with a trained and experienced advocate at your appointment. She can help you process through your emotions and, if you want to, talk about your options. In order to move forward, it’s important to stay calm and gather information.

2. Am I really pregnant? How far along am I?

Whether you are experiencing symptoms or took a home test, you should get a lab quality pregnancy test and schedule an ultrasound for verification. An ultrasound will help you know for sure whether your pregnancy is viable (in the uterus and has a heartbeat) and tell you how far along you are. Knowing how far along you are is important in making informed decisions.

3. Who do I want to confide in?

Coming to terms with an unplanned pregnancy can be hard enough without involving the important people in your life. While it can be easy to retreat and keep the news to yourself, it can be just as easy to tell a lot of people and get conflicting, pressuring opinions. Neither option is ideal so it’s important to consider who you want by your side during this process. Who do you look up to? Who do you feel safe confiding in? Who will listen to you and support you in the process?

4. Do I understand my options?

Thinking about your options can be overwhelming. Where do you begin doing research and how do you filter through all of the information? It’s important, though, to make an informed decision. At your pregnancy test appointment, a compassionate and informed advocate can help you learn more about each option in a safe, confidential setting.

Contact Wish Medical today at 208-892-WISH (9474) to learn about the options available to you, get free pregnancy resources, and talk to someone who will listen without judgment.

Am I Pregnant? Take This Quiz

If you think you might be pregnant, or you’re not sure whether the symptoms you’re feeling are pregnancy-related, we can help. This quick online questionnaire will help you determine whether or not you’re experiencing the early signs of pregnancy.

Question 1: Are you using birth control?

Birth control can be effective at preventing pregnancy, but only when it is used correctly (and remember it’s not always guaranteed to work 100%). Unfortunately many people who use birth control don’t always use it properly. Other birth control methods, such as the withdrawal method, reliable. If you’re using an alternate method – or not using birth control at all – you’re much more likely to be pregnant.

Question 2: When did you last have your period?

One of the most reliable signs of being pregnant is if your period is late or never comes. However, some women also experience cramping and spotting in early pregnancy that makes them think they are having a period. Other women have irregular menstrual cycles that are difficult to track. In these cases, you may want to schedule a pregnancy test or medical consultation.

Question 3: When did you last ovulate?

Ovulation is the process of releasing an egg from your ovaries to be fertilized. If you have sex around the time of ovulation, your chances of becoming pregnant go up dramatically. Ovulation usually occurs around 2 weeks after your last menstrual period starts, though this timing can vary between women. Keep in mind, too, that a man’s sperm can live inside your body for several days. This makes pregnancy much more likely around the time of ovulation.

Question 4: Are you experiencing early pregnancy symptoms?

There are many symptoms of early pregnancy, including:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Sore or tender breasts
  • Cramping or light spotting
  • Fatigue and tiredness
  • Food cravings or food aversions
  • More frequent urination
  • Indigestion and constipation

However, not all women have the same pregnancy symptoms or experience them the same way. If you’re experiencing a combination of the above symptoms, pregnancy is more likely, but only a pregnancy test can tell you for sure.

Question 5: Have you already taken a pregnancy test?

If you’ve already taken a pregnancy test, you might be wondering whether or not your result was accurate. There are two kinds of inaccurate tests: false negatives and false positives.

False negatives – where the test says you aren’t pregnant but you really are – are common. The usual reason for a false negative is not waiting long enough to take the test. Pregnancy tests are more accurate when you wait longer for pregnancy hormones to build up in your body. To get a definite reading from a pregnancy test, you’ll need to wait until after you should have started your period.

On the other hand, false positives – where the test says you are pregnant but you’re not – are extremely rare. They generally only occur when you are taking specific medications or have other health problems. In almost every case, if you have a positive pregnancy test it means you are pregnant.

Question 6: Have you gotten an ultrasound?

If you’ve received a positive pregnancy test, your next step is to schedule an ultrasound to make sure your pregnancy is healthy. Our clinic provides free pregnancy testing, free ultrasounds, and other pregnancy support services. Contact us today at 208-892-WISH (9474) to schedule an appointment and learn more, or stop by our clinic at your convenience.

Common Early Signs of Pregnancy

No two women have exactly the same pregnancy symptoms. Symptoms can even differ from pregnancy to pregnancy. However, if you think there’s a chance you could be pregnant, there are some common signs and symptoms you can look for. While none of these are a guarantee you are or aren’t pregnant, they can be a good indication it’s time to schedule your free pregnancy test and learn your next steps.

Early Signs and Symptoms of Pregnancy

Spotting or Cramping

Women generally associate bleeding, spotting and cramping with their menstrual cycle, but in some cases they can actually be signs of pregnancy instead. Implantation bleeding – which occurs when the embryo implants into the uterine wall – is one of the earliest and most common signs of pregnancy. It generally occurs within a week after fertilization, but it’s also very easy to mistake for your menstrual period.

Nausea and Vomiting

Many women experience “morning sickness,” where they feel inexplicably nauseous at different times through the day. Morning sickness can be mild to severe, and some women may not get any at all. Most women stop feeling nauseous by the second trimester. Morning sickness is caused by changing hormone levels, and it can also cause food cravings or aversions.

Increased Urination

Pregnant women tend to urinate more frequently than normal due to changing hormone levels, increased blood flow, and the growing baby pushing on their bladder from inside. It’s very common to see increased urination later in pregnancy, but some women start to notice it early on.

Dizziness or Fainting

Early in pregnancy many women experience dizziness, shortness of breath, and changes in balance. Though it can feel disorienting and even scary, it’s usually nothing to worry about and tends to go away on its own. Most of the time it is simply caused by changing hormone levels causing changes in blood flow and blood sugar.

Fatigue

Almost all pregnant women feel tired more frequently and get tired more easily from doing routine tasks and activities. You may feel the urge to sit or lie down more frequently or simply feel sleepy during the day. This is due to the same changes in blood sugar levels and blood pressure that can cause dizziness. Women also tend to get fatigued when they don’t have enough iron or protein in their diet to support both their own metabolism and the growth of their baby.

Breast Changes

Women frequently notice changes in their breasts and nipples when they become pregnant. Your breasts may become larger and feel more sensitive, or your nipples might enlarge and darken. This is all due to your body preparing to support milk production.

Constipation

Increased hormone levels in your blood stream cause your digestive processes to slow down. This can often lead to constipation, which is why it’s important for women who are pregnant to drink lots of water and to eat fiber-rich foods like green vegetables and whole grains.

Heartburn

Most women get at least some heartburn during their pregnancies, but it’s often not until the second or third trimester. However, some women experience heartburn as an early pregnancy symptom due to hormone changes which impact their digestive systems.

Food and Smell Aversions

Many pregnant women report feelings of aversion to foods and smells that normally don’t bother them, such as coffee or onion. On the other hand, some women also note that they feel food cravings or suddenly like the smell of things they normally don’t enjoy. Nobody is sure what causes this symptom, but it’s common enough that you shouldn’t be worried if you experience it.

Aches and Pains

It’s very common for women to get headaches, backaches, and various muscle pains during pregnancy. Some are due to hormonal changes while others may be due to joint swelling or decreased mobility. You can use heating pads, cold wraps, or Tylenol (Acetominophen) to help alleviate these symptoms, but stay away from anti-inflammatories, such as Advil (Ibuprofen), Aleve (Naproxen), or Aspirin as they can cause severe pregnancy complications.

Missed Period

Finally, the single most common symptom of pregnancy is a missed period. However, it’s often hard for women to know for sure if they have missed their period, or if they might have missed it due to another reason (such as stress, illness, or changing their method of birth control). If you think you might have missed your period, you should schedule a free pregnancy test just in case. Taking a test early in pregnancy can help you understand and be prepared for other symptoms, and it can also help you know what options are available to you.

Schedule Your Free Pregnancy Test Today

If you think you might need to take a pregnancy test, call Wish Medical today to schedule one for free. Our free pregnancy tests and other medical services are accurate and confidential. Call 208-892-WISH(9474) to make an appointment, ask questions, and get help today.