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Wednesday, 3 October 2012

If you think you're pregnant

If you think that you may be pregnant, or if you want find out more information for a friend, there are lots of places that can give you help and advice on the options available.

What to do if you think you're pregnant

If you’ve had unprotected sex, or you’re not sure you’ve used your contraception properly and your period is late, you should take a pregnancy test as soon as possible. Although periods can be late for other reasons like exam stress, you should still take a test to be sure even though it can be a nerve-wracking and stressful experience.

If you take a pregnancy test early, there are more options open to you if the result does turn out to be positive.

If you are under the age of consent and you think you may be pregnant, you can still get a free pregnancy test from your GP, family planning clinic or young people’s contraceptive service. You can also buy a pregnancy test from any chemist or supermarket.

If the test is positive, it’s really important that you act quickly so you can find out your options and decide what’s best for you. Talking to family and friends can really help but it’s very important to also see a doctor or nurse either at your GP or at a local clinic.

If the test is negative, it’s also a good idea to visit a clinic to make sure you are using the method of contraception that suits you best.

Doctor/patient confidentiality

If you visit your GP to talk about a pregnancy-related issue, anything that you say will be private and confidential, even if you're below the age of consent.

Doctors and nurses are not allowed to mention anything that you tell them during an appointment to your parents or other relatives, unless they think that you may be in danger, or suffering abuse. Even if this is the case, they should talk to you about it first.

If your girlfriend is pregnant

Discovering that your girlfriend is pregnant can often come as a shock. You’ll probably have lots of questions and want to know what your options are. It’s a good idea to talk about your situation with your family, or you can get some advice from your local clinic.

Remember that if you’re under 18, the Sexwise confidential helpline is available from 7.00 am until midnight, seven days a week. Calls from a landline are free, and they won’t show up on a telephone bill. The number is 0800 28 29 30.

Preventing unplanned pregnancies

Using contraception or protection is the best way to reduce your chances of getting pregnant. Condoms are one of the most popular forms of contraception and they also prevent the spread of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), so make sure you use them.

To get more advice about pregnancy and sexual health, you can make an appointment with your doctor, or find your nearest sexual health clinic or advice centre.

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