Pregnancy

There are many myths around about getting pregnant. Some people believe that you can’t get pregnant:

  • The first time you have sex
  • If you have sex standing up
  • If you have sex in the bath or shower
  • If you have sex during your period
  • If the boy pulls his penis out of his partner's vagina before ejaculating (coming)

NONE OF THESE ARE TRUE!!! You could get pregnant in all of these ways

Do you think you could be pregnant?

  • Have you recently had unprotected sex?
  • Did the condom split or come off?
  • Have you been sick whilst taking the pill or been taking medicine that could interfere with the pill like antibiotics?

Some possible early signs of pregnancy are:

  • Sore breasts
  • An unusually light period
  • One or more missed periods
  • Peeing more often
  • Feeling tired
  • Feeling or being sick

If you think that you could be pregnant it's best to do a pregnancy test as soon as possible. They are simple and all you have to do is provide a sample of urine.

If the result is negative – and if you don’t want to be pregnant - you’ll no doubt feel relieved. Talk to someone at your local family planning clinic and make sure you get your regular contraception sorted out. If you have a negative test result but then still miss another period make sure you do another pregnancy test.

You can get free pregnancy tests and advice and support from many different places.

Find a FREE pregnancy testing service near you

If your pregnancy test is positive

This means you’ll have to decide what to do. It’s a good idea to get help as soon as possible, this way you have more time to talk through your options:

  • Continuing the pregnancy and becoming a parent
  • Ending the pregnancy by having an abortion (termination)
  • Continuing the pregnancy and placing the baby for adoption

If you are pregnant, and the pregnancy is unplanned you might well be feeling scared and confused but don’t let this stop you getting help and talking your situation through with someone. It is important to seek advice as soon as possible. Talk to staff in confidence at a local contraceptive or sexual health service or contact Brook. Both will give you impartial information to help you make a decision. Click here to find services in your area or visit www.brook.org.uk

Pregnancy Options

Continuing the pregnancy and becoming a parent

If you decide to continue the pregnancy and keep the baby you need to register that you are pregnant with your GP so that antenatal care can be arranged for you. Your GP will then refer you to a team of midwives who may be based in your local hospital or in a GP surgery.

During your pregnancy and labour you may see the same midwife or a few different ones. Some areas have a special midwife, or even team of midwives for under-18s. Click here to find out what's available near you.

Your midwives will give you information, advice and support on things like how to look after yourself during your pregnancy, decisions on the birth, relaxation exercises and so on. They can also put you in touch with other professionals who can offer you support both during pregnancy and after the birth.

Once you have had the baby, you will need to register the baby’s birth within 42 days and when you are back at home you will get regular visits from a health visitor or midwife who will monitor the baby’s development and be able to talk with you about parenting, see if you need any help and find appropriate support for you if you do. Many areas have specialist workers who support those aged under-18 and there are support groups for under-18’s which run at some children’s centres. Click here to find out what’s available locally.

Don’t forget! You can still get a sexually transmitted infection (STI) if you're pregnant and having unprotected sex, so it's always best to still use a condom.

Termination of pregnancy (abortion)

If you are pregnant and feel that you do not want to be, it is a good idea to talk about your feelings and clarify your options with someone. You may decide that you want to have an abortion (terminate the pregnancy).

You can be referred for abortion by:

  • Your GP
  • A Brook clinic
  • A family planning or sexual health clinic
  • Consulting an independent abortion provider such as BPAS or Marie Stopes

Although the legal time limit for abortion in the UK is 24 weeks, in reality is often becomes more difficult to access abortion beyond 12 weeks. This means it is important for you to talk through your full range of options as soon as you find out you are pregnant as this maximizes the choices you have. Just because you talk with someone about abortion as an option doesn’t mean you have to have one. You can change your mind right up to the point of physically starting the procedure.

Your partner does not have to give his permission for you to have an abortion.

Young women under the age of 16 years can have an abortion without parental involvement as long as the doctor treating the young woman is confident that the young women is mature enough to consent to the procedure she is requesting. In reality most young women do choose to tell and involve a parent or trusted adult. Two doctors must agree that you satisfy the legal criteria for abortion.

For more confidential information contact:

www.bpas.org.uk Tel 08457 304030
www.mariestopes.org.uk Tel 0845 300 8090

Adoption

If you are pregnant but feel unable to keep the baby yourself you can consider adoption as one or your pregnancy options. Like all decision-making around unplanned pregnancy, this is a difficult choice and you will need to talk this option through with someone. Get expert advice as soon as possible by contacting the adoption social workers within your local authority, or the British Association for Adoption and Fostering at www.baaf.org.uk

Adoption provides a child with new legal parents and legally ends the relationship between the child and his or her birth parents.

If you do decide that adoption is the right choice for you, the adoption will be arranged by social workers within an approved adoption agency.

Although preparations for adoption can begin before the child is born, nothing will be definitely arranged until after the birth. You are completely free to change your mind up until the point at which an adoption order is made by a court. This cannot happen until the baby is at least 19 weeks old and have lived with the prospective adopters for 13 weeks. Find details on social services within your local area.

Contact www.baaf.org.uk or social services within your local area.