1 May 2011

Pregnancy: Could I be pregnant?

How to tell and what to do...

Pregnancy: Could I be pregnant?

The basics... 
After your body starts producing eggs, or "ovulating", you can get pregnant if you have sex with a boy or if sperm gets near your vagina.

You can get pregnant even before you start your periods. Girls younger than 10 have got pregnant.
If you've had unprotected sex, or have any reason to believe you might be at risk of pregnancy, you can use emergency contraception to stop yourself getting pregnant.

How do I know if I am pregnant?
The most obvious sign is missing a period but there are other indicators like sickness, needing to wee more often, tender breasts, unusual vaginal discharge, tiredness and a metallic taste in your mouth.

I have all those things, what do I do now?
Get tested. The most accurate way is to get a pregnancy test done by your GP or one of the centres listed below, it’s free, confidential (they won’t tell anyone) and they are experts so can give you really good advice.

If you don't fancy that, you can buy a home-testing kit. These are also very accurate and are available from chemists and large supermarkets. You will need to read the instructions and follow them carefully in order to get an accurate result. If the result is positive you need to go and see your GP. 

OK, I'm definitely pregnant, what should I do?
Tell someone. You might be scared to tell your parents or carers, which is understandable, but it is much better to tell people who love you and who you trust, they might be shocked at first, but they should also help you.

It's important to tell your GP, and they definitely won't tell anyone else if you don't want them too.

Talking to people you trust about what's happening will give you the perspective you need and you won’t need to rush to work out what you want to do.

The options are: having an abortion, adoption, fostering, or becoming a mother. But it's vital that you get expert advice before making a decision.

Further help and advice
* Type in your postcode and find help in your area at nhs.uk/worthtalkingabout
* likeitis.org.uk/ or call 0845 300 80 90 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week) to find out how make an appointment at a Marie Stopes centre near you.
* brook.org.uk or call 0800 018 5023 (free) to find out how to make an appointment at one of their advice centres
* fpa.org.uk/
* Childline are always there to talk about this or any other issue in total confidence 24 hours a day on 0800 1111

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