If you’re pregnant by accident – or your partner is – what next?
In this section you can find out about your options. And what can you do if you’re worried about a burst condom, a missed pill or a reckless moment?
On the other hand, maybe you’d love to be pregnant but it’s not happening. What can you do to increase your chances of conceiving, and what’s the next step if none of it works?
Finally, if you’re pregnant, how does your body change? How does the baby inside develop? Hopefully at the end of your pregnancy you’ll end up holding a healthy baby, but what can go wrong along the way?
How do you know if you're pregnant? First wait and see if you get your period. Wait till the day your period would normally start.
If your period starts as normal, you're not pregnant. If it doesn't, you can do a pregnancy test from the first day your period's due. Until then there’s no way of knowing if you’re pregnant. There aren’t enough pregnancy hormones in your body to do a reliable test. Pay attention to your body. If you’re pregnant, you might notice physical changes: Painful breasts: this could be a sign that you’re pregnant, but it could also just be because you’re going through puberty.
Tiredness: this could be a sign that you’re pregnant – though obviously there could be other causes!
Nausea: if you’ve been feeling sick for a few days, especially in the morning, it’s a good idea to do a pregnancy test.
Your period doesn’t start.
You only have a very small amount of bleeding. Sometimes you can have a little bleeding when you’re pregnant.
Pregnancy test You can do a pregnancy test from the first day your period should have started. You can buy a pregnancy testing kit at the chemist or drugstore. The test is easy to do yourself. As you urinate, you hold the test strip in the urine stream for a few seconds. It’s best to do this first thing in the morning, as the hormones in your urine will be more concentrated.
After a few minutes (depending on the brand of test you are using – some take half an hour), you can see the result. Read the instructions carefully to make sure you’re using the test correctly.
Depending on where you live you could also have a pregnancy test at the doctor's. The result If the test is positive, you’re pregnant. If the test is negative, you’re probably not pregnant, but it’s not absolutely certain. At first there may not be enough hormone in your urine to show that you’re pregnant. To be certain, it’s a good idea to do another test a few days later. Started your period? If you’ve started your period, you’re not pregnant. But if you’re still worried – for example if the bleeding is much lighter than normal – you can always do a pregnancy test.
If you do a pregnancy test and it's positive, you’re pregnant. But now what? Depending on your circumstances, finding out you're pregnant can be a joy or a disaster - or even a mixture of the two.
Happy to be pregnant?
Congratulations! Make an appointment to see the doctor or a midwife, depending on where you live.
Not happy to be pregnant?
If you didn’t plan to get pregnant, depending on where you live and how you feel about it, you could have an abortion. You can also choose to have the baby. Think carefully about your decisions if you’re unintentionally pregnant.
Don't know what to do?
Go and see your doctor. You can talk about the different possibilities in your situation. Whatever you decide, think carefully. Your choice can have huge consequences. So make sure you’ve got all the information and help you need to make your decision. Read more in