Introducing The Daily Drop-in: Our daily pick of the best tools and articles to help you care for yourself during lockdown.
If you’re a girl and you have unprotected sex (without contraception) with a boy, you could get pregnant. Find out the signs of pregnancy and where to go for support.
Pregnancy is a real possibility when you have sex, and there are lots of rumours about when and where you can get pregnant.
You can read this whole article, or go straight to the relevant bit for you:
Don’t believe everything you hear. The truth is that it's possible for you to get pregnant:
Read more facts about sex.
Pregnancy can also happen if your usual contraception hasn’t worked – for example, if you’re on the pill, but you've vomited, had diarrhoea or forgotten to take the pill. Contraception only works if it's used correctly and consistently. Find out:
If you have unprotected sex, or if you think your contraception has failed, you can avoid an unplanned pregnancy by using emergency contraception . This should only be used in an emergency and is not a replacement for regular contraception. Emergency contraception does not protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs) .
There are two types:
You can get free emergency contraception in the UK from doctors, community contraceptive clinics, Brook services (if you’re under 25), some sexual health and genitourinary medicine (GUM) clinics, clinics for young people and some pharmacies.
You can get emergency contraception, whatever your age in the UK. If you're over 16, you can buy the emergency contraceptive pill from pharmacies.
The first sign of pregnancy that most girls and women notice is a missed period, but to know for sure, you'll need to take a pregnancy test. Find out about doing a pregnancy test.
Free and confidential tests are available at some doctor surgeries, Brook services (if you’re under 25), contraceptive clinics or young people’s clinics. In the UK they won’t tell your parents, even if you're under 16. You can also buy pregnancy testing kits from a pharmacy or supermarket.
Other signs and symptoms of pregnancy include:
If you’re worried that you might be pregnant, go to a clinic or doctor as soon as possible to find out for sure. Whatever the results of your test, they can offer you help and support. If you are pregnant, a doctor or nurse will explain your options and where to get advice and independent counselling.
If you're not pregnant, you can get advice on effective contraception to avoid the risk of an unplanned pregnancy in the future.
You can take a test the day your period is due. If you’re not sure when your period is due, do the test 21 days (three weeks) after either:
If the test is positive, you're pregnant and you need to decide what to do next. Talk to a doctor or nurse at the clinic, or to your doctor, about your options. It might also help to talk to someone close to you.
Get all the information you need as soon as possible, so you can make a decision about the pregnancy that’s right for you. Don't delay your decision, and don’t pretend the pregnancy isn’t real, as it won’t go away.
If you decide to continue the pregnancy, you will need to start your antenatal (pregnancy) care as soon as possible.
An unplanned pregnancy can be stressful and you may feel unable to continue with it. You should discuss this with your doctor, who will explain your options, including the possibility of an abortion.
Abortion is safer and easier the earlier it is carried out in pregnancy. Most abortions in England and Wales are done in the first 13 weeks (three months). All women requesting an abortion should be offered the chance to discuss their options with a trained counsellor.
Important: Our website provides useful information but is not a substitute for medical advice. You should always seek the advice of your doctor when making decisions about your health.