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If you’re a girl and you have unprotected sex (without contraception) with a boy, you could get pregnant.
Pregnancy is a real possibility when you have sex, and there are lots of rumours about when and where you can get pregnant. Don’t believe everything you hear. The truth is that you can get pregnant:
Pregnancy can also happen if your usual contraception hasn’t worked, for example, if you’re on the Pill but you've vomited or had diarrhoea. Contraception only works if it's used correctly and consistently.
Some people may be pleased at the thought of being pregnant, but if you want to avoid pregnancy you can use emergency contraception. This can prevent pregnancy if you've had unprotected sex, but should only be used in an emergency. It's not a replacement for regular contraception.
There are two types:
You can get free emergency contraception from GPs, community contraceptive clinics, Brook Advisory Centres (if you’re under 25), some sexual health and genitourinary medicine (GUM) clinics, young persons clinics and some pharmacies. Find a clinic.
You can get it whatever your age. 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 in order to know for sure, you'll need to take a pregnancy test.
Free and confidential tests are available at some GP surgeries, Brook Advisory Centres (if you’re under 25), contraceptive clinics or young people’s clinics. Find a clinic. 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 of pregnancy include:
If you’re worried that you might be pregnant, go to a clinic or GP as soon as possible to find out for sure. Whatever the results of your test, they can offer you help and support. They can help you to get effective contraception if you're not pregnant, and they can explain your options if you are pregnant.
Some organisations offer free pregnancy tests but they believe that abortion is wrong, and may not give you information about how to get one. If you go to an organisation for a pregnancy test or pregnancy counselling, ask at your first visit whether it refers women for abortions. If it doesn't, it may not give you information about all the options available to you.
When can you take a pregnancy test?
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 you had unprotected sex.
If you do a test yourself and it's positive, this means that you're pregnant. Go to a clinic or GP as soon as possible so that they can talk to you about your options and tell you what to expect.
If you're pregnant
If the test is positive and you're pregnant, you'll need to decide what to do next. Talk to a doctor or nurse at the clinic about your options. You could:
Get all the information you need so that you can make the decision 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.
Talking to someone about how you feel can help. This could be a relative, such as your mum or dad, the doctor or nurse at the clinic, or a helpline, such as Brook (0808 802 1234) or fpa (0845 122 8690). You can also use the fpa's web enquiry service.
Whether you decide to continue the pregnancy or have an abortion, talk to a doctor or nurse as soon as possible so that you can start your antenatal (pregnancy) care, or be referred for an abortion.
Abortion is safer and easier the earlier it's done in pregnancy. Most abortions in England and Wales are done in the first 13 weeks (three months).
Find out more about doing a pregnancy test.
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