Sex and pregnancy go hand-in-hand. We have lots of experience in giving the right advice for you about testing for pregnancy and what to do if you have a positive result. Thinking you may be, or finding out you are, pregnant often involves a whirlwind of emotions. It’s normal to worry about what to do. We can help
How can I tell if I’m pregnant?
If you think you could be pregnant then you should take a pregnancy test. Modern pregnancy tests can start to detect pregnancy around 3 weeks from the last time you had unprotected (condomless) sex. The best time point to think of is they start to work from the first day of a missed period of a regular 28 day cycle.
You can get a pregnancy test in a number of ways. Most high street pharmacies and supermarkets, as well as a number of budget shops (eg. Poundland), sell reliable pregnancy tests – just make sure they are CE marked for quality.
You can also ask for a free test from:
- Any Devon Sexual Health service
- Your GP practice
- Most NHS walk-in centres
All tests are slightly different so read the instructions carefully, particularly the amount of urine needed and how long to wait for a result.
I have a positive result – what do I do now?
A test result is usually very reliable. A lot of people choose to take a second test to check, particularly if the test is only weakly positive. If they’re both positive then you’re pregnant. If you’re not sure what the result means then ask for advice.
The first thing to expect from a pregnancy result is to feel a number of different emotions, and suddenly have dozens of questions about what to do next. This is normal and knowing what you think is the right thing to do is often not easy.
In terms of setting a direction with a pregnancy you can decide to:
- Continue with the pregnancy and become a mother
- End the pregnancy by having a termination (abortion)
- Continue with the pregnancy but choose adoption for the baby
This choice is yours and sometimes takes time to become clear.
I’m not sure what to do, who can help me?
Most people find help from talking to two groups of people:
- People you know and trust such as friends, relatives or partners. This will help you to weigh up the emotions and practicalities of becoming a parent
- People who you do not know well, such as the doctors and nurses at Devon Sexual Health. Speaking to someone confidentially about how you feel can often help you to talk through all the questions you have and feel more confident in your decisions.
We are happy to see you in our services to help. Good advice that is also available from your GP or by calling an established pregnancy advocacy group such as BPAS or Marie Stopes . Anyone under 25 can also find a lot of helpful information via Brook .
I want to carry on with my pregnancy – what do I do?
You need to register for antenatal care. This is best done by speaking to your GP and letting them know about your positive pregnancy result. They will usually then put you in touch with a local community midwife who will look after you during your pregnancy.
We would also recommend starting taking regular folic acid as soon as possible, if you aren’t already doing so. This vitamin is available from most pharmacies and supermarkets at a usual dose of 400micrograms once daily. Some people need higher doses and your GP or midwife can advise you on this.
Other things to think about include decreasing or stopping smoking, drinking alcohol and using recreational drugs. Its also a good time to think about getting an updated STI screen.
If you would like to get advice around a termination of pregnancy (abortion)
We do not provide termination services directly from Devon Sexual Health but can refer you into local clinics who can. However all our services offer experienced and confidential advice about abortion. You can also discuss and request an abortion via your GP, as well as self-referring via services such as BPAS or Marie Stopes – the closest self-referral service is BPAS in Taunton.