Pregnancy scares are normal for a sexually active woman.
Although there are several myths around how to reduce the risk of pregnancy, for example: having sex standing up, douching after sex, or having sex in the bath, no contraception is 100% effective, therefore unless you’re totally abstaining from sex, there’s a chance of getting pregnant.
Condom tears, a missed period and morning sickness are all signs of pregnancy. Other symptoms include, swollen and tender breasts (which may include sensitive nipple) a change in appetite, for example going off certain foods that you usually love or crave or peeing more often and only loosing a little blood, also known as spotting, .
GUM Clinics are available across the UK offering sexual health advice and support, contraception, STI tests and pregnancy tests.
To access a clinic, you can make an appointment over the phone or simply go down to a drop in session.
You will be asked to give your name and contact details when seen by an adviser and you will also be asked a few questions about your sexual and medical history.
For example, When was the last time you had sex? How many sexual partners have you had? Do you think you have an infection? Do you have any symptoms?
Don’t worry, all clinics are confidentially, therefore nothing will be passed on to your parents or guardians or GP without your permission.
Some questions may make you feel a little embarrassed or uncomfortable, but as it’s part of looking after your sexual health, so it’s important to be as honest as you can. You also have the option of being seen by a male or female nurse, to make the experience more comfortable.
Taking a test
To take the test, all you do is take a urine sample and wait for the results. One line means negative and two lines mean positive. (Positive test results are almost certainly correct, whereas negative test results are less reliable and can require you to repeat the test again to confirm).
If the test happens to be positive, you shouldn’t feel any pressure to make a decision, however it’s important to make sure that you gain advise and support from people you feel confident to talk. It doesn’t have to be a family member or friend, there are services available to speak to someone confidentially.
Your GP will help you to determine how far along you are in the pregnancy and advise you of your options. If you’re not sure that you want to be pregnant and feel that the best option for you is to determinate your pregnancy then you can arrange an abortion.
In the UK, abortion is legal and is a very safe process. You should make an appointment with your GP as soon as possible if abortion is an option. Many women have abortions for different reasons, for example, if the Mother’s life is at risk or if the baby has a medical condition.
Depending on your stage of pregnancy you will either have a medical abortion, which is carried out up to 9 weeks of pregnancy and involves 2 appointments at the clinic with no surgery or anesthetic. Taking the medications cause an early miscarriage that can feel like having a heavy and more painful period.
The other type of abortion is carried out between 9 and 24 weeks, this also takes 2 appointments to be carried out. The medication causes the womb to contract and push out the pregnancy.
From 22 weeks in a pregnancy, an injection to the womb is also required and patients are required to stay overnight stay for recovery. There is no legal obligation to tell the Father and all patients are allowed to have someone with them during the stages of the termination.
Whether a pregnancy scare is a situation that you’ve been in before, or its a reality that you’re currently facing, its best to get officially tested to be certain.
And if you are pregnant and decide to have an abortion, continue with your pregnancy or even adopt it’s important to remember that you don’t make these decisions alone and think about all the free advice and support available to you.