Pregnant? What are my choices?

In this section, find out about what choices there are if you become pregnant. If you find out you are pregnant there is confidential, free help to support you and your partner.

The only way to know if you are pregnant is to get a pregnancy test, but there are some early signs of pregnancy and these are:

  • Missed period – this is probably the most reliable sign but a missed period doesn’t always mean you are pregnant.
  • Tender Breasts – this may be a sign but it may mean your period is on its way.
  • Morning Sickness – this could come at any time of the day or night.
  • Bloating – this could also mean your period is on its way.

To find out if you are pregnant, a pregnancy test needs to be carried out. This is done with a kit that can test the presence of a hormone that is found in a woman’s urine when a fertilised egg implants in the womb.

This test can be carried out accurately, three weeks after unprotected sexual intercourse or if you have missed a period and think you may be pregnant.

For free pregnancy testing you can go to:

What to do next

Finding out you are pregnant can raise all sorts of emotions, you may have planned this, or you may not have. The important thing is that you have choice and support.

You, and your partner if you wish, can get non judgemental information and support to discuss your options BPAS (British Pregnancy Advisory Service) or Alternatives, a Dundee based counselling service.

If you are a partner to someone who is pregnant you can still access this free support.

Unplanned pregnancy is very common. Around half of all pregnancies are unplanned. If the pregnancy was unplanned, you may feel some of the following:

  • happiness that you were able to get pregnant
  • shock that you are actually pregnant
  • worry that you aren’t ready, or can’t afford to have a baby
  • anger that you are pregnant and didn’t choose to be
  • anxiety about what other people will think
  • excitement about such a big change in your life
  • concern that you might make the wrong decision
  • fear about the process of pregnancy and childbirth

You have choice and support, the key thing is to get support to make the right decision for you and your partner, if they are involved.

If the test is positive and this is what you want and expected you will be supported throughout the pregnancy by Tayside Maternity Services . You will be referred to this service through your GP.

If the test is negative you may want to think about your contraception options

If discovering you’re pregnant is not what you expected, you could decide to carry on with the pregnancy and have the baby adopted once it is born.

If you decide that adoption is right for you and your baby, a social worker will spend some time with you to help you with your decision. The preparations for the adoption can begin before your child is born, but nothing will be definitely arranged until after the birth so you will be completely free to change your mind.

You might feel differently once the child is born and want to become a parent.

For more information you should discuss this with your midwife or doctor who will put you in touch with a social worker.

Abortion is when a pregnancy is ended so that it doesn’t result in the birth of a child. Sometimes it is called ‘termination of pregnancy’.

As many as one in three women in the UK have an abortion at some time their lives. The decision to have an abortion is not easy and it can be a very emotional time for a woman and her partner if they are involved.

Talking to people you trust and making sure you have accurate information and support can help. It is important that you seek advice as early as possible.

If you decide to have an abortion you will be supported by the NHS to do this in a non judgemental way and in confidence. Abortion is free throughout the NHS.

Abortion is available up to 18 weeks & 6 days gestation in Tayside.

You can be referred by:

Once you have been given plenty of opportunities to discuss your pregnancy and you have decided that you do not wish to continue with it, an appointment will be made at either PRI or Ninewells clinics. If your doctor/nurse has given you a letter, please take it with you to the hospital.

The appointment at the hospital will last approximately an hour. Staff will make sure that you are comfortable with your decision. You can change your mind at any time before it starts. Staff will ensure your right to confidentiality.

There are three types of abortion available depending on how far along the pregnancy is and your current health. For information on what’s involved  click here 

Having an abortion can be an emotional and traumatic experience for some women, and counselling can help support you through this time. Post termination counselling is available through the NHS or through independent organisations. You will be given this information either at Ninewells or PRI.

NHS Lothian have developed a short film on abortion. There are some differences with the services NHS Tayside deliver, but we think this is a useful resource

  • In Tayside, you will be referred from the sexual health clinic to Ninewells or PRI where you will be able to discuss your situation
  • If you are aged between 14-16 you do not need to take someone with you for your clinic appointment, but it is requested that if returning for the procedure you have someone over 16 with you. You are encouraged to try to involve a parent or another adult, for example another family member or friend.
  • The LEAFLET HERE will give you more information & detail about what we deliver in Tayside.

 

 

Contact for more information

Tayside Sexual & Reproductive Health Services have clinics in Dundee, Perth & Arbroath:

For all areas & clinics telephone: 01382 425 542

Pregnant & Under 25?

You are entitled to the same services as anyone else.  There is confidential help to support you and to discuss your options around making the right decision for you, and if appropriate, your partner.

If you are under 16 and considered competent to consent to your own medical treatment, you can consent to an abortion.

If you are aged between 14-16 you do not need to take someone with you for your clinic appointment, but it is requested that if returning for the procedure you have someone over 16 with you. You are encouraged to try to involve a parent or another adult, for example another family member or friend.

For anyone under 14 the case would be discussed with the child protection team.

If you have had unprotected sex or you had a condom failure less than 5 days ago, you can get emergency contraception

 

If you are under 19 you can be part of the Family Nurse Partnership in Tayside. The Family Nurse Partnership is a Tayside wide service available for clients living within the Dundee, Angus and Perth & Kinross areas.  It is a voluntary home visiting programme for all eligible first time mums (and dads), aged 19 or under at the start of pregnancy. A specially trained Family Nurse visits the mum regularly, from early in pregnancy until the child is two.

A safe space
www.cool2talk.org

If you are age 12-25 ,  for more information or to ask a question go to the Cool2talk website where you can post a question 24/7 anonymously & receive an answer within 24 hours. You can also get free 121 on line counselling on a Monday & Wednesday 8-9pm.

Pregnant & living with a BBV

If you have a blood borne virus and are pregnant, or planning to become pregnant, you should always discuss this with your doctor to reduce any risks to your baby and to ensure you have a healthy pregnancy.  It’s a good idea to start discussing your options with your doctor or other members of your healthcare team as soon as you start thinking about having a baby.

You can read more in our Living with a BBV section or speak to our services who will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Contraception after Pregnancy

Your fertility can return quickly after pregnancy.

Contraception might well be the last thing on your mind but many unplanned pregnancies happen in the first few months after childbirth so even if you’re not interested in sex straight away, it’s best to be prepared.

You can get more information and advice from the professionals who have been supporting you throughout your pregnancy or you can have a look at the range of contraception available here and find one that suits you best.