Am I pregnant?
Do you think you might be pregnant? A missed period is a common sign but you may also be feeling sick, tired and perhaps a little unwell in general. For more on the symptoms, watch this video with a midwife explaining which symptoms are normal.
If you think you may be pregnant, the first thing to do is to find out whether you really are. A pregnancy test is the most reliable way to confirm you are pregnant.
Getting a pregnancy test
You can buy a home pregnancy test to do yourself from a pharmacy or supermarket. You can also ask for a test for free at your GP surgery, any contraceptive or sexual health clinic, most NHS walk-in centres and some GUM clinics. Always make sure you are using a quality pregnancy test displaying the CE quality assurance mark.
You can take a pregnancy test from the first day of your missed period. There are some tests that can also detect pregnancy before then, if you feel like you are already showing some symptoms. If your periods are irregular, the earliest time you can do a test is 21 days (three weeks) from the last time you had unprotected sex.
Taking a pregnancy test
This video explains more about pregnancy tests and their reliability. Most pregnancy tests come in a box that contains one or more pregnancy tests. These look like long sticks.
You normally pee on the absorbent strip at one end and the result appears on the stick after a few minutes. All tests are slightly different, so always check the instructions.
Understanding the results
Positive test results are very accurate. If you’re happy to get a positive result, you should make an appointment with your GP so you can be booked into Midwifery Care. You can also get support and advice about your pregnancy options from your local sexual health clinic, contraceptive clinic or young people’s service.
If your test shows that you aren’t pregnant but you still think you might be, wait another three days and do another test. We advise people to wait for three weeks after they last had sex without a condom before taking a pregnancy test.
Advice and tests under 16
If you’re under 16, staff at your GP practice, sexual health clinic, contraceptive clinic or young person’s service won’t tell your parents. They’ll encourage you to talk to your parents, but they won’t force you.
If you’re under 25 and would prefer advice specifically for young people, the sexual health charity Brook provides a range of information and services for young people including pregnancy.
If you’ve tested positive for pregnancy and don’t know what to do, try not to worry. Unplanned pregnancies happen. We have more information on your options and links to support services on the “Help, I’m pregnant” page.
- FPA has an excellent leaflet called “Pregnant and don’t know what to do” for adults as well as young person’s guide to pregnancy
- NHS Choices has lots more information including:
Finding out if you’re pregnant, Doing a pregnancy test, Signs & symptoms of pregnancy
- Brook has more information and advice on sexual health and wellbeing written for people under 25, including pregnancy and your options. They also have an “Ask Brook” text and web chat service that you can use 24/7