Doing a pregnancy test
When you can do a pregnancy test ?
You can carry out a pregnancy test on a sample of urine from the first day of a missed period. If you're pregnant, this is about two weeks after conception. Some very sensitive pregnancy tests can be used even before you miss a period. You can do the test on urine collected at any time of the day. It doesn't have to be in the morning. Collect the urine in a clean, soap-free, well-rinsed container.
Where you can get a pregnancy test
You can get pregnancy tests free of charge from your GP or community sexual health clinic, which are sometimes known as contraception, family planning or GUM (genito-urinary medicine) clinics. Pregnancy tests are also available at NHS walk-in centres. Many pharmacists and most pregnancy advisory services also offer tests, usually for a small fee.
You can also buy do-it-yourself pregnancy testing kits from pharmacists. They can give a quick result, and you can do the test in private. A range of tests is available. The way they work varies, so check the instructions first.
Results of the test
A positive test result is almost certainly correct. A negative result is less reliable. If you get a negative result and still think that you're pregnant, wait a week and try again, or see a GP.
Continuing with the pregnancy
If you're pregnant and want to continue with the pregnancy, contact your GP or a midwife to start your antenatal care. You can use the pregnancy due date calculator to work out when your baby is due.
If you're not sure you want to be pregnant
If you're not sure about continuing with the pregnancy, you can discuss this confidentially with a healthcare professional. Your options are:
- continuing with the pregnancy and keeping the baby
- having an abortion
- continuing with the pregnancy and having the baby adopted
As well as a GP or a nurse at your GP surgery, you can also get accurate, confidential information (even if you’re under 16) from the following:
- the FPA helpline on 0845 122 8690 (Monday-Friday 9am-6pm), or the leaftet FPA: pregnant and don't know what to do
- a community sexual health clinic
- Marie Stopes has a useful pregnancy questionnaire to help you consider your feelings about being pregnant
- the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (bpas) also provides information on your pregnancy options
All these services, including community contraceptive clinics, are confidential. If you're under 16, the staff won't tell your parents. They'll encourage you to talk to your parents, but they won’t force you.
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