If you wish to avoid pregnancy, you should use contraception every time you have sex, however no contraception available is 100% effective and even while using contraception you can still get pregnant. To make things harder, some contraceptives can mess up your periods and can even make you skip periods (giving you the impression that you could be pregnant), to be sure, you should take a pregnancy test as soon as you can.
You can buy pregnancy test in most Supermarkets and Chemist, some places will also offer free pregnancy test to teens, such as;
1. Brook Centres (for under 25s) – tests are free with immediate results.
2. Family planning clinics.
You can also have a pregnancy test done;
1. With your GP.
2. With any GP registering for family planning services only.
3. Some Genito-Urinary Medicine (GUM) clinics.
4. Chemists – they can do a test or sell a home pregnancy testing kit.
Home pregnancy test (you ones you buy in a shop) come with instructions, and work by detecting the hormone levels in the woman’s urine.
Most pregnancy tests state that they work as soon as a period is late (i.e. one day). The majority of women do not continue to have normal periods when they are pregnant, some may experience some sort of period, but it will be lighter/shorter. For women that (before pregnancy) do not have a regular cycle it can be difficult to know when a period is due. It is recommended that you take the test three weeks after having unprotected sex. (its is roughly how long it takes for the hormone levels to show up on the test), any test taken before three weeks, could well lead to a false result.
If a test is negative (i.e. the woman is not pregnant) but the woman’s period still doesn’t arrive a week later, another test should be taken. Periods can be late for other reasons including stress, change of diet, or other health conditions. Women should seek medical advice if they are concerned.
The sooner you find out whether or not you are pregnant, the better it is for you. If you do find out you are pregnant then congrats! However although you might still be in a bit of shock, you have an important time ahead of you, and this is one that could change your life forever. You should think long and hard about what is best for you, and your baby. If you decide to keep the baby, it is best to arrange ante-natal care with your doctor to check on the health of the baby and yourself. Abortion is also an option, but it is also important to act quickly if this option is taken. If you don’t believe in abortions, and decide you don’t want the baby, adoption is also an option once the baby is born.
It is likely that the pregnancy is an unplanned one (due to your age), and is common to feel shocked, scared, panicked, confused, embarrassed, isolated or lonely.
Parents, boyfriend and professionals are all there to help support and give you advice/information on the options available to you, but only you can make the choice to continue with the pregnancy or not. Its a decision that should be made based on what YOU want to do and not what others think you should do.