Pregnancy - information and questions Watch

This discussion is closed.
Helenia
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#1
Report Thread starter 13 years ago
#1
Pregnancy – how it happens, tests, and what to do next.

We get a lot of questions on here about pregnancy, from people worried about if activity x, y, or z can get them pregnant, to those who already are pregnant and wondering about their options. This is designed to answer some of the basic questions, but as ever, please ask away if you have any more questions.

Two quick points before I start: -
1) This is primarily aimed at handling unplanned, unexpected pregnancies. If you want information on conceiving, or are trying for a baby, feel free to ask questions in this forum but you may get better advice elsewhere.
2) This is NOT the place for morality debates on abortion or any other stage of the process.

Getting pregnant
This is really quite simple. A girl can only get pregnant if sperm get into the vagina, through the cervix into the uterus and Fallopian tubes and meet an egg. However, there are lots of questions on this, so I’ll handle the two main components separately.

Eggs
If not on hormonal contraception, most women ovulate around day 14 of their cycle (if the cycle is 28 days) but this is variable. The egg remains viable for around 5 days. With careful planning and taking regular measurements of temperature etc, it’s possible to know when a woman is ovulating and avoid it, but without this it’s very unpredictable. A girl can get pregnant at any time in her cycle, so never assume it’s safe, even during menstruation. However, some times are more risky than others. Regardless of the stage in your cycle, if you have unprotected sex (i.e. when not on the pill), you need to take emergency contraception.

Sperm
Sperm are really fairly weak little things and will die quite quickly if left to their own devices in open air. They can survive inside the body for up to 7 days but most don’t. Realistically, pregnancy is only likely to happen if sperm is deposited inside the vagina – it is extremely unlikely to occur if transferred by hands etc. However, this does not mean the withdrawal method is effective: -
  • Some sperm can leak before the final ejaculation.
  • Do you really trust your man to pull out at the right time every time?
  • Even if the guy pulls out, if he’s still in that area when he ejaculates, there’s a (small) risk some can still get inside.


Unless you have full unprotected sex and the guy ejaculates inside you, pregnancy is very unlikely. However, if you have any worries at all, you should take emergency contraception and have a test done when your next period is due.

“Symptoms” of pregnancy
Lots of you are worried that a bit of bloating, nausea or abdominal pain means you are pregnant. While these can happen to pregnant women, they also happen a lot to normal, non-pregnant ones! The ONLY way to know if you are pregnant or not is to take a test.

Pregnancy tests
You can take a pregnancy test as soon as your next period is due. If you are unsure about when that is, wait 21 days after you had unprotected sex and then do the test. If you are at uni, your student union welfare service may offer these for free, or you may be able to get one at your local FPA, sexual health clinic or NHS walk-in centre. Your GP may offer them as well, though some aren’t so keen to do one if you haven’t already taken one yourself. So, first of all, there are plenty of places to get them for free!

Secondly, there is no need to spend loads of money on expensive brand-name tests. The pharmacy own-brand ones are just as accurate, but with slightly less fancy packaging. Usually they come in a pack of two so that you can double check (or save one for a few weeks later if you are still worried).

There are only two results for the test:

Negative
For most of you, this is good news. These tests are very accurate, so it’s extremely likely to be the correct result. If your period still hasn’t arrived within a few weeks after that, try taking another one, or see your GP. If that’s still negative, then relax, smile, and think about getting some more reliable contraception for next time! You also might want to think about getting an STI test if you and your partner have not had one.

Positive
This can bring forth a whole range of emotions. You might know immediately what you want to do, you might want to talk about it with someone, or you might just be in complete shock. Whatever your reaction, don’t panic. There are people around to help you and you can find the answers which work best for you.

The FPA have a very useful leaflet on what to do, including phone numbers and contact details for organisations who can offer support. You might want to discuss it with the father, your parents or your friends – it will make it much easier than going through it alone.

There are three basic options now. Nobody on TSR can tell you for sure what the right answer for you is. There are lots of things to consider, including (but not limited to):

  • How much support do you have around you – family, boyfriend, friends?
  • What stage of your education/career are you at? Is it feasible for you to take a break to have and raise a child?
  • Do you, your partner and/or your wider family have enough money, space and time for a baby?
  • How stable is your relationship? If your partner leaves, how will you cope with the added burden of a child?
  • Are you ready to be a parent?
  • Do you think you can mentally cope with an abortion or giving away your baby?


You can try to write a list of pros and cons if you like, but at the end of the day the decision can sometimes be one that feels right, rather than the logically obvious solution. Whatever your decision, be sure that your reasons for it are sound and you won’t regret it later.

Keep it. Once you’ve decided this, you can start to prepare. You will need to start antenatal care with a midwife, so contact your GP to arrange this. Usually the midwife will come and visit you at home for the first time early in pregnancy. You may also want to ask for advice about things like dietary supplements such as folic acid and iron, quitting smoking, not drinking and other aspects of healthy living. If you have a pre-existing medical condition such as asthma or diabetes, or take any medication regularly, you may need specialist advice or to change some of your treatments during pregnancy. You will also need STI testing, as some infections can be spread to the unborn child. Your midwife should be able to arrange this.

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists have a lot of technical information about pregnancy and birth.
The National Childbirth Trust have lots of information more tailored to the general public.

On top of this, you need to work out where you and the baby will live, what is going to happen with your education/career (go to your school/uni’s welfare centre for advice) and how you will manage financially.

Working Families offer advice on your employment rights and any benefits you may be entitled to. The Citizens Advice Bureau may also be able to help.

All of this is a big undertaking, so try to enlist some support so you don’t have to do it alone!

Have a termination/abortion. If you decide you do not want to continue with this pregnancy, you need to start making arrangements for an abortion ASAP. Go to your GP, or if you would prefer, your local sexual health service. They will then refer you to a hospital where you will have a scan to determine the exact age of the pregnancy, and to see another doctor to arrange the abortion. There should be counselling services available to you if you are unsure of the decision or just want to talk to someone – ask about these if they’re not offered! The consultation is entirely confidential, even if you are under 16, and if you do not want them to inform your GP, you can tell them this.

There are two types of abortion: medical and surgical. The details on these can be found on the RCOGwebsite. Depending on the stage of your pregnancy and your local centre, you may be able to choose which type you have, though this may not be possible. You will also be offered STI testing when you go to the hospital to arrange the abortion.

If you want to arrange things more quickly (though on the NHS everything should be completed within 4 weeks), a private clinic is another option. Marie Stopes and BPAS have clinics around the UK.

There are many moral questions about abortion, but the only person who can decide what is right for you is YOU. Abortion in Great Britain is safe and legal (providing certain conditions are met). There is no evidence that it affects your fertility in the future. It can cause a lot of distress, however, so make sure you have the support you need, from professional counsellors or friends and family. It is worth noting that it can be considerably harder to have an abortion in Northern Ireland.

Have the baby adopted. Here, you go through with the pregnancy, but do not keep the baby once it is born; it will probably go initially to a foster carer before its final adoptive parents take over. Legally binding documents are not signed until the baby is at least 6 weeks old. If you are married to the father, or if you are unmarried but his name is put on the birth certificate, he must also agree to adoption. If you are unmarried and the father’s name is not on the birth certificate, he does not have to agree. This is a decision between you and the father.

Unless you want a close relative to adopt the baby, you cannot choose who it goes to – it must be done through an agency. The British Association for Adoption and Fostering have a lot of information about how to arrange this. You can discuss your options with your GP, a social worker, or a local adoption agency.

As you will be going through a pregnancy, you will still need to arrange normal ante-natal care with a midwife and your GP – see above for further advice.

TSR has a society for people who are expecting or have children. If you would like to get some advice or support than the pregnancy and parenting society may be useful for you to look at.

Whew! That’s a lot of writing from me. If you have any more questions, or want to talk more, please post here.
4
Anonymous #1
#2
Report 11 years ago
#2
Ok, there's another thread, but I need all information in one.
1. How do you call the abortion when it's done less than 12 weeks, cleaning or something?
2. how much does it cost in England?
3. If I'm 17 do I need an agreement of my parents?
4.If it's illegal how much would I pay extra?
5. what other options do I have?

I'm not sure if I'm pregnant, it's been 3 days after sex and I supposed to have menstruation the same day but it still doesn't come :no:

Sorry for bad English.
0
Lithium
Badges: 13
Rep:
?
#3
Report 11 years ago
#3
(Original post by Anonymous)
Ok, there's another thread, but I need all information in one.
1. How do you call the abortion when it's done less than 12 weeks, cleaning or something?
2. how much does it cost in England?
3. If I'm 17 do I need an agreement of my parents?
4.If it's illegal how much would I pay extra?
5. what other options do I have?

I'm not sure if I'm pregnant, it's been 3 days after sex and I supposed to have menstruation the same day but it still doesn't come :no:

Sorry for bad English.
First of all, why not wait a few more days for your period to begin. Stress can delay it. That's one.

Two, before you make arrangements for an abortion, how about a simple OTC pregnancy test to make sure? It might just set your mind at ease. You have to wait about 2 week though (after you had the unprotected sex)

And last, the part I put in bold. If it's illegal how much extra would you pay? I'm not sure I get that part :p:
0
Helenia
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#4
Report Thread starter 11 years ago
#4
(Original post by Anonymous)
Ok, there's another thread, but I need all information in one.
1. How do you call the abortion when it's done less than 12 weeks, cleaning or something?
2. how much does it cost in England?
3. If I'm 17 do I need an agreement of my parents?
4.If it's illegal how much would I pay extra?
5. what other options do I have?

I'm not sure if I'm pregnant, it's been 3 days after sex and I supposed to have menstruation the same day but it still doesn't come :no:

Sorry for bad English.
1. It's just called an abortion. There are different types but the name doesn't change.
2. If you are entitled to NHS care, it will be free. Private clinics charge around £500 before 9 weeks and increasing amounts after that.
3. No, you can consent yourself and it will be confidential.
4. It's not illegal, so don't go down that route!
5. See above for info on keeping the baby or having it adopted. However, you don't know if you're pregnant yet, you need to wait for at least 18 days after you had sex and then take a test. Then go to your GP and talk about your options.
0
HerRoyalHighness
Badges:
#5
Report 11 years ago
#5
Hi Helena Im more then willling to help you advise on this thread. Im 31 weeks pregnant but its not been easy and I almost had a termination, the pregnancy was not planned but Im very happy now. If anyone wants to PM me or post on here Id love to help, because I know what a frightening time it can be.
0
HerRoyalHighness
Badges:
#6
Report 11 years ago
#6
Not that I have to if you dont want me to, i realised how presumptious i sounded.
0
Helenia
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#7
Report Thread starter 11 years ago
#7
(Original post by HerRoyalHighness)
Hi Helena Im more then willling to help you advise on this thread. Im 31 weeks pregnant but its not been easy and I almost had a termination, the pregnancy was not planned but Im very happy now. If anyone wants to PM me or post on here Id love to help, because I know what a frightening time it can be.
Of course it would be great! It's always good to have more people around to help, and you have more experience than many of us when it comes to this area. If you want to share your experiences and how you finally came to your decision, I'm sure it would be useful for people in a similar situation.
0
Anonymous #1
#8
Report 11 years ago
#8
(Original post by Helenia)
1. It's just called an abortion. There are different types but the name doesn't change.
2. If you are entitled to NHS care, it will be free. Private clinics charge around £500 before 9 weeks and increasing amounts after that.
3. No, you can consent yourself and it will be confidential.
4. It's not illegal, so don't go down that route!
5. See above for info on keeping the baby or having it adopted. However, you don't know if you're pregnant yet, you need to wait for at least 18 days after you had sex and then take a test. Then go to your GP and talk about your options.
Thanks for help. As far as I understood it will be free and confidential. so my plan is to take a test after a week. but what's next if it's positive? I've got a family doctor in NHS, so what's the first step, he should refer me where? ok, i come to the information window and then? 'hello, can I...?' should I say my problem straight away? I think it's stupid question, but the only think I've ever done is registering all my family in NHS and haven't came back ever after that so I don't know how to start solving my problem.
0
Helenia
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#9
Report Thread starter 11 years ago
#9
(Original post by Anonymous)
Thanks for help. As far as I understood it will be free and confidential. so my plan is to take a test after a week. but what's next if it's positive? I've got a family doctor in NHS, so what's the first step, he should refer me where? ok, i come to the information window and then? 'hello, can I...?' should I say my problem straight away? I think it's stupid question, but the only think I've ever done is registering all my family in NHS and haven't came back ever after that so I don't know how to start solving my problem.
First of all, it may take longer than a week for the test to become positive, so I'm afraid you may have to wait a little bit more.

You need to go to your GP - just call up or drop in and make an appointment. You don't need to tell the receptionists what it's for. He/she will then refer you to a hospital; you'll get an appointment within a couple of weeks of your first visit to the GP. They will then take over your care. But first of all, wait till you know if you're pregnant or not!
0
HerRoyalHighness
Badges:
#10
Report 11 years ago
#10
Yes sure I dont mind at all. Well I am in a 3 and a half year relationship and engaged for two years, but we did not intend to have children for at least five years as I want a career. However in late April, I discovered I was nearly 3 months pregnant. I had been on a pill that was taken constantly, meaning I had no periods. So consequently, I never noticed any difference and I never suffered from morning sickness. To this day, we don't know how I got pregnant, to my mind I must have missed a tablet but no obvious occasion stands out and I have always been so careful. I thought that something was amiss, because I felt strange, I went off my food and I was exhausted. I didn't seriously think I was pregnant we sort of done it on a whim, so imagine my shock when I discovered I was, It went positive immediately and I did a further 4 tests at home and another 2 at the GP's before I accepted it. My initial reaction was that I did not want to keep it and my partner was the same. We both felt that money was not there to support a child and we were not stable. From my point of view I was in the middle of a degree and I wanted to join the Police. I think as well as that I was petrified about my family and what they would say-we were only just starting to really get on. So I had an appointment at the Family Planning Clinic and it was really horrible-I had to have STD Tests and a very painful internal scan which said I was 12 weeks and that my NHS trust would be reluctant to do a termination any later. At this point, we were swaying in our decision-one minute we wanted it and the next we didn't. So I went away for a week and we realised that we wanted to keep her-I didn't want to regret this for the rest of my life. We thought about what our baby would look like and how much our life would change and we realised that we could do and wanted to have this child no matter how difficult it would be. I cant really explain it, I just had this powerful feeling of love for my baby, like I would do anything for her. Dave's family were happy but initially mine were not and encouraged me to abort. However they realised that I really wanted the baby and began supporting me. All except my Dad who still does not speak to me and it remains difficult. My brother is very successful and helped us out by helping us financially of which we have paid him back. With 9 weeks to go we are finally stable-not rich by no means but alright. I have bought everything 2nd hand and really worked hard to get the best we can for our baby and everything is ready for her. Seeing her on the scan was the best moment of my life, but its been hard-at times full of guilt and worrying about my ability to be a mother, full of doubts, but now I just want her here and it was the best decison i ever made. I have shared this to show someone whose in a similar situation that whatever decision they make has to be for them or they will always regret it. wether it be abortion or keeping the baby, if it what you want dont let no one change your mind. As for my career? Im taking a year off and returning in sept 09, UEA has a fantastic nursery and I wll only be in uni for a few hours a week and Im a firm believer in socialising her. My partner is training to work in IT from home so one of us will always be at home. But for the next 2-3 years Im going to be the main mum at home and I cant wait.
1
BlackHawk
  • CV Helper
Badges: 16
Rep:
?
#11
Report 11 years ago
#11
(Original post by HerRoyalHighness)
Im 31 weeks pregnant.
Congrats. I'm 25 weeks pregnant.
0
HerRoyalHighness
Badges:
#12
Report 11 years ago
#12
Congrats to you too Black Hawk xx
0
Anonymous #2
#13
Report 11 years ago
#13
Right, I have a question. It's not about pregnancy itself.. so I hope that's alright.

Basically, here's the deal: I last had unprotected sex on the 22nd, which means 9 days.. now, my period was due about 5 days ago and it hasn't come, and I've been stressing ever since. I took a test yesterday and it was negative. If it helps, the first day of my last period was the 29th of July.

Now.. judging by those dates and circumstances, would you say there's any chance I'm pregnant? Surely after 9 days implantation would have occurred and there'd be HCG in my system? Someone, put my mind at ease!!
0
Anonymous #3
#14
Report 11 years ago
#14
i know it varies from person to person but what's the earliest you can usually feel that your pregnant? By this i mean like your body feels different.etc.
0
morethanwords.27
Badges: 0
#15
Report 11 years ago
#15
Wow

I'm kinda glad there are other pregnant people here, lol.

I'm 26 weeks now.

Are you guys still in education or whatever? How's it work out for you?

I'm going into college in september.
0
Helenia
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#16
Report Thread starter 11 years ago
#16
(Original post by Anonymous)
Right, I have a question. It's not about pregnancy itself.. so I hope that's alright.

Basically, here's the deal: I last had unprotected sex on the 22nd, which means 9 days.. now, my period was due about 5 days ago and it hasn't come, and I've been stressing ever since. I took a test yesterday and it was negative. If it helps, the first day of my last period was the 29th of July.

Now.. judging by those dates and circumstances, would you say there's any chance I'm pregnant? Surely after 9 days implantation would have occurred and there'd be HCG in my system? Someone, put my mind at ease!!
There might be, but whether it'd be at high enough levels to be detectable in urine is another matter. Given you only had unprotected sex a few days before your period was due, I wouldn't expect the result to be accurate yet. I think they usually recommend 17 days or something like that - but read one of the leaflets or ask a pharmacist to be sure!
(Original post by Anonymous)
i know it varies from person to person but what's the earliest you can usually feel that your pregnant? By this i mean like your body feels different.etc.
It really is impossible to tell. Some women start getting some weird "symptoms" within the first few weeks, but others don't have anything till later. It's equally possible for stress to be giving you symptoms that would make you worry are linked to pregnancy when they're completely innocent! Just take a test if you're not sure.
0
BlackHawk
  • CV Helper
Badges: 16
Rep:
?
#17
Report 11 years ago
#17
(Original post by Anonymous)

Now.. judging by those dates and circumstances, would you say there's any chance I'm pregnant?
It also depends what type of test you used. Some require higher levels of HGC than others.

(Original post by morethanwords.27)
Wow

I'm kinda glad there are other pregnant people here, lol.

I'm 26 weeks now.

Are you guys still in education or whatever? How's it work out for you?

I'm going into college in september.
We must be due around the same time. I'm due 12/12. Having a little girl.

I'm in my mid twenties, so not in education so I can't imagine how difficult that must be.

20 week scan picture:

0
Anonymous #4
#18
Report 11 years ago
#18
If you have unprotected sex the day before your period is due, how long before you can take a test? Would a week not be accurate enough?
0
randdom
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#19
Report 11 years ago
#19
(Original post by Anonymous)
If you have unprotected sex the day before your period is due, how long before you can take a test? Would a week not be accurate enough?
While it is quite unlikely that you are pregnant you are sensible to be taking a test. I think that you have to wait two weeks though i could be wrong.
0
Anonymous #2
#20
Report 11 years ago
#20
(Hopefully this'll come up as Anon #2 again, but if it doesn't.. hello, it's me again. :p:)

Ok. A couple of days ago, I got some really light bleeding, and I assumed it was my period, so I was pretty relieved. But now, two days later, it's all but stopped!! I restarted on the pill on the first day of the bleeding (like you're supposed to when you start on the pill, yes?), 'cause I'm frankly sick of being as scared as this!

I've done another test today, and it's come up negative again.

I'm hoping you guys can understand my paranoia and stress, and hopefully I'm not over-reacting.. but I've heard of 'implantation spotting'. Could that bleeding have been it?! But if it is, why is the test negative?

I'm going out of my mind here.. I'm starting university in mere days, I don't want this to be happening..
0
X
new posts
Back
to top
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

Have you made up your mind on your five uni choices? (November update)

Yes I know where I'm applying (115)
69.7%
No I haven't decided yet (33)
20%
Yes but I might change my mind (17)
10.3%

Watched Threads

View All