What are the signs of pregnancy?
For most women, the earliest sign of a pregnancy is a missed period. Some women may feel sick, lose interest in certain foods or feel more tired than usual. Every woman is different and not all will notice or have the same symptoms. To find out more about signs and symptoms visit the NHS pregnancy and baby guide.
If you think you may be pregnant you can get a pregnancy test from most supermarkets and pharmacies for a small cost. These can give you a quick result and you can do the test in private. Some pharmacies may provide pregnancy tests free of charge for those under the age of 25. You may also be able to get a pregnancy test free of charge from your GP or sexual health clinic but check with them first as some may do it for medical reasons only.
You can carry out most pregnancy tests from the first day of a missed period. If you don't know when your next period is due, do the test at least 21 days after you last had unprotected sex.
What are my options if I have a positive result?
It is best to discuss your options with someone you feel you can talk to about your decision. This could be a healthcare professional or a trusted friend or family member. If you decide you would like to continue with your pregnancy, make an appointment with your GP for a check-up. They will give you the information you need and kick start your antenatal care.
If you are 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 - you will need to speak to your GP or local sexual health clinic. These services do not provide abortion services, but will be able to offer confidential advice and make a referral. The abortion services in Suffolk are based in the hospitals. To find a list of abortion clinics and information please visit iCaSH's website
- 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 – from the age of 13 – from the following:
- Your local sexual health clinic
- The Marie Stopes website
Have you heard of YouCanBe?
This is a service operating across Ipswich, Lowestoft and some surrounding areas. YouCanBe offers tailored support to women and their partners who are experiencing challenging life circumstances. The aim of the service is to build self-esteem, strengthen relationships and help women address some of their challenges before they have a pregnancy or decide to start a family.
To find out more about this service please visit the YouCanBe Website.
Family Nurse Partnership
If you are under 20 and expecting your first child, you are eligible for receiving support and information from the Family Nurse Partnership. A trained family nurse is able to support you through the antenatal and postnatal period until your child is 2 years old, understanding more about your pregnancy and your baby's development.
- To find contact details please visit Family Nurse Partnership Suffolk
- To find information about Family Nurse Partnership please visit Family Nurse Partnerships NHS programme
Page reviewed and updated September 2021. Next review: November 2021