Pregnancy

It can be very easy to get pregnant. Once a girl begins to have periods, it is a sign that her ovaries are producing eggs. These eggs are released into the fallopian tubes, where, if they come into contact with sperm they can be fertilised and a baby can begin to develop.

This page aims to dispel the common myths about how you can and can’t become pregnant:

You can become pregnant:

  • Even if you have sex standing up.
  • The first time you have sex.
  • Even if you have sex during your period.
  • Even if a boy withdraws (pulls out) before he comes.
  • If you forget to take your pill or don’t use another form of birth control.
  • If the condom slips or breaks.
  • Even if you are wearing a condom.

You cannot become pregnant:

  • From kissing.
  • From holding hands.
  • Without any genital-genital contact.
  • By sharing a bath or hot-tub.

Remember that no form of birth control is 100% guaranteed to stop you becoming pregnant. Many depend on you using them properly.

How do I know if I’m pregnant?

The best way to find out if you are pregnant is to use a pregnancy testing kit that you can buy from any chemist and some supermarkets. If this is positive, go to your doctor who can do a blood test or a pelvic exam to make sure.

Early signs of pregnancy can include:

  • Missed or unusually short period.
  • Morning sickness (sickness without any other illness like the flu or upset stomach). It doesn’t necessarily just happen in the morning.
  • Breast soreness, more than around the time of your period, to the point where it may be uncomfortable to wear a bra.
  • Headaches are not a sign of pregnancy on their own, but if you have headaches more often with any of these other signs it might be that you are pregnant.
  • Bloating. Some women become bloated almost immediately, in a similar way to the time around your period.

For more detailed information about the signs of pregnancy, visit the ‘teen advice’ website from the link on this page.

I’m pregnant, what are my options?

There are four main options:

  • Carry the pregnancy to term and become a full-time parent.
  • Carry the pregnancy to term and allow the child to be raised by the father.
  • Carry the pregnancy to term and allow the child to be adopted.
  • Terminate the pregnancy by having an abortion.

There are many religious, moral and family values that might influence your decision. Even if you are fairly sure about what you want to do, talk it through with someone you can trust.

Ideally you should talk about your options with your parents or carers because they are going to be your main source of support and advice, but you might want to talk to someone else first to help you organise your thoughts and prepare for whatever reactions they might have.

Wherever possible you should also try to tell the father providing it won’t put you at risk of any physical or mental harm. You have both played a part in creating the pregnancy and the father may have views on what to do and he or his family may offer help or support.

Remember, ultimately the choice to keep the pregnancy or terminate it is yours. Listen to other people’s’ advice and consider financial, physical and emotional support networks that you will need whatever your decision, but the choice is ultimately yours.

Might be a teenage dad?

As a teenage father-to-be, you have equal responsibility for the creation of the baby. What your partner wants from you in order to deal with the pregnancy and being a parent if you keep the child will depend entirely on her. But remember you have rights as the father.

What can my doctor do?

Whatever you decide, you will need to go to your doctor. Your doctor will be able to give you information about the availability of abortion services in your area, or if you decide to keep the pregnancy, you will need regular check ups and medical advice throughout the pregnancy.

If your doctor is a family friend or you do not feel comfortable talking to them you could ask for another doctor in the surgery, or even change practice. There is information on the NHS direct website about how to do this – click on the link below to find out more.

Who can help?

Try talking to someone about your concerns. You are not likely to think logically and clearly when you are worried and just talking it through might make things seem clearer. It doesn’t have to be an adult to start with, a friend you can trust will help, but if the test is positive, you will need to see a doctor however you plan to deal with the pregnancy.

Although you might feel scared it is important you always consult your doctor, they will always respect your confidentiality and can offer you the best and safest options available to you. Do not trust any online website offering abortions these can be dangerous and not legal.

The NHS Direct website provides further information on pregnancy.

The Advice Now website gives details about your rights as a young father at www.advicenow.org.uk/go/livingtogether/feature_213.html?pkgid=22

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