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Pregnancy

If you think you may be pregnant, or at risk of pregnancy, free pregnancy tests are available from your local contraception & sexual health clinic or your GP or you can buy them from chemists and supermarkets

A Pregnancy test is a urine test and the result is known in a few minutes. The test is reliable if done at the correct time which is when a period is late or missed for those who have a regular menstrual cycle. The test will show a positive result 2-3 weeks after unprotected sex. Some women have infrequent or irregular periods so need to have a pregnancy test done if they are worried that they may be at risk of pregnancy. If a pregnancy test is done too early it may give a negative result that may not be accurate so it is important that the test is done at the correct time.

If your period is unusual e.g. it is unusually light or is shorter than usual and you are at risk of pregnancy because you are not using effective contraception ,it may be a good idea to take a pregnancy test. If your period is late or you have abnormal bleeding and you have low abdominal pain seek advice from the contraception & sexual health clinic or your GP. You will probably be advised to have a pregnancy test to make sure you do not have an ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy in the tubes).This can be dangerous so it is important not to ignore these signs.

Young men and women who are not planning a pregnancy but who are sexually active need to have effective contraception to prevent an unwanted pregnancy  If unprotected sex does occur emergency contraception should be taken as quickly as possible.

If you are worried you may be pregnant don’t ignore it and just hope for the best, get advice and support and a pregnancy test as soon as possible. It can be a difficult and stressful time when an unplanned pregnancy occurs. The local contraception & sexual health clinic offer advice and support with pregnancy decision making to young women who are pregnant.

Young women who do not want to continue with their pregnancy can access a safe NHS funded abortion

Young women who decide to continue with their pregnancy need to start having ante-natal care as soon as possible to promote the best outcome for themselves and their baby. This will involve seeing the midwife regularly and their GP or an Obstetrician (a doctor who specializes in looking after pregnant women). In Lewisham there is a team of Midwives who offer care to younger women-they are based at Lewisham Hospital but see pregnant young women at Connexions in Lewisham. They can be contacted on 07798925340.

Lewisham Family Nurse Partnership is a pregnancy and early childhood health service for all young women who are under 20, having their first baby and living in Lewisham.

A Family Nurse will contact you early in your pregnancy and arrange to meet up with you.

You can contact the Family Nurses yourself on 0207 771 4202 or 07920190982 or email lew-pct.familyNursePartnership@nhs.net