There is always a possibility of pregnancy when you have sex even if you use contraception. Make sure you and your partner know have talked about it.

Emergency Contraception

Emergency Hormonal Contraception is free. It must be taken up to 72 hours after sex to be effective.

Where to get Contraception



(Scroll down for information on getting a free pregnancy test...)

Pregnancy is a real possibility when you have sex, and there are lots of rumours about when and where you or your partner can get pregnant. Don’t believe everything you hear. The truth is that you or your partner can get pregnant:

  • if it’s the first time you're having sex
  • at any time of the month, including during the female's period
  • if the male pulls his penis out before he comes (ejaculates)
  • if the female hasn't started her periods
  • no matter what position you have sex in, including standing up
  • even if the female stands up, washes or jumps up and down immediately after sex
  • if you do or don’t have an orgasm
  • if the male says he’ll be careful (males can't stop themselves from leaking sperm before they come).

Pregnancy can also happen if your usual contraception hasn’t worked, for example, if the female is on the Pill but has vomited or had diarrhoea. Contraception only works if it's used correctly and consistently.

It is possible for a female to get pregnant without having sexual intercourse (penetration), if there is a chance of sperm getting into the vagina. For example, a female can get pregnant if there is sperm on her fingers and she puts them into her vagina.

However, the chances of becoming pregnant in this way are very small because sperm can only live for a very short period of time when outside of the human body (a few minutes if left to dry out, or a few hours if wet).

It would also be possible for pregnancy to happen if the male ejaculates close to the entrance of the vagina, or if his erect penis comes into contact with his partner's body near the vagina.

Emergency contraception
Some people may be pleased at the thought of being pregnant, but if you want to avoid pregnancy the famale can use emergency contraception. This can prevent pregnancy if you've had unprotected sex, but should only be used in an emergency. It's not a replacement for regular contraception.

There are two types:

  • The emergency contraceptive pill, sometimes called the ‘morning-after' pill, which must be taken by the female within 72 hours of having unprotected sex. It's more effective the sooner it's taken. 
  • The IUD (copper coil), which can be put into the female's uterus up to five days after unprotected sex, is extremely effective at preventing pregnancy and can be left in place to provide ongoing contraception .

You can get the free emergency contraceptive pill from GPs, pharmacies,  etc – even if you’re under 16.

Pregnancy testing
Pregnancy tests detect the presence of the pregnancy hormone in the female's body.

A pregnancy test is the only way to know for sure whether the female is pregnant.

When to take a pregnancy test
The female may suspect that she is pregnant because of certain symptoms, such as enlarged or tingling breasts, nausea (feeling sick), dizziness, a metallic taste in the mouth, or a feeling that her period is about to start. However, not every woman has these symptoms.

Most do-it-yourself pregnancy tests can be carried out on or after the day the female's next period is due. If she doesn't know when her next period is due, she should do the test at least 21 days after she last had unprotected sex.

The female should always take a pregnancy test if she thinks she might be pregnant, no matter what type of contraception she uses or previously used.

The female can take a pregnancy test if she is using hormonal contraception. The result will still be reliable. If it's positive, this means that she is pregnant.

What’s a test like?
Most tests come in a small box that contains one or two long sticks. The female should pee on the stick and the result appears on the stick after a few minutes. All tests are slightly different, so always read the instructions.

Some anti-abortion organisations offer free pregnancy testing, but may push you to go through with a pregnancy even if you’re not sure you want to. Try to get your test from an organisation that won’t pressure you either way

Where can i get a pregnancy test?
You can buy pregnancy testing kits from lots of places. However you can probably get tested for free at your own GP/Doctors
Negative test results
If the female gets a negative (not pregnant) result from the pregnancy test but still think she could be pregnant, she should wait another three days then take another test. It could be that she has taken the test too early. The female should speak to her GP if she gets a negative result after a second test but her period hasn't arrived.

If you're not pregnant, now is a good time to get contraception.

Positive test results - making a choice
If the test is positive, the female is pregnant and you both face a big decision. The female can continue with the pregnancy or can have an abortion/termination, which is legal in Great Britain even if she is under 16. An abortion is a medical process for ending a pregnancy. As soon as you find out that you're pregnant talk to someone, perhaps your GP or an iCaSH nurse. If you decide to have an abortion, it's safer to do it as early as possible. Most abortions are carried out before 13 weeks of pregnancy. You need to act quickly if you are considering an abortion and can either:

- Phone the BPAS phone line open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year on 03457 30 40 30  to discuss your options and self refer yourself. (Not available in East Norfolk)

- or visit your GP or local iCaSH clinic to discuss your options and they will make a referral for you (available everywhere)

If you decide to continue with the pregnancy, the female will need to start antenatal (pregnancy) care. Talk to your your GP.

Adoption is another choice that some people make. Again, talk to your GP.

Don't forget to talk to someone you trust, your partner, friends, family, parents or carers. Or you can learn more about your options by calling the following organisations:

fpa: 0845 122 8690.
bpas (British Pregnancy Advisory Service): 0845 730 4030.
Brook Advisory Service (for under-25s): 0808 802 1234.
THT Direct: 0845 122 1200

All these services, including community contraceptive clinics, are confidential, so they won’t tell your parents. They'll encourage you to talk to your parents, but they won’t force you.