So you think you might be pregnant?
You might be worried that you have had unprotected sex, you might have missed a period, your period might be late, or perhaps your last period was much shorter and lighter than usual and just didn’t seem normal. Or maybe you just don’t feel well and are worried that you might be pregnant.
What are the symptoms of pregnancy?
The symptoms of pregnancy vary for individual women. The most common symptom is that you miss a period, or your period is unusually short and light. Other symptoms include:
- Swollen and tender breasts
- Nipple sensitivity
- Urinating more often
- Food aversions (finding the taste and smell of some foods very unpleasant)
- Food cravings
- Mild pelvic cramping like period cramps.
- Feeling more emotional or moody
Some women will get just a few symptoms, some will get many or all of these symptoms, and some will get none.
What to do first
It is important for you to confirm as a soon as possible if you think you may be pregnant, so that you can consider your next steps and what information you may need know. Or to make decisions.
Have a pregnancy test
If you think you are pregnant you should do a pregnancy test, if you have not done one already. This is important so that you can get the right care if you are continuing the pregnancy, access timely abortion if you are not continuing, and give yourself time to make a decision if you are unsure.
You can do a home pregnancy test or you can go to your doctor or a family planning clinic. If you are in the ACT you can go to The Junction Youth Health Service if you are under 25, or to one of the Walk in Centres at Tuggeranong, Gungahlin and Belconnen to have a urine pregnancy test.
Once you have confirmed a pregnancy you need to take the next step.
What should I do next?
If you are not pregnant and you do not want to fall pregnant:
This may be a good opportunity to look at the options for contraception (Link to Contraception).
If you have only just had unprotected sex and are worried that you might have become pregnant:
You can use emergency contraception up to 5 days after the sex you are worried about. But the sooner that oral emergency contraception is taken the more effective it is. Oral emergency contraception is available over the counter in pharmacies in Australia. For more information about this see our section on Emergency Contraception (Link to Emergency Contraception).
If you know that you are continuing the pregnancy:
Make an appointment with your GP. If you don’t have a GP then you will need to find one (ask around among friends and family for recommendations).
See our section on What’s next?
If you are unsure what you are going to do or you do not want to be pregnant:
See our section on Unplanned Pregnancy for more information about what to do and about making a decision. Or read more in Having A Baby In Canberra.
If you have been planning a pregnancy and you are hoping that you are pregnant see Having A Baby In Canberra.
If you know that you want to have an abortion:
See our section on Unplanned Pregnancy or contact one of the two clinics in the ACT region who provide abortion:
- Marie Stopes Australia (based in Canberra city) Phone: 1300 863 546.
- Gynaecology Centres Australia (based in Queanbeyan) Phone: 02 9575 9599.
No matter what you think you might do, thinking that you might be pregnant or finding out that you are pregnant can be a time that is filled with many different feelings and can be confusing, frightening, and stressful. If the pregnancy is not planned or not wanted this is especially the case. Regardless of your situation it is very important to find someone that you can talk to. This may be a close friend, a family member, partner, or even a colleague who you are close to. It is important that this is someone you trust will support you and will keep your confidence if that is what you need.
Unplanned pregnancy counselling
You can also make an appointment with Sexual Health & Family Planning ACT’s Unplanned Pregnancy Counselling Service. This is a free, confidential, non-judgmental, unbiased, supportive service which is provided by experienced sexual & reproductive health nurse-counsellors and refers for all options. If you have an unplanned pregnancy you can access this service for accurate information, just to talk things through, to clarify a decision, for support, and for counselling.