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The Ask Brook 24/7 tool has the answers about your sexual health & relationships

Am I pregnant?

Pregnancy is most likely to result from having vaginal sex without using contraception

You can’t get pregnant from things like touching or oral sex, only from activities where semen (‘cum’), which contains sperm, comes into direct contact with the vagina. If you think you’ve had a risk of pregnancy within the last few days, you can reduce that risk by using emergency contraception.

If you have any questions, or if you are worried that you might be pregnant, you can get in touch with Ask Brook (between 9am-3pm, Mon to Fri) via webchat or interactive text on 07717 989023 (standard SMS rates apply). Ask Brook is confidential and is available to all young people under 25. Brook also has services around the UK offering free and confidential sexual health advice, contraception and counselling to young people. You can search for these services here.

How to do a pregnancy test

Some people can tell that they’re pregnant because they feel different. For example, they might feel sick, or experience mood swings. Often, the first time someone thinks they might be pregnant is when their period is late. But not everyone experiences all the possible symptoms of pregnancy. The only way to know for certain if you are pregnant is to take a pregnancy test.

There are lots of places where you can get a pregnancy test done for free. If you go to your doctor, a family planning clinic, a Brook service or a sexual health clinic the test will be free, and you’ll have someone to support you. Contact Ask Brook to find out about local pregnancy testing services.

If you’d rather do the test yourself you can buy one from a chemist or supermarket, they usually cost around £3-£10. If you are doing the test yourself make sure you follow the instructions carefully and follow it up with a visit to the doctor or nurse if you have any questions.

How a pregnancy test works

Pregnancy tests usually involve weeing on a small plastic stick, or sometimes, weeing into a cup and dipping in a test stick. The test is looking for a hormone which is only present in the wee of someone who is pregnant.

It takes a while for this hormone to build up in the body so there is no point doing a pregnancy test straight after unprotected sex. (If you've had unprotected sex in the last five days and want to reduce the risk of being pregnant, you can use emergency contraception) To get an accurate result it’s best to test three weeks after unprotected sex or straight after your period should have been due (whichever is sooner).

The test will display either a ‘positive’ or ‘negative’ result (check the instructions if you’re doing the test yourself for how to recognise this). 

If the test is negative

A negative result means you probably aren't pregnant but it could also be that the hormone is not yet detectable. The best thing to do would be to wait for your period to come, and if it doesn't, visit a doctor or nurse to take another test. This might also be a good time to talk to someone about contraception, if you weren't trying to get pregnant.

If the test is positive

A positive result means that you are definitely pregnant. It’s important to see a doctor or nurse as soon as possible to confirm your pregnancy and help you think about your options. If you're pregnant it's you who gets to decide if you want to continue or end the pregnancy.

At a Brook service, a family planning clinic, young person's service, or your local doctor’s surgery, someone can listen to how you are feeling, talk through what your options are, and help you make the decision that is right for you. If you would like to speak to a counsellor about things in a bit more detail, you can let the service know.

To find your nearest pregnancy testing service contact Ask Brook. Ask Brook is confidential. That means we won’t tell anyone you’ve contacted us unless we think you are in really serious danger.