SO YOU THINK YOU MIGHT BE
SUSSED is your one stop survival guide
to everything you’ll need to know if
you think you, your girlfriend or a
friend might be pregnant.
Inside you will find information from teen parents and professionals on support and advice and the options available to help you make the right decision for your situation. BUT REMEMBER
You may be pregnant
Time to talk
Having a termination
Keeping the baby
Having the baby adopted
If you have had unprotected sex i.e. you didn’t use a condom
or the condom split, your period is late, you have been on
antibiotics while on the pill, you’ve skipped the pill, you puked
while on the pill.
You may be pregnant !
Morning after pill:
An immediate option is to take the morning after pill (also referred to as emergency contraception). You take this pill up to 72 hours (3 days) after having unprotected sex. However, it’s more effective the sooner you take it, so act fast. You can get the morning after pill free from your GP, from the Contraception and Sexual Health Clinic (CASH) at the Ella Gordon Unit at St.Mary’s Hospital, or from 1 May 2007, if you are aged 13 to 20 years, you can get it free from 11 city area pharmacies in Portsmouth. Please see Further Information at the end of this booklet. Alternatively you can pay for it from other pharmacies (it costs approximately £25). The pharmacist should advise you on any possible side effects of this medication but if not always ask what, if any, side effects there are. This medication should NOT be used as regular contraception.
Take a pregnancy test to find out for sure. Do not delay, the
earlier you know the more options you have.
STI’s: Sexually Transmitted Infections:
If you have had unprotected sex you are at risk of getting an infection. These include Chlamydia, Syphilis, HIV. You may not have any symptoms so you need to get checked out at the GUM clinic at St.Mary’s Hospital, Portsmouth, Telephone: 023 9286 6796. The staff at the clinic will give you confidential advice and support. You can also be tested for Chlamydia and pregnancy at Sex Sense. See Further Information at the end of this booklet.
Don’t ignore that you might be pregnant – it won’t go away.
Make a list of all the people you trust that you could talk to if you are pregnant.
If you have not taken the morning after pill….Take a pregnancy test! Count 3 weeks from the date you had unprotected sex or if you have missed a period. This test is painless and involves passing urine (peeing) onto a test strip. This test will tell you if you are pregnant.
You can have a free test at:Sex Sense @ St.Mary’s Hospital (daily)
Healthy Living Centre, Paulsgrove on Wednesday between 1 - 2.30 pm Go For It on Wednesday between 3 – 5 pm.
The Ella Gordon Unit, St.Mary’s Hospital, Portsmouth Tel 023 9286 6301. They will give you a free test and give confidential advice on what to do next. Ring them for clinic times. If you can’t get there they will give you the clinic times of the other places in Portsmouth where you can get a pregnancy test and counselling.
You can buy a home testing kit and do the test yourself. Make sure you read all the instructions before doing the test, because if you don’t it could affect the results! Chemists charge approximately £10.00 for the test, Asda charge approximately £4.00.
If the result says ‘pregnant’
Even if you are trying for a baby, finding out you’re pregnant is a huge shock, however old you are. If the test result is positive, which means you are pregnant, and you need someone to talk to, try talking to someone you trust like a family member or another adult known to you. However at some point you may want to talk to your parent, guardian or carer. You may also want to think about telling your sexual partner.
Facing an unplanned pregnancy
It is common to feel shocked, scared, isolated or lonely when facing an unplanned pregnancy, and deciding what to do can be a difficult and complicated decision to make, but help and advice are available. It’s important to talk to someone as soon as possible.
THE TEST WAS POSITIVE
This means that you are almost certainly pregnant and means that you will need to think about these three options:
That you will ask to have a termination (abortion)
That you will continue with the pregnancy and keep the
That you will continue with the pregnancy and have the
The earlier you find out you’re pregnant, the more options you have. If you decide to continue with the pregnancy, either to parent the baby yourself or to have it adopted, it’s better to arrange antenatal care with your doctor early on for the health of both you and the baby. However, if you decide to have an abortion, it is also important to act quickly. (Most abortions are carried out before 13 weeks of pregnancy. This is why it is important not to delay with a test! Beyond this time it is more difficult to obtain an abortion).
THE TEST WAS NEGATIVE
If your test is negative but your period still doesn’t start you will need to take another test a week later. You should see a doctor and tell him/her that your period hasn’t started. You will also need to talk to your doctor about staying safe. This means STI’s. If you are sexually active you should have regular sexual health checks.
TIME TO TALK
Finding out that you are pregnant is not going to just go away. You will need to tell someone.
If the pregnancy is a result of you being raped or sexually abused by someone known or unknown you must tell someone you trust other than the person who raped or sexually abused you. If the person you tell is a professional they have a legal duty to inform the police or social services. This may be frightening but this will help you access the proper support. You can also ask for confidential support from
Rape Crisis 023 9266 9513.
If the pregnancy is a result of you having agreed to sex and you feel that you cannot talk to a sexual partner, parent, guardian or carer, make sure you tell someone else. Maybe you could tell your doctor or a relative. If you are still at school you could speak to a Connexions personal adviser or your school nurse.
Take a deep breath and tell someone. Tell your sexual partner, parents, guardian or carers as soon as possible. You may decide to practise what you are going to say. People you tell may be shocked at first, but usually get over this and want to help you.
If you are religious or have faith beliefs you may want to talk to a priest or minister. You can do this by looking up their telephone number in the phonebook. There are also some organisations that provide advice and support listed at the back of this booklet.
There is never a good time or place to tell
someone that you are pregnant, but try to choose
You could say “I need to talk to you about
Or, you could say “Please help me, I am pregnant”
Portsmouth has a counselling service for young people called: OFF THE RECORD - You could give them a ring on
023 9281 5322
They will arrange for you to come and talk to them and will not tell anyone about what you talked about. This is called confidentiality. When you ring them you may get the answer phone but don’t worry, just leave a message and they will call you back.
The Ella Gordon Unit has an ‘unplanned pregnancy clinic’ that provides a confidential counselling service. To make an appointment telephone 023 9286 6312.
SO WHAT DOES CONFIDENTIALITY ACTUALLY
Some people such as doctors, nurses and counsellors can offer you confidentiality. Confidentiality means that the person you talk to will not tell anyone else what you have told them, unless you give them permission to. (The only time the person will tell someone else without your permission, would be to protect you or another person from very serious harm). The Ella Gordon unit and Go For It will give you confidential advice about being pregnant. They will not tell your parents, carers or doctor, even if you are under 16, but will encourage you to tell them.
Teachers are not allowed to offer confidentiality, due to the fact that, if your sexual behaviour is placing you in some kind of danger the law says they must pass that information on. Which would be the same if you talk to any trusted adult who holds a professional role.
HAVING A TERMINATION
Some people do make the decision to end the pregnancy; this is called having an abortion. Only ‘you’ can make this decision. It can be a very difficult decision to make so see your doctor as soon as possible and talk it through. The doctor will need to examine you to see how many weeks pregnant you are.
In Britain, legal termination may be carried out up to 24 weeks of pregnancy provided that it is agreed by two registered medical practitioners (Doctors). Your doctor or the Contraception and Sexual Health clinic will arrange this if you request an abortion. It is therefore advisable to get a pregnancy test done at the earliest opportunity and make an informed decision about what you want to do, preferably
within the first 13 weeks of pregnancy.
Who can I take with me? Lots of people prefer to go with someone to support them. You can take anyone, from a friend, a relative, a parent, guardian or carer, a sexual partner or an older brother or sister.
ASK YOURSELF THESE QUESTIONS
Is anyone putting pressure on me about my decision? Who can I go to for help, support and information? Is having an abortion the right choice for me; what do I want?
What does my sexual partner think about me having an abortion?
Will I regret my decision, next month, next year, in 5 years?
REMEMBER THE DECISION IS YOURS. YOU CANNOT
BE FORCED INTO ANY COURSE OF ACTION.
• • • • •
Remember that you should be the only person who can make the final decision that is right for you
Talk through your options with your sexual partner, parent, guardian, carer, or someone you trust
Keep talking to parents/carers and try not to argue The Ella Gordon Unit has an unplanned pregnancy counselling service if you require it
Whatever decision you make please see a doctor straight away as you have a time limit on when you can have an abortion
If you have an abortion it is advisable to seek
counselling before and after the termination.
• • • • •
KEEPING THE BABY
ASK YOURSELF THESE QUESTIONS
Is anyone putting pressure on me about my decision? Who can I go to for help, support and information?
How will I feel becoming a mother? Is becoming a parent the right thing for me now? What does my sexual partner think about becoming a dad?
If I do not get any support from the baby’s father and my family, how will I cope?
Will having a baby affect my education, training and social life? Where will I live?
Who will look after my baby when I want to go out with friends? How will I support my baby and myself financially?
Will I regret my decision, next month, next year, in 5 years?
Having a baby is a life long commitment.
If you decide that you want to keep the baby, go see a doctor straight away. They will put you in contact with a midwife, tell you what to expect, what you should be eating, what check ups you will need to go for and help make the arrangements for the baby’s birth.
They will arrange antenatal care (antenatal means care of you and your baby before the birth). It is your responsibility to make sure you go to all the appointments that are made for you.
Is there anything I need to do to make sure my baby stays healthy while I’m pregnant? You will need to take folic acid tablets which are medicines that help to stop the baby having problems with it’s spine (spina bifida). The people who work at the chemist will explain to you how to take these tablets.
Other medicines or drugs, even ones bought from a chemist or a
supermarket, can really harm your developing baby. Always check with a doctor or pharmacist before taking any medicines or drugs.
Drinking alcohol and smoking when you are pregnant can also harm your baby. • • • • • • • • •
I’m under 16, what will happen about school?
You will still need to go to school when you’re pregnant and after your baby has been born. You can leave school at the end of year 11. The reintegration officer will support you if you are still at school and the Teenage Pregnancy Team (if you are 16-19 years old) will help you with college, training or work.
Where will I live?
If you are over 16 and have to leave your family home, you will probably be given accommodation in a hostel. This is called supported housing. You cannot have a council flat or house until you are over 18.
If you are bringing up the baby on your own and need somewhere to live, you need to contact social services (your GP may be able to do this for you). Social services will be able to give you advice about benefits that you may be entitled to.
What about money?
You should start thinking about buying things that the baby will need and work out who will pay for these extra items. You cannot claim benefits for yourself and your baby until you have left school. Your parents may be able to claim child benefit and a grant for a new baby in the house. For more details about what you’re entitled to, the Teenage Pregnancy team will be happy to help you.
HAVING THE BABY
ASK YOURSELF THESE
Is anyone pressuring me to have the baby adopted? Who can I go to for help, support and information?
How will I feel dealing with a pregnancy, giving birth to a baby and then giving my baby up for adoption?
What does my sexual partner think about adoption?
Will I regret my decision, next month, next year, in five years?
Only you can make this decision. If you decide that you are going to have your baby adopted you will still need to follow your doctor’s and midwife’s advice, to keep you and the baby healthy. Social services will advise you on how to arrange for the baby to be adopted. You can change your mind and decide to keep the baby once it has been born, no-one is allowed to pressure you into giving the baby away. BUT, once the baby has been adopted the adoptive parents legally become the baby’s parents. You will then NOT be able to change your mind and have the baby back. You can get advice from the Adoption enquiry line from the Adoption Service at the local council office on 023 9283 2244.
Sussed Check List
Did you know?
A girl can get pregnant at any time if she has sex without using contraception
Sperm comes out way before a boy comes (blob on the knob), so put a condom on when he has an erection
You do not have to have intercourse (penetrative sex) to get
pregnant i.e. heavy petting and when the male comes in or around the vaginal area, sperm can live up to 7 days in the female body Blob on the knob = possible pregnancy
If you puke on the pill it does not work……you could still become pregnant
If you are taking antibiotics the pill does not work, so use a condom while you are taking antibiotics and for at least a week after you finish taking antibiotics
You can get pregnant if you have sex during a period There is no ‘safe’ time in the month
There is no sexual position that protects you from getting pregnant i.e. having sex standing up does not prevent pregnancy
Remember; always use a condom, even if you are on the pill. No contraceptive is 100% effective so if your period is late always take a pregnancy test
Condoms are the only form of contraceptive, if used correctly, that gives you 99.9% protection against STIs
• • • • • • • • • • •
Oil based lubricants such as lipstick, baby oil, and Vaseline damage a condom and should not be used. Only use water based lubricants i.e. KY jelly
Condoms have a sell by date; always check it!
The majority of young people regret having sex at an early age and wish they had waited until they were emotionally ready. Remember delaying sex leads to a more fulfilling relationship
If you have any questions, worries, concerns around sexual health or the risk of pregnancy always ask a professional. They will give you the correct information. Remember your friends may be misinformed! And last but not least………….
It is OK, and your right, to say
WHERE CAN I
Ella Gordon Unit023 9286 6301
Unplanned Pregnancy Unit – Self-Referral023 9286 6312
Sex Sense023 9286 6301
Community Midwives Office023 9286 6563
GUM (Genito-Urinary Medicine)023 9286 6796
Emergency Hormonal Contraceptive Service @
‘The Morning After Pill
Had unprotected sex in the last 72 hours?
Free emergency contraception for young women aged 13 – 20 years from:
Rowland’s, 171 Allaway Avenue, Paulsgrove Lloyd’s, 52 High Street, Cosham
Copnor Pharmacy, 336 Copnor Road, Copnor Laly’s, 5 Kingston Road, North End
Rowland’s, 94 Fratton Road, Fratton
Central (Charles Dickens)
Lloyd’s, 145 Somers Road, Portsmouth Merali, 127 Queen Street, Portsea
Boot’s, 194 Commercial Road, Portsmouth
Rowland’s, 187 Eastney Road, Eastney Rowland’s, 1 Highland Road, Southsea Boot’s, 31 Palmerston Road, Southsea • • • • • • • • • • •
Local Advice (cont.)
Benefits advice023 9230 4839
Social Services023 9283 9111
Housing advice for young people 023 9279 3000
Adoption Enquiry Line023 9283 2244
Off The Record023 9281 5322
Confidential counselling for young people in Portsmouth
Adolescent Health Team(inc. Teenage Pregnancy & Re-integration Officer)
Portsmouth City Council 023 9284 1714
Go For It
Next to Portsmouth & Southsea Station 023 9273 2450
Paulsgrove & Wymering Healthy Living CentreAllaway Avenue, Paulsgrove
023 9238 1093
Rape Crisis023 9266 9513
Your Local GP or Practice NurseNumber in directory
www.connexions-direct.com/ 023 9286 5454
Brook Advice Linewww.brook.org.uk Sexual health advice 0800 0185 023
Family Planning Associationwww.fpa.org.uk
British Pregnancy Advisory Servicewww.bpas.org/
0845 7304 030
Any Health Enquiries contact NHS Directwww.nhsdirect.nhs.uk
0845 46 47
Cristina Chirtes Inga Galkinaite Pascal Montsma Aleksandra Banic Steve Woods Ryan Dyer Sean Ratke Andrzej Pobiedzinski Anja Ranneberg Katinka Kober
Health Improvement & Development Service Civic Offices Guildhall Square Portsmouth PO1 2EP 023 9284 1714 firstname.lastname@example.org
You can get all Portsmouth City Council information in large print, Braille, tape or translated by calling 023 9284 1714
For translated information, please call: the Bengali answerphone service on 023 9284 1651
the Cantonese answerphone service on 023 9284 1652 023 9284 1651 023 9284 1652 • • • • www.portsmouth.gov.uk