Taking a pregnancy test

When you can do a pregnancy test

You can carry out a pregnancy test on a sample of urine from the first day of a missed period. If you're pregnant, this is about two weeks after conception. Some very sensitive pregnancy tests can be used even before you miss a period. You can do the test on urine collected at any time of the day - it doesn't have to be in the morning. Collect the urine in a clean, soap-free, well-rinsed container.

Where you can get a pregnancy test

You can get pregnancy tests free of charge from your GP or community sexual health clinic, which are sometimes known as contraception, family planning or GUM (genito-urinary medicine) clinics. In Cambridgeshire see the Sexual health advice service website. Pregnancy tests are also available at NHS walk-in centres. Many pharmacists and most pregnancy advisory services also offer tests, usually for a small fee.

You can also buy do-it-yourself pregnancy testing kits from pharmacists. They can give a quick result, and you can do the test in private. A range of tests is available. The way they work varies, so check the instructions first. 

Please do not come to our Accident and Emergency (A&E) department for a pregnancy test.

Pregnancy test results
A positive test result is almost certainly correct. A negative result is less reliable. If you get a negative result and still think that you're pregnant, wait a week and try again, or see a GP.
Continuing with the pregnancy

If you're pregnant and want to continue with the pregnancy, contact your GP or a midwife to start your antenatal care. You can use the pregnancy due date calculator to work out when your baby is due.

If you're not sure you want to be pregnant

If you're not sure about continuing with the pregnancy, you can discuss this confidentially with a healthcare professional. Your options are:

  • continuing with the pregnancy and keeping the baby 
  • having an abortion
  • continuing with the pregnancy and having the baby adopted

As well as a GP or a nurse at your GP surgery, you can also get accurate, confidential information (even if you’re under 16) from the following:

All these services, including community contraceptive clinics, are confidential. If you're under 16, the staff won't tell your parents. They'll encourage you to talk to your parents, but they won’t force you. 

If you're under 25 and would prefer advice that's aimed specifically at young people, the sexual health charity Brook provides a range of services for young people. The Brook website contains information on pregnancy choices. You can also email them via the Ask Brook website.

Information syndicated from the NHS Choices website.

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