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If you have recently had unprotected sexual sex or missed your period, it is possible that you are pregnant. The best time to test for pregnancy is the day after your last period.

How to do a pregnancy check

Most pregnancy tests can be performed from the first day after a missed period. If you are unsure when your next period will be, you can have the test 21 days after your last unprotected sex.

You can use very sensitive pregnancy tests even before your period.

A sample of urine can be used to test for pregnancy. You don’t need to wait until the morning to do a pregnancy test.

Get a pregnancy test

There are two options: you can purchase pregnancy testing kits at a supermarket or from a pharmacist. You can also do the test privately.

These places offer free pregnancies tests:

  • sexual health services
  • Some young people’s services. Call the national sexual health helpline at 0300 123 7123 to get more
  • Brook Centres for Under-25s – Find your nearest Brook Centre

Your doctor may be able to give you a free pregnancy test

What is a pregnancy test?

All pregnancy tests detect human chorionic Gonadotrophin (hCG) around 6 days after fertilization.

A majority of pregnancy tests come with 1 or 2 sticks. The stick is purged and the results are displayed within a few minutes. Every test is different so make sure to read the instructions.

Pregnancy test results

Home pregnancy tests can be accurate provided you follow the instructions.

A positive test result almost always proves to be correct. A negative test result is not as reliable.

If you are:

  • Do not follow the instructions
  • You should not take the test so early

Other medicines may also have an effect on the results.

If you still believe you are pregnant despite a negative test, wait for a few more days before you try again. If you receive a negative result from a second test but still think your period is not over, speak to your doctor.

Continue with the pregnancy

To continue your antenatal care, contact your GP if you are pregnant. To find out when your baby will be due, you can use the pregnancy due date calculator.

If your not sure if you want to become pregnant

Talking confidentially to a healthcare professional is a good option if you are unsure about whether you want to continue with the pregnancy. There are many options:

  • Continuing with the pregnancy and keeping your baby
  • Having an Abortion
  • Continuing with the pregnancy and having your baby adopted

You can get confidential, accurate information from your doctor or nurse at your GP office starting at the age of 13.

  • sexual health services
  • The MSI Reproductive Choices Website
  • British Pregnancy Advisory Service Website
  • National Unplanned Pregnancy Advisory Service website

All of these services, including those offered by community contraceptive clinics, are confidential. The staff will not tell your parents if you are 13 years old or older. Although they will encourage you to speak to your parents, they won’t force it.

Brook, a sexual health charity for under-25s, offers advice for young people. Brook has information about pregnancy options. The Ask Brook 24/7 service is also available.

Does the pregnancy test work?

A midwife explains when and how to perform a pregnancy test.

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Media last reviewed: 5 February 2020

Media Review due: 5 February 2023

Learn more about Trying to have a baby

  • Trying to get pregnant
  • If you are LGBT+
  • You can’t get pregnant if your mental condition
  • Planning your pregnancy
  • Performing a pregnancy test
  • Pregnancy signs and symptoms
  • How long is it usual to become pregnant?
  • Another pregnancy


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