Pregnancy testing and advice
Where to get a test
You can buy do-it-yourself pregnancy testing kits from pharmacies and supermarkets. They give a quick result, and you can do the test in private. A range of tests is available, but cheaper own-brand tests are just as good as the more expensive or digital versions.
Umbrella clinics offer free pregnancy testing for people who are worried they might be pregnant and would like further information and advice.
Some, but not all, GPs offer free pregnancy testing.
You can do a pregnancy test three weeks after unprotected sex, or once you have missed a period.
You can do a pregnancy test on urine collected at any time of the day, but it is most accurate when using the first urine of the day.
Read the instructions carefully and check how long to leave it before reading the result.
Collect the urine in a clean, soap-free, well-rinsed, dry container.
All pregnancy tests detect the hormone human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG) which starts to be produced around six days after conception. (Conception is when the egg is fertilised by the sperm – this is not the same as the day you had sex.)
Home pregnancy tests are just as accurate as clinic or pharmacy tests.
A negative result is not reliable if you did your test less than three weeks after sex. If you get a negative result you should repeat your test three weeks after you had sex.
Your pregnancy test may give a positive result less than three weeks after you had sex. If you get a positive result, this is reliable.
If you get a negative result and still think you’re pregnant, wait a week and try again, or speak to a GP or visit an Umbrella clinic.
If you’ve had a positive test result
If you’re pregnant and want to continue with the pregnancy, contact your GP or a midwife to start your antenatal care.
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
- terminating the pregnancy (having an abortion)
- continuing with the pregnancy and having the baby adopted or fostered
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 your local Umbrella clinic or an abortion provider.
While Umbrella doesn’t perform abortions, you can refer yourself to a specialist service that does.