Finding out that you or your partner is pregnant can be a wonderful moment. Equally, it can be very scary and worrying, if you had not planned for it to happen. Remember that there are supports available, so you will always have someone to talk to.
It is possible for you to get pregnant once menstruation has started, i.e. once you have had your first period (note – it is possible to get pregnant before your first period also). First menstruation usually happens at around age 13, but it can happen much earlier or later, everyone is different!
When the ovaries release an egg into the Fallopian tubes, this is called ovulation. Each egg released has the potential to become fertilised by sperm, from a penis. Around the same time of ovulation, the lining of the uterus or womb thickens, in preparation for a fertilised egg.
If the egg that has been released does not become fertilised, the lining of the womb will break down and leave the vagina – this is called menstruating or having a period (some people use slang terms like “TOM”, or being “on” – the list is endless!). After this, the cycle begins all over again, and this happens every month.
However, if the egg that is released becomes fertilised (through sexual intercourse), the fertilised egg will attach itself to the lining of the womb. The fertilised egg is then called an embryo.
Through the lining of the womb, the embryo will receive all the nutrients it needs to grow and thrive into a baby. The baby growing inside the womb is called a foetus, and pregnancy lasts 9 months.
If you have had unprotected sex, or you think you might be pregnant, there are some signs to watch out for:
Missing a period - Extreme tiredness - Heightened sense of smell - Morning sickness - Breast tenderness
Remember, though, that the only way to be sure is to take a pregnancy test and visit your doctor. Pregnancy tests are available to buy in pharmacies. For the most reliable results, you should take the test around one week after a missed period. You can also get tested at your doctor’s or a family planning clinic. If you have an unplanned pregnancy, it’s not the end of the world. There are lots of people you can talk to, as well as organisations that can help… you are not alone!
You should explore all your options before you make any decisions. Think about them carefully, and come to your own decision. You will make the right decision for you!
To avoid becoming pregnant, use condoms correctly and consistently when having sex. For more information on protection (preventing STI’s and pregnancy) and contraception (which prevents pregnancy but NOT STIs) see our “How To” section!
You cannot get pregnant from being in a hot-tub or pool – sperm cannot swim from a penis through water and into a vagina! You CAN get pregnant if you have sex in a hot tub, or any kind of water.