Our website uses cookies so that we can provide a better browsing experience. Continue to use the site as normal, or find out how to manage cookies.


Pregnancy is the period from conception (when the sperm meets the egg), to birth. After the egg is fertilised by a sperm and then implanted in the lining of the womb, it develops into the placenta (that feeds the baby so it can grow) and eventually into a baby.

Pregnancy usually lasts 40 weeks, beginning from the first day of the woman's last period.

Here are some questions and answers to give you more information:

  • How do you know you are pregnant?
  • What if I am pregnant?
  • What do I do if I do not want to have the baby?

How do you know you are pregnant?

Any woman who has unprotected sex can get pregnant. Some people do not feel any different when they are pregnant.

Some people do get symptoms, but this usually happens a few weeks after conception.

Symptoms can include:

  • You may not have a period
  • Feeling sick or you may actually be sick, which is also called morning sickness
  • Your breasts can be painful, like just before you have your period and they may get bigger
  • You may get more vaginal discharge
  • Feeling tired
  • Going off things, for example, tea, coffee or some foods.

Remember that you can use emergency contraception up to 3-5 days after having sex.

A pregnancy test can tell if you are pregnant. Pregnancy tests cannot tell you the day after you have had sex if you are pregnant. You should wait until your next period is due.

To do the test you test your urine with a stick that measures the level of a hormone called b-hcg. If the level of hormone is high, this is a good indication that you are pregnant.

A negative test does not always mean that you are not pregnant. You should take another test if your period does not come, just to make sure. You can buy pregnancy tests from chemists and supermarkets and they cost about £10. You can get a free pregnancy test from your GP or from us.

What if I am pregnant?

If your pregnancy test is positive, remember, you do have options which we can talk to you about.

You might feel happy, sad or a bit of both but no-one is going to tell you what to do!

We are here to talk to you and support you in making what ever decision you decide is right for you.

You might decide to:

  • Continue with the pregnancy and have the baby
  • Have an abortion
  • Continue with the pregnancy and have the baby adopted

All of these options are available to you and no one is going to judge you for making a decision. It is your life and only you can decide what you want to do. Sometimes making decisions can be difficult and we can help you to think through some of the issues.

Here are some questions to think about when you are making this decision.

Having a baby: what changes?

You have a whole new person in your life that you are responsible for. A baby cannot do anything for itself.

You will be responsible for taking care of your baby 24 hours a day, you will need to feed it, change its nappy, keep it warm and love and protect it. This is very tiring, very expensive and you may not have time to do anything else. Having a baby changes your whole life.

What should I do if I have decided to keep my baby?

You can come in to talk to us or your GP and we can tell you what will happen and make sure you get all your checkups and answer your questions.

It is a good idea to take folic acid (you can get this from the chemist or from us) as soon as you are thinking about getting pregnant or as soon as you know you are pregnant. Folic acid helps the baby’s brain and spinal chord grow.


You can eat most foods when you are pregnant but you should avoid some things because they have bacteria that can harm a growing baby.

Foods to avoid when Pregnant:

  • soft cheese
  • runny eggs
  • shell fish
  • undercooked meat  such as pate
  • Unpasteurised mild (most milk in the UK is pasteurised but check on the label)

It is good to eat healthily, check out Healthy Eating.


Smoking is not good for your health whether you are pregnant or not but it can harm your baby in lots of ways.

Smoking when you are pregnant can increase your chances of having a miscarriage (when your body aborts the baby by itself before you are 20 weeks pregnant), having a very small baby, having a baby that is born too early or it can lead to a baby being stillborn.

There are lots of reasons to give up smoking, check out Stub it Out.


Alcohol should be avoided during pregnancy. Too much alcohol can make a baby ill and make them develop abnormally. What we don’t really know is how much is too much, that’s why it’s best to stay away from it all together.

Don’t worry if you were drinking before you knew you were pregnant, it is impossible to tell whether this will or will not affect the baby. The important thing is that you do not drink once you know you are pregnant.


Exercise is good for you when you are pregnant. You just have to be careful of what sports you are doing where there is a chance that you could hurt your belly. You should stay away from contact sports like martial arts, rugby and football

How can CHYPS Plus help me?

When you come in, we will talk to you about how you are feeling about the pregnancy. Sometimes it can be a lot to take in and you may feel very emotional.

It might make you down or very happy. Either way, it is a very big change and sometimes it is good to talk so you know what to expect.

Pregnancy is a normal part of life and you may sail through without any problems but it is also good to know why we will do lots of blood tests and scans. We can talk you through that and help you out with benefits, housing, school, college if you need us to.

We will put you in touch with a midwife who will look after you all the way through your pregnancy and delivery.

There are lots of young parents in Hackney that you might want to talk to so you can get an idea of what life with a baby is actually like

Both fathers and mothers come along to the young parents club and will probably spell it out much better than the doctors and nurses. So, why don't you drop in and we can see what services might be useful for you in Hackney.

What do I do if I do not want to have the baby?

There are still options for you if you think you do not want to have the baby. This is a very difficult decision to make.

Here is some information about your 2 options:

Related Questions

  • Age: 15
    Gender: Female


    My friends have all had sex what's wrong with me?


    Nothing is wrong you, not everyone has sex at the same time. The most important things about having sex is to be ready and not be pressured, do it with someone you trust and talk to someone about safer sex and contraception first. If you would like to discuss this please come and talk to the team at CHYPS Plus.

  • Age: 18
    Gender: Male


    How does the herpes thing work? Is a cold sore herpes?


    Genital Herpes is caused by the Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV). There are two types of HSV 1 & HSV 2; both can affect the genitals and also the mouth and nose (cold sores) and fingers (witlow).
    The virus enters the body through small cracks in the skin or through the soft lining of skin found in the mouth, vagina, anus, urethra and under the foreskin. After infection some people will experience sores. Some people get symptoms within 4-5 days after infection but some people can carry the virus without any symptoms for months or years.
    Symptoms can include ;
    •    Stinging, tingling or itching on the genital area (penis, anus or vagina)
    •    Fluid filled blister that burst leaving painful sores
    •    Pain when peeing as the urine touches the sores
    If you have any questions please feel free to call us on 02076834070 or attend clinic

    CHYPS Plus

  • Age: 15
    Gender: Female


    This week I've been feeling dizzy and I always feel like vomiting... I am not pregnant because I am only 15.  And I also have a red thing on my breast; should I make an appointment or is normal things? Whenever I eat I feel really full then I feel like vomiting. Is it normal? Thanks x


    Felling sick is your body's way of telling something isn't right and you should make an appointment to see your GP or attend CHYPS Plus.

    Age has no bearing on pregnancy so you should always practice safer sex to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, you can attend CHYPS plus and receive contraception, please have a look at the contraception page on the CHYPS Plus website; http://www.chypsplus.nhs.uk/zone-5-lets-talk-about-sex/contraception

    in relation to your breast we are unable to provide diagnosis via email, anytime you notice changes to your skin colour and shape etc. you should see a medical professional.