Pregnancy occurs when a sperm fertilises an egg cell in the womb.
Sperm is released from the penis in precum and in semen (cum). When a couple is having unprotected vaginal sex, the sperm can enter the vagina.
Our bodies are designed so that sperm can find its way from the vagina to the uterus, where it can fertilise an egg.
The fertilised egg then implants itself into the wall of the uterus and develops, growing from an egg cell to an embryo to a foetus to a baby.
Signs that you might be pregnant include missing a period, gaining weight and sore breasts.
However, there can be other signs that will vary from person to person, so you may not experience these specific symptoms.
One sure sign that you might be pregnant is if you have had unprotected sex and are not using contraception.
Here is a great article on how to know if you could be pregnant.
If you think you might be pregnant, it is important to take a test to make sure. You can visit your GP for a free pregnancy test and, if you are pregnant, they can also provide you with information and advice on your options.
You can also buy home pregnancy tests from pharmacies and other shops throughout Highland. If you have a positive home pregnancy test, it’s important for you to make an appointment with your GP so that they can confirm the test result and help you to access support with decision making.
Remember, if you do have a positive pregnancy test, you do not need to make a decision straight away, and there is lots of support available through your GP.
If you have had a positive pregnancy test, and have decided to keep the baby, your GP will be able to help put you in touch with support.
Primarily this will be through regular appointments with midwives who will monitor your health and baby’s.
You can find out more at Ready Steady Baby - an NHS Scotland resource for pregnant women.
You can also find specific information for young people about pregnancy from Brook.
If you have a positive pregnancy test and it is unexpected or unwanted, you may decide an abortion is right for you.
Abortion is legal in the UK up to 24 weeks, but in Highland is only carried out up to 18 weeks into the pregnancy. So if you are considering an abortion it’s important to seek support as soon as possible.
If you are under 16 and would like an abortion in Highland, you do not need to tell your partner or parents. You can visit your GP by yourself to get help making an appointment or you can call the unintended pregnancy clinic directly to book yourself an appointment.
- Unintended Pregnancy Clinic, Raigmore Hospital - 01463 705667
The British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) is a great source of information around abortion. You can check out their website or call 03457 30 40 30 for support.
More useful links:
If you have had a positive pregnancy test and aren’t ready, or don’t want, to be a parent, adoption may be an option for you.
Adoption involves the transfer of parental rights and responsibilities from the birth parents (the mother who gives birth and their partner), to an adoptive parent.
Adoption can only be arranged through an approved adoption agency (including Highland Council).
You can find out more about adoption from the following links: