If you find out that you are pregnant, (and you’ve had the pregnancy confirmed by a professional such as your doctor or a nurse) then there are many things you might need to consider. The main question you need to ask yourself is;
“Do I want to continue with the pregnancy or do I want to end it?”
If you are thinking about ending the pregnancy this is called a termination (or abortion).
Deciding whether or not to continue with the pregnancy is a big responsibility. If you’re faced with this decision, it’s normal to feel many emotions at once, such as
- Feeling nervous
Many women who discover they’re pregnant examine their situation, (look at their life and see if they are prepared to make all the changes needed to become a parent), and many people know immediately if they want to have a termination. If they do choose a termination, they continue to feel right about their decision as well as relieved once the pregnancy is over.
Other women thinking about having a termination have different feelings, making the decision difficult and even painful. This is often the case when the woman’s boyfriend, family or friends don’t support her decision for personal or religious reasons, or when she herself has personal or religious beliefs that don’t support it. When the pregnancy is over, these women can experience feelings of guilt, sadness or even depression over a long period.
What can we do for you?
Halton and St Helens have a new referral pathway which means that, if you decide to have a termination you no longer need to book an appointment with your GP or local Community Sexual Health Clinic – all you have to do is call Bpas yourself on 08457 30 40 30 and the staff will book an appointment for you that is suitable for you.
You now have the choice of where you will receive your care and this will be discussed with you when you call.
What is an abortion / termination?
Having a termination means ending your pregnancy. It needs to be done as soon as possible once you have made the decision to end your pregnancy. This is because the risks to your health from the termination procedure increase as the pregnancy develops.
Termination of pregnancy can be done by a non-surgical procedure up to 9 weeks if you wish, i.e. using drugs. This may involve 2 visits to the clinic in Liverpool.
A surgical procedure can be performed at any time up to the legal limit of abortion. There is only one trip to Liverpool required, and you are usually able to choose whether you want to be asleep or awake for the procedure. However if the pregnancy has progressed beyond 12 – 14 weeks at the time of surgery, it is likely that you will have to travel much further than Liverpool to have the procedure done because it will have to be performed by a specialist.
Thinking about having a termination?
If you are thinking about having a termination, ask yourself these six questions;
- Is anybody putting pressure on me to have a termination?
- Who can give me information, help and support?
- If you are thinking about requesting a termination, ask yourself is this really the best choice for me or am I trying to run away from the problem?
- Does termination fit in with my personal beliefs, religion and culture?
- What are my partner’s views on termination?
- Do I think I will have any regrets later; next month, next year, in five years?
What should I do next?
If you decide to have a termination, you need to arrange it as soon as possible.
Call Bpas on 08457 30 40 30 any time between 9am and 9pm.
If you would like to talk someone confidentiality, and if you are under 18yrs, you could contact the Teenage Pregnancy Counselling Service in Halton… they will listen to you and help you reach a decision. Call the Kings Cross Project on 0151 420 4905.
A termination can be carried out as soon as a woman knows she is pregnant. Termination up to about 12 weeks of pregnancy is a relatively simple and safe procedure and most will take place during this time. Before 12 weeks it’s almost always quicker and less painful (some women only feel a little uncomfortable and no pain at all).
The actual operation only lasts a few minutes and it’s natural to have a period and some stomach cramps immediately afterwards. The staff at the clinic will look after you and tell what to do and what to expect.
After 12 weeks and up to 24 weeks it can become more complicated and doctors may be less willing to go ahead with the termination during this time. Only in exceptional circumstances may a termination be carried out after 24 weeks.
Although U16 year olds may be encouraged to involve parents (for support and to help you through this difficult time), a girl under 16 may give her own consent for an abortion – if she can show that she understands what is involved. However, many doctors insist on a parent or guardian accompanying a girl under 16. At any age it may be helpful to confide in someone you trust to support you through it.
If I have a termination, can I get pregnant again?
There should be no problem getting pregnant again. Termination is one of the safest medical procedures in the world. Only in rare cases do complications lead to infertility, (not being able to get pregnant).
If you would like to wait before you get pregnant why don’t you have a look at the contraception page to learn more about how to protect yourself from unwanted pregnancy, and the STI page to learn more about how to avoid those nasty sexually transmitted infections that nobody wants to share!
What about him?
The guy who got you pregnant may be affected as much as you are so it might be a good idea to involve him in all of your decisions and you can talk everything through together to make things a little easier. Guys are usually hit by strong emotions when they hear their girlfriend or someone they had sex with is pregnant. They may feel many things such as sad, angry, or they may be really happy. Obviously it’s a woman’s choice in the end but there is no reason why the guy can’t go with you to the doctors and the clinic. Even if he’s not with you anymore, have a think about whether you want him to know or not because the father could really help you and you could share your feelings with each other.
Where should I go if I want a termination?
You can speak to staff at Community Sexual Health Clinics but your treatment and care will be arranged via Bpas. Please call Bpas on 08457 30 40 30
If you want to go to a private clinic then that’s ok – have a look in the Yellow Pages for some phone numbers. Be prepared to pay up to £300 (although that’s only an approximate cost – ask for exact details when you call).
You could also go to a Young Person’s Clinic for pregnancy testing, counselling, advice or help, or Community Sexual Health Clinics.
- 1 in 4 women will have a termination by the time she is 40.
- Most terminations are carried out early in the pregnancy.
- After 12 to 14 weeks it can be a more difficult procedure.
- After 24 weeks it’s illegal.
- The number of weeks pregnant you are starts from the first day of your last period.
Community Sexual Health Clinics 0845 155 0156