I think I'm pregnant, what should I do?
If you haven't confirmed that you are pregnant you can do that easily by taking a pregnancy test. You may want to talk to someone - perhaps a good friend. You may want to talk to someone who doesn't know you and won't tell anyone else. At PAS our advisors are friendly, well trained and follow our confidentiality policy. You can make an appointment by calling or texting our helpline.
My period's late, am I pregnant?
A period can be missed or late for a number of reasons. To find out if you are pregnant you need to take a pregnancy test.
How do I get a pregnancy test?
1. Visit PAS. We can perform a test free of charge and give you the results immediately. We can also offer you support and advice, and information about your pregnancy. You can make an appointment or call or text our helpline.
2. Visit your GP who will perform a test for you free of charge.
3. Buy a home testing kit over the counter at a pharmacy. These are quick and 99% accurate and simple to use. They cost between £5 and £15. If the test is positive you can make an appointment to see your GP, or visit us at PAS. We can help you work out how long you have been pregnant, give information and advice, and talk through any concerns or questions you may have.
How can I tell my family I'm pregnant?
Telling your family that you are pregnant may be very difficult if the pregnancy is unplanned. This could be because you are still at school or college, you are unmarried or don’t have a partner, or perhaps you think they will feel your family is already big enough. Many families are very supportive and will be a great help once they have come to terms with your news. But of course everyone’s situation is different. At PAS our advisors can support you in telling your family; they can listen to your concerns, help you decide on the best way to tell them and support you however they respond to your news. Contact us to make an appointment.
Where can I get help?
At PAS our advisors are here for you to talk to. They’ll listen to you and help you work through any concerns or questions you may have. They can also give you information about pregnancy, birth, abortion and adoption. They also have information available about the support and help that’s available to mothers in different circumstances.
Who can I talk to?
At PAS we have a team of caring advisors. They will listen to you, they will not judge you, and they will not share what you tell them with anyone else (see our confidentiality policy). Talking about your situation and your feelings may help you to see the issues more clearly and can be a first step towards making a positive decision about your future. We can help you look at information available to you, and support you during (and after) your pregnancy. You can make an appointment by calling or texting our helpline.
Do you offer ultrasound?
Pregnancy Advice Salisbury has an experienced ultrasonographer and we can offer a free ultrasound to women who would benefit from this. Sometimes women need help to be certain of gestation age or estimated date of delivery. Sometimes it is reassuring or empowering in decision-making to be able to visualise the baby even when it is an embryo of 6 weeks’ gestation (4 weeks from conception). We can give you images to take home with you if required. We do not provide a diagnostic ultrasound service for medical problems in pregnancy.
What about abortion?
If you are considering having an abortion, it’s important to know what it involves. Abortion is ending an unwanted pregnancy using medicine (taking tablets) or surgery (having an operation). Below are described the abortion procedures where serious handicap of a child if born is not the stated reason for abortion. What is a medical abortion? A medical abortion can be used up to 24 weeks, but most often within the first 9 weeks. A medical abortion involves two visits to a clinic or hospital. At the first visit, a tablet is taken which makes the lining of the womb unsuitable for the baby to grow in. Bleeding and stomach cramps may occur after this. Some women may pass the contents of their womb before the second clinic visit. At the second visit (36-48 hours later), up to 4 tablets are placed in the vagina. These tablets make the womb contract so that its contents are passed. For most women, this stage of the abortion takes between 1 and 6 hours. During this time, there will be some pain and bleeding. Occasionally the medicines are not effective in causing an abortion, in which case a short operation is required to make sure the womb is completely emptied. Pain killers are usually required.
What is a surgical abortion? A surgical abortion involves the pregnancy being removed vaginally by a doctor. (1) Early surgical abortion (up to 12 weeks of pregnancy). At this stage, vacuum aspiration is used to remove the pregnancy from the womb. This procedure can be with a general anaesthetic, conscious sedation, or local anaesthetic. If the woman has not previously had a baby, usually some medication is given beforehand to dilate the cervix. (2) Surgical abortion (13-19 weeks of pregnancy). Medication is usually given 2-3 hours before the surgery to dilate the cervix for the procedure. There are options of sedation or a general anaesthetic. It involves inserting instruments called forceps through the cervix and into the womb to remove the pregnancy. (3) Late surgical abortion (19-24 weeks of pregnancy). At this stage of pregnancy the abortion is performed in two separate stages. Early in the morning there is preparation of the cervix to cause it to dilate. The second stage, to complete the abortion, will take place later that day under a general anaesthetic. It involves inserting instruments called forceps through the cervix and into the womb to remove the pregnancy. If a surgical abortion is used after 20 weeks of pregnancy, which is rare, it also involves an injection into the heart to stop it beating. There may be bleeding for up to 14 days or sometimes longer. Occasionally an overnight stay in hospital is required for a surgical abortion, especially in later pregnancy. (4) Rhesus disease. Rhesus negative women should be given anti-D IgG injection following abortion.
Pregnancy Advice Salisbury is not an abortion provider and does not make referrals to abortion providers.
What are the risks?
As with all clinical procedures there are risks associated with abortion. In some instances the following physical complications may occur: excessive bleeding, sometimes requiring a blood transfusion or surgical procedure; infection; damage to the cervix or womb; failed abortion/incomplete abortion requiring further treatment; and increased risk of premature delivery in future pregnancies.
Women often feel relief immediately after an abortion, but later some find it hard to come to terms with their experience and the choice they made. Women have reported feelings of guilt, shame, grief, depression, anxiety and panic. If you are concerned about these risks, talk to one of our advisors who will help to answer your questions.
How could I ever afford to have the baby?
Having a baby can be financially demanding, but there is help available. The advisors at PAS have information about benefits such as Child Benefit, Tax Credits, maternity pay, Child Maintenance, Sure Start grants, childcare providers etc. What you can claim will depend on your situation: whether you are single or not, if you are working or in education, and where you are living. We can direct you to people who will be able to help you work out what you will be entitled to, and support you in planning your finances. Here are some examples of financial support for parents: If you are working you will generally be entitled to maternity leave. Your job may be kept open for you if you want to delay returning to work after the birth. You may be able to arrange more flexible hours, or to work part time. The amount of maternity pay you are entitled to and the length of time you may take off work will depend on how long you have been in your job and the policy your employer has. You may also be entitled to Working Tax Credit. Even if you are not working you will be able to claim Child Tax Credit. You will be entitled to Child Benefit (even if you are under 16 years old). If you are not working you may be able to claim Income Support. The amount for a parent with a child is more than for a single person. If you have no other children under 16 and you or your partner are receiving certain income-related benefits, you may qualify for a £500 Sure Start maternity grant. There is much more help available, including education grants, help with childcare costs, enterprise grants (if you want to work from home) and help with debt problems. Contact us for more information. You can also get information about most benefits (and maternity pay) from the Department for Work and Pensions
If I kept the baby would I finish my education?
Having a baby does not need to mean the end of your education. In fact, the education system today is more flexible than it has ever been. How and when you continue with your education will depend on what stage you are at (school, college or university) and what will suit you and your baby best. You may be able to study at home or take some time off and return. You may be able to transfer to a different place of study with more support or on-site childcare. This will depend on your personal circumstances and your choice.
What are our values?
Pregnancy Advice Service (Salisbury) has Christian convictions aiming to show love to all, especially those who are distressed and in difficult circumstances. We are committed to valuing all human life equally and believe that children are a great gift.
How do I make comments, praise the service or complain?
We are always glad to hear from service users and are convinced that this is a key means of making our service better. This happens when we learn something new from you, when you tell us what we have done well and when you show us where we could have done better. Your feedback is requested by advisors at the end of a meeting but feel free to get back to us at any time either during a consultation or afterwards. You can also use the email address on this website. If you are unhappy with the facilities or services you have received from this service, we would like to know about it as soon as possible so that we can investigate your concerns and explain, apologise and take positive action where necessary. If speaking to us at the time does not resolve the matter, please speak with Dr David John Magee via the Pregnancy Advice Salisbury Helpline 01722 414151 and ask for our full complaints resolution procedure.
How to find us?
PAS is conveniently located near the centre of Salisbury. Our address is: Pregnancy Advice Salisbury, Elim Centre, Dews Road, Salisbury, Wiltshire, SP2 7SN.
We can see you by appointment only. Please arrange a time by calling us on 01722 414151. Find us here.