Do I need the emergency contraceptive pill?
|The ‘emergency contraceptive pill’ used to be known as the ‘morning after pill’. If you had unprotected sex or contraception wasn’t used or it failed (e.g. the condom ‘broke’), and don’t want to get pregnant, then you can take the emergency pill.|
Emergency contraceptive pills must be taken within five days of having unprotected sex. They are most effective when taken as soon as possible.
Emergency contraceptive pills are available from most chemists over the counter without a prescription. Young people can also get them at places like Family Planning Victoria's Action Centre, which provides free or low-cost medical services for people under 25 call (03) 9660 4700 or 1800 013 952 (rural callers).
If I think I’m pregnant
|If you think you’re pregnant, it’s a good idea to get a pregnancy test. You can:|
- see one of the nurses at the Women’s Health Information Centre (Royal Women’s Hospital): (03) 8345 3045 or 1800 442 007 (rural callers)
- see a nurse or doctor at the Action Centre: (03) 9660 4700 or 1800 013 952 (for young people)
- see the nurse or doctor at your local Community Health Centre
- buy a home pregnancy test from a chemist or supermarket.
|The test checks a woman’s urine for a hormone called ‘human chorionic gonadotropin’ (hCG).|
Blood pregnancy test
|Your doctor can organise for you to have a blood test. Once the blood is taken, it normally takes a couple of days for the doctor to get the result. A blood pregnancy test can be done around the time you miss your period. It will not always accurately show if you are pregnant. |
Urine pregnancy test
|The urine test the doctor or nurse uses is very similar to the home pregnancy test.|
Home pregnancy test
|Home pregnancy tests are available from the chemist or supermarket. It’s important you carefully follow the instructions or the results may not be correct.|
|A common mistake is to test for pregnancy too soon after a missed period. The instructions included with the kit will tell you when is the best time to take the test.|
|Sometimes a woman is pregnant but the home test gives a negative result. This may be because the test was:|
- used too early in the pregnancy
- timed incorrectly (use a kitchen timer or watch to be sure)
- used incorrectly
- affected by too much fluid (if you drank lots of water before using).
|Sometimes a woman is not pregnant but the home test showed she was. This may be because:|
- the urine cup was dirty
- the test was faulty (past its use-by date or exposed to heat or moisture)
- there was blood in the urine
- there was protein in the urine
- the result was affected by medication
- the pregnancy hormone from a recent birth, miscarriage or abortion showed up in the urine
- there is an ovarian tumour or other hCG-producing growth.
See your doctor for confirmation
|If a home pregnancy test gives a positive result, assume that you are pregnant. If a home pregnancy test gives a negative result, yet you feel that you are pregnant, trust your instincts and make an appointment to see a doctor.|
Contraception is necessary
|If you wish to avoid unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmissible infections you should always use contraception.|