Pregnancy / Abortion

If you have had unprotected sex think emergency contraception.

However, if you think you may already be pregnant (especially if you have missed a period) it is important to see an health professional as soon as possible. When taking a pregnancy test for the first time it will be most accurate if you take it around the time you would normally have your period.

How do I find out if I'm pregnant?

Pregnancy tests are available for free at various locations across the Island including GP Practices and Pharmacies.

I'm not sure about what to do?

If you are pregnant, the Pregnancy Advisory Service (PAS) service offers confidential counselling to women with unplanned pregnancies and supports them in reaching a decision about whether to continue with their pregnancy. You will need to either see your GP or ring the Sexual Health Service on 01983 534202.

The service and any treatment offered are free to all clients and totally confidential.

What happens if I want to have the baby?

Your GP can give you a pregnancy test and if you are pregnant they can refer you to your midwifery service. If you decide it is the right time for you to have a baby, the new NHS interactive pregnancy care planner contains all you need to know to have a healthy and happy pregnancy, and to make sure you get the care that's right for you. To view this website go

I've decided to have an abortion. What are my options?

At PAS, we offer two treatment options (other options for different gestations may be offered at other abortion providers):

  • A medical method involving drugs. This is available up to 8 completed weeks gestation. You will need to take one tablet which blocks the pregnancy hormone, making the pregnancy non-viable. This is followed 24-48hrs later by four vaginal tablets which works by contracting the uterus and expelling the contents. This option involves three clinic visits after the initial assessment appointment.
  • A surgical method called vacuum aspiration. This is available up to 12 completed weeks gestation. Two vaginal tablets are given to soften the cervix, prior to the procedure, which is carried out under general anaesthetic. Vacuum aspiration basically means suction; the method involves a tube being eased through the cervix (neck of the womb) into the uterus. An electrical pump action is then used to draw up the products of conception from within the uterus. This option involves one hospital visit after the initial assessment appointment.

Both options are discussed fully at the assessment appointment. Antibiotic cover is given to all women undergoing abortion within the Pregnancy Advisory Service.

What if the estimated gestation is over 12 weeks and an abortion is requested?

If the referring doctor is aware of this possibility, they should make a referral for the client directly to a bpas (British Pregnancy Advisory Service) clinic on the mainland. There are various clinic locations around the country. If a client seen in PAS is found, by ultrasound scan, to be past 12 completed weeks gestation, they will also be referred to bpas for treatment in exactly the same way. In either case for gestations more than 12 weeks, the actual cost of any consultation and procedure at bpas is free to the client but the client must meet any travel or accommodation costs incurred.

What about adoption?

Adoptions are arranged by adoption agencies but are made legally binding by the courts. Once granted, an adoption order is final and cannot be reversed. It ends the legal relationship between the child and the birth parents and establishes a new one with the adoptive parents. You and your partner  are not entitled to claim your child back at any point in the future as they become a full member of someone else's family. Once you have made the decision to have your child adopted, the first thing you need to do is talk to your Doctor or midwife.  They will adivise you of an adoption agency and introduce social workers who will ensure you are given all the information you need and supported throughout.

Where to get help