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Unplanned pregnancy? Talking to a counsellor can help


If you have had unprotected sex, or you are not sure if your contraception worked properly, you could be pregnant.

Signs that you might be pregnant

  • Missed period – Missing a period is often the first sign of pregnancy that women notice.
  • Morning sickness – feeling sick or vomiting is one of the classic symptoms of pregnancy. It can happen at any time of the day and can start as early as two weeks after conception.
  • Heightened sense of smell – Some pregnant women also have a heightened sense of smell, so that smells such as smoke or cooking may make them feel sick.
  • Tender or swollen breasts – Changes in your hormones caused by pregnancy may make your breasts swollen or sore.
  • Extreme tiredness (fatigue) – Pregnancy can cause extreme tiredness in some women.

All these signs can have causes other than pregnancy, so you will need to do a pregnancy test to be sure

Pregnancy tests

If you think you may be pregnant you can confirm your pregnancy with a pregnancy testing kit. Kits are available from pharmacies. You could also go to a doctor or family planning clinic, although you may have to pay a consultation fee if you have your pregnancy confirmed by a medical professional and you do not have a medical card. Pregnancy tests work by detecting pregnancy hormones in your urine. For the most reliable results use one week or more after you miss a period.

The test kit result will show up after about 2 minutes. Results are fairly accurate, but if you have a negative test result and are still experiencing pregnancy symptoms (such as missed periods) you may need to take a second test or talk to your GP.

Free pregnancy testing is available from

  • Femplus
  • Anew Support Services
  • Sexual Health Centre, Cork
  • Youth Health Service, Cork
  • Medical Card holders can get free pregnancy testing from their GP or family planning clinic.

If you think you might be pregnant take a test – the sooner you confirm your pregnancy the sooner you can get the medical care and emotional support you need.