Pregnancy choices

Am I pregnant?

The only way to be sure if you’re pregnant is to take a pregnancy test. These are available at most supermarkets and chemists.

It can take up to 3 weeks for a pregnancy test to become positive after sex, so it’s important to take the test at the right time to be sure it’s a reliable result. Doing the test too early may mean it’s negative when you are actually pregnant, so please wait until your period is overdue before doing the test, or for 21 days after sex if your periods do not come regularly.

Emergency contraception

If you’ve had sex but don’t want to become pregnant you can have emergency contraception. The most effective method is the emergency coil (IUD), which can be fitted up to 5 days after sex, or up to 5 days after the date you likely ovulated.

Emergency pills (there are two types) are also available.

Book a telephone call if you need emergency contraception where we will discuss your needs and the most suitable method for you as well as book an appointment if needed.

If no appointments are available, you can walk into one of our clinics (Sir Ludwig Guttmann Centre or Ambrose King Centre) and our reception team will help to arrange an assessment for you.

You can also go to your nearest pharmacy for advice and the emergency contraceptive pill if appropriate.

Your options

If you are pregnant, it’s normal to experience a range of emotions and you may feel uncertain as to whether you want to continue with the pregnancy or not. Some women know straight away, others need time to decide.

Our service is here to support you. We have a specialist team of doctors, nurses and counsellors to provide the care, support and advice you may need.

Your pregnancy choices include:

  • Continuing with the pregnancy
  • Considering adoption
  • Having an abortion (termination of pregnancy)

Whatever you decide, it’s your decision. If you decide you are sure you want to continue with the pregnancy, you should arrange to see your GP to arrange antenatal care and discuss your health during pregnancy.

You can contact our service even if you are not sure, and ask to speak to a counsellor.

Termination of pregnancy

An unplanned pregnancy is often a difficult time. We offer care, support and advice in a confidential and non-judgemental way to help you decide what’s right for you.

Making an appointment (Tower Hamlets residents)

Please phone 0300 033 5000. The line is available 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year.

This service is run for a number of community services which includes GPs, occupational therapists and podiatrists. The service is available to women registered with a Tower Hamlets GP.

Making an appointment if you live outside Tower Hamlets

If you live outside Tower Hamlets or you are not registered with a GP you can contact:

  • BPAs: 03457 30 40 30
  • MSI Choices: 0345 300 8090
  • Nupas: 033 004 6666

What types of abortion are there?

  • Up to 10 weeks: medical terminations are available
  • 7-14 weeks: surgical terminations are available
  • After 14 weeks: you can discuss the different methods with the doctor.

Please note that for medical abortions you are now able to take both sets of tablets at home in most cases.

Find out more

Your appointments

Once a referral is received though the SPA, you will be contacted by text message and will be given a time range for your first appointment which will be a telephone call with a doctor or nurse from the team. You need to be in a suitable environment with good phone reception where you can talk openly. The phone call  will take around 30 to 40 minutes

You should have a positive pregnancy test before you refer yourself. The pregnancy age will be calculated by the 1st day of your last period. Routine ultrasound will be avoided unless the Nurse or Doctor advises this is necessary.

Please check and be as sure as possible as to when the first day of your last normal period was as this information is really important to determine the type of abortion that is suitable and most safe for you.

We will also ask about your medical, sexual and social history, any medication you take as well as information about any previous pregnancies.

Depending on the type of abortion, there may be a choice to have this at home or in clinic. We can discuss this with you during your telephone appointment.

Face to face appointments

If you wish you can bring a friend, partner or relative with you. However, you will be seen on your own for part of the consultation. If you are under 18 you will be seen by the under 18s pregnancy advisor offering emotional support through the process, whatever decision you make.

At your face to face appointment  we will:

  • Discuss the procedure of the termination – medical or surgical.
  • Ask  about your health, any illnesses or medication you take
  • Check your blood pressure, height and weight
  • Discuss your future contraception options
  • Decide if you need an ultrasound scan
  • Ask you to sign a consent form if you decide to go ahead with the termination

Please remember to:

  • Arrive on time and allow enough time in the clinic. You may be here for the whole morning
  • Try not to bring children with you, but if this is not possible, bring another adult with you
  • Let us know by replying to the text you received about your appointment, at least 24 hours before, if you are unable to keep your appointment
  • Bring any medication you take with you,  or a list of any medications you are taking

There is limited street parking. The nearest buses are: 25 or 205 or the nearest stations are Mile End or Stepney Green.