If you’re planning to start a family or think you may be pregnant – whether it’s planned or unplanned – we’re here to help.
We’ve a range of support to help you identify the path that’s right for you.
Deciding to have a baby is an exciting time and its natural to have some questions about conceiving and pregnancy. Although we are not midwives, we can support with advice around stopping your contraception and predicated return of fertility, along with maximising your physical and mental health.
After your baby is born, we can support your choice of contraceptive method to suit your busy lifestyle of a new Mummy.
The decision to not continue with a pregnancy can be a very difficult and personal one, regardless of your circumstances.
It can be a very stressful time of mixed emotions and a feeling of pressure from other people’s opinions and views. It is important to remember whatever your decision the only person who can make the right decision for you is you!
You do not need to be alone during this time as there is support available to guide you through all your options. Marie Stopes internal support line is available 24 hours a day 365 days a year.
You do not need to see your GP or attend our clinics to be referred for a termination of pregnancy, you can self-refer as below. If you would like support to contact these services we can assist with this.
Termination of Pregnancy
The decision to end a pregnancy is a difficult one. People choose to end a pregnancy for lots of reasons. It might be because they don’t want children, or aren’t financially able to support a child. It might also be because it would be medically unsafe for them to have a baby. Whatever the reason for this it is the individual’s choice and right to do so and receive confidential and safe medical care.
If you wish to have a termination please see which option is better for you –
- If you live in the Colchester, Chelmsford or Thurrock area you can self-refer to Marie Stopes International (MSI) on https://www.msichoices.org.uk or call 0345 300 8090.
- If you live in the Harlow area and wish to use Marie Stopes International (MSI) please call us on 0300 003 1212 and book an appointment an appointment at The Stow where we can refer you to them.
- If you live in The Harlow area and are up to 12 weeks pregnant, termination of pregnancy is available at Princess Alexandra Hospital, please call the Early Pregnancy Unit on 01279 82 7107. The clinic takes place on a Wednesday only. Details of this clinic can be found at https://www.pah.nhs.uk/unplanned-pregnancy-clinic.
We are there to talk if you have any concerns. If you need help call us on 0300 003 1212
You can find information on termination of pregnancy from:
- Marie Stopes International (MSI) on https://www.msichoices.org.uk or call 0345 300 8090
- British Pregnancy Advisory Service – https://www.bpas.org/ or call them on 03457 30 40 30 from the UK or on +44 1789 508 211 from elsewhere.
- National Unplanned Pregnancy Advisory Service (NUPAS) – https://www.nupas.co.uk/ or call them on 0333 004 6666
Clear answers to common questions
Contacting a sexual health service for the first time can be a little daunting, so here are some easy answers to many of the questions you may have.
What questions will be asked if I call the helpline?
Our colleague will ask a few simple questions to understand your circumstances and the support you need – so relax and take your time.
Everything is completely confidential. Nothing will be sent to your home address.
What support will I be offered?
We’ll help you access whatever you need.
This may include talking through your situation, giving you advice, helping you access protection or contraception or organising a STI test.
What if I need a test?
We offer discreet and easy STI self test kits for many of the most common infections.
If an alternative test or examination is needed, we’ll help you book in a confidential appointment at a local clinic.
Will I be physically examined?
We will never ask you to expose any part of your body during a video consultation.
If an examination is required, we’ll book an appointment at a clinic where a doctor will make any examination as quick and unobtrusive as possible.
Who is told about my appointments or STI tests?
No one. Your appointment and test results are confidential.
Sexual health services keep separate medical records and will only share information with your GP or other professionals if you agree to it.
How are tests taken?
If a test is required, many can be conducted by yourself at home. Other infections may need a visit to a clinic.
Most require a sample or urine or swab of the infected area. Others may require a blood test. This will all be explained to you before the test is arranged.
What if my test result is positive?
Firstly, please don’t worry, almost all STIs are now treatable.
You’ll be contacted so you can discuss the result and any suggested treatment with a doctor or nurse. In addition to any appropriate medication, you may be offered counselling and other forms of support to help you cope.