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Think you might be pregnant?  

If you think you may be pregnant, you can take a pregnancy test to find out for sure. The sexual health charity Brook offers free pregnancy testing for under-25s and the nearest branch to UCL is Brook Euston  (92-94 Charlton Street, NW1 1HJ.) You can also go to your GP (your visit will be completely confidential) or alternatively you can buy pregnancy tests at any pharmacy - prices start at around £6.

The Women’s Officer also hands out free pregnancy tests – all you need to do is either visit her in the sabbatical suite on the fourth floor of 25 Gordon Street or email her at   and she can either post it to you, or you can come and collect it.

Taking a home pregnancy test

When you become pregnant, your body produces the pregnancy hormone, human chorionic gonadotrophin (HCG). Home pregnancy tests detect HCG in your urine.

Make sure you read the instructions carefully before you do the test, because pregnancy tests use different methods and display the results in different ways. You can take the test from the first day of your missed period. Tests carried out earlier than this are not always accurate. If you’re not sure when your next period is due, you can do a pregnancy test 21 days (three weeks) after you last had unprotected sex

Source: NHS UK .

Your Options

If you are pregnant there are different options open to you. You may wish to end the pregnancy by having an abortion, or you may wish to continue with the pregnancy and then either give the baby up for adoption or raise the child yourself.

The choice is yours and no matter what decision you make, your Union supports you.

Abortion

Abortion is legal in England. You can have an abortion up to the 24th week of pregnancy. But if there is a substantial risk to the pregnant person’s life or foetal abnormalities then there is no time limit. When requesting an abortion, you will be asked for your reasons – this is required under the law.   

Please be aware that some organisations advertising free pregnancy testing and counselling on the internet and in phone books are strongly opposed to abortion. They will not discuss all the options available to you in an unbiased way. If you would like counselling, your GP will be able to make recommendations.  

Arranging an abortion

The NHS offers abortions for free. In order to have an NHS funded abortion, you need to be referred by a sexual health clinic or by your GP (if your GP refuses to discuss or refer you for abortion, you have the right to see another GP or go to a family planning clinic).

The following sexual health centres are near UCL and can refer you for an abortion:

Margaret Pyke Centre  – call 020 3317 3737 to make an appointment. The centre is a 13 minute walk from the main UCL campus (Gower Street).

Brook Euston  (for under-25s) – call 020 7387 8700 to make an appointment. Brook is a 10 minute walk from the main UCL campus (Gower Street).

You can read about the different types of abortion procedures here  (source: UK Health Centre).

Abortion in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland

Access to abortion is limited under the law in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. However, it is legal to travel elsewhere to visit an abortion clinic. The organisation Abortion Support Network  can provide financial assistance and accommodation to people travelling from both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland for an abortion.

Obtaining an abortion in a country where abortion is illegal

If you need an abortion but are staying or living in a country where abortion is illegal then the organisation Women on Web  can provide you with abortion pills. The service is run by doctors and you will have to undergo an online medical consultation before being sent the pills.

Please note that the pills can only be sent to you if:

  • You are in a country where access to safe abortion is restricted.
  • You are less than 9 weeks pregnant.
  • You have no severe illnesses.

 To work out whether this is the right option for you, you can email   .

Adoption

If you think you may want to continue with a pregnancy and have the child adopted then it is a good idea to get expert advice as soon as possible. You can call the British Association for Adoption and Fostering  helpline on 020 3597 6116 (Mon-Fri, 9am-1pm) and they will be able to tell you who to contact in your area.

You can find out more about adoption here .

Studying when Pregnant

If you choose to have a baby whilst studying, there is support available from the Union, the University and external organisations.

Support from the University

UCL encourages pregnant students to speak to their Departmental Tutor, Programme Tutor or Supervisor as soon as possible. If you feel at all uneasy about telling a tutor or supervisor then you can get in touch with the Women’s Officer or the Welfare and International Officer who can help you approach your department.

Once you have informed your department, they will complete a risk assessment with you to identify any relevant risks associated with your study programme (e.g. if you work with particular chemicals). The department will then work with you to plan how your pregnancy will affect your course of study. You can choose whether or not you would like to make an interruption in your studies to continue with your pregnancy, although it is a requirement for you to take two weeks away after giving birth. 

Source: UCL website .

Benefits and Student Finance

Your Student Loan can continue for up to 60 days from the beginning of any period of interruption of your studies. You will, however, need to inform the Student Loans Company of your circumstances.

If you are a postgraduate research student, your department will be able to advise you further about whether or not your research grant or scholarship covers paid maternity or paternity leave.

There are certain benefits you may be able to claim when pregnant such as the Sure Start Maternity Grant  which is a one-off payment of £500 to help towards the cost of having your first child. You can find out more about benefits you can claim while you’re pregnant here .

For more information about benefits and student loan, visit the Advice Service and talk to a trained advisor. Everything you say will be confidential and you can drop in at the following times during the week:

Monday: 2pm - 4pm

Tuesday: 11am – 1pm

Thursday: 2pm - 4pm

Friday: 11am - 1pm

You can also see UCL’s Student Funding Welfare Advisor  to discuss any financial concerns.

Advice for International Students who are Pregnant

If you’re an international student from outside the EU any changes to your hours of study or length of course mean that there could be issues with your visa. For more information on this, please visit the Advice Service to speak to trained advisors. It’s also worth checking any travel restrictions that may exist for pregnant people.

Advice for Students on Placements or Years Abroad

If you become pregnant whilst on placement or on a year abroad, you should get in contact with your placement tutor or the Study Abroad Team in the first instance. UCL staff can assist you to access advice and support, and can work with your host institution to make reasonable adjustments where necessary.

Resources for Pregnant Students

Tommy’s  - a wide range of pregnancy information.

NHS Choices  - pregnancy and baby guide.

UCL’s Advice to Students who become Pregnant during their Course of Study 

Being a Student Parent at UCL

If you have any questions or feedback about this page, please contact the Women’s Officer at   .