How does a woman become pregnant?

A woman can become pregnant if they have had unprotected sex with a man, this is usually through penetrative sex (when the penis enters the vagina) or through very intimate contact.

Other times when a woman can become pregnant when it isn't planned;

  • If the woman has missed taking the contraceptive pill
    If the woman has an upset stomach while taking the contraceptive pill
  • When the woman is taking medication or a herbal remedy that stops the contraceptive pill working
  • The contraceptive injection is out of date
  • The contraceptive implant is out of date.

Always ask your nurse or doctor about what situations that your contraception may not work.

What are the signs?

For most women who have a regular menstrual (period) cycle, having a missed period is the most common sign of being pregnant.

Other signs of being pregnant are:

  • Lighter shorter periods
  • Feeling sick, this is often called morning sickness although it doesn't just happen in the morning
  • Feeling tired or exhausted during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy
  • Sore breasts
  • Peeing more often and vaginal discharge
  • Changing appetites, or strange tastes, smells and cravings.

For more information about being pregnant click here to access the NHS choices website.