Deciding what to do
For some, what decision to make about an unplanned pregnancy is clear, for others it can be difficult and confusing.
When deciding what to do about an unplanned pregnancy, it is important to remember that you are the best person to make this decision. You, more than anyone else know what is important to you and what is best for you at this point in your life.
What is influencing your decision?
There are many different things that influence any decision we make in life. Use the picture below to help you think about what may influence your decision.
Activity: Write down some of the things which may influence your decision about your unplanned pregnancy.
Some tips to help you decide
- Think about how you are feeling and write these down; this can help if you’re feeling confused. The Children by Choice website includes a number of questions to help explore your feelings.
- Get advice from people you trust. This could be a friend, someone from your community, your local doctor (GP) or other health professionals like a counsellor.
- Get information about your options. Your GP or the websites listed below are a place to start.
- If you need more information, write a list of questions and ask your GP or a counsellor for advice.
- Think about your life now and how each of your options could change it.
- Talk through your feelings with people that can listen to you without judging you.
- Talk to someone who has had an unplanned pregnancy. Knowing more about their experience may help you.
- Make sure to look after yourself, both physically and emotionally.
- Whatever you decide to do, think about who can give you support and the kind of support you need.
- Trust yourself to make a decision that is right for you.
Some other things to consider
- A pregnancy options counsellor can give you unbiased advice and support, and help you consider all of your options. Some of these services are free and all will respect your privacy. Call 1800 MyOptions or visit their website for more information.
- Regardless of your decision about your unplanned pregnancy, you will soon need to make some practical arrangements.
What are your options?
Not every unplanned pregnancy is an unwanted pregnancy. When making a decision it is important to consider all of your options.
This is when your pregnancy is stopped. It is sometimes called a termination.
- Abortion is legal in Victoria.
- You have a right to privacy; all abortion services will respect your confidentiality.
- There are two types of abortion.
- If you are in the early stages of pregnancy (up to 9 weeks), there are medicines you can take to end your pregnancy.
- Most surgical abortions are done in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.
- It is a safe and simple day surgery procedure.
- Usually, you will have a general anaesthetic so will be asleep during the surgery. Sometimes it can be done using a local anaesthetic.
- If you are more than 14 weeks pregnant having a surgical abortion is more complex. Also, there are not many services that can help you.
Call 1800 My Options for more information about abortion, including where to get one and the costs involved.
You may consider having your child raised by another family. Adoption is permanent, so before deciding on adoption, we suggest you also consider other choices for the care of your child.
If you choose to continue with your pregnancy but feel unable to look after your child yourself at this point in your life, there are different types of alternative care arrangements that you may be able to consider, such as:
- Kinship care – your child is raised by extended family
- Foster care – another person or family care for your child.
You may choose to continue on with your pregnancy and raise your child.
If you decide to continue with your pregnancy, speak with your local doctor (GP) about your pregnancy care options. Your GP can also talk with you about any concerns you have about your pregnancy and arrange any medical tests you need.
There may also be emotional and financial supports available to you. A Social Worker or Pregnancy Options Counsellor may be able give you more information about these.
There is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way to decide, no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ combination of things you can do to help you get there. Whatever you decide, and however you arrive at that decision, it is ‘right’ as long as it works for you.
- 1800 My Options For information about contraception, pregnancy options and sexual health in Victoria
- Sexual Health Victoria For a range of sexual health resources
- Children by Choice Queensland based service with comprehensive resources available online
- Provide feedback about the information on this page
Related Health Topics
Unplanned pregnancy: options counselling
Counselling provides the opportunity to talk to a trained health professional in a safe and confidential environment. 'Pregnancy options counselling’ is usually a short-term service that acknowledges the urgency of the situation and focuses on your unplanned pregnancy and supports you to make your own decision.
- Unplanned pregnancy: options counselling
The Women’s does not accept any liability to any person for the information or advice (or use of such information or advice) which is provided on the Website or incorporated into it by reference. The Women’s provide this information on the understanding that all persons accessing it take responsibility for assessing its relevance and accuracy. Women are encouraged to discuss their health needs with a health practitioner. If you have concerns about your health, you should seek advice from your health care provider or if you require urgent care you should go to the nearest Emergency Dept.