FOR YOUNG WOMEN
You think you might be pregnant?
If you think you might be pregnant the first thing to do is find out for sure. It is very easy to try not to think about it, but if you are pregnant you can't avoid it forever and you have more options the earlier you find out. It is very easy to check if you are pregnant nowadays using a urine test. You don't have to be any particular age or show any i.d. to get one. You can buy one at Coles, Woolworths, some IGAs or a local pharmacy. You can also get a free test via your GP, the local family planning service, Pulse youth centre or The Link.
Phew! You're not Pregnant
You're not pregnant, next step get some reliable contraception there are lots of options and various places you can access it. This is a good summary.
For contraception your GP or Family Planning Tasmania are great places to start.
So, you're pregnant.......
This can be a pretty frightening place, particularly if it wasn't planned. There are lots of people out there who can help support you whilst you work out what you want to do. Telling your parents is almost certainly scary but we're told it's not usually as bad as you think it will be. There are some really good suggestions about talking to your parents on the know4sure website that might be worth taking a look at.
You need healthcare no matter what you decide. The first step is a Medicare card.
Some health services (like Emergency at the Royal Hobart Hospital) don't require you have a Medicare Card but you will generally need one if you wish to attend the TEPSS clinic and your usual GP. A Medicare card allows you to access some funding from the Australian Government to help with your health costs. Without it health treatment may be much more expensive. Once you are 15 you can have your own Medicare card. This video from NSW families and Children explains a bit more.
Want a cheat sheet to help you fill out the form to get your own Medicare card?
This basically means no-one gets to know your business apart from the doctor you are talking to unless you want to share things with someone else. In really rare cases if the doctor is worried you are in danger or at risk of harm, it may be necessary for them to talk to someone else. If this is necessary they will talk to you about it and why they are concerned.
The age at which you are formally allowed to give consent to medical treatment is 16 but that does not mean you must have your parents’ permission to access an abortion if you are younger than this. Younger people may be able consent to treatment themselves if they are considered sufficiently mature. What this means in practice is that your Doctor will want to make sure you are able to understand the procedure you are agreeing to, understand the risks and show that you understand the implications and have thought things through.
If you are pregnant and have decided you want to discuss proceeding with the Abortion pill via the TEPSS clinic please ring us to make an appointment with one of our Doctors. If you are worried about ringing then get your parents, a teacher or support worker to give us a ring and ask for a TEPSS assessment appointment. Our phone number is (03) 6144 6550
Family Planning Tasmania
A great website with all sorts of useful information about you and your sexual health. This team of doctors and nurses specialise in looking after your sexual health and wellbeing, getting you sorted for reliable contraception and advice support and counselling about your options if you find yourself pregnant. You don’t need a referral from a GP just ring to get in touch. Website
Really useful Website
This local service based in Hobart provides free and confidential health and wellbeing services for young people aged 12-25. They may be able to assist with financial assistance in accessing medical care under certain circumstances. The Link Youth Health Service (for women under 26) Telephone: (03) 6231 2927 or view their Website
Pulse youth health centre
provides similar services to The Link but based in Glenorchy. Pulse Youth Health South (for women under 25) Telephone: (03) 6166 1421 or view their Website
Free phoneline counselling by Marie Stopes
1300 207 382 Website