How and when does a pregnancy start?

How do I become pregnant?

To become pregnant, you need a single sperm to fuse with an egg. This process is called fertilisation. 

Pregnancy does not begin until the fertilised egg has implanted in the womb, after having travelled through the fallopian tube.

So if you’ve just had unprotected sex or contraceptive failure, no pregnancy will start until at least the sixth day. This means you have time to take a morning after pill, such as ellaOne, if you are not planning on becoming pregnant.

ellaOne is available from your local pharmacy, doctors, Family Planning Clinic or walk-in centre.

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Signs of pregnancy

  • Late period
  • Feeling sick (nausea)
  • Being sick (vomiting)
  • Tiredness
  • Breast tenderness or soreness
  • Needing to pee (urinate) more often

If you think you might be pregnant, take a pregnancy test and/or visit your doctor. If you are pregnant it is too late for emergency contraception because it works to prevent an unintended pregnancy. It will not affect an existing pregnancy.

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