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Routine pregnancy testing before treatment

Information for young people

This advice sheet explains why all female patients who have started their periods are asked to have a routine pregnancy test before certain tests or operations.

Why is a pregnancy test required?

Some procedures including x-rays, scans and anaesthetics, carry a risk to unborn babies, particularly in the very early stages of pregnancy.

What does the test involve?

On the day of your procedure we will ask you for a sample of urine.  The results will be available the same day.

You may be asked to agree to the pregnancy test yourself or your parent or person with parental responsibility may be asked to consent on your behalf.

Can I refuse the test?

Yes, you can. If it is felt that you are able to consent to the test yourself and you choose not to go ahead then the risk will be explained to you and a note made in your medical record of that discussion.  If it is felt that your parent or person with parental responsibility must consent and they feel that it is not right for you then the risks will be discussed with you both and a note made in your medical records

However, we would recommend that all girls who have had their first period are tested.

What happens next?

If the test is negative (you are not pregnant)

We will tell you if you have asked to be informed.  We will also record the result in your medical notes.

If the test is positive (you are pregnant)

Your age and circumstances will determine who will need to be told that you are pregnant, and this will include your doctor who will need to be told. They will decide if the procedure can still go ahead or whether it needs to be delayed.

If we need to tell your parent or carer about the result, we will talk to you first.  If you would like our help in telling them, let us know.

Depending on your age it may be necessary for the Children’s Safeguarding team to be informed.  This team are here to protect young people who may require extra support to keep them safe.

Who can I talk to?

You can talk to your parent or carer, close relative, friends and a nurse or doctor whilst you are in hospital or your General Practitioner (GP).


Any professional you choose to talk to will respect your right to confidentiality.

Confidentiality means that we will not share information about you without your agreement. The only exception to this is if we think that your health or safety of you, or someone else, is at risk. If we need to share information about you with anyone else, we will explain to you why we need to do this.

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