If you’re planning to start a family or think you may be pregnant – whether it’s planned or unplanned – we’re here to help.

We’ve a range of support to help you identify the path that’s right for you.

Planned Pregnancy

Deciding to have a baby is an exciting time. But, it’s natural to have questions and concerns too!

We’re here to help and reassure you.

This may include safely stopping contraception, monitoring your fertility, maximising your physical and mental health and planning how you’ll manage the pregnancy and birth. After your baby is born, we can help you resume contraception too.

Above all, we’re here to answer your questions and reassure you that most pregnancies and births today are healthy and happy times!

Unplanned Pregnancy

Unplanned pregnancy can be a shock and knowing how to deal with the news can be daunting. We’re here to support you.

We can help you understand your options and access services including abortion, adoption advice or planning your pregnancy and birth.

If you believe you might be at risk of unplanned pregnancy, we can help you access contraception, pregnancy testing and emergency contraception.

Termination of Pregnancy

The decision to end a pregnancy is a difficult one. People choose to end a pregnancy for lots of reasons. It might be because they don’t want children, or aren’t financially able to support a child. It might also be because it would be medically unsafe for them to have a baby. Whatever the reason for this it is the individual’s choice and right to do so and receive confidential and safe medical care.

It is estimated that one in three women in the UK with have had a termination by the age of 45.

The only person who can decide whether an abortion is right for you is you. It’s really important to remember that the decision is up to you, because lots of people have very strong views about abortion – whether it’s right or wrong – but none of them are you, and it’s your choice.

You are not alone in making this choice, Essex and Thurrock Sexual Health do not provide termination services but can direct you to  organisations that can support you through this.

If you wish to have a termination please see which option is better for you –

  • If you live in the Colchester, Chelmsford or Thurrock area you can self-refer to Marie Stopes International (MSI) on or call 0345 300 8090.
  • If you live in the Harlow area and wish to use Marie Stopes International (MSI) please call us on 0300 003 1212 and book an appointment an appointment at The Stow where we can refer you to them.
  • If you live in The Harlow area and are up to 12 weeks pregnant, termination of pregnancy is available at Princess Alexandra Hospital, please call the Early Pregnancy Unit on 01279 82 7107. The clinic takes place on a Wednesday only. Details of this clinic can be found at

We are there to talk if you have any concerns. If you need help call us on 0300 003 1212

You can find information on termination of pregnancy from:

  • Marie Stopes International (MSI) on or call 0345 300 8090
  • British Pregnancy Advisory Service – or call them on 03457 30 40 30 from the UK or on +44 1789 508 211 from elsewhere.
  • National Unplanned Pregnancy Advisory Service (NUPAS) – or call them on 0333 004 6666


Clear answers to common questions

Contacting a sexual health service for the first time can be a little daunting, so here are some easy answers to many of the questions you may have.

What questions will be asked if I call the helpline?

Our colleague will ask a few simple questions to understand your circumstances and the support you need – so relax and take your time.

Everything is completely confidential. Nothing will be sent to your home address.

What support will I be offered?

We’ll help you access whatever you need.

This may include talking through your situation, giving you advice, helping you access protection or contraception or organising a STI test.

What if I need a test?

We offer discreet and easy STI self test kits for many of the most common infections.

If an alternative test or examination is needed, we’ll help you book in a confidential appointment at a local clinic.

Will I be physically examined?

We will never ask you to expose any part of your body during a video consultation.

If an examination is required, we’ll book an appointment at a clinic where a doctor will make any examination as quick and unobtrusive as possible.

Who is told about my appointments or STI tests?

No one. Your appointment and test results are confidential.

Sexual health services keep separate medical records and will only share information with your GP or other professionals if you agree to it.

How are tests taken?

If a test is required, many can be conducted by yourself at home. Other infections may need a visit to a clinic.

Most require a sample or urine or swab of the infected area. Others may require a blood test. This will all be explained to you before the test is arranged.

What if my test result is positive?

Firstly, please don’t worry, almost all STIs are now treatable.

You’ll be contacted so you can discuss the result and any suggested treatment with a doctor or nurse. In addition to any appropriate medication, you may be offered counselling and other forms of support to help you cope.

Useful Links

Services | Help & Advice

Access a whole range of information and support on sexual health and wellbeing from organisations we work with and support.