The HSE's My Options service is available now
Brought to you by The HSE
An unplanned pregnancy can affect everyone differently.
No matter what stage you are at in life, an unplanned pregnancy can come as a shock. If you find yourself facing an unplanned pregnancy, the first thing to know is that you are not alone.
Research shows that 66 percent of women aged 18-25 who have had a pregnancy, had not planned the pregnancy. For women aged 18-45 who have had a pregnancy, 35 percent had not planned it.
Your unplanned pregnancy may come as a pleasant surprise to you or you may be feeling daunted by what is to come. Do you have a partner or parents that you need to inform? What is the next step? Where do you go from here?
My Options is a service set up to inform and support people facing an unplanned pregnancy. You will be able to talk to professional, experienced counsellors who will discuss all of your options with you, including continued pregnancy supports and abortion services.
My Options is entirely free and available to everyone. The information and counselling services are available from 9am to 9pm Monday to Friday and 10am to 2pm on Saturday, so they can easily work around any work or college schedules.
My Options services started last January 2019 and already the phone line has received over 12,000 calls. To get in touch yourself, you can call them on Freephone 1800 828 010 (or 00 353 1 6877044 if calling from Northern Ireland) or you can find them online at myoptions.ie.
The phone line can provide information and support in over 240 languages via interpretation service. There is also the option for a live video-link with an Irish Sign Language interpreter for any Irish Sign Language users.
The counsellors can talk you through your next steps, providing you with all the information you need to make your own decision on how to go forward. They can also help you with how best to tell your family and partner if you need to.
As well as unplanned pregnancy support, My Options also provides abortion aftercare. If you have recently had an abortion, you can contact their 24-hour nursing advice line where trained nursing staff will help you with any queries and provide medical advice. If you want to look into post-abortion counselling, that can also be provided.
The My Options services are committed to helping you every step of the way, no matter how you choose to proceed. Whether you're feeling scared, confused, or if you just have some questions that need answering, pick up the phone and give them a call or head over to their website now.
There are a number of agencies claiming to provide unplanned pregnancy support services - some of these may have a hidden agenda. These services may not be upfront about their intentions and may try to influence your decision. Signs of a disingenuous service include a delay in giving pregnancy test results (these should be given immediately), advice and supports that do not include information on abortion services, and the use of negative or frightening language. You should never feel in any way pressured or frightened by an unplanned-pregnancy counsellor. We recommend that you only visit a HSE-funded unplanned pregnancy counselling service and to look for the HSE name or logo when seeking information online.
Brought to you by The HSE
If you or a friend need information and support with an unplanned pregnancy, contact My Options at Freephone 1800 828 010 (00 353 1 6877044 for NI) or visit myoptions.ie.