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Western Australia

Question: Hi my name is Harry, I am 17 and live in Fremantle. I recently had unprotected sex with a girl who is one year younger than me. I’m really worried she might fall pregnant. What should I do if she does? Is it against the law?

Answer: Hi Harry. In The law says that once you are 16 years old, you can agree to have sex with another person who’s also 16 or older.

If you have had unprotected sex recently, it is important to go see a sexual health professional, such as a doctor. If you are worried that she has or will fall pregnant, it is best to speak to a doctor to find out your options. This may include using contraceptives like the pill or rod as well as using prophylactics.


What does the law say?

In Western Australia, the law says that once you are 16, you can agree to have sex with another person who's also 16 or older. This means that it's NOT against the law for you and your friend to have sex as long as you both fully agree to it.

If you'd like more information about the laws that apply to sex, you can have a look at our Lawstuff page:


What should you do if she falls pregnant?  

The most important thing is the health and safety of you and the girl. We strongly encourage you both to see a doctor if you've had unprotected sex. We are not doctors and can't say whether or not her contraception has worked.

Generally, the way 'the rod' works is that as long as she has had it in her arm for more than 1 week (and it hasn't expired - it lasts for 3 years) then it should be effective to prevent pregnancy. However, if you and she are worried about accidentally falling pregnant, the best thing she can do is speak to her doctor.

If she doesn't want to go to her family doctor, she can visit a Sexual and Reproductive Health Western Australia (SRHWA) clinic. SRHWA has doctors that can talk to her about contraception, sexual health and her options where there is an unplanned pregnancy.

If either of you has any concerns about unplanned pregnancy or about your sexual health, we encourage you to call the Sexual Health Helpline. Their number is 1800 198 205 and they are there from 9.30am to 4pm from Monday to Friday.

If you have any questions about the laws that apply to seeing a doctor, you can have a look at our Lawstuff page:


Where can you get more help?

Harry, if you plan on continuing to have sex, it is important to be aware of other risks like sexually transmitted infections (STIs). You and the girl may want to get checked for STIs and we encourage you to speak to your family doctor or visit the Sexual and Reproductive Health Western Australia clinic we mentioned above to talk to a doctor about the best way to protect yourself.

SRHWA also provides counselling on a range of relationship and sexual health issues if you have any questions about this in the future. You can also find out more health information from their factsheets, available here:

If you have any other questions please send us a Lawmail.

Page last updated 25 June 2015.

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