Having an abortion before an ultrasound is like crossing your fingers and hoping everything works out. Without an ultrasound, you risk missing critical details about your health or moving forward with an unnecessary medical procedure.
Here are three reasons why you need an ultrasound before an abortion:
Reason #1: Confirm You’re Actually Pregnant
Just because you’ve received a positive pregnancy test, doesn’t mean you’re actually pregnant with a normal, progressing pregnancy.
Mayo Clinic estimates that 10-20% of known pregnancies end in miscarriage, and the number could possibly be even higher since many women miscarry before they even know they’re pregnant. An ultrasound scan will identify a heartbeat, and that your pregnancy is progressing as normal. If you miscarried, your body will likely work the tissue out on its own, but a visit with your doctor will help make sure this is the case.
More rarely, false positive pregnancy tests can be triggered by certain medications such as anti-anxiety drugs, Xanax and Valium. False positives can also happen due to other medical conditions such as an ovarian cyst. An ultrasound will be able to rule these possibilities out.
Reason #2: Screen for Ectopic Pregnancy
An ectopic pregnancy happens when a fertilized egg implants outside of the uterus. The most common form is a tubal pregnancy, or one that attaches in the fallopian tube. As the pregnancy grows, it raises the risk of your fallopian tube bursting and causing life-threatening bleeding.
It’s critical to get screened for ectopic pregnancy, so you can seek medical treatment. The abortion pill can’t treat an ectopic pregnancy. If you move forward with the abortion pill before having an ultrasound scan, you run the risk of an ectopic pregnancy going undetected.
Reason #3: Determine How Far Along You Are
Abortion isn’t one-size-fits-all. Depending on how far along you are, you will require a specific type of abortion procedure. Medical Abortion, commonly called the abortion pill, is only FDA-approved for ten weeks of pregnancy or less. If you’re farther along than ten weeks, then you’ll require a form of surgical abortion.
There are two different types of surgical abortion: dilation and curretage (D&C) or dilation and evacuation (D&E). The type used will also vary based on how far along you are with a D&E happening later on than a D&C.
No-Cost Pregnancy Confirmation at Willow Women’s Center
If you recently had a positive pregnancy test, schedule a no-cost pregnancy confirmation appointment at our center. We verify the result of your at-home test, then provide a limited obstetrical ultrasound scan. This will determine if you have a viable, progressing pregnancy in the uterus, and tell you how far along you are.