How Does an Ultrasound Work?

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If you’ve recently discovered that you’re pregnant, you may be wondering what steps you need to take to get more information about your condition. One of the best ways to gather information on your pregnancy is through an ultrasound scan.

Today, we’re talking about the importance of ultrasound scans, how they work, and where and when to schedule yours.

How does an ultrasound work?

Imaging technology is often required to see internal organs and understand what’s happening inside the body. While some imaging technology used in the medical field utilizes radiation, ultrasound scans use harmless, high-frequency sound waves.

These waves are sent through the body using a transducer instrument. When the sound waves hit soft tissue or fluid they travel through, but when they hit denser surfaces they send echoes back to the transducer. These echoes are then translated through the computer to create an image of the body part under observation.1

I’m Pregnant — What Will an Ultrasound Reveal About my Pregnancy?

Ultrasounds are used by doctors in order to make certain diagnoses, guide surgeries, and, most commonly, to gather important information regarding pregnancy.

If you’re experiencing an unplanned pregnancy, you have three options: parenting, adoption, or abortion. Regardless of which pregnancy option you’re considering, getting an ultrasound is an important step in making an informed choice for your future.

Ultrasound scans provide patients and doctors with the following details about their pregnancies:

  • The age of the pregnancy
    For those who are hoping to parent or place the baby for adoption, knowing the age of your pregnancy will help you prepare along the way and make plans before and after the birth. If you’re considering abortion, the gestational age of your pregnancy may greatly impact your options as some procedures are only available during certain stages of pregnancy.
  • The viability of the pregnancy
    Not all pregnancies will result in a healthy human life. Pregnancies that are not developing properly or will not survive outside of the womb on their own are considered nonviable. Ultrasound scans will help your doctor determine the viability of your pregnancy and give you information about the options available to you.
  • Health concerns related to the pregnancy
    Regardless of the pregnancy option you are considering, it’s important to ensure that you don’t have any health conditions that could make pregnancy or abortion dangerous for you. Ultrasounds will reveal pregnancy health conditions, such as ectopic pregnancies, and will alert your doctor to the need for any emergency interventions.

When do I need to get an ultrasound?

It’s suggested to receive routine ultrasounds scans through the pregnancy, with the first ultrasound occuring in the first six to eight weeks.

If you are considering abortion and want to fully understand the options available to you, you may want to schedule an ultrasound scan at your local pregnancy center as soon as possible.

Where can I get a free ultrasound scan?

BsideU for Life offers free early pregnancy services, such as lab-quality pregnancy testing, ultrasound scans, education, resources, options counseling, and more!

Getting an ultrasound scan is easy and free at BsideU for Life, so schedule your free appointment today!

1. Brazier, Y. (2017) “How do ultrasound scans work?” www.medicalnewstoday.com. Accessed June 29, 2021.

Will My Insurance Pay for My Girlfriend’s Abortion?

“I’m pregnant.” These two words can bring immense feelings of joy and excitement for some, and fear, worry, and anxiety for others. 

If you’ve recently received the surprising news that your girlfriend is pregnant, it’s important to remember that help and resources are available to you both during this time.

Financial worries are often the biggest concerns for couples facing unplanned pregnancies. BsideU for Life is here to help you understand your pregnancy options and the costs you might face in the coming months.  We provide some financial classes for moms — and may be able to provide some financial guidance for interested dads, too.  

Will my insurance pay for my girlfriend’s abortion?

If you and your girlfriend are considering the option of abortion, it’s important to note that your insurance plan will only pay for medical expenses for you and any of your legal dependents.

The state of Kentucky also restricts private insurance plans from covering abortion, unless an additional rider is purchased for the plan or the situation meets certain health risk criteria.

So, your girlfriend may not be covered under her own private insurance plan, and, the state of Kentucky restricts public funding (e.g., Medicaid plans) from covering abortion, except in cases of life endangerment, rape, or incest.

While abortion will not be covered in the state of Kentucky, if your girlfriend chooses to carry the pregnancy, she will be covered under Kentucky Medicaid.

How much does abortion cost? 

Abortion costs can range anywhere from $500 – $3,000 and beyond. The cost will largely depend on where your girlfriend is accessing her abortion and how far along her pregnancy is.  Gestational age determines what kind of procedure she’ll have, and whether she’s eligible for the abortion pill.  The abortion pill option costs around $500, depending on the provider, and is only available during the first 10 weeks of pregnancy. 

In comparison, surgical abortions can be accessed throughout the pregnancy and increase in price as the pregnancy grows.

In addition to the base cost of an abortion, it’s recommended you also save for other costs that may come up related to necessary pre-abortion screenings like ultrasounds, lab-quality pregnancy testing, and STD testing. It’s important to consider the costs of  medications, follow-up appointments, travel and accommodation expenses (if required to access your abortion), and emergency medical care in case of abortion complications. 

Where can we find free pregnancy healthcare?

To avoid unnecessary pre-abortion expenses, schedule an appointment with your local pregnancy clinic. BsideU for Life provides the following services at no cost to you: 

  • Free pregnancy testing
  • Limited ultrasounds*
  • STI Testing and treatment (chlamydia, gonorrhea, trichomoniasis)*
  • Maternity and infant clothing/supplies
  • Post-abortion counseling
  • Information on abortion, adoption, parenting, & pregnancy
  • Referrals for medication assistance, adoption services, community resources, financial assistance, and legal advice 

*for qualified clients

We are here to help you and your girlfriend each step of the way — from confirming a suspected pregnancy with an ultrasound scan to helping you each explore the options available during this time. 

How to Avoid Paying for an Ultrasound at Planned Parenthood

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Getting an ultrasound is an important step in pre-abortion healthcare, but it can often be a challenge to know how to access one and where to go for affordable care. 

In today’s blog, we will address ultrasound basics – what you need to know about your scan — what it is, why it’s important, when and where to get one, and how to avoid paying for one at the abortion clinic.

What is an ultrasound?

Ultrasounds use high-frequency sound waves to create images that show what’s happening inside of the human body. In pregnancy, they are used to reveal important details and health conditions about the woman and the fetus.

If you’re facing an unexpected pregnancy, an ultrasound scan is an important step in deciding which pregnancy option is right for you.

Why do I need an ultrasound scan before an abortion?

Are you considering abortion and wondering why you need an ultrasound scan?

Here are a few reasons why ultrasounds are a necessary step in your pre-abortion care:

An ultrasound will identify if your pregnancy is viable
Ultrasounds are the easiest way to confirm that you are pregnant with a viable pregnancy, or, in other words, a pregnancy that has a chance of surviving outside of the womb. Pregnancies that are nonviable will not require typical abortion procedures and you’ll want to discuss your options further with your OB/GYN (and not an abortion provider).  For instance, if you are already miscarrying you don’t need an abortionist to charge you a fee when treatment, if needed from your OB/GYN, may be covered by insurance (when an abortion would not be).

An ultrasound will reveal any concerning health conditions
Abortion can lead to severe health consequences, so it’s important to take the necessary precautions to learn about your pregnancy. An ultrasound scan will reveal the potential for major health issues that could raise concern, including ectopic pregnancies. If a sonographer doesn’t see everything expected during a scan, your next appropriate step may be the emergency room, not an abortion provider.

An ultrasound will reveal the gestational age of your pregnancy
Knowing the gestational age of your pregnancy is essential in understanding your abortion options and the costs you might face. For example, the abortion pill is only effective in the first 10 weeks of pregnancy, which means if you are further along, you’re likely not eligible for the procedure.

When should I get an ultrasound? 

Whether or not you are considering abortion, it’s important that you receive an ultrasound scan. It is recommended that your first scan falls within the first 6-8 weeks of pregnancy if you are still weighing your pregnancy options.

Can I avoid paying for an ultrasound at Planned Parenthood? 

While you may be able to access an ultrasound scan at Planned Parenthood or another abortion clinic, you will likely have to cover the cost of the scan on top of the other services you will be paying for out-of-pocket.

With a positive pregnancy test result at BsideU, you can get some of the answers you are looking for with a no-cost ultrasound scan, provided your pregnancy is far enough along.  Doing so may help you avoid all the costs associated with a visit to an abortion provider, especially if you discover you don’t need them, but a visit to your regular OB/GYN instead.  Schedule an appointment at BsideU for Life–our clinic provides no-cost pregnancy testing, ultrasound scans, STI testing, and more to help you make an empowered choice for your pregnancy!

Schedule your free appointment today! 

What are the Side Effects of the Abortion Pill?

We spend hours and hours researching our next big purchase comparing brands, looking at photos, and reading reviews. It only makes sense you’re wanting to learn as much as possible when it comes to one of the biggest decisions you face to date. 

When it comes to your pregnancy options, abortion can often seem like the easiest route. For some, getting an abortion is like pushing a problem under a rug and hiding it so that nobody ever finds out. However, it’s important to remember abortion is a serious medical procedure that shouldn’t be taken lightly.

As you explore your pregnancy options, it’s important do the research necessary to understand the pros and cons of each choice, including the many risks and side effects that can accompany the abortion pill.

 

What is the abortion pill?

The abortion pill is a form of abortion that ends a pregnancy through chemical means. 


The abortion pill, also known as a medical abortion, uses two drugs to end a pregnancy within the first 11 weeks of development. The first drug, Mifepristone, stops the production of the pregnancy hormone progesterone, which inhibits the growth of the pregnancy. This drug is administered in a doctor’s office while Misoprostol, the second drug, is taken later at home. Misoprostol causes contractions to start, which forces the fetus from the uterus.



Are there side effects of the abortion pill?

With most abortions, whether medical or surgical, you can expect to experience some minor side effects like cramping, bleeding, abdominal pain, and discomforts like nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

In addition to these common side effects, you should also be aware of some of the more serious risks associated with abortion.


1. The Abortion Pill Can Cause Issues with Future Childbearing

 

For women who don’t feel ready to have a child now but are hoping for future pregnancies, it’s important to understand the impact abortion might have on your future pregnancies. The abortion pill has been associated with the risk of spontaneous preterm birth and abortion pill complications, such as infection, have been linked to fertility complications.1



2. Medical Abortions are Linked to Mental Health Issues

Many women report that the abortion pill and their experience of completing the abortion at home have caused mental health issues. These include things like depression and anxiety. At-home abortions via the abortion pill have also triggered pre-existing mental health conditions.2

3. The Abortion Pill Can Increase Risk for Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

Have you recently been tested for STDs? Having chlamydia at the time of an abortion increases your risk of developing Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) by 23%.3 PID is an infection in a woman’s reproductive organs that can cause abscesses, fertility issues, and chronic pain. 

4. Medical Abortions Can Cause Relationship Issues Related to Bonding

While some women never experience physical side effects, many women report dealing with relationship issues in the wake of their abortions. From difficulties bonding with future children to a 45-75% increase in breakup and divorce following the procedure, there is strong evidence the impacts of the abortion pill go far beyond the physical body and impact even our closest relationships.4

5. The Abortion Pill May Lead to Life-Threatening Complications

 

On occasion, medical abortions fail to fully expel the pregnancy from the uterus, leaving the woman at risk for what’s called an “incomplete abortion.” Incomplete abortions, if untreated, can lead to infection, hemorrhaging, and potentially death.

If you think you might be experiencing an incomplete abortion, call your doctor immediately. 



What should I do if I’m pregnant?

Unplanned pregnancies can be accompanied by intense feelings of dread, anxiety, and shame. Know this — there is no shame and you’re not alone in your journey! Millions of women have walked in your shoes and have gone on to live fulfilling and amazing lives!

Your friends at BsideU for Life are here to help you navigate your unplanned pregnancy — from equipping you with all of the knowledge you need regarding each of your options to providing you with no-cost resources and healthcare!



1. Bhattacharya, S. et al. Reproductive outcomes following induced abortion: a national register-based cohort study in Scotland. BMJ Open. 2, (2012).

  1. Reardon DC. The abortion and mental health controversy: A comprehensive literature review of common ground agreements, disagreements, actionable recommendations, and research opportunities. SAGE open medicine. 2018;6: 1–38. 10.1177/2050312118807624 . [PMC free article] [PubMed] [CrossRef] [Google Scholar]

  2. Westergaard L, Phillipsen T, Scheibel J (1982). “Significance of cervical Chlamydia trachomatis infection in postabortal pelvic inflammatory disease.” Obstetrics and Gynecology, 68(5): 668-90; Ovigstad E, et al. (1983). “Pelvic inflammatory disease associated with Chlamydia trachomatis infection after therapeutic abortion.” Br J Vener Dis, 59: 189-92; Heisterberg L, et al. (1987). “The role of vaginal secretory immunoglobulin a, gardnerella vaginalis, anaerobes, and Chlamydia trachomatis in post abortal pelvic inflammatory disease.” Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica, 66(2): 99-102.

  3. Ring-Cassidey, Elizabeth, and Ian Gentiles. “Women’s Health After Abortion: The Medical and Psychological Evidence”  The DeVeber Institute for Biothics and Social Research, Apr. 2002, www.deveber.org/womens-health-after-abortion/.

 

How Does COVID-19 Affect Pregnancy?

COVID-19 has struck fear in the hearts of our entire nation. Parents are concerned about their children. Older adults appear to be at the highest risk, and pregnant women wonder if it will infect their unborn babies. So much is unknown. How does COVID-19 affect pregnancy?

Pregnancy and COVID-19

Unfortunately, there is not a lot of information available. Studies do show that generally, pregnant women do not fight infections as quickly as others because their immune systems are weaker. As a result, the Mayo Clinic states, “Potentially, pregnant women could be at increased risk of COVID-19 infection.”

What We Know About COVID-19

At this point, the most information regarding pregnancy and contracting COVID-19 comes from China. However, a recent study in Los Angeles included 134 pregnant women who tested positive for the disease. More than 82% of the women had symptoms. Of those who have already given birth, none of their babies were infected.

These results would suggest the virus does not spread through the amniotic fluid or across the placenta. Even reports of a very small number of premature births cannot be directly linked to COVID-19 infections.

Do I have COVID-19?

The only way to positively know if you have COVID-19 is to test for the virus. In some jurisdictions, access to tests is limited, and people with symptoms will be be given priority in testing.  In some cases, the tests are giving false-negative results. Check to see if you are experiencing the following COVID-19 symptoms (the following are straight from the Centers for Disease Control):

“People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness.

“Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell

“This list is not all possible symptoms. Other less common symptoms have been reported, including gastrointestinal symptoms like nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.”

The CDC goes on, regarding when to seek emergency medical attention:

“Look for emergency warning signs* for COVID-19. If someone is showing any of these signs, seek emergency medical care immediately

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion
  • Inability to wake or stay awake
  • Bluish lips or face

*This list is not all possible symptoms. Please call your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you.

Call 911  if you are experiencing any of these more severe symptoms.  Notify the operator that you are seeking care for someone who has or may have COVID-19.

Pregnant or not, the virus can have severe consequences, and you need to be proactive.

What You Should Do If You Are Pregnant

Further research is needed to determine what if any pregnancy complications are due to COVID-19. As always, you should be receiving regular prenatal care from a doctor. It is also essential for you to avoid getting the virus.

Follow these steps to reduce your risk.

  • Avoid close contact with others by following the social distancing rule of 6 feet.
  • Wash your hands regularly and thoroughly.
  • Use hand sanitizer if hand washing is not available.
  • Work with family members and your workplace if you are working on sanitizing practices.
  • Take care of your mental health during this crisis – it is as essential for your baby as it is for you.

Information for this blog came from the CDC website:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/symptoms.html

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/pregnancy-breastfeeding.html