Why You Need an Ultrasound Before an Abortion

Abortion
Woman learning about the three reasons you need an ultrasound before an abortion

You may think a positive pregnancy test is all you need to make a decision about your unplanned pregnancy, but there’s more to know. For instance, how long have you been pregnant? Is your pregnancy viable (living and growing), or have you had a miscarriage? A limited obstetrical ultrasound is one of the best ways to get answers. You especially need an ultrasound before an abortion.

What Is An Ultrasound?

An ultrasound is usually performed in the first trimester of your pregnancy. It’s an imaging technique that uses sound waves to produce images of the inside of your uterus.

When an ultrasound is performed, a gel is first placed on your abdomen. A technician uses an instrument called a transducer to rub through the gel. The transducer picks up the echoes of sound waves to create an image and detect a heartbeat. 

Before An Abortion

The type of abortion you’re eligible for is determined by the number of days you’ve been pregnant. For your safety, a medical abortion, also known as the abortion pill, should not be performed after 70 days from the first day of your last menstrual period (LMP). 

Why is the number of days so important? The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) writes, “Clinicians should counsel patients that medication abortion failure rates, especially continuing pregnancy rates, increase as gestational age approaches 10 weeks (70 days).” In other words, the longer your pregnancy goes on, the greater the possibility of having a failed medical abortion.

Why You Need an Ultrasound Before an Abortion

At BsideU For Life, our pregnancy tests are 97%-99% accurate. However, a urine-based pregnancy test only indicates the pregnancy hormone hCG was detected. If you’re considering abortion, here’s what you need to know. 

Are You Actually Pregnant or Have You Had a Miscarriage?

According to the Mayo Clinic, up to 20% and possibly more known pregnancies end in a natural miscarriage. It’s entirely possible to get a positive test result from a pregnancy test and no longer be pregnant. If you’ve miscarried, your body needs time to expel the pregnancy tissue and hormones.

You’ll know if your pregnancy is viable with an ultrasound. The technician can detect a heartbeat and see movement. 

How Far Along Are You?

The abortion pill method requires you to take two very powerful drugs. The first drug is taken at a clinic, under the instruction of the doctor. You take the second drug at home. This drug causes your body to expel the pregnancy tissue.

If you’re farther than 70 days, your body may not be able to pass the pregnancy on its own. This is why you’re encouraged to have a backup plan if you need assistance.

The Location of Your Pregnancy

Sometimes a pregnancy isn’t located in your uterus. An ectopic pregnancy is when the pregnancy is located in the fallopian tubes or pelvic region outside of the uterus. This can be a life-threatening medical situation, and you should see a medical professional immediately. 

Schedule an Appointment for Help

The team at BsideU For Life is ready to help you with many free and confidential pregnancy services. Take a free pregnancy test and a member of our team will see if you qualify for an ultrasound. 

We never want you to feel alone during your pregnancy journey. We’re here to give you the information and support you need. Schedule an appointment and let’s begin talking about your future.