Why Schedule an Ultrasound Before an Abortion
04 Mar, 2019
You may have heard that having an ultrasound prior to an abortion is important, but you may not know why. At Your Options Medical, we encourage all expectant mothers to book an ultrasound appointment, even if they are planning to have an abortion. Other organizations will tell women that an ultrasound is not necessary in a pregnancy, especially if they are planning to have an abortion, but it is actually recommended that you have an ultrasound prior to an abortion.
If you know someone who thinks they are pregnant and is planning to have an abortion, here are the main reasons expectant women should schedule an ultrasound before having an abortion:
- To determine how far along you are in your pregnancy
An ultrasound will help determine the gestational age. If you are planning to have an abortion, knowing how far along you are in the pregnancy is important, as it helps determine which abortion procedures are available to you.
For example, if you are just over 10 weeks, you cannot use the Abortion Pill (RU-486). Additionally, if you are over 12 weeks, you do not qualify for first trimester options.
Be informed about your procedure prior to your appointment.
2. To determine if your pregnancy is viable or if you’re prone to miscarriage
An ultrasound will also help determine if your pregnancy is viable or, in other words, whether or not the heartbeat is present.
An ultrasound also helps determine the chances of a miscarriage occurring. Studies show that approximately 20 percent of pregnancies under 10 weeks end in miscarriage. If that’s the case, why schedule an abortion if you don’t necessarily need one?* (We use the word “necessarily,” not because we believe abortion procedures are necessary, but because many of our patients use this same language, believing they need an abortion.)
Whether you are planning to have an abortion or not, it is always important to know if your pregnancy is viable and if you are prone to miscarriage.
*(Note: Even if you are prone to miscarriage, you still should seek medical attention).
3. To determine whether or not you may have an ectopic pregnancy
An ultrasound will also inform you whether or not your pregnancy is developing in the uterus. It will determine whether you have or are at risk of an ectopic pregnancy. If you have an ectopic pregnancy- when the fertilized egg is attached outside of the uterus- you should seek emergency medical attention immediately. It is also important to note that if you begin the process of having an abortion while also having an ectopic pregnancy, it can be detrimental to your health. Learn more about ectopic pregnancies.
4. To keep you informed
An abortion is a medical procedure, and just like with any other medical procedure, you should always have as much information as possible beforehand.
When dealing with your body and health, you should know what to expect, especially before choosing to have such an invasive medical procedure. As an expectant woman, it’s important to be educated on the abortion procedure, and having an ultrasound will provide you with the necessary information.
It is essential to understand why having an ultrasound is recommended for women who are expecting. It is not onlyabout offering a woman the opportunity to see her baby on the screen but, more importantly, about fostering an environment that offers necessary information about the patient’s personal health.
If you know someone who is pregnant and/or considering having an abortion, we encourage all expectant women to book a no-cost appointment for a pregnancy test and ultrasound at Your Options Medical. Even if a woman is planning to have an abortion, it is important for her to receive all the information she needs regarding her pregnancy, her personal health and the certain procedure she might be contemplating. We are here to provide women with the information and support they need!