Facing an unexpected pregnancy can be very overwhelming. You have a lot to consider as you process information on all of your options. If you are considering abortion, one of the first things you should do after a positive pregnancy test is to have a viable pregnancy confirmed by a limited obstetrical ultrasound. There are three main reasons why.
1. An ultrasound will tell you how far along you are.
This is important because it will determine what kind of abortion procedure you would have. If you are less than ten weeks in your pregnancy, it would most likely be a medication abortion, also known as the abortion pill or RU-486.
If you are past ten weeks, it would be a surgical abortion. There are a few different procedures, all based on where you are in your pregnancy.
An ultrasound will likely be required if you schedule an abortion, but it is usually not offered until you are actually having the procedure. At Open Arms, we offer them for free in advance of your decision so you have all the information needed in order to make an informed choice. If you're curious about how far along you are and want to know your options, schedule your free appointment today.
2. An ultrasound will tell you where the pregnancy is located.
Sometimes a pregnancy is located outside of the uterus, usually in the Fallopian tubes. This is called an ectopic pregnancy and is not viable. The fetus cannot survive and ectopic pregnancy can cause significant health issues for you, or even be life-threatening. About one in 50 pregnancies are ectopic (outside of the uterus).[i]
If you are experiencing abdominal pain, vaginal bleeding, dizziness, weakness, or fainting, you might have an ectopic pregnancy. If you think this might be the case, do not delay. Go to the emergency room immediately.
3. An ultrasound will detect fetal cardiac activity
An ultrasound can detect a fetal heartbeat usually around five weeks and five days from the first day of the last menstrual period. If during an ultrasound exam no fetal heartbeat is detected, the pregnancy may not be viable and may miscarry on its own. According to the Mayo Clinic, "About 10 to 20 percent of known pregnancies end in miscarriage. But the actual number is likely higher because many miscarriages occur so early in pregnancy that a woman doesn't realize she's pregnant."[ii]
An ultrasound exam is an important step in your pregnancy decision, confirming whether or not your pregnancy is a viable intrauterine pregnancy or not. Open Arms can help. Before having an abortion, make sure you know the answer to the three factors listed above. Schedule an appointment with us for your free ultrasound as a very important first step.