What do I need to know before having an abortion?
If you’ve had a positive pregnancy test and are planning to abort, you should still get an ultrasound. Here’s why: Even if you have a positive pregnancy test, there’s a chance that the pregnancy may not be viable. Before searching for an abortion provider, you’d want to know the answer to three questions:
- Is there a heartbeat?
- How far along am I?
- Where is the pregnancy located – inside of the uterus, or outside of the uterus?
When planning to abort, the answers to these questions are extremely important!
Is there a heartbeat?
If there’s no heartbeat detected by ultrasound, you may want to reconsider your abortion plans. While most positive pregnancy tests mean that there’s a baby on the way, some don’t!
The U.S. National Library of Medicine’s Medline Plus reports that when a baby is developing normally, the heart forms in the 5th week of pregnancy and beats with a regular rhythm during the 6th to 7th week of pregnancy. If a heartbeat cannot be detected during the 6-7 week stage, there’s a chance that the pregnancy may have ended on its own.
How often does this happen? According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services, “as many as 10 to 15 percent of confirmed pregnancies are lost”, “and most losses occur very early on – before eight weeks”. When you receive an ultrasound, your sonographer will look to see if a heartbeat is present, and if present – measure to see how many times per minute the baby’s heart is beating.
How far along am I?
Also, an ultrasound will let you know for sure exactly how far along you are in the pregnancy. Knowing exactly how far along you are in the pregnancy will help to determine the following:
- Which type of abortion procedure you would be eligible for,
- How much you should expect to pay for an abortion,
- What the risk of failed or incomplete abortion may be when using the abortion pill (especially between 8 and 10 weeks).
The FDA approves the abortion pill (use of Mifeprex in combination with Misoprostol) to end pregnancies up to 10 weeks. However, a study published by The New England Journal of Medicine reveals that the occurrence of failed abortions when using the abortion pill went from 1% at 7-8 weeks up to 9% for women 8-9 weeks pregnant and 9-10 week pregnancies were not included in the study.
So, it’s clear that although the FDA approves the use of the pill up to 10 weeks, the risk of failed or incomplete abortion begins rising at 8 weeks from the first day of a woman’s last menstrual period.
Knowing exactly how far along you are will give you the personalized information you need in order to make a truly informed decision that you can be confident in. After finding out exactly how far along the pregnancy has progressed, some women will choose to take the abortion pill (medical procedure) while others will choose to skip the pill and have a surgical procedure done to ensure that the abortion is effective and complete. When you receive an ultrasound with Image Clear Ultrasound Atlanta, your sonographer will be able to take precise measurements of the baby which will determine exactly how far along the pregnancy has progressed. You’ll be able to know for sure, with no guesswork!
Where is the pregnancy located?
Knowing the location of the pregnancy is also extremely important before receiving an abortion procedure. If your pregnancy is located outside of the uterus (also known as an ectopic pregnancy), the FDA warns against taking the abortion pill! An ectopic pregnancy can be life-threatening, so head to the emergency room to receive the care needed if an ectopic pregnancy is detected.
When you receive an ultrasound with Image Clear Ultrasound Atlanta, your sonographer will look to be sure of the precise location of the pregnancy – whether it’s inside the uterus or outside of the uterus (ectopic).
What you need to know before an abortion
In review, if you’re planning to abort, there are three important pieces of information you’ll want to know before you go to an abortion clinic:
- Is there a heartbeat?
- How far along am I?
- Is the pregnancy located inside or outside of the uterus (ectopic)?
We know this is a lot, but it doesn’t need to be overwhelming! At Options Medical Clinic, our desire is to serve YOU well! That means, if you’re planning to abort, we want to be a safe haven for you.
Let’s face it, having an abortion is just hard. No matter how much support you have (or don’t have), it’s extremely difficult. Preparing for an abortion can be very stressful, and you may have 50 million thoughts and questions running through your mind – not to mention emotional, financial, and relational stress. Wouldn’t it be nice to find a place where you could get personalized care and find out what you need to know before you go to an abortion clinic?
That’s where we come in. Our lab-grade pregnancy tests and ultrasounds are provided at no cost to you, and our trained medical staff and client advocates are looking forward to serving you.
Please click here to request an appointment, and one of our staff members will be happy to help. With our mobile unit serving in several locations, we’ll be able to help you find a time and location that works best for you!
Please note: Our services are focused on helping women get answers to these “first steps” questions. We do not provide abortion services or referrals for abortion services.