Ultrasound exams are diagnostic tests that can provide a lot of information during pregnancy. The details learned during an ultrasound can inform your next steps and help you protect your health by screening for potential complications or other medical concerns.

Think you might be pregnant and are considering abortion? Your best next step is to get an ultrasound first. Keep reading for a few details that an ultrasound before abortion can tell you to help you protect your health and safety

1. Ultrasound Can Date Your Pregnancy (Tell You How Far Along You Are)

Chances are you probably found out you might be pregnant by taking a home pregnancy test. You may have also tried to estimate how far along you might be based on the date of your last period. While this is a great place to start, this estimate can be inaccurate, particularly if your cycle is irregular. 

An ultrasound exam is the only way to confirm how far along you are definitively, through precise measurements. 

This information can help inform your next steps. It’s important to remember that the FDA only approves the use of the abortion pill for the termination of early pregnancies up to 10 weeks gestational age. If you were to take the drugs past this point in pregnancy, you could put yourself at increased risk for complications such as incomplete abortion or infection. Finding out how far along you are first can help you ensure you are making safe next steps. 

2. Ultrasounds Screen for Ectopic Pregnancy

Some pregnancies occur outside the uterus, often when a fertilized egg implants in the fallopian tube. These pregnancies, known as ectopic pregnancy, are non-viable, meaning they cannot survive and further progression could put you at great risk. Ectopic pregnancies require immediate emergency medical care, and delay in treatment could result in the fallopian tube rupturing and causing internal bleeding.

In an ultrasound exam, a nurse sonographer can determine whether the pregnancy is correctly located within the uterus, or whether ectopic pregnancy is a concern. This way, you can ensure you are getting the treatment you need most that is most applicable to your unique situation. 

Abortion is not an effective treatment to resolve ectopic pregnancy, so you’ll want to ensure your next steps make sense for your needs. 

3. Ultrasounds Can Determine Pregnancy Viability

Some pregnancies, even if they are located in the uterus correctly, are non viable – meaning they may end in miscarriage. The Mayo Clinic quotes that roughly 10-20% of pregnancies end in miscarriage – while other sources quote that the number may be even higher, particularly given that many miscarriages happen before women even recognize they are pregnant. 

If you’re considering abortion among your next steps, learning if your pregnancy is still viable – meaning, there is a detectable heartbeat and the pregnancy is continuing to progress – is important to ensure your medical treatment is appropriate for your needs.  

If the pregnancy is expected to end in miscarriage, your medical provider may recommend specialized care, such as monitoring or blood testing to ensure the miscarriage is complete or management of the miscarriage through medication or a surgical procedure. 

You deserve to put your health and safety first. Ensuring that your medical care is specialized to your unique needs and does not put undue stress on your body is important. 

Schedule Your Free Ultrasound Appointment

At Women’s Clinics of Maryland, our professional medical team can provide pregnancy confirmation and a viability ultrasound at no cost to you. Three convenient locations to serve you in Annapolis, Bowie Crofton and Severna Park.

Put your health and safety first by scheduling your free appointment today.