If you think you might be pregnant and are considering abortion, you’ll want to be sure you are protecting your health and safety as you think through your next steps. An ultrasound exam is a diagnostic test that can provide many key details about your unique medical needs – including if you need to be concerned about any potential complications. 

No matter what your next steps look like, your health and safety are worth protecting. Be sure you know about your specific pregnancy needs. The following are a few reasons why an ultrasound is recommended before pursuing an abortion 

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

You probably found out you were pregnant through a home pregnancy test. Beyond that, you may have guessed at how far along you might be by estimating based on your last period. 

While this is a good place to start, it’s highly likely that your pregnancy dating could differ from this estimate – especially if you have an irregular period. 

Confirming how far along you are through precise measurements in an ultrasound exam can help you determine what options are available to you. For instance, the FDA only approves of the use of the abortion pill medication regimen to terminate early pregnancies up to 10 weeks gestation. Pursuing a medication abortion by taking these drugs past the recommended point in pregnancy could increase your risk for incomplete abortion or infection.  

2. Ultrasounds Can Rule Out Ectopic Pregnancy

In some circumstances, a fertilized egg implants outside of the uterus, often in the fallopian tube, a complication known as ectopic pregnancy. If left untreated and the pregnancy continues to grow outside of the uterus, it could cause severe internal bleeding and potentially rupture the fallopian tube. These pregnancies are considered non-viable, meaning they cannot survive and require immediate emergency medical intervention (outside of abortion medication or procedures, which will not resolve the ectopic pregnancy). 

During an ultrasound exam, a nurse sonographer looks to identify if the pregnancy is located within the right place, in the uterus, or if ectopic pregnancy could be a concern. This can help you prepare and ensure you are seeking the appropriate medical care for your unique needs. 

3. An Ultrasound Can Determine Pregnancy Viability

It is estimated that up to 26% of pregnancies end in miscarriage according to the National Institute of Health. 

If you are considering abortion, it is wise to confirm your pregnancy’s viability, meaning that the heartbeat can be detected and the pregnancy is continuing to progress. If the pregnancy is not viable and is expected to end in miscarriage, your provider may recommend a different course of treatment to ensure the miscarriage is complete, through blood testing or an in-clinic procedure. 

To ensure you’re putting your health and safety first, make sure your care is appropriate for your medical needs. Find out key details about your pregnancy through an ultrasound exam before making your next steps.    

Schedule Your Free Ultrasound Appointment

Here at Women’s Clinics, our professional medical team can offer you an ultrasound exam to confirm key information about your pregnancy at no cost to you. Schedule your free appointment today to prioritize your health.