Reasons to Have an Ultrasound When Having an Abortion

You may be thinking, “I’ve already made up my mind to have an abortion. This pregnancy was unplanned and unwanted. I have college plans and career goals that I’m not willing to sacrifice for this unexpected situation. So why then, do I need an ultrasound first?”

While an ultrasound may be the last thing you want to see when you’re considering an abortion, there are crucial reasons to have one completed before moving forward with a termination.

  • Ultrasounds can help see if something is developing abnormally. While a positive pregnancy test does indicate that you are pregnant, it does not determine if your pregnancy is in utero (within the uterus). Ectopic (or tubal) pregnancies occur when a fertilized egg attaches outside of, rather than inside a woman’s uterus. While ectopic pregnancies are not viable (likely to carry to term) they pose a life-threatening risk to the mother. An ultrasound is the only way a licensed medical professional can see if you’re at-risk for an ectopic pregnancy and refer you to the proper specialist, if necessary. An abortion procedure will not take care of an ectopic pregnancy, because an abortion focuses on emptying the uterus and an ectopic pregnancy is not located there.
  • Ultrasounds determine how far along you are. Due to the fact that select abortion procedures are available for you during specific stages of pregnancy, it is important that you understand how far along you are in the pregnancy. Once you have these results, you will be equipped with one more tool to make the best decision that is right for you.
  • Ultrasounds confirm viability. According to March of Dimes, up to half of all pregnancies end in miscarriage. An ultrasound can help determine the viability of your pregnancy and the likelihood that you will carry to term. If your pregnancy is non-viable (such as you have a blighted ovum) an ultrasound will allow you to avoid the unnecessary health risks associated with an abortion.
  • Ultrasounds allow you to be fully informed. It is important that you are fully informed before making any decision. An ultrasound provides you with necessary information that allows you to make the best choice that is right for you.

So remember, if you are facing an unplanned pregnancy, we want you to realize that you are not alone. It is our mission to provide you with the tools and resources to make the most-fully informed decision possible.

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