If planning to terminate an unexpected pregnancy by medical or surgical abortion, an ultrasound may seem like an unnecessary step in the process. However, an ultrasound as part of pre-abortion preparation is crucial for your health and safety.
Why is it important to confirm that the embryo or fetus has a heartbeat before termination? Around 20% of pregnancies end in natural miscarriages. While pregnancy tests can still return a positive result for weeks after a miscarriage, an ultrasound will determine if the fetal heartbeat is detected. If the pregnancy is no longer progressing, the embryo or fetus may pass on its own without any medical management. A woman experiencing a miscarriage should follow up with a medical provider to determine if intervention is needed.
Variance in abortion procedures is determined in part by how long a woman has been pregnant. For example, medical abortion (the abortion pill) is only FDA-approved up to 10 weeks of pregnancy. Women who have irregular cycles or don’t track their cycles may have difficulty determining how long they have been pregnant. We can help provide an estimate of how far along you are based on the first day of your last period. An ultrasound with your medical provider will be able to determine exactly how far along you are through measurements.
An embryo is meant to implant in the wall of the uterus. As a pregnancy grows, the uterus expands. In some pregnancies, however, the embryo implants in a location other than the uterus, usually the fallopian tube, resulting in a life-threatening condition called ectopic pregnancy. Because the fallopian tube does not expand as the pregnancy progresses, this condition can cause severe complications, including heavy blood loss due to the tube bursting. Neither medical abortion nor surgical abortion resolves an ectopic pregnancy, so it is essential to confirm with an ultrasound that the pregnancy is located in the uterus.
Mosaic Sexual Health Clinic provides limited ultrasounds as part of our free pre-abortion screening. These ultrasounds can confirm fetal heartbeat and intrauterine pregnancy. Prioritize your health and safety by taking advantage of a free and confidential appointment today. Text (850) 765-4955 to schedule.
*Please note that Mosaic does not perform or refer for abortions. However, we are committed to providing factual information for clients regarding each of their pregnancy options, including abortion.