Why Do I Need an Ultrasound before an Abortion?

Why Do I Need an Ultrasound before an Abortion?

If you’re considering an abortion there are a few things you need before the procedure: STI testing, pregnancy testing verified by a health care professional, and an ultrasound. You’ll need these before both a surgical and an at-home abortion.

A limited OB ultrasound is especially important because it may determine if you are eligible for an abortion, and if so, which type of abortion procedure – surgical or abortion pills. 

What does an ultrasound show? 

There are three things an ultrasound may reveal about your pregnancy that are needed before any type of abortion: viability, location of the pregnancy, and how far along you are. 

1. Viability 

Viability simply means that the pregnancy is living and progressing. To be viable, there must be a heartbeat and the pregnancy must be in the uterus. The absence of a heartbeat may be a sign of an early natural miscarriage.

It is estimated that about 26% of pregnancies end in natural miscarriage, with 80% of these being in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. It’s important to find out if you’ve naturally miscarried before any abortion procedure. 

2. Location 

Is the pregnancy in the uterus? A limited OB ultrasound may confirm the location of the pregnancy. The pregnancy needs to be in the uterus to be considered viable. 

Sometimes, the embryo can implant in the fallopian tubes. This is known as an ectopic or tubal pregnancy in which the pregnancy is considered non-viable. An ectopic pregnancy needs to be treated immediately by a healthcare professional. 

3. How Far Along You Are

A limited OB ultrasound is the most accurate way to know how far along your pregnancy has progressed. This is important because women can only safely take the abortion pill during the first 70 days of the pregnancy. Taking the pill past the first 70 days can result in major health issues. 

Our Services

At our clinic, all of our services are free of charge. Although LWC does not provide or refer for abortion procedures, we do offer pregnancy testing, limited STI testing and treatment, and limited OB ultrasounds, after an initial consultation with a nurse. Contact us about scheduling your free and confidential appointment today.

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This information is intended for general educational purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional counseling and/or medical advice.

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