If you are unsure about whether or not you want to continue your pregnancy, your FIRST step should be to have an ultrasound at a medical clinic that does not financially benefit from your decision. At our centers YOU are the focus of our care and attention. Our goal is to ensure that you have all the information you need regarding your situation so that you will make an informed decision and not feel pressured by anyone including an abortion clinic.
You deserve to know what the status of your pregnancy is before agreeing to any medical procedure. Miscarriage rates in early pregnancy are significant enough that you should always know if you actually have a pregnancy that will continue before agreeing to an abortion procedure. Dating your pregnancy by LMP (last menstrual period) is unreliable. You should never determine the type of abortion you want based on LMP alone.
Ultrasound answers the following 3 key questions:
If you cannot remember when your last period was or have a history of irregular periods, an ultrasound will give you the gestational age of your pregnancy. If you are planning on having an abortion, you will need to know how far along you are in order to determine which abortion methods are available to you. It is very common for women to be off by weeks in their own pregnancy calculation.
If you are pregnant and considering abortion, you may not need one.
A positive pregnancy test recognizes the presence of the pregnancy hormone HCG. HCG can be present even if the pregnancy is not viable. Studies show that as many as one in five early pregnancies end in natural miscarriage. If you are less than six weeks pregnant, your chance of having a non-viable pregnancy is as high as 60%. An ultrasound can help determine if your pregnancy is viable by detecting a fetal heartbeat. (A fetal heartbeat can be measured as early as 21 days after conception.)
If your pregnancy is ectopic, meaning the fertilized egg is outside of the uterus, you will need to seek emergency medical attention. An ultrasound can help determine if your pregnancy is developing inside the uterus or assess if you are at risk for an ectopic pregnancy.