Perhaps you’ve had a positive pregnancy test and are wondering if an ultrasound is the right next step for you. You may be considering your options in regards to your pregnancy and unsure of the importance of having a scan when you may end up terminating the pregnancy. We’ll discuss the importance of having an ultrasound in this article, and how it may provide helpful information in the decision-making process.
Avenue Women’s Center is a limited women’s medical clinic with five locations in Elmhurst, Glen Ellyn / Lombard, Naperville, West Chicago, and Wood Dale, Illinois. We provide free medical grade pregnancy tests, limited ultrasounds, and pregnancy consultations at our facilities. Contact us today for more information.
When a woman is considering abortion, a Limited Obstetrical Ultrasound (pregnancy ultrasound looking for specific information) can be very helpful for several reasons:
- Confirmation of Pregnancy: Pregnancy tests measure the hCG level in a person’s body. In rare cases, there are conditions and certain medications that can elevate the hCG level in the body without that person being pregnant. An ultrasound is a good way to verify the presence or absence of a pregnancy.
- Viability of the Pregnancy: Viability means determining if the pregnancy is likely to continue. According to some research, between 1 in 5 to 1 in 6 of all clinically recognized pregnancies will end in miscarriage. The American Pregnancy Association defines “miscarriage” as a pregnancy that spontaneously ends within the first 20 weeks. If there is a pregnancy, the measurements taken during an ultrasound can evaluate the specific risk of miscarriage within a specific pregnancy.
- Placement of the Pregnancy: The pregnancy should be properly located in the main cavity of the uterus. Ectopic pregnancy (a pregnancy developing outside of the uterus) or tubal pregnancy (fertilized egg developing in the fallopian tube) can become a medical emergency very quickly. The American Pregnancy Association calculates that ectopic pregnancy happens in 1 out of 50 pregnancies. Ultrasound can quickly and easily determine the location of a pregnancy. When a pregnancy is found to be located outside of the uterus, an abortion would not be an appropriate treatment.
- Gestation of the Pregnancy: Ultrasound can provide information on “how far along” you are. Many women are unsure of their last period, others have irregular cycles, and some are on birth control and rarely get a period. Still others have regular bleeding in the first month or two of pregnancy and that can throw the calculation off. Ultrasound is useful to establish gestational age. Knowing how far along you are provides valuable information as you consider the termination options that are available to you at that stage.
When a woman is considering abortion, gathering the above-listed facts is important. You need to know how far along you are as you research options. You need to know if the pregnancy is in the right place and get immediate medical assistance if it isn’t. You deserve to have gentle, unpressured support as you gather this information.
If you are pregnant and considering your options, Avenue Women’s Center hopes to be a helpful next step. Perhaps our limited medical ultrasounds would be appropriate in your situation. To start, please contact us to set up a free pregnancy consultation with one of our caring client advocates. Your appointment can provide you with information that will assist you in making your decision. We are here to help. Call, text, email, or chat with us today.
- National Institute of Health (2017, September) How Many People are Affected by or at Risk for Pregnancy Loss or Miscarriage? Retrieved from: https://www.nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/pregnancyloss/conditioninfo/risk
- Mayo Clinic (2018, January) Fetal Ultrasound. Retrieved from: https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/fetal-ultrasound/about/pac-20394149
- American Pregnancy Association (2017, August) Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG): The Pregnancy Hormone. Retrieved from: http://americanpregnancy.org/while-pregnant/hcg-levels/
- American Pregnancy Association (2017, July) Ectopic Pregnancy. Retrieved from: http://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancy-complications/ectopic-pregnancy/
- American Pregnancy Association (2017, December) Miscarriage. Retrieved from: http://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancy-complications/miscarriage/
- WebMD. Human Chorionic Gonadotropin. Retrieved from: https://www.webmd.com/baby/human-chorionic-gonadotropin-hcg#1
Reviewed by Patricia Kuenzi, APN-CNP, MSN, ANP, PNP.
The information provided here is general in nature. It is not a substitute for a consultation with a medical professional. Before any medical procedure, it is imperative that you discuss your personal medical history, risks, and concerns with your doctor. If you have questions during or after a procedure, your doctor should be immediately contacted. Avenue Women’s Center is not an emergency center. If you are experiencing severe symptoms, such as bleeding and/or pain, seek immediate medical attention. Contact your physician, go to an emergency room, or call 911.