Do I Need an Ultrasound Before I Have an Abortion?
You may have already made up your mind that you want an abortion. Before you move forward with your decision, you’ll need to consider having an ultrasound before going through with the abortion procedure. Here are five reasons why:
- Ultrasounds confirm viability.
A viable pregnancy means that there is a heartbeat and the baby is alive. About 10 to 20 percent of known pregnancies end in miscarriage. An ultrasound can determine if a pregnancy is viable, meaning likely to carry to term. If the ultrasound does not detect a heartbeat, then you will not need to endure the health risks of an abortion.
- Ultrasounds diagnose ectopic pregnancies.
An ectopic pregnancy (in many cases referred to as a tubal pregnancy) occurs when the fertilized egg implants somewhere other than the uterus. The egg can implant in the fallopian tube, inside the ovary, in the abdominal cavity or on the cervix. Ectopic pregnancies are not viable (likely to carry to term). You can get a positive pregnancy test result, but the test won’t detect an ectopic pregnancy; this is determined via an ultrasound.
As well, you can have the abortion procedure, but if the pregnancy is not in the uterus, the abortion will not be complete and the pregnancy will continue. The baby continues to grow in a space not designed for carrying a baby. Continuing the pregnancy could destroy an ovary or fallopian tube and cause life-threatening complications for the mother.
- Ultrasounds determine gestational age.
The gestational age is a measure of the number of weeks that a baby has been in the uterus. It is very important to know exactly how far along you are in the pregnancy before having an abortion. Certain abortion procedures are not recommended for certain stages of pregnancy. An ultrasound can help determine how many weeks pregnant you are.
- Ultrasounds are required by law in Texas.
In the state of Texas physicians are required to provide a sonogram before performing an abortion. The woman is also required to hear the medical explanation of the sonogram at least 24 hours before the procedure.
- Ultrasounds help you be fully informed.
Having an ultrasound will help you make a fully-informed choice. At PPC, we can provide you with a limited ultrasound, at no cost to you. We are here to provide a safe, non-judgmental place for you to gather all the facts and process through this major decision. In all that we do we are centered on seeing you through no matter what.
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