Do I Need an Ultrasound Before Taking The Abortion Pill?

Do I need an ultrasound before taking the abortion pill?
Do I need an ultrasound before taking the abortion pill?

Do I need an ultrasound before taking the abortion pill?

Whatever decision you make is lifelong, so don’t make a decision while in “panic mode.”

You’re looking at a positive pregnancy test. But what if you don’t want to be pregnant? A telehealth appointment and the abortion pill may seem like the ideal – and quick – solution to your unplanned pregnancy. But what about an ultrasound? Do you even need an ultrasound before taking the abortion pill?

Let’s think about this. Actually, let’s look at it from a different angle altogether.

So if you have a dentist appointment, and the dentist says he is going to pull one of your teeth, would you let him do that without telling you why it needs to be pulled, which tooth, and what the complications might be? So, let’s ask an even crazier question. If you talked to a dentist on the phone and he told you he needed to pull the tooth and he’s never even seen you in person, would you let him give you instructions on how to pull the tooth yourself? The obvious answer is no way

So then why would you take pills to have an abortion at home without seeing a medical provider and knowing some very important details?

For example:

  • Where is the pregnancy located? Is it in the uterus? If not, the abortion pill will not work for that pregnancy. Not to mention if the pregnancy is not in the uterus, it is called an ectopic pregnancy which is considered a medical emergency – meaning evaluation by a doctor ASAP. And the only way to know this is to have an ultrasound done before taking the abortion pill.
  • Is there a heartbeat? Why would you pay for a service that could be a financial hardship and may not be needed? Last year 33 of the women that came into our clinic wanting information about abortion left either with a negative pregnancy test or found out they were miscarrying. If they had not come in, they likely would have taken the abortion pill and potentially struggled with the after-effects like depression or regret, which can occur after having an abortion.
  • And finally, how far along are you in your pregnancy? To know that you need to know your EGA or estimated gestational age. This is a very important piece of information if you are planning on taking the abortion pill. The fact is that the further you are in your pregnancy the less effective these pills are at ending the pregnancy, especially without complications. The first pill, mifepristone, is only FDA-approved for 70 days or less since the first day of a woman’s last menstrual period (LMP) – that is 10 weeks.  So, that means you don’t want to be guessing or assuming your period came when it ‘normally’ does when taking abortion pills. It just isn’t safe. So why risk by guessing at all? You can know your EGA by having an ultrasound before taking the abortion pill.

I would encourage you to slow down for a minute and consider coming in to see us at Alcove Health where all our services are free – including our ultrasounds.

It is very rare that we make good decisions when we are stressed, pressured, or surprised by unexpected news. Not having all the information we need to make an informed decision can put us in a place of regret in the future. The “what-ifs” and “if I had known” thoughts play in our heads on repeat. Whatever decision you make is lifelong, so don’t make a decision while in “panic mode.” We want to be the safe place for you to slow down, talk, process your feelings, and consider your next steps with accurate medical information so you can make the best decision for your reproductive health. Call us today or click here to request an appointment.

By Kinta, RN, BSN, Nurse Manager

April 26, 2022

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4 Things to Consider before an Abortion

4 Things to Consider before an Abortion
4 Things to Consider before an Abortion

4 Things to Consider before an Abortion

Processing your options and receiving medically evidenced information will give you the information you need to consider before an abortion

Making a decision about an unplanned pregnancy is never easy. Being free to choose means understanding all options and resources available. There are some things to consider before an abortion, that’s why it’s so important to have an abortion consultation. At Alcove Health, we care and we want to help. We are here for you. Click here to make an appointment today with one of our compassionate staff members.

Abortion is one of your three pregnancy options. There is vital information that you need to know before proceeding with an abortion. You deserve to know any risks that can occur during an abortion. You also need to know what abortion procedures are available to you. Below you will find 4 important things to consider before an abortion.

1. A Laboratory Grade Pregnancy Test

Get your pregnancy confirmed with a laboratory-grade pregnancy test prior to moving forward with an abortion. This will confirm the results of your at-home pregnancy test, as there is still a chance for inaccurate results. Schedule a confidential pregnancy test at no cost to you at Alcove. Our team of nurses can help you get the clarity you need.

2. Verify the Viability of the Pregnancy

After confirming your pregnancy through a laboratory-grade pregnancy test, verify the results with an ultrasound. An ultrasound reveals three vital details about your pregnancy, all of which are important to consider before an abortion:

    • The viability of your pregnancy (Is there a heartbeat?)
    • The location of your pregnancy (Is the pregnancy in the uterus?)
    • How far along you are (What is the gestational age?)

An ultrasound also indicates if you are miscarrying or have an ectopic pregnancy (a pregnancy growing outside of the uterus). In either of these cases, an abortion procedure would not be necessary, but it could be a medical emergency and you would need to seek medical care.

3. The Importance of STI Testing

Whether you have a positive or negative pregnancy test this is a good time to consider STI testing to ensure that you have not been exposed. All women considering abortion should be evaluated for STIs, even if they are not experiencing any symptoms, to ensure that there are no possible complications. It is important to know that undiagnosed or untreated STIs can have a negative impact on any future pregnancies that you may have.

4. Abortion Education and Options Consultation

Before an abortion, you will want proof of a confirmed pregnancy through a pregnancy test and an ultrasound. Once you have confirmed you have a viable pregnancy, it’s important to learn about the procedures available to you. Our registered nurses will give you all the medical information you need, including abortion education. Understanding your body and what will happen during an abortion is vital to your reproductive health. Having a safe space to discuss all your options with a trained client advocate is just as crucial.

Processing your options and receiving medically evidenced information will give you the information you need to consider before an abortion. Women facing an unplanned pregnancy often feel alone and unheard. We are here for you and we want to help. Click here to make a no-cost appointment today or call us at 757-591-8141.

By Sylvia, Client Advocate

February 8th, 2022

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Unplanned Pregnancy

Facing an unplanned pregnancy and not sure what to do next? At Alcove Health all of our services are FREE...

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When Did I Get Pregnant

Woman trying to determine conception date
Woman trying to determine conception date

When Did I Get Pregnant?

"The good news is that you don't have to try and figure any to this out on your own." 

When did I get pregnant?

Did you just get an unexpected positive pregnancy test? And now you’re asking yourself, when did that happen?

There is really no way to determine exactly when you conceived but there are a few ways you can get an estimated time frame, which can be helpful.

Before we get started with trying to determine when you conceived it is important to note that the ovulation window is when a woman is most likely to get pregnant/conceive.  Ovulation is when the egg leaves the ovary and generally happens 14-16 days before a woman has her menstrual cycle.  So, now let’s look at ways to try and figure out when this happened.

The first is the “easiest”- and that would be if you knew when you ovulated.  If you do, yay you- most of us are not that in tune with our bodies.  Some women use an app to track ovulation or some notice physical changes such as ovulation pain, increased cervical mucus, or an increased sex drive.  If you know when you ovulated, you likely got pregnant within 3 days of that ovulation date.

The second way would be to use the first day of your last menstrual period (LMP).  If you have a typical 28-day cycle then chances are you ovulate 11-21 days from your LMP; this gives you a conception window

It is important to remember that sperm can live in the body for up to 5 days after intercourse, so if you had multiple partners within your conception window it will be very difficult to know who the father is without genetic testing.

The third and most accurate way is to have an ultrasound done to date the pregnancy.  An ultrasound can give you:

      • The estimated age of the pregnancy
      • An estimated due date
      • A more accurate conception window 

The good news is that you don’t have to try and figure out any of this on your own.  Here at Alcove Health, in Newport News, we have trained Registered Nurses available to perform limited free ultrasounds to help you answer the question,”When did I get pregnant?” Even better, all of our services are provided at no cost, in a confidential, judgment-free environment. 

You are not alone.  We can help you get answers.  We can help walk you through all of the necessary information so that you can be empowered to make an informed decision that is best for you.

Call us today.  We are easy to reach – just click here to schedule an appointment.   You can be certain that you will get the medical services and care you need and deserve at Alcove Health in Newport News.  We’re here for you. We see you and we can help.   

 

By Kinta, RN,BSN, Nurse Manager

September 13, 2021

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Woman trying to determine conception date

When Did I Get Pregnant

Did you just get an unexpected positive pregnancy test? And now you’re asking yourself, when did that happen? There is...

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