You have three options when considering what to do about your unplanned pregnancy: having an abortion, making an adoption plan, or choosing to parent. None of these is an easy decision to make so you need to look at each option carefully.
The type of abortion you’re eligible for is determined by the number of days (or weeks) you’ve been pregnant. Depending on the length of your pregnancy, you would have either a medication or surgical abortion.
Medication abortion, such as the abortion pill method, can only be performed up to the 70th day from the first day of your last menstrual period (LMP). Surgical abortion is usually required after that date.
Why is there a date restriction for a medication abortion? It’s for your safety. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) writes “Clinicians should counsel patients that medication abortion failure rates, especially continuing pregnancy rates, increase as gestational age approaches 10 weeks (70 days).” In other words, the longer your pregnancy goes on, the greater the possibility of having a failed medication abortion.
In addition, some of the pregnancy tissue could remain in the uterus. If it’s not removed by scraping the uterus with a curette (a spoon-shaped instrument), you may bleed for a long time or develop an infection.
The Abortion Pill Method
A common misunderstanding of the abortion pill method is that you simply pop a pill and your abortion is complete. In reality, the process involves taking two drugs – mifepristone and misoprostol – over a 24 – 48 hour period.
The Mayo Clinic cautions these as potential risks with the abortion pill procedure:
- Incomplete abortion, which may need to be followed by surgical abortion
- An ongoing unwanted pregnancy if the procedure doesn’t work
- Heavy and prolonged bleeding
- Digestive system discomfort
Remember, knowing how far along you are is important when determining if you are eligible for the abortion pill.
The Importance of Ultrasound
As you can see, knowing the date when your pregnancy began is extremely important. The dates for a medication vs. a surgical abortion are very specific. An ultrasound is the best way to determine this date.
What Is Ultrasound?
Ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves to produce images of the inside of your uterus.
The sound waves are transmitted through a gel placed on your abdomen. A technician rubs a device known as a transducer through the gel to pick up the echoes of the sound waves.
You’ll learn three very important facts through ultrasound.
How Far Along Is Your Pregnancy?
The sound waves from the ultrasound are recorded and transformed into images. Those images allow the technician to take measurements to get a better estimate of the number of days you’ve been pregnant.
Is Your Pregnancy Viable?
A viable pregnancy is growing. According to the Mayo Clinic, one in four known pregnancies ends in a natural miscarriage early on. Ultrasound is used to detect a heartbeat. If there’s no heartbeat, you’ve either already miscarried or you’re too early in your pregnancy to detect one.
Where Is Your Pregnancy Located?
If your pregnancy is located somewhere other than the uterus, it’s referred to as an ectopic pregnancy. While rare, an ectopic pregnancy can be life-threatening. Ultrasound reveals if your pregnancy is located in the correct area.
Started The Abortion Pill Procedure But Changed Your Mind?
It’s not unusual to start the abortion pill process and then change your mind. There is a possibility you can still continue your pregnancy. If you’ve only taken the first drug in the procedure, call the abortion pill reversal 24/7 helpline at 1-877-558-0333. They will connect you with a medical professional in your area who can guide you towards reversing the effects of the abortion pill.
Are you in need of an ultrasound?
At Turlock Pregnancy and Help Center, we offer ultrasounds at no cost to you so you can get as much information as possible about your pregnancy. We want you to be confident about your choice for your pregnancy. Call now and schedule an appointment to talk with us and receive a no-cost ultrasound.