Shouldn’t a late period and a positive pregnancy test be enough to confirm a pregnancy?

You would think it would be, but experts estimate over one in four pregnancies ends in a miscarriage. Ultrasound is the only way to determine if your pregnancy is growing or if you have miscarried.

Learn about the three reasons you need an ultrasound first before having an abortion.

1. You May No Longer Be Pregnant

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) estimates that as many as 26% of all pregnancies end in a miscarriage. Most of those occur in the first trimester (under 12 weeks).

If the ultrasound detects a heartbeat, the pregnancy is growing. If it doesn’t detect a heartbeat, you’ve either miscarried or it is too early in your pregnancy.

Because it takes days or even weeks for your body to return to pre-pregnancy hormone levels, it is possible to get a positive pregnancy test after a miscarriage. There is no reason to schedule an abortion or order abortion drugs if you have already miscarried.

2. Your Pregnancy Could Be In the Wrong Location

Although rare, your pregnancy may be growing in the wrong location. A pregnancy that forms outside of your uterus is called an ectopic pregnancy. The pregnancy may occur in an ovary, a fallopian tube (which leads to the uterus), or even in your abdomen.

Because it’s growing in the wrong place, an ectopic pregnancy cannot proceed normally, and the pregnancy will not survive. However, it will continue to grow for a time, becoming life-threatening if left untreated.

You will still have typical pregnancy symptoms and a positive pregnancy test. Warning signs might be light bleeding or pelvic pain.

An ultrasound can determine the location of the pregnancy to verify it is not ectopic.

3. How Far Along Your Pregnancy Is

The FDA approves the use of abortion drugs through 10 weeks of pregnancy only (70 days from the first day of your last period). The first drug, mifepristone, in the abortion pill method is highly regulated.

After the ten-week timeframe, a surgical abortion may be considered a safer option for you.

An ultrasound can quickly date your pregnancy, so you know how long you’ve been pregnant. You’ll need this information if scheduling a surgical abortion as well.

How Can PCS Health Help You?

We offer a free and confidential pregnancy confirmation appointment. Your confirmation includes a pregnancy test. If the test is positive, we will schedule you for a no-cost, limited obstetrical ultrasound.

Get the facts about your pregnancy with an ultrasound before an abortion. You owe it to yourself to be safe and prepared. We’ll get you the information you need. Schedule your appointment today.

*PCS Health does not perform or refer for abortions.