As misinformation fills the internet, we want to debunk myths about pre-abortion ultrasounds. In particular, we want to address myths about getting an ultrasound before you have an abortion.
Like any medical procedure, an abortion can carry serious risks. An ultrasound is one of several precautions that help prevent problems and protect your health. It’s essential for every pregnant woman, no matter the choice you make for your pregnancy or how far along you are.
Abortion safety: Debunking myths about medical pre-abortion ultrasounds
Myth #1: Ultrasounds aren’t medically necessary
Doctors recommend ultrasounds for every pregnancy – and for a good reason. An ultrasound is the only way to learn:
- How far along your pregnancy is – Generally, women ovulate two weeks after their period. That’s why a doctor may use the first day of your last period to estimate the age of your pregnancy. Many women, however, don’t have a regular cycle. The estimated age could be weeks off, putting the woman at risk for complications related to the pregnancy or an abortion, if she has one. Also, some women have implantation bleeding when the pregnancy starts.
- If your pregnancy is ectopic – In up to 5% of pregnancies, the egg implants outside of the uterus. As your pregnancy progresses, the growing embryo can rupture the organ it has implanted in. Your body may show all the signs of a normal pregnancy, but you will need immediate medical treatment to remove the pregnancy before it ruptures. An ultrasound is the best way to identify an ectopic pregnancy before it threatens your life.
- If you’re having a miscarriage – Often, sonographers can see that you’re having a miscarriage before you have any symptoms. The ultrasound can show if the embryo isn’t growing as expected, if the egg sac is abnormal, or if the embryo has already expired.
A pre-abortion ultrasound is the best way to truly understand your pregnancy options. It will show if you’re too far along (more than 10 weeks) to take the abortion pill. Ultrasounds are also the best way to reveal any abnormalities (such as an ectopic pregnancy) that require medical care other than an abortion.
Make sure you have the information you need to make safe decisions about your health and your future.
Myth #2: Ultrasounds are dangerous for my health
This myth likely comes from a confusion between X-rays and ultrasounds. X-rays use a small amount of radiation to create an image of your bones and organs. This tiny amount of exposure isn’t enough to hurt you unless you have numerous X-rays.
Ultrasounds, on the other hand, use sound waves to create an image of your organs. Like any other sound waves, this imaging is completely harmless. It won’t hurt you or your pregnancy.
Myth #3: Ultrasounds are expensive
Ultrasounds can be expensive if you’re using them to learn the gender or get extra pictures. A health-related pregnancy ultrasound, however, doesn’t have the same costs.
In fact, at Thrive Orlando, your ultrasound is completely free! Our nurses and sonographers will check your pregnancy and give you the information you need to protect your health. Our radiologist will also check the results of your scan to help you plan your next steps.
You can receive a no-cost pregnancy test, ultrasound, and STD testing/treatment during your appointment. You’ll also have the chance to get all the info you need about your resources, options, and pregnancy.
Myth #4: I only need an ultrasound if I keep my pregnancy
As you can see, an ultrasound is essential to caring for your health. Even if you plan to get an abortion, you need to know if you have an ectopic pregnancy, if you’re having a miscarriage, and how far along you are.
Without this information, you may experience serious complications.
The abortion pill, for example, won’t end an ectopic pregnancy. The FDA warns that taking the abortion pill with an ectopic pregnancy may lead to life-threatening complications.
Put your health first. Let an ultrasound equip you to make the best choice for your pregnancy.