Before pursuing an abortion, a woman should obtain high-quality pregnancy testing, an ultrasound, and STI testing. These steps are necessary before an abortion to protect the health and safety of the woman.
If you have already tested at home, following up with a free, high-quality pregnancy test, like those offered for free at Life Options Clinic, is a wise next step. While not common, false positives can occur with home pregnancy testing. False positives may be a result of misreading the directions. For example, applying too much urine to the test or waiting too long to read the results can cause an evaporation line to appear on the test strip, which can be mistaken for a positive result.
After a positive pregnancy test, an ultrasound is the next step toward protecting a woman’s safety while she considers her options. An ultrasound may sound like an unnecessary step, especially if you are considering an abortion, but it provides essential details about your pregnancy.
- Viability: Though a pregnancy test may give a positive result, ultrasound is the only way to confirm a pregnancy’s viability. Miscarriage occurs naturally in around 20% of pregnancies. Pregnancy tests may still indicate a positive result for weeks following a miscarriage. Ultrasound can accurately confirm a pregnancy’s viability by visualizing the embryo’s or fetus’s heartbeat.
- Date: Abortion procedures vary in eligibility, determined partly by how far along a pregnancy is. For example, the abortion pill is only FDA-approved for use in pregnancies under 10 weeks. An ultrasound will provide an estimated length of pregnancy.
- Location: Abortion will not resolve an ectopic pregnancy (a pregnancy located outside the uterus.) This life-threatening condition requires immediate intervention to protect the health and safety of the woman. Diagnosis through ultrasound is crucial.
Obtain a free ultrasound at Life Options Clinic.
Whether a woman has symptoms of an STI or not, she must be tested before an abortion. Untreated STIs can be spread during an abortion, increasing the risk of a severe condition called pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) as a complication. PID can lead to chronic pelvic pain and future infertility.
Get a referral for free STI testing and treatment at Life Options Clinic.
If you are considering abortion and are unsure where to start, let Life Options Clinic help. We provide essential pregnancy services and evidence-based education, so you have everything you need to make the choice that is right for you. Contact us for a free appointment today.