Do I need an Ultrasound before an Abortion?

You may be thinking, “I’ve already made up my mind to have an abortion. Why would I need an ultrasound first?” In fact, an ultrasound is a very important step before going through with an abortion procedure.

One out of every three known pregnancies ends in miscarriage. An ultrasound can determine if a pregnancy is viable, meaning likely to carry to term.

A positive pregnancy test can indicate that you are pregnant, but it does not determine if your pregnancy is in utero, that is, in the uterus. Ectopic pregnancies (sometimes called “tubal pregnancies”) are when the pregnancy implants and grows in the fallopian tubes rather than in the uterus. With an ectopic pregnancy, you can get a positive pregnancy test result, but it can’t be detected as ectopic without an ultrasound. Ectopic pregnancies are not viable (likely to carry to term), and if they are not detected, they can be life threatening to the mother. You can have the abortion procedure, but if the pregnancy is not in the uterus, the abortion will not be complete – you may think that the pregnancy has been ended, but the baby continues to grow in the fallopian tubes, posing a continually increasing threat you, the mother.

There are various abortion methods, and they can be dependent on how far along your pregnancy is. An ultrasound can determine how many weeks pregnant you are.

At Collage Center, we can provide a free limited OB ultrasound to determine if your pregnancy is viable. If it isn’t, you can avoid the risks and costs – physical and emotional – that are associated with abortion. Remember that you have time to get all the facts before rushing into anything. We are here to provide a safe, non-judgmental environment for you to process through this big decision – no matter what. 

There are 12 comments .

Sathish —

Thanks,now we have settled mind after reading your blog.

Reply »
Angela —

When I became pregnant last October, I had an extreme case of nausea and vomiting starting at the third week. My health was already compromised from a horrible reaction to a medication the previous June. I sought an abortion because I could not stop vomiting and was losing a massive amount of weight. They could not see anything on the ultrasound and made me wait 2 weeks before trying again. I ended up hospitalized because I was refused an abortion when one was sought, and the hospital found a gestational sac at 6 weeks that was in my uterus, but was determined non-viable. They scheduled a D and C at the hospital for the next day, but my doctor called it off the next morning because there was a “small chance” it still may have been viable. For that reason, they said they could not do the procedure at the hospital and that I would have to seek an abortion again at a clinic. The day the hospital released my records to me so that I could schedule an abortion at a clinic, I miscarried at 7 weeks, and bled until the end of February this year. I now have stomach ulcers from the vomiting that ensued over that time period and have to take acid reducing medication. I also lost 10% of my body weight from lack of nutrition.

My point is that ultrasound can be useful before an abortion, but it can also massively hinder and hurt a woman who is in a vulnerable health position. Even states that do not require ultrasound before abortion often do it anyway, but I am sure I’m not the only person who has been hurt by a practice that otherwise is often seen as beneficial, and doctors need to more carefully weigh their choices in these scenarios.

Reply »

    Wow, thank you for sharing your story with us. We’re so sorry to hear about some of the difficulties you’ve had to walk through and certainly understand how your circumstances have led you to feel so strongly about this. Our sincere hope is that your body is able to heal and you can move forward.

    Thanks again for your transparency Angela.
    Collage Medical Team

    Reply »
Carol —

I am two week pregnant. It’s an unplanned pregnancy. We are not ready for this baby. I was looking for some abortion information or some clinic which give me good suggestion in this time , one of my friends has suggested me about “A Woman’s Haven”, the team it seems help us in making an informed decision. We are planning to meet with them.

Reply »

    Hi Carol,

    It sounds like you’re in a really difficult situation. I’m so glad you have friends who are helping you! I haven’t heard of A Woman’s Haven but I do know that you absolutely deserve to have people around you who can help you make an informed decision! Good job in slowing down and thinking things through! When you meet with the team at a Woman’s Haven, be sure to ask lots of questions. Maybe even consider writing some down before you go.

    I know you mentioned that you are two weeks pregnant. If you haven’t already, it would be really good for you to have a lab quality urine test to verify your pregnancy. Another important step for you to consider would be to have an ultrasound to actually confirm the pregnancy. This helps to determine if the pregnancy is viable, meaning, that the pregnancy is located in the uterus and there is a heartbeat. In addition, it would tell you for sure how far a long you are. We have lots of patients who think one gestation age and then learn something different from the ultrasound. Knowing exactly how far along you are is important to determine which type of abortion procedure would be required. You deserve to know all of this before you make your decision.

    I just want to encourage you to take a deep breath… ok. now, just remember that you don’t have to have everything figured out right now. You just have to know the next right step. And it sounds like you’ve got that one covered so you’re doing good!! Don’t lose hope! I believe in you!!

    A Collage Team Member

    Reply »
Lucy —

I think im about 14/15 weeks pregnant, I only recently done a test, I haven’t had any symptoms. Im young and don’t think its fair if I have my baby when im not physically and mentally ready.
Will I need a scan be to sure how far gone I am before if I do go through with an abortion?

Reply »

    Great question Lucy.

    If you’ve taken a positive pregnancy test at home that’s an indication that you may be pregnant, but only an ultrasound can confirm if the pregnancy is viable, meaning that it’s located in the uterus and there’s a heartbeat. In addition, it would tell you how far along you are which is important to determine which type of abortion procedure would be required. Here at Collage we offer lab quality urine tests and limited OB ultrasounds.

    It sounds like you’re facing a situation that you don’t necessarily want to be in. That’s always tough. We never want anyone to walk through a hard situation like this alone. People often times find that it helps to talk through their pregnancy options, get answers to questions and address any concerns with someone that can be a safe person to them.

    If we can be of any help to you as you’re walking through this, feel free to call us at either our Grand Island or Kearney location.

    We’re so glad you reached out to us Lucy. You’re not alone in this.

    Collage Team Member

    Reply »
Lindsay Gelman —

Dear College Center,
I was wondering if you knew a site I could visit or perhaps send me more information on Ectopic Pregnancy and how an ultrasound confirms it. Everywhere I’ve read, it seems it is more that blood work confirms the Ectopic Pregnancy but I could be wrong!

Reply »
Jojo —

I’m a rape victim and the worse of it all is that I’m pregnant. I went for scan two weeks ago and the doctor said he isn’t seeing anything in my womb but the test was positive. I’m rhesus negative and I want to abort the pregnancy. Do I still need the rhogam shot after the abortion? I know definitely I will go for another scan before the abortion but what if he still doesn’t see my foetus? What will be my fate?

Reply »

    Hi Jojo

    I’m so sorry for the heartache that you’re walking through from this violation. I don’t know what kind of thoughts you’ve had as a result of this, but I want you to know that this is NOT your fault. You didn’t mention if you reported the person who assaulted you. If you haven’t, I’d encourage you to report this individual to the police if you know who the perpetrator is. Your safety going forward is so important. Also, don’t walk through this alone. This is a time to have your support system around you. Find someone you trust who you can share the details of your story with like a parent, a friend, a teacher, a counselor, or a pastor.

    It sounds like you’re taking steps to care for yourself physically by going to the doctor, knowing your blood type and seeking advice. Great job! Here’s a link that should answer your question about the Rhogam shot – why it’s given and how it works.

    As far as your pregnancy, no matter what pregnancy decision you make, it’s important to know if it’s even a viable pregnancy which can only be done through an ultrasound. By viable I mean, that the pregnancy is implanted in the uterus (not ectopic) and that there’s a heartbeat. You’re smart to go for another ultrasound since they weren’t able to determine these things at your first visit. Even if you’re planning to have an abortion, this is important information to know as there’s no need for you to go through an abortion procedure that has costs and potential risks involved if it’s not a viable pregnancy. If your doctor doesn’t see any progression in the pregnancy within the proper time frame, then it’s likely not a viable pregnancy and your doctor will advise you on your next best steps.

    Taking time to gather info about all of your pregnancy options is also important to ensure you’re making the best possible decision for your future. If you’re interested, here’s a resource that walks through all of your options: 
    If you need someone to talk to about these things, feel free to call us at one of the numbers on our website.

    It’s not uncommon for someone who has been raped to experience anxiety, depression, guilt, shame and fear. It might be crucial to reach out for help from a trained professional to deal with the trauma of what has happened to you. Being able to share the details of your situation with a trusted professional can be healing. Many counselors are even utilizing different types of technology the clients have access to during this time of social distancing. 

    Here’s one last link to a blog that you may also find helpful.

    When you’ve had time to heal, I hope you will wear the banner of an OVERCOMER! I wish you the very best Jojo!

    A Collage Team Member

    Reply »

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