If you’re considering an abortion, use this checklist first. It is important to have all the information you need to be empowered to make the best decision for you.
Following this “before an abortion checklist” could save you the pain, inconvenience, and cost of an abortion. We care about you.
Follow this Before an Abortion Checklist
1. Make sure you’re pregnant
Try not to panic. Just because you are showing pregnancy symptoms does not necessarily mean you are pregnant. Before you begin thinking about abortion, first take a pregnancy test. Home pregnancy tests can sometimes be inaccurate.
At Parkville Women’s Clinic, we offer free in-clinic medical-grade urine pregnancy tests that are 99% accurate to help you be sure whether you are pregnant.
2. Make sure your pregnancy is viable
Even with a positive pregnancy test, it is possible that the pregnancy isn’t viable due to the hormones still in your body. A viable pregnancy means a developing fetus is present and has a heartbeat with the potential for a live birth. As many as 20% of pregnancies end on their own before 12 weeks. If a pregnancy ends in a natural miscarriage without you knowing, your pregnancy test could still be showing positive.
A pregnancy test alone is not a reliable source to confirm viability. It is important to ensure your pregnancy is viable before you put your body through an unnecessary abortion.
Our free limited OB ultrasound can help confirm the viability of your pregnancy.
3. Check to see where your pregnancy is growing
Sometimes, a pregnancy may begin to grow outside of the uterus. This is called an ectopic pregnancy and can be life-threatening to you. It’s important to rule out an ectopic pregnancy as it can become more dangerous to your health as the pregnancy grows.
Taking the abortion pill without ruling out an ectopic pregnancy can be life-threatening. While you might experience abortion symptoms after taking the abortion pills, you may still be pregnant. This can mask the signs of a rupturing ectopic pregnancy and put you at risk for internal bleeding.
An ultrasound can check where your pregnancy is growing.
4. Find out how far along you are
An ultrasound helps determine your estimated gestational age (how far along you are in your pregnancy). Your gestational age influences what abortion option you may be eligible for and how much it will cost.
Taking the abortion pill after 10 weeks of pregnancy has not been approved by the FDA and increases your risk for an incomplete abortion, hemorrhage, retained placenta, or the need for a blood transfusion from heavy bleeding. It is important to know your gestational age before having an abortion.
5. Get tested for Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)
Having an abortion with an undetected STI (also referred to as an STD) can increase your risk for complications during the procedure and may affect your future reproductive health. Having an abortion while infected with chlamydia or gonorrhea (two of the most common STIs) can lead to Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID). PID can cause lifelong damage to your reproductive organs and lead to future ectopic pregnancies or infertility.
Because most women do not have symptoms with chlamydia or gonorrhea, it is important to get tested before an abortion to rule out infection and protect your health.
Parkville Women’s Clinic offers free STI testing and treatment.
6. Discover all of your pregnancy options
No matter how scared you are, abortion is not your only option. Talk to a licensed medical professional about options and resources for your specific situation. You don’t have to rush to make a decision. Take the time to really understand both the short-term and long-term effects of each choice.
We are here for you to talk through your fears, concerns, and pregnancy options.
7. Understand specifics of abortion procedure risks and complications
We believe you deserve to be fully informed. Before deciding, educate yourself on how each abortion procedure is performed, how it will affect your body, and what complications are possible. Our medical professionals at Parkville can talk you through these specifics and make sure you feel confident in your pregnancy decision.
Schedule an appointment today.