If you’re facing an unplanned pregnancy and considering abortion, there are essential steps to take that can protect your health.
Read on to learn more about what’s needed before an abortion.
Looking to talk to someone in person about your pregnancy options? Contact PHC of Central Missouri to speak with one of our caring team members. They’re here to provide information and listen to your questions.
1. Get an Ultrasound
An ultrasound is the number one most important step to take before scheduling an abortion. This harmless scan provides the key information you need to know to stay safe, such as:
- Age of pregnancy—since a medical abortion is only FDA-approved if your pregnancy is under 10 weeks, you’ll need to know how old your pregnancy is before seeking an abortion.
- Location of your pregnancy—this rules out a life-threatening ectopic pregnancy, which requires emergency medical treatment and not an abortion.
- Viability of your pregnancy—roughly 26% of all pregnancies end in miscarriage, and sometimes you can have a miscarriage without obvious, immediate symptoms. An ultrasound can reveal whether you’ve had a miscarriage. If so, an abortion isn’t an option.
At PHC of Central Missouri, we offer free ultrasounds. Contact us today to schedule your confidential appointment.
2. Review Your Medical History
According to Mayo Clinic, medical abortion isn’t an option in certain situations, including:
- If you’re too far along in your pregnancy—you shouldn’t attempt a medical abortion if your pregnancy is more than nine weeks (after the start of your last period).
- If you have an intrauterine device (IUD) currently in place
- If you have a suspected ectopic pregnancy
- If you have certain medical conditions, including bleeding disorders, certain heart or blood vessel diseases, severe liver, kidney, or lung disease, or an uncontrolled seizure disorder
- If you’re taking certain medications, like a blood thinner or steroid medicines
- If you can’t make follow-up visits to your provider or don’t have access to emergency care
- If you have an allergy to the drugs involved
This list isn’t comprehensive, so it’s important to review your medical history and situation with a medical provider before seeking an abortion.
3. Understand the Potential Risks
Abortion is a permanent decision that is associated with potential physical risks. But did you know that there are possible mental health risks as well?
A recent study found that 81% of women who had an abortion after facing an unplanned pregnancy were at an increased risk of mental health problems, including but not limited to substance abuse, depression, and anxiety.
These mental health risks are even more significant if you feel pressured to have an abortion. Another recent study by the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons found that almost 75% of women who had an abortion and felt pressured experienced symptoms of:
- Feelings of worthlessness or being unworthy of love
- Low self-esteem
- Thoughts or attempts of suicide
Before seeking an abortion, understanding the potential physical and mental health effects can help you make and informed and confident decision.
Facing an unplanned pregnancy can feel scary, but you’re not alone. We’re here for you with free pregnancy resources, such as ultrasound, information about options, and more. Contact us today to schedule your free, confidential appointment with one of our caring team members.