You had a positive result from your pregnancy test and are considering abortion as an option for your pregnancy. Before any abortion procedure can occur, there are a few steps you need to take first.
STEP ONE: CONFIRM YOUR PREGNANCY TEST RESULT
Whether you had a positive or negative result from a store-bought test at home, you should confirm those results with a lab-quality pregnancy test. Many factors, such as time of day, medical conditions, medications, pregnancy viability, and how soon after a missed period you took a test can affect your results. This could lead to a false positive or a false negative reading.
Many home pregnancy tests claim to be 99 percent accurate at detecting pregnancy. However, accuracy differs from test to test, and there is always room for human error. Research conducted through Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis has shown that up to 5 percent of pregnancy tests show a false negative result.
STEP TWO: RECEIVE AN ULTRASOUND
After you have had your pregnancy confirmed, you’ll need to know some valuable information that can only be revealed from an ultrasound scan. An ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves to produce an image of the inside of your uterus.
Measurements from an ultrasound help to date your pregnancy and determine gestational age, which determines what method of abortion you might have. An ultrasound can also be used to assess fetal cardiac activity and measure the heartbeat.
One critical use of an ultrasound scan is to indicate if a pregnancy is developing outside of the uterus, which is known as an ectopic pregnancy. There may also be chromosomal abnormalities that could lead to a pregnancy that is not viable, such as in the case of a blighted ovum or molar pregnancy.
The Mayo Clinic claims that up to 20% of known pregnancies end in a natural miscarriage, and an ultrasound can be used in some cases to determine if a pregnancy has ended or is likely to end in a miscarriage.
STEP THREE: EDUCATE YOURSELF
Once you know how far along you are and if your pregnancy is viable, your next step is to educate yourself about the types of abortion procedures. How far along you are in your pregnancy determines what kind of abortion you might have.
The two main methods of abortion are chemical and surgical, and both carry physical and psychological risks.
Some risks include:
- Incomplete abortion
- Heavy bleeding
- Diarrhea and digestive pain
- Allergic reaction to the medications
- Cervical damage
The decision to abort is never easy. It’s life-changing and should never be decided quickly. The only way to make an informed decision is to be fully educated.
STEP FOUR: GET STD TESTING
Your final step is STD testing. If an STD is left untreated and you pursue an abortion procedure, severe complications could occur.
An abortion procedure increases the risk of bacteria from outside the body or from the vagina being carried into the cervix. Instruments passing through the infected area can pass that bacteria into the reproductive system.
Women who have an untreated STD and have an abortion are more likely to develop Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) following a procedure. Like STDs, PID symptoms may be mild or difficult to recognize, and some women do not initially show any symptoms. When signs and symptoms of PID are present, though, they often include:
- Pain in your lower abdomen and pelvis
- Abnormal or heavy vaginal discharge
- Unpleasant vaginal odor
- Abnormal uterine bleeding
- Pain during intercourse
- Fever and chills
- Painful, frequent, or difficult urination
TAKE YOUR STEPS TODAY!
If you are considering abortion, Alpha Center can help you take your next steps with lab-quality pregnancy testing, limited ultrasound services, abortion information, and STD testing, all free of charge.
Start by scheduling an appointment for a free, confidential, lab-quality pregnancy test and consultation. During the consultation, our trained staff will review your result and help you take your next steps.
“Ectopic Pregnancy.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 12 Mar. 2022, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/ectopic-pregnancy/symptoms-causes/syc-20372088.
“Flaw in Many Home Pregnancy Tests Can Return False Negative Results.” Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, 31 Dec. 2019, https://medicine.wustl.edu/news/flaw-in-many-home-pregnancy-tests-can-return-false-negative-results/.
“Home Pregnancy Tests: Can You Trust the Results?” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 24 Feb. 2021, https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/getting-pregnant/in-depth/home-pregnancy-tests/art-20047940.
“Medical Abortion: What Is It, Types, Risks & Recovery.” Cleveland Clinic, https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/treatments/21899-medical-abortion.
“Miscarriage.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 16 Oct. 2021, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/pregnancy-loss-miscarriage/symptoms-causes/syc-20354298.
“Obstetrics and Maternity Care: Vero Beach, FL, Sebastian, FL: Cleveland Clinic Indian River Hospital.” Cleveland Clinic Indian River Hospital | The Right Care, Right Here., 25 Oct. 2021, https://ccirh.org/service/labor-delivery/articles/2821/.