Why do I need to get an ultrasound before an abortion?
FREQUENT QUESTION #4: Why do I need to get an ultrasound before an abortion?
Abortion is the elective termination of a pregnancy that is viable (i.e., would be able to proceed and result in the baby’s live birth if left alone).
An ultrasound before abortion is needed for a number of reasons:
To be viable, a pregnancy must also be inside the uterus.
An ultrasound examination can assure that your pregnancy is in the correct location (i.e., is not a tubal pregnancy) and can assess if there is a miscarriage or blighted ovum (empty egg) present.
These events (tubal pregnancy, miscarriage, blighted ovum) have been reported to occur in as many as 20-25% of pregnancies (perhaps higher in first pregnancies).
If one of these situations exists, then abortion may be medically unnecessary or potentially hazardous and inappropriate surgery.
In fact, abortion isn’t even the right word for resolving these types of abnormal pregnancy events.
Most of these abnormal pregnancy diagnoses also have numerous alternative methods of treatment that you should discuss with your medical provider.
It is important to add that all of these conditions (tubal pregnancy, miscarriage, blighted ovum) will include positive urine/blood tests.