The process of taking the abortion pill seems simple — pop a few pills and wait — right? 

The reality is, a medical abortion is a medical procedure and can be accompanied by various risks and side effects that should be considered before deciding if it’s right and safe for you.

One of the best ways to gather information regarding your unique pregnancy condition is to schedule an appointment for an ultrasound exam. It is in the best interest of your health to have an ultrasound before taking the abortion pill, but not all providers require it.

Ultrasounds are imaging scans that use soundwaves to create images of internal organs, blood vessels, and structures within the body. They are most often used to show images of developing pregnancies within the womb and provide pregnant women and their doctors with valuable information.

While many women assume ultrasounds are just for women who are planning to carry their pregnancy to term, an ultrasound is an essential step in any pregnancy decision, including abortion.  

Here are three important facts you’ll learn from your ultrasound scan: 

1. The location of the pregnancy

Ultrasound scans are helpful in identifying ectopic pregnancies. An ectopic pregnancy is when a fertilized egg has started to develop outside of the womb and in another part of the woman’s belly, like the fallopian tubes. This is an extremely dangerous and potentially life-threatening condition and needs to be addressed immediately. 

2. How far along I am

An ultrasound will tell you how far along you are and what stage of pregnancy you’re in. This piece of information is especially valuable to women considering the abortion pill. According to the CDC and FDA, medical abortions are completed within the first 10 weeks of pregnancy. Even if you keep careful track of your cycle and think you know how far along you are, an ultrasound is the only way to know for sure.

3. If the pregnancy has heart activity

A viable pregnancy is a pregnancy that has a chance of making it to term and surviving outside of the womb. While a pregnancy test will indicate whether your body is producing the pregnancy hormone hCG, or Human Chorionic Gonadotropin, it will not be able to tell you if the pregnancy is continuing. An ultrasound will help evaluate the fetus’s viability, which might provide you with clarity on your pregnancy options. 

What do I need to do before I take the abortion pill? 

We want you to feel informed, empowered, and confident when making a decision for your pregnancy! Dove Medical’s qualified staff will help you confirm your pregnancy with lab-quality pregnancy testing and provide you with a limited obstetric ultrasound exam.
It can be helpful to take time to explore the information and resources available to you. If you need help exploring your pregnancy decision, the staff at Dove Medical is here for you! 

All ultrasound exam results are read by one of our physicians who makes the diagnosis of pregnancy.