If my pregnancy test came back positive, why do I need an ultrasound?

A limited pregnancy ultrasound tells you very important information about your health. This is crucial regardless of which option you are considering for your pregnancy:

  • Where in your body the pregnancy is located
  • How far along you are in your pregnancy
  • If you are still pregnant despite the positive test

Where is the pregnancy located?

In at least 1 out of every 50 pregnancies, the embryo implants somewhere other than in the uterus. Most commonly it implants in a fallopian tube. This is called a tubal or ectopic pregnancy. This is life threatening to you if not treated. In fact, 1 in 6 women in the emergency room with first trimester bleeding or pain turn out to have an ectopic pregnancy. It must be treated with medicine or surgery, NOT the same medicine or surgery provided for an abortion. If an abortion (medical or surgical) is done in a woman with an ectopic pregnancy, the ectopic pregnancy will be missed until rupture and hemorrhage occurs. An ultrasound prior to an abortion would identify that the pregnancy is not in the uterus and an immediate referral to a physician for correct treatment would then be provided.

How far along am I?

You may have an estimate of this from your last period, or you may not, but it’s important to know for sure. A limited pregnancy ultrasound gives you the most accurate answer. This will help you make plans whether you’re considering an abortion, adoption, or parenting.

The abortion pill can only be considered through the first ten weeks of pregnancy. If you are beyond 10 weeks, you would need to pursue a surgical option. Guessing can be dangerous, it can lead to hemmorhage and an emergency procedure with increased risks.

Am I still pregnant?

If you have been pregnant before, you may know that the pregnancy hormone can stick around in the blood and urine for a while after a miscarriage, or when the heart has stopped beating but the miscarriage has not yet occurred. This results in a pregnancy test being positive when you are actually no longer pregnant. A limited pregnancy ultrasound will show if there is still a pregnancy in the uterus and whether or not there is a heartbeat. In this case, depending on the size of the pregnancy, a woman can avoid unnecessary surgery and let the miscarriage happen naturally after consultation with a physician.

What can I expect during an appointment at Options Care Center?

A pre-abortion screening with limited ultrasound will range between 45 and 90 minutes. A licensed registered nurse or physician’s assistant who have specialized training in sonography will perform your ultrasound if they determine you are eligible.

An ultrasound creates images from sound waves. We use this tool with a gel that is applied to your abdomen to help the nurse see your uterus and pelvis to tell you what is going on with your pregnancy. During the ultrasound, the nurse will walk you through the process and explain the findings.

After the ultrasound is complete, you’ll have the opportunity to discuss any questions or concerns you may have with your nurse and continue to plan the next steps. Your support person is welcome to come with you to your appointment whether it be a significant other, friend, or family member.

Call: 703-536-2020 or schedule your free pre-abortion screening today, or please call with any questions or to get more information. Your health is in your hands and you are not alone.