An ultrasound is the next best step after a positive pregnancy result to protect your health and safety. It’s also the only way to verify if you’re pregnant. 

In addition to this key reason, there are three more to note if you’re considering an abortion.

1. Verify Your Pregnancy’s Gestational Age

An ultrasound verifies your gestational age. Your pregnancy’s gestational age can determine your options and what abortion procedures you may or may not be eligible for. 

The FDA only approves the abortion pill through the first ten weeks (70 days) of pregnancy. After this timeframe, surgical abortion might be considered safer for your situation. 

Also, Michigan law currently restricts abortion after the age of viability (around 24-26 weeks), when a fetus can survive outside of a woman’s body, except in cases of life endangerment.

An ultrasound will take measurements so you can know your pregnancy’s gestational age and options with certainty.

2. Screen for Miscarriage

“Viability” also has another meaning earlier in pregnancy. 

During a first ultrasound, a sonographer or nurse looks for several signs that your pregnancy is developing as expected, including a fetal heartbeat. If they detect one, they determine your pregnancy is viable, meaning it’s progressing and you haven’t miscarried.

Around 10-20% of known pregnancies end in miscarriage, which is the sudden loss of a pregnancy before 20 weeks. Because women can miscarry without realizing they were ever pregnant, the number could be even higher. 

If an ultrasound reveals a miscarriage, you might need additional treatment, but not an abortion because the pregnancy has already ended naturally. This will help you know if an abortion is even necessary or if you need a treatment that your insurance would cover instead. If you need an abortion, you will likely have to pay out of pocket.

3. Identify Ectopic Pregnancy

Ectopic pregnancy is another type of non-viable pregnancy. It happens when an embryo attaches and grows outside the uterus. If left untreated, it can lead to life-threatening bleeding.

An ultrasound will verify if a pregnancy has implanted inside the uterus or if it’s ectopic. If ectopic, the next step is emergency medical care.

While ectopic pregnancy only happens in about 2% of pregnancies, it’s a good idea to check just in case to prevent severe complications.

Is it Time for an Ultrasound? 

If you received a positive pregnancy test result, it’s time for an ultrasound.

Schedule a no-cost ultrasound scan at Sienna Women’s Health to find out critical health information about your pregnancy and understand your available options.