Woman asking what she needs to know before visiting an abortion clinicWhether you’re deciding if abortion is right for you or trying to plan for your upcoming appointment, there are a few important steps you will want to take to ensure that you’re informed and prepared about your pregnancy decision. To help you in this time, we’ve put together a list of quick questions to ask yourself before visiting the abortion clinic.

If you answer “no” or “I’m not sure,” you may want to consider scheduling a consultation with your local women’s pregnancy center to receive a free medical consultation with free pregnancy testing and an ultrasound scan, to ensure you’re staying safe, informed, and healthy during this process.

1. Do you know if your pregnancy is viable?

Pregnancy tests do a great job of identifying pregnancy-related hormones; however, they won’t be able to tell you if your pregnancy is viable or not. A viable pregnancy is one that would make it to term and survive outside of the womb. An ultrasound scan is the best way to confirm that your pregnancy is viable or if you could be at risk for miscarriage.

If your pregnancy is not viable, you will want to talk to a medical professional, as a typical abortion process will not be necessary, and could potentially be unsafe for you. 

2. Do you know how far along you are?

There are many forms of abortion —  including the abortion pill and various types of surgical procedures — and your eligibility for each will depend largely on the gestational age of your pregnancy. In order to determine which abortion is right (and safe) for you, you’ll need to confirm how far along you are through an ultrasound scan.

3. Do you know where your pregnancy is located?

All viable pregnancies are located in the uterus, however, some pregnancies begin to develop in other parts of the body, which is considered an ectopic pregnancy. Ectopic pregnancies are nonviable and can be extremely dangerous and potentially fatal if left untreated.

Before you schedule your abortion, it’s important to rule out ectopic pregnancy through an ultrasound scan.  

4. Have you received STI/STD testing since learning about your pregnancy?

If you’re sexually active, there’s a chance you could be infected with a sexually transmitted infection (STI), also called a sexually transmitted disease (STD). Many STIs can lay dormant or be present without any symptoms, so it’s crucial that you are tested regularly. Undergoing an abortion procedure while infected with certain STIs can lead to the spread of the infection to other parts of the body and serious conditions like sepsis and septic shock. 

Visit your local women’s center to learn about STI testing and treatment options.

5. Are you informed regarding the potential health risks related to abortion?

Part of making an informed choice for your pregnancy is learning about the potential risks and side effects related to abortion. 

Abortion may be accompanied by side effects such as bleeding, cramping, nausea, diarrhea, dizziness, lethargy, and weakness. In addition to these common side effects, you may experience more severe health risks, such as hemorrhaging, infections, and sepsis.

6. Have you taken the time to consider all of your pregnancy options?

If you’re experiencing an unplanned pregnancy, you have three options — abortion, parenting, and adoption. In order to make a confident choice, you’ll want to consider the pros and cons of each and inform yourself of the resources and support available to you depending on the choice you make. 

Robbinsdale Women’s Center is here to help you navigate this difficult decision, access free pregnancy health resources and testing, and answer any questions you have regarding your options! 

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