Pre-Abortion Safety Checklist

Get the facts

Pre-Abortion Safety Checklist Worcester, MA

Get The facts

The Choice Is Yours

If you’re facing an unplanned pregnancy and want help with your next steps, visit Problem Pregnancy.  Problem Pregnancy provides free pregnancy tests, limited ultrasound, and abortion consultations.  Contact us to talk with someone about your situation and learn about all of your options.  All of our services are free and confidential.

Pre-Abortion Safety Checklist

Ending a pregnancy is never an easy choice. If you’re considering abortion, it’s natural to have questions and concerns. You are not alone. Read on for a pre-abortion checklist and the necessary steps to take before making an abortion decision.

Step 1: Confirm Your Pregnancy

While this may sound like an odd question, are you sure you are actually pregnant? Some doctors or clinics require a professional pregnancy verification before allowing you to make an appointment with them regarding your pregnancy. This pregnancy verification can serve as the proof of pregnancy for insurance companies, community agencies that provide services (like the W.I.C. program), and employers, and may be needed if you obtain an abortion.  Problem Pregnancy can provide you with a proof of pregnancy form for free.

Step 2: Verification Ultrasound

Once your pregnancy is confirmed, you then need to confirm that it is a “viable” pregnancy; that the pregnancy is consistent with your cycle dates.  You might not know that 1 in 5 pregnancies end in miscarriage on their own, with the majority of miscarriages occurring during the first trimester of pregnancy. Getting an ultrasound can be an important next step in evaluating all your pregnancy options.

The best way to ensure that you have a viable pregnancy is through a verification ultrasound.  Ultrasounds tell you the location of your pregnancy (in the uterus vs. the fallopian tubes, where it is called an ectopic pregnancy) and the approximate gestational age of your pregnancy, which determines what abortion procedures are available to you.

We offer pregnancy verification ultrasounds in Worcester,  free to clients who meet our screening criteria.

At Problem Pregnancy limited obstetrical ultrasounds are performed to:

  • Confirm pregnancy
  • Confirm an intrauterine pregnancy
  • Detect fetal heartbeat
  • Determine approximate fetal age
  • This ultrasound examination will not determine gender, fetal abnormalities, and/or problems.

Step 3: Learn About Your Abortion Options

There are two types of abortion procedures: medical/(pill) and surgical. If you are less than 10 weeks along into your pregnancy, medical abortion (more commonly known as the abortion pill) is available to you. After 10 weeks, the abortion pill is not medically advised; surgical abortion options, such as suction and curettage (S&C) or dilation and evacuation (D&E), are then offered. In S&C abortions, a suction machine and a curette — a thin, loop-shaped knife — are used to remove the fetus from your uterus; this is the most common abortion procedure. For D&E abortions, the same tools are used in conjunction with forceps, as this procedure is typically only performed on women with advanced pregnancies.

The cost of abortion will vary based on several factors including your insurance coverage, the location of the provider, and how far along you are. If money is a concern, remember we offer abortion education and a verification ultrasound confidentially and at no cost. Contact Problem Pregnancy at 508-507-8378 to schedule an appointment.

Step 4: Learn About the Side Effects

Lastly, you should be aware of the side effects and risks of abortion procedures. Surgical and medical abortions share some side effects, such as abdominal cramping, pain, nausea, and heavy bleeding. However, surgical abortions are more invasive. In rare cases, the procedures can cause damage to your uterine lining or cervix, which may make it harder for you to become pregnant in the future. It is also important to note that terminating a healthy pregnancy before 32 weeks increases a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer.

Before you have any elective procedure it’s important to know the potential impact it could have on your body and future health. Risks and side effects vary by the type of procedure and how far along you are.  

It is important to note that there can be serious, lingering emotional effects from abortion procedures.  Short term effects are due to the hormonal changes that occur during and after pregnancy, but abortion can take a long-term mental toll as well. Often referred to as Post Abortion Stress Syndrome, its effects are different for each woman and can present in many different ways. Emotional complications from abortion appear to occur much more often than physical side effects.

Step 5: Make the best decision for you

As with any medical procedure, it’s important you know all the facts and risks before making any decisions. At Problem Pregnancy in Worcester, MA our experienced and caring counselors are available to discuss with you any questions you may have regarding having an abortion, the barriers you face to continuing a pregnancy, as well as abortion procedures and physical and emotional risks associated with abortion. We are here to educate you on all of your options so that you can make an informed decision. It is your pregnancy, your right to know, and your decision. If you’re considering abortion and want to learn more, we’d love to meet with you.

You Are Not Alone

Most importantly, remember you are not alone as you consider your options. Problem Pregnancy is here to empower and equip you to make an informed decision. 

Call or schedule an appointment at Problem Pregnancy.

Questions & Answers

According to the Mayo Clinic, an estimated 10-25% of all clinically recognized pregnancies will naturally end in a miscarriage. “Miscarriage”, medically known as “spontaneous abortion”, is the common term used to describe a natural end to a pregnancy. Problem Pregnancy offers a limited ultrasound to qualified women to confirm a viable (developing), intrauterine (in the uterus) pregnancy. In many cases, the ultrasound can be performed during the same visit.

If fetal viability is not established, then you are a candidate with a high probability of miscarrying. Miscarriage is your body’s natural way of ending a pregnancy. In a case like this you would not need the pain, cost, and risk of an abortion!

  • Severe cramping of the uterus or pelvic pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Emotional or psychological distress
  • Abdominal pain and cramping
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Back pain

Medical abortion information from the Mayo Clinic 

Some of the most common surgical abortion procedures include manual vacuum aspiration, dilation and curettage, and dilation and evacuation. If you choose to have a surgical abortion you may want to consider an ultrasound-guided procedure as they have been determined to result in fewer complications.

The risks for any surgery are: Hemorrhaging (bleeding) and Infection

Additional risks of surgical abortion include:

  • Excessive bleeding (hemorrhaging)
  • Infection of the uterus
  • Infection of the fallopian tubes which can cause scarring and infertility
  • Puncture or perforation of the uterus
  • Scarring of the uterine lining (suction tubing, curettes, and other abortion instruments may cause permanent scarring of the uterine lining)
  • Damage to the cervix creating complications with future pregnancies
  • Death, in rare circumstances

Other risks can include:

  • Premature births with future pregnancies
  • Incomplete removal of the fetus, placenta or contents of the uterus

It may be possible to reverse the effect of the abortion pill. If you change your mind after taking the first abortion pill, mifepristone, time is of the essence. For more information, call the Abortion Pill Reversal Hotline 877-558-0333.

Before taking the Morning After Pill, you should understand what it is, what it could mean to your health and how it works. 

The “morning after pill” is a large dose of oral contraceptive known as Plan B One -Step. It is a single pill you take by mouth. It must be taken within 72 hours (3 days) after unprotected sex or birth control failure to help prevent pregnancy.

Plan B is believed to act as an emergency contraceptive principally by preventing ovulation or fertilization. In addition, it may inhibit implantation. It is not effective once the process of implantation has begun. Plan B is intended to avoid potential pregnancy, so it is important to confirm you are not pregnant before taking this emergency contraception option.

If your period is more than a week late, it is possible that you may be pregnant. You should get a pregnancy test and follow up with your health care provider or come to Problem Pregnancy for a pregnancy test and consultation.

  • Emergency contraception is not effective if a woman is already pregnant.
  • Plan B should not be used as routine contraception
  • Plan B does not protect against HIV infection (AIDS) and other sexually transmitted infections.
  • The most common side effects in the Plan B clinical trial were nausea, abdominal pain, fatigue, headache, and menstrual changes.
  • Because Plan B makes the uterus inhospitable to the developing embryo, it may lead to an ectopic pregnancy
  • The manufacturer warns that Plan B is not recommended for routine use as a contraceptive
  • Use of Plan B may result in an ectopic pregnancy. If you experience severe lower abdominal pain 3-5 weeks after taking Plan B, seek medical attention.

Problem Pregnancy does not provide emergency contraception but can provide you with education and pregnancy testing.

The price of an abortion can range from several hundred to several thousand dollars. The final cost is dependent on multiple factors: how far along you are in your pregnancy, what type of abortion you have, your health insurance, the type of clinic you go to, and your choice of anesthesia.