Most people don’t need an ultrasound. But we recommend them for patients who have an increased risk of ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy outside the uterus) or who may have pregnancies further along than we can safely manage on our platform. Should you need an ultrasound, we do ask that you seek care with another abortion provider for safety.
An ultrasound is a machine that uses sound waves to measure your pregnancy, uterus and other internal organs. If you had an ultrasound for this pregnancy it would have been reported to you based on the number of weeks into your pregnancy you were and/or your expected due date if you were to continue your pregnancy.
As a member of the National Abortion Federation, we follow the Clinical Policy Guidelines for Abortion Care. There is not good science showing that antibiotics are helpful prior to a medication abortion. In our experience antibiotics are more likely to cause a vaginal yeast infection than offer any benefit in medication abortion.
Rh testing to determine blood type is not needed prior to an abortion at less than 12 weeks. There is very good science showing it is not medically necessary to have a Rhogam shot (for people with negative blood type) prior to a first trimester abortion.
We use high dose ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), which is a type of NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug), for pain control. Other examples of NSAIDs include naproxen (Naprosyn), aspirin, nabumetone (Relafen) and meloxicam (Mobic). If you are allergic to NSAIDs or ibuprofen we do not have another pain medication we can offer. You may still get a medication abortion but it should be with a different provider.
Ectopic pregnancies are those that occur outside of the uterus, most commonly the fallopian tubes. Ectopic pregnancies are rare, but having had one before increases your risk of future episodes. It can be a medical emergency.
Pelvic inflammatory disease is an infection in the uterus, ovaries and/or fallopian tubes most commonly caused by sexually transmitted infections. Having had PID in the past increases your risk of pregnancies outside of the uterus.
An intrauterine device (IUD) is a T-shaped plastic device inserted by a health provider in the uterus to prevent pregnancy. If you have an IUD in place, or an IUD placed in the past but never removed, you may be at increased risk of having a pregnancy outside the uterus.
Bleeding disorders that may not be safe for medication abortion include Von Willebrand Disease, hemophilia, and thrombocytopenia (low platelets). If you are not sure whether you have a bleeding disorder please contact your regular doctor or see our resources page for in person care options. Anemia is not considered a bleeding disorder.
Anemia – or low blood levels – is very common because of blood loss with your menstrual cycle over time. This iron deficiency anemia – as well as sickle cell anemia or sickle cell trait – is not usually a major safety concern for medication abortion unless you have lightheadedness or if have needed a blood or iron transfusion.