Do you think you might be unexpectedly pregnant? Have you already taken a pregnancy test and the results were positive? A positive pregnancy test result may be causing you some anxiety, but don’t panic. The first thing you’ll want to do is have an ultrasound performed to determine whether your pregnancy is viable.
Attleboro Women’s Health Center offers free ultrasounds to women who have had a positive pregnancy test result at our center. Learn more about why you should have an ultrasound below and then make your appointment today. One support person is always welcome.
what an ultrasound does
An ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves to project an image of the inside of the uterus onto a screen. Having an ultrasound performed can tell you a variety of factors about your pregnancy. The first thing an ultrasound does is confirm that you are actually pregnant by showing the fetus on the ultrasound screen. The next thing the ultrasound tech will do is try to find a heartbeat. If there is no heartbeat detectable, it may still be too early or it may mean that you could naturally miscarry.
An ultrasound will also determine how far along you are by measuring the size of the fetus compared to the estimated conception date. Finally, an ultrasound will also detect the location of the pregnancy. If the fetus is growing somewhere outside of the uterus, it may be an ectopic pregnancy which could be life-threatening.
miscarriage & Ectopic pregnancy
According to the Mayo Clinic, 10 to 20 percent of all known pregnancies end in miscarriage. A miscarriage is when a pregnancy naturally ends, typically before the 20th week of pregnancy. Most miscarriages happen during the first 8 to 10 weeks and can be caused by a variety of reasons, including:
- Chromosomal abnormalities in the fetus
- Hormonal imbalances with the mother
- Thyroid disease
- Uterus or cervix problems
- Uncontrolled diabetes
If during your ultrasound, we believe you may miscarry, we will refer you for immediate medical assistance.
An ectopic pregnancy is when the embryo or fetus begins developing in a place outside of the uterus, typically in the fallopian tubes. Because there is not enough room in the fallopian tubes for a pregnancy to develop fully, it can cause severe damage to your body as the pregnancy develops. If we determine during your ultrasound that your pregnancy is not developing in the uterus, we will refer you for immediate medical assistance.
After having an ultrasound performed and confirming that your pregnancy can be carried to term, the next step is to start considering your options. You may already have an idea in your head of how you’d like to proceed with your pregnancy, but it’s important to take your time in learning about each of your options – abortion, adoption, and parenting – so you can make the most confident, educated decision for your unique situation.
We offer options education in a private, non-judgmental environment. We do not profit from your pregnancy decision, so you can rest assured that the information we give you is accurate, unbiased and meant to educate and empower you. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you through your unplanned pregnancy.