What difference does my personal medical history make if I want an abortion?

You may have already decided that you want to have an abortion, but before you move ahead, there is another important step in the process. Many women do not stop to consider their personal medical history before they make a final decision. Because abortion is a serious medical procedure, some of the risks of abortion may be higher for women with certain medical conditions or certain factors in their medical history. Some things that should be explored include:

• When were you last tested for STDs?
• Do you have Rh negative blood type?
• Do you have or are you at risk for Pelvic Inflammatory Disease?
• Do you have an ectopic pregnancy?
• Do you desire to have children in the future?
• Have you had an abortion before?

These issues and others should be considered before you have an abortion. The Pregnancy Clinic offers free counseling, ultrasounds, and STD testing prior to abortions. Understanding your personal medical history can be an important part of your future.

 

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Can I change my mind after taking the Abortion Pill?

1. Are you pregnant? A missed period often causes a woman to think she may be pregnant. However, there can be other reasons for a missed period. Have a test done and get the results confirmed before you make an abortion decision. At the Pregnancy Clinic our tests are laboratory grade urine tests and they are free!

2. How far along is your pregnancy? Knowing how far along you are in the pregnancy is an important aspect of the decision making process. Up to 30% of early pregnancies end in miscarriage, so if your pregnancy is early, some other things should be considered. At the Pregnancy Clinic, many of our clients qualify for a free ultrasound to determine how far along a pregnancy is and if it is viable (alive).1 Find out for free if your pregnancy will even continue before you make an abortion decision.

3. Do you have an STD? If you are planning to have a surgical abortion and have not been checked for STDs since you became pregnant, you should take this important step first. An untreated STD can be aggravated by a surgical abortion, causing damage to your body now and also putting your future reproductive health at risk.2 We test for STDs at the Pregnancy Clinic and testing is free!

Having the answers to these questions is a critical part of your decision making process. At the Pregnancy Clinic we want to provide you with helpful information that will promote good physical and mental health.

Call today for an appointment to meet with a counselor and get the answers to your questions. All services are free.


1. Wilcox AJ, Weinberg CR, O’Connor JF, et al. Incidence of early loss of pregnancy. N Engl J Med. Jul 28 1988;319(4):189-94. Petrozza, John C. “Recurrent Early Pregnancy Loss.” Recurrent Early Pregnancy Loss. Medscape
2. Pelvic Inflammatory Disease. National Institutes of Health Medline Plus Web site. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/pelvicinflammatorydisease.html. Accessed July 20, 2013.

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Do I have to tell my parent?

While state laws vary, if you are under 18, the laws of the state where you are seeking an abortion, not the state you live in, will apply. In Maryland, the law states that if you are under 18 years old, one parent (or legal guardian) must be notified of your decision to have an abortion prior to the procedure. However, you may qualify for an exception in the professional judgment of the abortion provider.1 You can see our previous blog post about more details regarding parental notification.

The reason for these types of laws is that abortion is a serious medical procedure. If there are complications, you may need a parent or another adult to help you seek medical attention.

Although it can be difficult to talk to parents about an unplanned pregnancy, you are not alone. At The Pregnancy Clinic, you can speak openly about all of your options with a caring counselor who will protect your privacy. Pregnancy Clinic counselors can also help you make a plan for how to discuss your situation with the important people in your life.

The sonogram is another important aspect of your decision making process. Before you make any decision about how to move forward, get a sonogram to find out whether or not your pregnancy is viable (alive). You may not even need an abortion since up to 30% of pregnancies end in miscarriage. A pregnancy test cannot tell you if your pregnancy is going to miscarry. Sonograms are available free at The Pregnancy Clinic and do not require parental notification.

Set up your free consultation and free sonogram today.

 

1. Abortion Consent Laws. American Women’s Services Web site. http://www.americanwomensservices.com/faq/abortion_consent_laws.php Accessed August 6, 2013

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Do I need anyone else’s consent in order to get an abortion?

There are two types of parental involvement laws regarding abortion: notification and consent. If you are not an emancipated minor under 18, these laws apply to you. A “Parental Notification” law means that a parent or guardian must be notified before a minor undergoes an abortion procedure. A “Parental Consent” law means that a parent or guardian must give permission before a minor undergoes the procedure.

State laws vary on parental involvement for minors under 18 who are seeking abortion services. If you are under 18, the law in the state where you are seeking an abortion, not the state in which you live, will apply. If parental consent or notification is required, the consent or notification of any other person will not be accepted as a substitute.

In Maryland, the law states that if you are less than 18 years old, one parent (or legal guardian) must be notified of your decision to have an abortion prior to the procedure. Some minors may qualify for an exception in the professional judgment of the abortion provider.1

If you do not live in Maryland, here is a list of other states and their laws regarding parental involvement.

However, there is no parental involvement required for you to make an appointment at the Pregnancy Clinic. You can come to our clinic to get the facts, find out how to talk to your parents, and find out whether or not you’re pregnant and if the pregnancy is living. We can help!

Make an appointment today.

CALL US TODAY

 

1. Abortion Consent Laws. American Women’s Services Web site. http://www.americanwomensservices.com/faq/abortion_consent_laws.php Accessed August 6, 2013.

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I’m not sure if I want an abortion

When faced with an unexpected pregnancy, there are three options: Abortion, Adoption, and Parenting. You might have mixed feelings about all three options. You might feel totally alone, with doubts and fears about your choices. If you’re not sure which option is right for you, that’s ok. This is your decision, no one can make it for you, and only you know what’s in your heart. So take the time to get informed, know your options, and evaluate your decision without external pressures.

Factors to consider

Your plans for your reproductive health, your life experience, your beliefs, and your current medical condition are all factors to consider in your decision. Take the time to talk about these things, considering both the short and long term risks and consequences of each choice, with a trained counselor who can listen to you without judgment and without having a financial stake in your decision.
That’s why the Pregnancy Clinic offers our services entirely for free. We will not make money from your decision no matter what you choose, so you’re in a position to feel free to discuss your questions, concerns, and thoughts in a caring, comfortable environment.

3 Choices

1. Adoption: Placing a baby for adoption is not like it used to be. There are many options when it comes to how you want your child to be raised in another home. You can choose an adoptive family who meets your criteria, and you can have more or less involvement in the future based on your personal preferences.
2. Abortion: Have you considered what type of abortion you’ll be having? Do you know exactly how far along you are or if your pregnancy is living? Are you aware of the various risks and side effects of the procedures? Do you know what questions you’re going to ask the abortion clinic or abortion provider?
3. Parenting: What would parenting look like for you? Who would support your choice and how would you make it work for you and your child? What resources will you need and where can you look for them?

To make your decision, you need information. The first step is to find out whether or not you’re pregnant and if the pregnancy is living. We can help!

Make an appointment for your consultation today.

 

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What if I have an ectopic pregnancy?

What is an ectopic pregnancy?

Ectopic pregnancy is a potentially life-threatening condition in which an embryo implants outside of the uterus, most often in the fallopian tubes, which may cause the tube to burst.1 Ectopic pregnancy is a leading cause of death in first trimester pregnancies.2 Ectopic pregnancy requires specific medical intervention and cannot be terminated by a standard surgical abortion.3

Certain factors that increases your risk

The risk of ectopic pregnancy is increased by certain factors in a woman’s medical history. Sometimes these factors create a chain reaction which can lead to ectopic pregnancy. For example, if a woman has had a previous abortion or has an undiagnosed STD, she has an increased risk of developing Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, also known as PID.4 Women who use an intrauterine device (IUD) for birth control are also at greater risk for developing PID.4 PID is an infection of the reproductive organs and is characterized by inflammation of those organs.5 The inflammation created by PID then increases the risk of ectopic pregnancy.6 Women who have PID may or may not have any symptoms, so they may also not be aware that they are at greater risk for ectopic pregnancy.5

Signs of an Ectopic Pregnancy

It is important to know that an ectopic pregnancy cannot be terminated by either The Morning After Pill or the abortion pill, however, these medications can mask the symptoms of ectopic pregnancy, causing it to go undiagnosed.7 Some of the signs of Ectopic Pregnancy include vomiting, lower abdominal pain, sharp abdominal cramps, dizziness or weakness.8 In the case of these symptoms, please contact your health care provider and immediately go to the emergency room.

Even if you do not have any symptoms, it is important to rule out ectopic pregnancy before you proceed with an abortion decision. A pregnancy test alone will not determine whether or not your pregnancy is ectopic. However, the Pregnancy Clinic offers pre-abortion ultrasounds, which may help to determine whether or not your pregnancy is ectopic.

We can give you the information you need. If you haven’t had a viability ultrasound, make an appointment with us today.

 

1. Ectopic pregnancy. What is ectopic pregnancy? Planned Parenthood Web site. http://www.plannedparenthood.org/health-topics/pregnancy/ectopic-pregnancy-4259.htm. Accessed August 4, 2013.
2. Mignini L. Interventions for tubal ectopic pregnancy; RHL commentary (last revised: 26 September 2007). The WHO Reproductive Health Library; Geneva: World Health Organization
3. http://www.webmd.com/baby/tc/ectopic-pregnancy-treatment-overview
4. Blackwell, A. L Et. Al. “Universal prophylaxis for Chlamydia trachomatis and anaerobic vaginosis in women attending for suction termination of pregnancy: an audit of short-term health gains.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S. National Library of Medicine Web site. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10471099?dopt=AbstractPlus.  Accessed August 4, 2013.
5. http://www.cdc.gov/std/pid/STDFact-PID.htm
6. Parazzini F, Ferraroni M, Tozzi L, Ricci F, Mezzopane R, La Vecchia C. Induced abortions and risk of ectopic pregnancy. Hum Reprod. 1995 Jul;10(7):1841-4.
7. Mifeprex Questions and Answers; Questions 21-23. Food and Drug Administration Web site. www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/PostmarketDrugSafetyInformationforPatientsandProviders/ucm111328.htm. Accessed August 4, 2013.
8. “Ectopic Pregnancy: Symptoms, Risk Factors, Diagnosis, and Treatment.” WebMD. WebMD, http://www.webmd.com/baby/guide/pregnancy-ectopic-pregnancy . Accessed Febuary 4, 2015.
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Should I get STD tested before an abortion?

At the Pregnancy Clinic, we recommend STD testing prior to abortion to prevent undiagnosed STDs from spreading farther into the reproductive system.1 At most abortion clinics, STD testing prior to an abortion is not a routine procedure.2 Also, the abortion clinic may charge additional fees for testing. We offer free STD testing for women in each of our three locations.

Could I have an STD?

STDs (sometimes called sexually transmitted diseases, STIs, or sexually transmitted infections) are infectious conditions that are passed from one person to another during sexual activity. In the U.S., 1 in 5 people has an STD. In fact, every year there are an estimated 19 million new STD infections in the U.S. alone.3 Nearly half of all new STD cases occur in people ages 15 to 24. If you’ve engaged in any type of sexual activity, you’re at risk for STDs. Condoms provide some degree of protection against the spread of STDs, but STDs – including HIV – can still be transmitted even when condoms are used perfectly.4 Condoms can also slip, break, or have defects. Also, since condoms do not cover the entire genital area, STDs that are spread by skin to skin contact can still be passed even when a condom is used. Some people who are infected do not experience any symptoms, so they may not know they have an STD. It’s important to be tested for STDs to be sure you’re not infected, even if you don’t have any symptoms.

STDs and Abortion

Before you undergo an abortion procedure, it’s important to be tested for STDs. Undiagnosed STDs may cause complications following your abortion procedure, including Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID). Bacteria can enter the reproductive tract during an abortion procedure leading to a pelvic infection, which is the most common complication of abortion.5,6 Women who have abortions are more likely to develop PID after their procedure.7,8
PID can lead to serious consequences including infertility and ectopic pregnancy. When PID is caused by a chlamydia infection, a woman may be more likely to experience only mild symptoms even when serious damage is being done to her reproductive organs.9

If you are considering abortion and would like to have free STD testing done prior to your procedure, schedule a consultation with us today.

 

1. Stevenson, M. M., and K. W. Radcliffe. “Preventing pelvic infection after abortion.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S. National Library of Medicine Web site. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8547409?dopt=AbstractPlus. Accessed August 4, 2013.
2. http://www.webmd.com/women/tc/abortion-exams-and-tests Accessed January 31, 2015.
3. Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs). Center for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/std/default.htm Accessed August 4, 2013.
4. Scientific Evidence on Condom Effectiveness for Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) Prevention [Workshop June 2000], Summary report of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, NIH. DHHS. July 20, 2001.
5. Pelvic Inflammatory Disease. National Institutes of Health Medline Plus Web site. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/pelvicinflammatorydisease.html. Accessed July 20, 2013
6. Pelvic Inflammatory Disease. Mayo Clinic Web site. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/pelvic-inflammatory-disease/DS00402. Accessed July 20, 2013.
7. Patel S, Baxi RK, Kotecha PV, Maxumdar VS, Mehta KG, Diwanii M. Association between pelvic inflammatory disease and abortions. Indian J Sex Transm Dis. 2010 Jul-Dec; 31(2): 127–128. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3122592/. Accessed August 4, 2013. Pelvic
8. Inflammatory Disease. National Institutes of Health Medline Plus Web site. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/pelvicinflammatorydisease.html. Accessed July 20, 2013.
9. Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) – CDC Fact Sheet. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Web site. http://www.cdc.gov/std/PID/STDFact-PID.htm Accessed August 6, 2013.


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Why should I come to the Pregnancy Clinic instead of taking a home test?

The Pregnancy Clinic offers a free laboratory grade pregnancy test. While at-home tests may be very accurate, they can be mishandled or misread. Additionally, a pregnancy test cannot determine if your pregnancy is viable, (meaning living). The test can detect whether or not the pregnancy hormone (HCG) is present in your urine, but a viability ultrasound is necessary to determine whether or not the pregnancy is living. At The Pregnancy Clinic, viability ultrasounds are also available for clients who qualify.

The Pregnancy Clinic is a medical non-profit organization, which means that we offer our services totally for free. These services can help you find out whether or not you are actually pregnant, whether or not that pregnancy is living (viable), and how far along your pregnancy is. Why do we do this for free? We care about your health and safety! We do not perform or refer for abortion, facilitate adoptions, or provide prenatal care. This means that we have no financially vested interest in your decision. In other words, because we are completely free, we don’t profit from your decision—no matter what you choose. We can give you the information you need without judging or pressuring you.

Many of our clients sheepishly confess to having taken two, three, or even four pregnancy tests at home before breaking down and coming in to The Pregnancy Clinic to clear up the nagging doubts and get confirmation. Why do women take so many tests at home and still feel uncertain about the results or about what to do next? Quite simply, they need the comfort and confidence provided by our caring counselors, who can not only run the test, but can also talk with them about the results and even more importantly, talk about how those results may impact their lives. Our staff, counselors, and medical professionals can give a woman the answers she needs. So don’t delay any longer!

Make your appointment today.


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How safe is the Abortion Pill?

The term “abortion pill” is a misnomer. The medical (or medication) abortion can be an injection or combination of two pills or medications. The Abortion Pill (Mifeprex) is FDA approved to terminate pregnancies up to 7 weeks (49 days) from the LMP.1

Many women choose medication abortion thinking that it will be less painful or difficult than a surgical abortion procedure. After all, you can do at least part of the procedure in the comfort of your own home instead of an abortion clinic.

However, the abortion pill has specific risks and side effects that are different from the risks associated with other abortion procedures, and many women find that it is more difficult and less safe than they first realized.

Furthermore, some abortion clinics or abortion providers are using the medications “off label,” which means that they are not following the FDA guidelines. A woman considering a medication abortion needs to know the right questions to ask her provider in order to find out if the abortion clinic is using this medication in ways that meet FDA guidelines.
Before you choose medication abortion, make an appointment to get detailed information from a source that does not stand to profit from your decision one way or the other. A pregnancy test can’t tell you if your pregnancy is viable (living) or not. It is important to get the facts about this procedure, as well as the facts about the status of your own possible pregnancy, before moving forward. Our trained counselors and medical staff can give you the information you need.

Schedule your consultation today.



1. Mifeprex medication label. Food and Drug Administration Web site. http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2005/020687s013lbl.pdf. Accessed August 4, 2013. pp. 6, 14.

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Decisions

A woman has many decisions to make when faced with an unplanned pregnancy. There are several options when considering abortion.

  • Many women seeking an abortion consider the abortion pill, also known as RU 486 or Mifeprex. The FDA approves this method up to 7 weeks (49 days) from the last menstrual period.1 Although the failure rate and complications increase, some abortion providers will administer the pill up to 9 weeks after the last menstrual period.2
  • Surgical abortion with suction and curettage can be done between 4-13 weeks after the last menstrual period. This is done in an abortion clinic using varying degrees of pain control.
  • Surgical abortion during the second trimester, weeks 13-24, involves dilation and evacuation or D&E. This procedure typically involves 10-24 hours in an abortion clinic.
  • Late term abortions, from about 24 weeks until the end of the pregnancy, take about 2-3 days. This procedure is associated with increased risk to the life and health of the mother.

Up to 30% of early pregnancies may end in miscarriage3 so a sonogram is an important first step before scheduling an abortion. The sonogram can help in determining the viability or capacity for life of the pregnancy, how far along the pregnancy is, and what type of abortion you would be eligible for. Sonograms are available free of charge at the Pregnancy Clinic.

Schedule a consultation now!



1. Mifeprex medication guide. How should I take mifeprex? Food and Drug Administration Web site. http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Drugs/DrugSafety/ucm088643.pdf. Accessed August 4, 2013.

2. Mifepristone questions and answers. Food and Drug Administration Web site. http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/PostmarketDrugSafetyInformationforPatientsandProviders/ucm111354.htm April 17, 2002. Accessed August 4, 2013.

3. Wilcox AJ, Weinberg CR, O’Connor JF, et al. Incidence of early loss of pregnancy. N Engl J Med. Jul 28 1988;319(4):189-94. Petrozza, John C. “Recurrent Early Pregnancy Loss.” Recurrent Early Pregnancy Loss. Medscape Web site. http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/260495-overview Accessed August 6, 2013.

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