Abortion is a premature ending of a pregnancy.
It is estimated that, in the United States, about six million women become pregnant every year.
Out of them, 50% are unintended.
Unwanted childbirths will be noticed for every 1 out of 10 newborns.
It is also estimated that about 1.3 million women choose abortion every year.
Abortions can occur for several reasons including failure of contraceptives (birth control), unready for pregnancy, inability to support a baby, pregnancy resulting from rape or incest, mental conditions that endanger the health if pregnancy is continued, abnormal growth of fetus and so on.
Most of the abortions will be performed in the first trimester (first three months of pregnancy). If you are considering abortion, this is an important time for knowing as much as you can about ending of a pregnancy.
Gynecologist, your family doctor (if trained), physician assistant can perform abortion. Before you can receive an abortion, you should undergo certain examinations and tests including: a medical history, a physical exam, and some laboratory tests.
Some tests will be done to diagnose a pregnancy and to confirm if any health conditions that need special considerations. You must also attend a counseling to discuss regarding your abortion alternatives. A physical examination before an abortion takes place.
Physical exam includes: examination of blood pressure, heart rate, listening to your heart and lungs, pelvic-exam to determine the size and shape of your uterus. The pelvic-test can help estimate the number of weeks of your pregnancy.
The laboratory tests include: A urine pregnancy test to determine whether you are pregnant or not. There are chances of missing a menstrual cycle for some reason, such as stress and not because of your pregnancy.
A blood test to determine: whether you have anemia (low blood levels) or not. If you are anemic, then your health professional will suggest you to take some iron supplements before and after an abortion.
With blood tests, your doctor will determine your blood type and Rh-negative in your body. If you are Rh-negative, then a vaccine called Rh immune globulin will be given after the termination of pregnancy.
A urine test will be done to confirm whether you have a Urinary infection. Screening tests to identify Sexually-transmitted-diseases (STDs) if you are at high risk for an STD. Actually, this is not a routine test to be done before an abortion but will be performed to reduce the complications, such as an infection, after your abortion.
Although a Pap smear is not a routine test before an abortion, it is done to check for cervical cell abnormalities (dysplasia), if you are due for one.
An ultrasound scanning will be done to verify the uterus size and shape and also to determine whether more than one embryo or fetus is present. A trans-vaginal ultrasound is the most accurate method of determining the extent of the pregnancy in the first trimester and can detect an early pregnancy about 1 week before an abdominal ultrasound.