An ultrasound can help you determine how far along you are in your pregnancy. Before you consider abortion or seek an abortion clinic, it is important to know how many weeks pregnant you are (the gestational age). Even when you can remember when your last menstrual period began, ultrasound can still be more accurate than relying on your last period date alone.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists state the following: “Ultrasound measurement of the embryo or fetus in the first trimester (up to and including 13 6/7 weeks gestation) is the most accurate method to establish or confirm gestational age” (Committee Opinion, No. 611, 10/2014).
Even though using your last period date (LMP) is a traditional dating method, the accuracy of this practice depends on a regular menstrual cycle of 28 days, with ovulation occurring on the 14th day of the cycle. Using the LMP for dating does not account for inaccurate recall of the LMP or irregular cycles.
In a study by Women’s Health (2005), approximately one half of women remember their last menstrual period date correctly. Even when LMP is known, studies have shown that 40% of women have their due dates altered by more than 5 days after dating by ultrasound (American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 2004).
**PRC Grand Rapids offers free ultrasounds to determine how far along you are in your pregnancy and to see if your pregnancy is viable. Our ultrasounds are performed by licensed ultrasound technicians under the direction of obstetricians. We can come along side you to give you the information you need about your pregnancy to make an informed and empowered decision about abortion.
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