For those taking abortion pills without having reliable access to an ultrasound or doctor, there is no official way to rule out an ectopic pregnancy. Ectopic pregnancies are those which attach to the inside of the fallopian tube, rather than in the uterus. Ectopic pregnancies left untreated can be incredibly painful and can survive a medical abortion with mifepristone and/or misoprostol.
It is the most secure to have an ultrasound before you take your abortion pills to rule out ectopic BEFORE you start your abortion. An ectopic pregnancy is not viable, meaning it is impossible for it to mature to birth. An ectopic pregnancy left untreated can burst your fallopian tube and create problems for your future fertility.
Ectopic pregnancy symptoms may include:
- Pain that happens on one side of your abdomen
- Abnormal bleeding
- Nausea or vomiting
Ectopic pregnancies should be treated with Methotrexate rather than Mifepristone. If you suspect you have an ectopic pregnancy, or have pain that is unmanageable, it is especially important to seek medical attention. An ectopic pregnancy can be life-threatening, and termination of the pregnancy should not be self-managed.
If you DO NOT have access to an ultrasound before your self-managed abortion, pay attention to your body after the abortion. An ectopic pregnancy will keep growing in your fallopian tube after you have taken your pills, and you may need additional medical help to remove it.