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Why a follow up appointment after a positive pregnancy test is vital

If you’ve had a positive pregnancy test, do you need a follow up appointment? If you have an unplanned pregnancy, it’s normal to have mixed feelings. You might feel shocked, scared, confused, or even excited. After all, this wasn’t part of your plan right now. It’s totally normal to have all these feelings rushing through you at once. You’re not crazy.

But what should you do first? 

One of the first (and most important) steps you should take is to see a medical professional. It can be tempting to make a quick decision, or maybe just shut down completely. It’s okay to take your time to process things before making big decisions. You deserve to be informed about all of your options. Maybe you’re considering ordering an abortion pill online. Perhaps you’re just processing and wondering what to do. Regardless of where you’re at right now, there are several important reasons to get medical advice first.

Woman considering whether to schedule a follow up appointment.

What can medical services do for me?

At your initial appointment, you can get a lab-quality pregnancy test to confirm the pregnancy, as well as an STD screening. A follow up appointment might include an ultrasound and your STD screening results. ThriVe+ offers these at no-cost. Home pregnancy tests are pretty accurate, but getting a professional test can give you that extra certainty.

When a pregnancy begins, it’s usually a straightforward process.1

But sometimes, the fertilized egg can implant outside of the uterus. This is called an ectopic pregnancy.1 In this circumstance, there’s a positive pregnancy test, but the pregnancy isn’t developing in the right place.  This is a serious medical situation and needs immediate attention. 

The abortion pill wouldn’t be able to solve an ectopic pregnancy, and can even put you in danger.2 That’s why you need to have a follow up appointment (including an ultrasound) to protect your health.1

Another thing to think about is how far along you are. The abortion pill is only approved by the FDA up to 10 weeks of pregnancy. Without an ultrasound, it’s hard to know exactly how far along you are. Taking the pill beyond 10 weeks can lead to serious complications, in addition to all the other risks.

There’s also the question of what’s called “viability.” This means whether the pregnancy is developing normally and is likely to continue. It’s estimated that 10-20% of  pregnancies end on their own.3 If you are considering abortion and the pregnancy isn’t viable, you might not need to go through the  procedure (and the side effects that come with it—like cramping and heavy bleeding!).4 A nurse at yourThriVe+  follow up appointment can help you understand if this might be the case for you. We really care about your holistic health, and want you to have all the info you need to make your own choice.

Mayo Clinic, Ectopic Pregnancy

AAFP, Use of Mifepristone

Mayo Clinic, Miscarriage

Mayo Clinic, Mifepristone (Oral Route): Side Effects

Knowing all your options is really important. 

Whether you’re thinking about abortion, adoption, or parenting, you deserve to know about what’s a viable option for you. You’re totally qualified to make the best decision for yourself. In fact, you’re the only one who can. And that’s where ThriVe+ can help. We have women’s advocates who can provide you with all the facts. They’ll support you so you can feel confident in your decision.

So, do you need a follow up appointment after taking a pregnancy test? Yes! But just in case, here are some more questions you might have:

1. Why do I need to see a nurse if the home pregnancy test was positive?

Even though home pregnancy tests are usually accurate, ThriVe+ can confirm the pregnancy with a lab-quality test. This confirmation is crucial for making informed decisions. You’ll learn about what steps might come next.

2. What is an ectopic pregnancy? Why is it important to rule it out?

An ectopic pregnancy occurs when the embryo implants outside the uterus, usually in a fallopian tube. This condition can be life-threatening if not treated quickly.1,5  A nurse at ThriVe+ can perform an ultrasound to make sure your pregnancy is in the right place.

3. How can a nurse determine how far along I am in my pregnancy?

A nurse can estimate how long you’ve been pregnant through an ultrasound.6 Knowing how far along you are is essential. Especially if you’re considering an abortion pill, which is only FDA-approved up to 10 weeks of pregnancy.7 Learn the risks and side effects of the abortion pill.

4. Why is it important to check if the pregnancy is viable?

Sometimes, pregnancies end on their own through miscarriage.3 If a nurse determines the pregnancy is not viable, you might avoid unnecessary procedures and the associated side effects, like cramping and heavy bleeding.4

Mayo Clinic, Miscarriage

Mayo Clinic, Mifepristone (Oral Route): Side Effects

5. What are the risks of ordering an abortion pill online without seeing a medical professional first?

Ordering an abortion pill online can be risky. The pills might not be safe for your health, and it’s always best to consult a medical professional before a medical procedure like abortion.7 Without an ultrasound, you might not know if you’re at risk for complications—like if the pregnancy is ectopic, or if you’re past the 10-week mark. Always talk to a medical professional before you consider proceeding with an abortion pill or procedure.

FDA, Information about Mifepristone…

6. What if I’m unsure about what to do next?

It’s perfectly normal to feel uncertain. Having a follow up appointment can help you feel more confident. You’ll learn all you need about all your options—abortion, adoption, or parenting. Knowing your options helps you make the decision that’s best for you.

Female doctor talking with a woman during her follow up appointment.

7. How can ThriVe+ help me during this time?

ThriVe+ offers compassionate support and info about all your options. Our women’s advocates and nurses can provide you with accurate information. We’ll support you through the decision-making process. You deserve to feel confident and informed about your choice.

It might feel like you have the weight of the world on your shoulders, but you’re not alone. 

Please reach out so we can support you. It’ll make a big difference. We’re here to help you through this time, answer all your questions, and support you with medically-accurate information, no matter what you decide.

Take care of yourself. Don’t hesitate to seek the help and info you need. You deserve to make an informed and confident decision about your pregnancy. ThriVe+ is always pro-woman and we’ll always give you accurate medical info. Come see us soon to get the answers you need. All of our services are no-cost, and include lab-quality pregnancy tests, ultrasound, and STD screenings.. We’ve got your back. 

Sources:

1https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/ectopic-pregnancy/symptoms-causes/syc-20372088 

2https://www.fda.gov/drugs/postmarket-drug-safety-information-patients-and-providers/questions-and-answers-mifepristone-medical-termination-pregnancy-through-ten-weeks-gestation

3https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/pregnancy-loss-miscarriage/symptoms-causes/syc-20354298 

4https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/mifepristone-oral-route/side-effects/drg-20067123

5https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/ectopic-pregnancy/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20372093

6https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/pregnancy-week-by-week/in-depth/prenatal-care/art-20044882

7https://www.fda.gov/drugs/postmarket-drug-safety-information-patients-and-providers/information-about-mifepristone-medical-termination-pregnancy-through-ten-weeks-gestation

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