How far along are you in your pregnancy? (And when can you use the abortion pill?)
Even if you know you're going to terminate your pregnancy, it's important to know how far along you are.
So you've confirmed that you're pregnant, and you don't want to be. Before you take any further action, you need to figure out how far along in pregnancy you are. How do you do that?
- Calculate it based on the date of your last period. Use the start date of your last menstruation and add 280 days (40 weeks). You can use a pregnancy calculator for this, like the one on Women Help Women's website.
- Figure out when you last ovulated. If you can track your ovulation (it usually occurs around day 14 of a 28 day cycle), go forward 266 days from then. This isn't always possible, since not everyone who menstruates has a 28 day cycle.
- Get an early ultrasound. If you don't know when your last period was, a dating ultrasound will establish how far along you are if you get it in the first trimester (up until 13 weeks). A health care provider can also assess the age of the fetus via a pelvic exam starting at about six weeks after the date of your last period.
- Use a pregnancy test with a weeks indicator. These exist, but you have to know something is up pretty early on, which isn't always possible, since not having any pregnancy symptoms is a thing. If you do miss your period, or start experiencing nausea, fatigue, breast tenderness or other indications of pregnancy,, definitely seek medical attention. The longer you stay pregnant, the more complicated an abortion will be to obtain.
Even if you know you're going to terminate your pregnancy, it's important to know how far along you are. You can take abortion pills (mifepristone + misoprostol, or misoprostol on its own) as soon as you confirm that you're pregnant, but you are on a clock. The mifepristone/misoprostol combination is most effective (95-98%) when taken up to 11 weeks, and misoprostol best when used up until 12 weeks. For answers to your questions about abortion pills, including how they work, what to expect, and more, visit our website.