ECTOPIC PREGNANCY? VIABILITY? MISCARRIAGE? How do these impact an abortion plan?

Maybe your pregnancy test was positive…but is your pregnancy viable? That is a great question, and the answer can change EVERYTHING about your pregnancy plan, whether you are considering abortion, adoption, or parenting.  You might not need to decide at all.

Having an unplanned pregnancy can be overwhelming, and when you start hearing terms like ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage, or viability it can get even more confusing.  Take a deep breath….

Little Way is here to offer support, education, and to provide real medical services to empower you.


A miscarriage is a natural end to a pregnancy prior to 20 weeks and can happen for a multitude of reasons like a mother’s hormonal imbalance, abnormalities of the baby, or chromosomal problems.

Did you know that 20% of all first trimester pregnancies end in natural miscarriage? One in five – that’s pretty common!  So, when you are trying to figure out your plan for this pregnancy, determining whether, or not, you are likely to miscarry is a very important first step. 

Some common symptoms: 

  • Inability to detect a fetal heartbeat or other early pregnancy characteristics via ultrasound when expected
  • Bleeding greater than the typical menstrual period
  • Cramping pain in the pelvis, lower back, or lower abdomen
  • A gush of warm liquid from the vagina
  • The passage of true tissue (not just blood clots) or of a small recognizable baby from the vagina

Treatment:  Because continued blood loss or retained pregnancy product could be harmful, anyone experiencing miscarriage symptoms should go to their OB/GYN, or if you don’t have one, the emergency room.

Little Way can provide additional miscarriage information, as well as offer an ultrasound to check for viability to see if a miscarriage is likely. 


An ectopic pregnancy occurs when a fertilized egg is implanted somewhere outside of the uterus. Most ectopic pregnancies occur in the fallopian tubes and are called tubal pregnancies. Untreated ectopic pregnancies can be fatal for the mother.  An ultrasound can help to rule out an ectopic pregnancy, by verifying the pregnancy is in the uterus.  This is a key piece of information.  Like in a miscarriage, the fetus doesn’t survive, so a decision about your pregnancy plan would no longer be necessary.     

While not as common as a miscarriage, ectopic pregnancies still occur in about 1 in 50 pregnancies (2%). 


  • Inability to confirm a pregnancy in the uterus via an ultrasound
  • Severe pain centered on one side of the abdomen or pelvis
  • Lightheadedness, dizziness, or blackouts
  • Abnormally low blood pressure
  • The passage of tissue (not just blood clots) from the vagina
  • Bleeding from the vagina may or may not be present

Treatment:  An unborn baby cannot survive outside the womb.  To protect the mother’s life, the baby and perhaps the tube may need to be taken out.  If a tubal pregnancy is suspected, medical attention should be sought immediately from an ob-gyn or the emergency room.  This is a medical emergency.

Little Way can provide additional information on ectopic pregnancies as well as an ultrasound to help rule out an ectopic pregnancy.


Is your pregnancy viable?  Is it likely to progress?  While no guarantees can ever be made, Little Way offers limited obstetrical ultrasounds to help determine viability.  Limited means we are focused on finding the answers to a few key questions: 

1. Is the pregnancy located in the uterus? (which would rule out an ectopic pregnancy).  If the pregnancy cannot be located in the uterus, it could mean the pregnancy is not far enough along, or it could mean there is a possibility of an ectopic pregnancy.  We can provide additional education on what to look for and when to seek medical care.  This is very important to rule out, as an untreated ectopic pregnancy could be life-threatening for the mother.

2. How far along is the pregnancy? What is the gestational dating of the fetus? This is important when determining your plan for several reasons: different abortion procedures are used at different gestational ages, and each person has different views regarding when abortion is an option. 

3. Does the pregnancy have the characteristics that one would expect to see at that gestational dating? For instance, is a yolk sac present? Is there a fetal heartbeat? If certain key items are not present, this could indicate a potential miscarriage meaning that you may not need to make a pregnancy decision at all.

When faced with an unplanned pregnancy, there is not an easy answer, but there is an answer that will fit you best.  Little Way is here to provide the information and education that will help you determine which choice is best for you! 

Our caring medical team is standing by to help.  So, gather your list of questions and make an appointment today.    

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