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Medical History Before an Abortion

If you know or suspect you are pregnant, see your health professional as soon as possible. Whether you plan to continue a pregnancy or have an abortion, it's important that your health professional asks about your medical history. The medical history includes:

  • The date of your last menstrual period (LMP). Your abortion options depend on how many weeks pregnant you are. A pregnancy is 40 weeks long: the 40 weeks are counted from the first day of the last menstrual period.
  • What your usual menstrual cycle is, especially the number of days between periods. You may believe you are pregnant but your cycle could be different for other reasons, such as stress.
  • The dates that you had sexual intercourse since your last menstrual period started. This could help date your pregnancy.
  • How many live births and previous abortions you have had. This information helps your health professional counsel you on your choices.
  • Any allergies or other problems you have with medicines. This information will help your health professional treat you safely and effectively.
  • Any signs of current problems or infection, especially a sexually transmitted disease (STD). An STD may cause complications after an abortion. It is important for your health professional to take precautions, such as prescribing antibiotics, to avoid complications after the procedure.
  • Any chronic conditions (such as asthma, heart disease, or a history of gynecological problems) that would increase your risk for problems after an abortion.
  • Any history of bleeding disorders.
  • Any previous surgeries or reactions to anesthetic medicines.
  • Any medication you may be taking.

Your health professional will also discuss future birth control methods that can be started right after the abortion procedure.

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Rebecca H. Allen, MD, MPH - Obstetrics and Gynecology
Last Revised September 22, 2010

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: September 22, 2010
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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