Author Archive: Pheobe

Abdominal Scan

(Purpose, Procedure & Risks)

What is an abdominal scan?

An abdominal scan is a type of ultrasound scan which involved creating a black and white image of the internal structures of the abdomen. This type of scan uses an ultrasound machine to produce an image. An ultrasound machine works by sending high-frequency soundwaves through the skin which then bounce off internal organs, to create an image which can be used to form a diagnosis.

Purpose of an abdominal scan?

Within the abdomen, there are several vital organs which can encounter some issues. The major organs looked at include:

  • Appendix
  • Bladder
  • Gall bladder
  • Large and small intestine
  • Liver
  • Pancreas
  • Spleen
  • Stomach

The purpose of the abdominal scan is to create an image of the internal structures of the abdomen and therefore will allow medical professionals to identify problems.

A doctor may advise you to have an abdominal ultrasound scan if you are experiencing one or more of a following:

  • Repeated vomiting
  • Swollen belly
  • Liver and kidney function
  • Abdominal pain

As well as identifying problems within the organs of the abdomen, an abdominal scan can also detect blood vessels, tissues and abnormal growths.

abdominal scan

What can be diagnosed from an abdominal scan?

Many diagnoses can be found from an abdominal scan, some being:

  • Abdominal aortic aneurysm
  • Abdominal growths
  • Abdominal pain
  • Cancer
  • Gall stones
  • Hernia
  • Inflammatory conditions like appendicitis
  • Kidney stones
  • Liver disease


Abdominal scan procedure

The abdominal scan procedure usually takes 30-45 minutes. Within the process, you will visit a radiology centre or department of a hospital, which specialises in scans. Before your scan you will be asked to get changed into a cloth gown that allows less restriction that is caused by normal clothes during the scan.

Once dressed in your gown, you will be directed to your scan room and told to lay down flat on an examination table. The room your scan is carried out in is usually dark so the images that are created can be seen as clearly as possible.

Firstly, the sonographer will apply a clear gel to your abdominal area and use a transducer to send the soundwaves through your skin in order to create the ultrasound images.

Ultrasound scan risks

The ultrasound scan has been deemed one of the safest scanning techniques available. Due to their use of soundwaves instead of the radiation other scans such as CT scans use, they do not have such an adverse effect on the body.

The minor effects of an ultrasound scan include a rise in temperature of surrounding tissues.



The Abortion Pill

What is the abortion pill?

An abortion pill is a form of medication taken to end a pregnancy. It is a method used for those looking for an abortion early on in their pregnancy and is a safe and effective method of early abortion.

How effective is the abortion pill?

The abortion pill is considered a very effective way of ending a pregnancy; However, its effectiveness is determined by how far you are into your pregnancy.

8 weeks or less

For women who are 8 weeks pregnant or less, the abortion pill works around 94-98 out of 100 times.

8-9 weeks

Women who have been pregnant for 8-9 weeks have a 94-96 out of 100 chance of the pill working.

9-10 weeks

For women who are 9-10 weeks into their pregnancy, the abortion pill works 91-93 out of 100 times.

The abortion pill is normally effective, however, if it doesn’t work for you more medication is available as well as a surgical abortion.

what abortion procedures are available

How does the abortion pill work?

The abortion pill is made up of two different medicines which when taken end a pregnancy. These two medicines are called mifepristone and misoprostol.

The first stage of the abortion pill process is to take the pill called mifepristone. When a woman is pregnant a natural hormone referred to as progesterone is needed for normal growth. Mifepristone works by blocking your body’s natural progesterone and therefore prohibiting the pregnancy from further developing.

The next stage is taking Misoprostol. The Misoprostol pill can be taken directly after the Mifepristone pill or up to 48 hours after. This pill causes bleeding and cramps to occur, which in turn allows your uterus to empty and therefore ending the pregnancy. The bleeding and cramps are similar to having a very heavy period and the process of this is similar to having a miscarriage early in your pregnancy.

It is important to remember if you do not have any bleeding within the first 24 hours of taking Misoprostol to contact your doctor or nurse.