Did you know that you can suffer from lifelong complications if you have an abortion while you have a sexually transmitted disease (STD)? Did you also know that women typically don’t experience any symptoms for the most common STDs, which means you can unknowingly go undiagnosed for years? There is good news, though; this is all preventable with STD testing.

We understand that when you find out you’re unexpectedly pregnant, the last thing you’re thinking about is being tested for an STD — but it’s a critical step whether you choose to end your pregnancy or continue it.

Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is a severe complication that can occur if you have an abortion while you have an undiagnosed, untreated STD. Complications from PID include:

  • Scarring
  • Future infertility (inability to become pregnant)
  • Blocked fallopian tubes
  • Future ectopic pregnancy (a pregnancy outside the uterus)
  • Long-term pain
  • Increased risk of HIV

To protect your reproductive health, Willowbrook provides limited, no-cost STD testing at your confidential pre-abortion screening appointment. STD testing is easy; it only requires a quick urine sample. Your test results are available in approximately one week. If your test result is positive, we will refer you to an area physician who will treat you with medication.

Knowledge is power, and at Willowbrook, we are committed to providing you with the information you deserve so you can make an informed decision about your unexpected pregnancy — and feel good about your choice. Our compassionate licensed healthcare team is here for you. Take the next step, and contact us today for your no-cost appointment.

What You Need to Know About STD Testing Before You Make a Pregnancy Decision

STD testing is probably the last thing you have on your mind when you discover you’re unexpectedly pregnant. But you may not realize the negative impact STDs can have on your health. At Willowbrook Women’s Center, we understand that accurate and unbiased information is empowering, and we are here to equip you with the facts you deserve so you can make informed decisions.

STD Testing is Important

In the United States, there are approximately 20 million new STD infections every year. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends yearly testing for Chlamydia and Gonorrhea for all women under 25 who are sexually active. Untreated STDs can lead to infertility, pain, and even cancer. Women age 25 and older should also get yearly STD testing if they have risk factors such as a new partner or multiple partners.

Common Myths About STDs

  • Myth: You will have symptoms if you have an STD: Often, we are alerted to problems or infections in our bodies when we experience pain and other symptoms. However, most common STDs, like Chlamydia and Gonorrhea, often have no noticeable symptoms, so you can’t rely on symptoms to warn you there is a problem. As a matter of fact, Chlamydia is called “the silent disease.”
  • Myth: You won’t get an STD if you have only had one partner: You are still at risk of contracting an STD if you have only had one partner because there is no way to know for sure if your partner has been exposed to an STD from a previous relationship. There is also the reality that you can think you are in a monogamous relationship, but your partner is having sexual relationships with others besides you.
  • Myth: You can’t get an STD if you always use condoms: Condoms reduce the risk of contracting STDs, but you can still get an STD even if you use condoms every time you are sexually active.

STD Testing and Abortion

All pregnant women need STD testing in the first trimester of pregnancy, including women who are considering abortion. If you are considering a medical or surgical abortion, it’s vital that you receive STI testing beforehand. If you proceed with an abortion while you have an undiagnosed, untreated STD, you will be at risk of developing pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). PID can cause the following serious, and some permanent, complications:

  • Scar tissue
  • Infertility
  • Ectopic pregnancy
  • Long-term pain

Reliable Information is Available

We understand how difficult it is to make a decision about an unplanned pregnancy. There is so much to consider as you make one of the hardest decisions you will ever have to face. At Willowbrook Women’s Center, we are here to walk with you step by step, so an overwhelming situation feels more manageable.

Make an appointment today for accurate, unbiased information and no-cost services. Our licensed medical professionals and compassionate advocates will listen to you, answer your questions, and empower you, so you can make a decision about your unplanned pregnancy with confidence.

STD Testing

STD testing is an important step before getting an abortion. A sexually transmitted disease could cause complications and affect your future health if not treated prior to an abortion procedure. When considering an abortion, be sure to call and make your appointment for free STD testing. Our licensed medical professionals can test for Chlamydia and Gonorrhea and refer you to an area physician for treatment.

Can You Get an Abortion in a Different State Than You Currently Live In?
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Can You Get an Abortion in Another State? 

Since Roe v. Wade has been overturned, the matter of abortion laws has been returned to the states. States’ laws that had previously been in place were allowed to go into effect. This may have you wondering what your state allows when it comes to abortion procedures. Depending on where you live, you may be wondering if you can travel to a neighboring state to obtain an abortion if you find yourself in an unexpected pregnancy and you’re considering that option.

What to Consider When Seeking Abortions Outside of Your State

Traveling from your state of residence to another state for an abortion is what is referred to as abortion tourism. This is nothing new. To date, it’s legal for women to travel and providers to perform abortions on women who are residents of other states, as long as the procedures are within the laws of the destination state. The following points are a few considerations when traveling to receive an abortion outside of your state:

  • How will I get to and from the clinic? Fly or drive?
  • Will I need to arrange for a hotel room or other lodging?
  • How much time will I be away from work?
  • Will I need to arrange for childcare?

Other Factors to Consider When Traveling to Get an Abortion

Abortion is a medical or a surgical procedure, depending on several factors, and is accompanied by certain risks to the woman. If you’re traveling out of state to obtain an abortion, you will want to think through these points to help you with your decisions:

  • Will your support person be available to help you, or will they need to plan to take off time from work?
  • If complications from the procedure arise, will you have access to someone who can help you, or will you be alone? Make a plan in case you would experience complications when you’re traveling back home.
  • Make sure you research and have the name of a healthcare provide in your area that is familiar with the recovery and possible complications associated with abortion.

Like any medical procedure, you want to be well informed about the risks and side effects of abortion. Those risks may be exacerbated when travel is involved. 

The Benefits of Coming to Willowbrook

Willowbrook Women’s Center understands the complicated and painful dynamics surrounding unwanted pregnancy and can provide you with the information needed to help you make your decision. We can confirm whether or not the pregnancy is viable and ensure you don’t have an active STD that could make an abortion dangerous for you. We’ll walk you through all of your pregnancy options, because women deserve to have all the information they need as they make decisions about an unplanned pregnancy. All potential options have long-term outcomes. Make an appointment today to get started.