The Morning After Pill: a Practical Approach

post-morning-after-usgContext: Ultrasound Equipment Demonstration

Model History: Approximately 9-10 weeks prior to ultrasound, model took morning-after pill


As you can see from the image and video, the pill did not work as intended.

It didn’t work as she thought it would.

This young woman experienced a change in her thinking as a result of the medication failure.

To quote her as she shared with us after the exam was completed, “There must be a reason this baby is here.”  

In a clinical setting where we are scanning to confirm pregnancy, it is certainly beneficial to know if the patient has taken the morning-after pill.

My experience has been that many imaging specialists, whether they are an RN or RDMS, don’t get specific enough in their pre-ultrasound questioning or medical history.

As I have served in any imaging clinical setting, OB office, imaging center, or hospital, I have learned that we have to be intentional about pregnancy history.

Common practice is to ask, “How many pregnancies have you had?”

By not getting specific about miscarriage and abortion, I can miss important facts. That’s an article for another time, but worth a visit with your team.

Today, we are focusing on the morning-after pill and some ideas of how to address it in a practical sense.

Imagine the emotional roller coaster the patient is on when she has unprotected sex, takes the morning after pill…and her period never comes.

Post the encounter: panic, due to timing.morning-after-should-i

Post taking the morning-after pill: relief, “that should do it!”

Post her expected period date: panic again.

This is all loss. Loss of another kind.

By the time she sees your advocate/coordinator and imaging professional, that story is over. She doesn’t think the morning-after pill has any need to be discussed.

Her mindset is suboptimal for her understanding of her reproductive health.

You have a unique opportunity to address this issue…if only you’d ask.

We want to share the following ideas with you to build your in-house team. We hope that this list will provide you with an idea or two to develop that will strengthen your outreach. We desire young women to be empowered through education to make informed decisions…just like you do.

Idea 1

Ask in your pre-ultrasound questioning if the morning-after pill was taken in connection with current pregnancy.

Idea 2

Ask in your medical history if the morning-after pill has been taken in the past and how many times.

Idea 3

Provide a nurse consultation appointment to discuss privately what the morning-after pill does from a health perspective.

Idea 4

Provide a morning-after pill class once every six months or so, in order to educate the community on what it is.

Idea 5

Find good websites that you can refer patients to in order to give them a solid path for self study on this topic.

Idea 6

Use the data gathered from medical history and pre-ultrasound questioning related to use of the morning-after pill to educate donors and board members

Idea 7

Consider adding a segment on the morning-after pill to your healthy sexual choices curriculum.

We hope you see value in this practical approach to a modern day situation. The morning-after pill puts many young women in a place of treating themselves medically, not knowing what they are taking. Our hope is that you can reach out more confidently to the young woman of today who is coming to you for pregnancy confirmation. What she may view as “no big deal,” to you may be a valid place to inform.


Connie Ambrecht, RDMS
Sparrow Solutions Group Founder & CEO


Stay updated on information that could impact you in your local PMC

Subscribe to the PMC Advisor Newsletter