ZocdocAnswersCan a doctor tell the difference between an abortion and a miscarriage?

Question

Can a doctor tell the difference between an abortion and a miscarriage?

Can a doctor tell the difference between an abortion and a miscarriage? I had an abortion recently. My husband doesn't know a thing about it and if he finds out I will be in fear of my life because he is very, VERY ABUSIVE. I have led him to believe that I've been having complications and that my OB/GYN is concerned. If I go to the emergency room tonight and tell them that I believe I've miscarried, will they be able to tell that I've actually had an abortion? PLEASE HELP ME I AM DESPERATE!!!!

Answer

I am very sorry to hear that you are involved in an abusive relationship. First of all, it is not a good idea to mislead your doctors. They have your best interests in mind and they will help you in any way they can. Therefore, going to an emergency room and misrepresenting your condition and what is going on is not a good idea. However, that being said, your doctors are also both ethically and legally required to protect your confidentiality. This means, for example, that they cannot tell your husband (or anyone else) anything about your health without your permission. Therefore, you should feel free to consult with them, making very clear that you wish the consultation to remain private. At the same time, if you wish, the doctors or the other staff in the emergency room (or in your primary care doctor's office) will be able to help you get the help you need to deal with this abusive relationship. For example, most emergency rooms have a social worker who is on call 24 hours per day who would be willing to talk with you and help you figure out a good and safe solution to your dilemma. Additionally, there are other resources available to you to help you with your abusive situation. I strongly suggest calling the national domestic violence hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE, or visiting their website at www.thehotline.org. They will be able to connect you with resources and give you immediate advice.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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