Few people know what pregnancy tissue looks like in the first trimester.
Most images of pregnancy show a fetus in the later stages of development, which leaves an information gap for the earliest stages of pregnancy, Dr. Joan Fleischman told Insider.
Fleischman, a family doctor, has provided abortions for more than 25 years. She regularly removes tissue associated with early pregnancy, but most people don’t get to see what she sees in her job.
This was the idea behind “The Issue of Tissue,” a collection of photos of fetal tissue published by the MYA Network. The network includes doctors, patients, and activists seeking to counter misinformation about pregnancy and abortion.
The first image in the series (pictured above) shows pregnancy tissue extracted at four weeks.
At this stage, Fleischman explained, most of the tissue associated with the pregnancy comes from the uterine lining (or decidua). This is the same lining that thickens every month ahead of a person’s period, to support a potential pregnancy.