A surgical termination under conscious sedation

By anonymous on 18/07/2010
I had a surgical abortion yesterday at 9 weeks, and thought I would share the experience with anyone who might be worried about the procedure.
For various reasons my partner and I agreed that a 3rd child was not an option for us. I am not saying that the decision was easy ... quite the opposite, but I do feel that it was the right one for me personally and our family.

A surgical termination under conscious sedation

I was booked in for a surgical termination under conscious sedation, and was asked not to eat, drink or even chew gum for 6 hours before the procedure. This meant breakfast at 7am before work, then nothing else other than a few small sips of water up to 11.30am - pretty difficult when at work and suffering from morning sickness.
I was given a scan, but they made sure that I could not see the picture, and sent to wait for the doctor to call me.
Unfortunately, my appointment was delayed because someone fainted and an ambulance had to be called, and I wasn't seen until 4.30 pm, by which point the stress of the whole situation had got to me and I was crying as I lay down on the bed - I think I had distanced myself emotionally from the reality of what I was about to do, but at that point it just hit me.

Mild bleeding and light cramps

The staff were very kind, and asked if I was sure I wanted to continue - I said yes - I do think it is possible to be sure about the decision, but still sad that it had to be made.
I remember the anaesthetist putting a needle in my arm and telling me I would feel dizzy, and the next thing I knew they were helping me off the bed into a recovery room.
I have some vague dreamlike memory of taking deep breaths, like you do during labour contractions, but honestly cannot recall anything else. I was allowed to leave 45 mins later, and so far have experienced some very mild bleeding and light cramps, although I was told I may not bleed much for up to 5 days. So there we are - if anyone is concerned about the procedure itself (rather than whether it is the right one), my experience was as OK as it could have been.

Editor's Comment

Thank you for sharing about your procedure. It sounds as though the sedation worked well for you, and you were not aware of much going on. Thinking your decision through carefully and being sure about the option you choose is really important, and makes the recovery less traumatic. I hope that things go well for you but if you do need some post abortion help and support you are welcome to ring the national helpline and find out details of counselling available in your area 0300 4000 999.

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