I had a medical abortion about a week ago, I was six weeks pregnant at the time

By anonymous on 26/09/2010
medical abortion abortion 6 weeks

My first appointment was after only about 4 weeks and I was told it was too early to do anything so I should wait a couple of weeks until they could carry out an abortion[1]. For me this was the most difficult thing, I had prepared myself mentally for the abortion then I had to carry the pregnancy for another two weeks.

[You can find links to stories organised by abortion method and number of weeks of pregnancy on this page]

In this time the symptoms of pregnancy became much more pronounced, I felt sick all of the time and had terrible abdominal pain. I went to A&E because the pain became incredibly intense. I mistakenly told the nurses that I was going to have a termination.

I was given morphine and rushed to another hospital with a suspected ectopic pregnancy[2] when I saw a gynaecologist she was incredibly rude about the fact that I was going to have an abortion.

Luckily everything was fine and the pain was considered to be 'normal' pregnancy pains, even so, the reaction of the doctor made me feel terrible about my decision.

She described the scan and asked me if I wanted to see 'my baby' she then said it had a strong heartbeat and I should give a copy of the scan to my GP, or the abortion clinic if I decided to go through with it.

My mind was already made up

I am 23 and I have just started my PhD in biophysics, my future career means a lot to me and I know I am incapable of looking after a child right now.

The actual abortion was a little difficult but nothing in comparison to the pain I was already in from the pregnancy.

I was told the first tablet was like having a smartie and I probably wouldn't feel anything, so I went straight to work afterwards. It made me feel quite sick and dizzy so I wish I hadn't gone to work afterwards.

I decided to have the second tablet on the same day because I felt like I had waited so long I just wanted it to be over.

I put the second tablets in my cheeks and kept them there for about 30 minutes then swallowed what was left.

I went home with the tablets still in my cheeks and waited for it to begin.

It took 2 hours before I started to bleed and at first, it was quite light, there was some light cramping and I felt quite sick.

The bleeding then became very heavy

I passed quite a few clots although this didn't hurt at all. The cramping became worse and although the pain was different to period pains it wasn't much worse. It was a strange hollow pain that I assumed was a bit like a contraction.

A few more clots passed and I decided to try to sleep, I had been given some antibiotics to take and this made me feel really sick. I managed to sleep until 3 a.m. at which point I had to go change my sanitary towel because the bleeding was still quite heavy.

The next day the bleeding was very light and there was barely any pain. I felt relieved and happy because I could tell that I wasn't pregnant anymore, no more morning sickness and I could eat again.

A few days later the bleeding became a little heavier and I got period pains I was scared it was an infection as I didn't manage to keep all of the antibiotics down.

Luckily there is an aftercare line which I called and the nurse reassured me that as long as I didn't have a temperature and the pain was very light that I was ok.

Overall I was always more worried about the efficacy of the abortion pills and the possible problems associated with abortion such as infection or incomplete abortion.

I felt relieved very quickly.

After the relief, I felt a little regret

This has made me feel quite sad at times and has resulted in me being angry at my partner. I do think that these feelings have a lot to do with hormones and I don't think that I will feel this way forever.

I am happy to have my body back.

I do feel that my experience of the medical abortion was a lot less harrowing than the other accounts I've seen, and I do feel that this may have a lot to do with having it earlier.

Terms mentioned in this story

Sources will open a different website in a new tab/window.

  1. Medical Abortion

    Medical abortion refers to the taking of medication to end a pregnancy and usually takes place over two stages. 

    The first stage is where a medicine called mifepristone stops a hormone that allows the pregnancy to continue. 

    The second stage, usually 24-48 hours later, is where a second medicine, called misoprostol, is used to cause the lining of the womb to break down causing bleeding and the loss of the pregnancy.

    Medical abortion doesn't require surgery but sometimes not all of the tissue is passed and may require a small surgical procedure to remove further remnants of pregnancy tissue.


  2. Ectopic Pregnancy

    This is when a fertilised egg implants itself outside of the womb. The egg could implant in an ovary, cervix, or somewhere else in the abdomen but usually it's in one of the fallopian tubes (tubes that connect the ovaries to the womb), and occurs because of a problem with the fallopian tube or the egg. If this happens the egg won't develop into a baby and continuing with the pregnancy may present a risk to health. Ectopic pregnancies are usually removed using medicine or an operation.


Editor's comment

You felt fairly sure about your decision from an early stage, and although you encountered some difficulties it did not affect how you felt about the pregnancy. I think it's important to think through your decision carefully and take enough time to get all the information you need. From that point of view although you felt positive about having the procedure as quickly as possible, for many women having time to be sure of their decision is also very important. It is sad when someone rushes through this and then regrets it afterwards. I would always advise a person to be sure they have given themselves enough time to make an informed choice.

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