I had a medical abortion 4 days ago
I am writing this to tell people my experience of the medical abortion as I hope it may help someone.
I had a medical abortion 4 days ago, at 8 weeks pregnant. Upon finding out I was pregnant I decided almost instantly that I wouldn't be able to keep it, at 22 I felt too young, in a rocky relationship and just generally not feeling ready to be a parent.
My GP explained my options and referred me to the local hospital for an appointment
This involved dating the pregnancy, a chlamydia swab, a nasal swab and some blood tests. (I only had to wait a few days for the hospital appointment to come through).
I took the first pill they give you on the Wednesday at the hospital in front of the doctor. She was very nice, understanding and caring. She told me that I may feel some period like cramps but they shouldn't be too bad, and to be back in on the Friday for the second part.
During the time between I had a feeling of like a period starting, just a little discomfort but nothing I couldn't cope with.
On the Friday I went back in, into a ward where this was also happening to some other women. They gave me a bed and told me to wait for a doctor to be along. The same one who saw me take the pill on Wednesday.
She gave me a pack to take home with me
This contained some strong painkillers, an antibiotic suppository (with lubrication and rubber gloves, to avoid infection), a pregnancy test to take after 3 weeks and some more pills to take after 6 hours of the second lot which are inserted vaginally.
The doctor went through everything that would happen within the next few hours, and what to do with the contents of the pack she would be giving me. She inserted the tablets into me using her fingers which had on rubber gloves and were well lubricated so it wasn't uncomfortable.
My partner had come with me on this day and he drove me home after, I wanted to be in the privacy of my own home. My mother also came round to my house later that day.
I started to feel the period like cramps after only 10 mins
They started as just feeling uncomfortable and gradually got more painful over a few hours. Unfortunately I had a fairly bad experience when it came to this. I was in a horrendous amount of pain, I was crying a lot, and because I had quite bad morning sickness I carried on being sick also throughout the day.
The lurching and the "pushing down" sensation that comes from vomiting forced the blood and clots out quite quickly. This scared me, but it got rid of quite a lot. After being badly sick twice I knew I must have passed the pregnancy, just from the volume of the clots coming out of me.
My mum and partner ran me a bath after the second time I was sick because I was quite messy as you could imagine. I was also still in a fair amount of pain and the warm water started to ease it off. I stayed in the bath for about an hour talking to my mum who was trying to help take my mind off it the best she could.
After I got out I dried, put some clean underwear on with a new sanitary pad, wrapped the bath towel around me and put on my dressing gown over that. They both helped me to the living room where they sat me on the couch and settled me down. I also had a very warm hot water bottle over my stomach and had a warm drink to try and help settle my stomach.
After about another hour or so the pain started to fade off, it was still there but nowhere near as painful as earlier in the day. I started to feel very sleepy and eventually dropped off sometime later.
My mum had had a medical termination a few years previously and said I was in much more pain than she was in when she experienced it. She said it was much quicker and easier for her. I put this down to everyone being different.
It's now the Monday following the Friday of my termination, I am still bleeding, it's not heavy, and it's not clotted. It feels very similar to how one of my regular periods would, just a tiny bit more uncomfortable. My lower back and thighs are very achy, and I am very lethargic, which is to be expected.
My advice to any girl or woman reading this is to be absolutely sure of what you want to do before you choose an option. I have no regrets over my decision but can imagine how bad I would feel if I had made the wrong decision. Talk it through with someone you know and trust, and who knows you very well. I talked to my mum and my best friend of 13 years and they were fantastic.
If you decide a termination is right for you then my strongest advice is to always have someone with you. There will be moments when doctors may want to talk to you privately but knowing someone is sat in the waiting room waiting for you is comforting.
Stock up very well on heavy flow sanitary pads, keep some light food near you throughout if, like me, nausea and sickness are affecting you. You'll need it to help keep your strength up. Keep some water nearby as well as you don't want to get dehydrated.
Also keep some old bath towels with you as well to clean you up easily. And like I said, have someone close whom you know and trust with you to help you through it, I couldn't have imagined going through it alone and thankfully I had 2 people with me who were fantastic and really helped me through it, physically and emotionally.
That's my account of my experience, I hope this is found useful for someone.
This story was sent in on 24/03/2011