I was extremely worried over stories I found about medical abortion

I wanted to write this because I myself spent a lot of time looking for people's stories on medical abortion and was extremely worried about what I found, so I have decided to share my own experience and hopefully put a few minds at ease.

[You can find other abortion stories organised by method, provider and number of weeks pregnancy here].

I discovered I was pregnant at around 4 weeks, however, I wanted to be certain that I was making the right decision so I gave myself a few weeks of thinking time. When I was sure that a termination was the right thing for me I rang my local sexual health clinic who referred me over the phone to my local hospital for a consultation.

When I went for my first appointment I was 7 weeks pregnant. I discussed my options with a Doctor who then told me I would be having a medical abortion which in my local area is offered up to 9 weeks on the NHS, surgical abortion wasn't offered to me. I was then booked in for the termination the following week in which I would have two appointments on two separate days.

The week wait between my initial appointment was quite stressful for me as I spent hours looking on the internet for stories on medical abortion and all I could find was 'negative' experiences. I worked myself up quite a bit, however, I rang the hospital during this week and the nurses there were very reassuring and told me not to look on the internet!

So the day came for my first pill. This was a very quick appointment in which I was asked if I still definitely wanted to go through with the procedure, which I was.

I was then given the first pill which works by blocking off the pregnancy hormones. This pill itself isn't usually enough to bring on the abortion. I was then free to go home and told I may suffer nausea from the pill, however, I felt totally fine and didn't have any nausea or side effects and got on with my usual day to day activities.

I was then booked in for the second part of the medical abortion two days later

I was told everything I needed to know about the procedure and was asked if I wanted to stay for the full day in the hospital or if I wanted to have the pills and go home. You have to have an adult with you at home to be able to do this.

I chose to stay in the hospital because I was worried about the pain and because I didn't have anyone at home who I wanted to be involved.

On the second appointment, I arrived at the hospital at 9 am and was greeted by very friendly nursing staff, I was then taken to my own private room which had its own bathroom and was left to settle in.

The nurse came in half an hour later and inserted two pessaries

These would make the womb contract, I also had an antibiotic inserted into my back passage, this sounds horrible however the whole process was quick and pain-free.

I was told to lay on the bed for 1 hour and not go to the toilet during this time as it would affect the medication. So I sat on my bed and read a few magazines.

I started to have a heavy pulling feeling in my stomach about an hour later but it was nothing major and I have a very low pain threshold!

I took two paracetamol and stayed in bed, the heavy feeling carried on and I started to bleed about an hour later. I was told to expect crampy period type pains however they didn't feel like this to me, it was just a very heavy feeling that made me feel the need to push.

The pains were certainly not unbearable and I have had worse stomach aches in the past, paracetamols were sufficient for me. I found that walking about helped and it was encouraged.

I then spent the next hour on the toilet passing clots of tissue, I was given bedpans to put over the toilet as the nurse wanted to make sure that the termination was successful by monitoring the blood and tissue loss. The bleeding wasn't too heavy at this point.

At about 12 pm my friend came to keep me company which was good to take my mind off things, I had something small to eat, however, I was sick from the medication. This did not last though and I ate again later.

I spent the remainder of my time going back and forth to the toilet.

The bleeding had got very heavy and the clots bigger

I was told this was normal and at this point, any pains that I had, had disappeared. The nurse constantly came in to empty the bedpan and to make sure I was ok which was very reassuring.

I was given two more tablets at 3 pm to cause more contractions these were taken orally as the nurse wanted to make sure I had definitely passed the pregnancy. This is not routine but was offered to me and I wanted to make sure that nothing was left because it could cause infection so I took them.

I was then free to go home, I drove myself home and didn't feel any pain from the final pills. I got home and got myself to bed after having something to eat.

It is now 9 pm 12 hours after the process of medical abortion started. I am currently feeling fine, I have no pain, I have a good appetite and the bleeding is now similar to that of a heavy period.

I won't say it's been a positive experience because it's still a very hard decision to make

The other symptoms I had were slight nausea and hot and cold sweats which didn't last long.

To have the medical abortion you will need to make two separate visits to the clinic, I drove myself. You will also need a full day off for the second part and maybe the day after just in case.

Everyone's experiences are different and everyone reacts differently but please don't be scared. It really helps when you know what to expect! I will be back at work tomorrow and I have no pain whatsoever and it was only 9 hours ago.

This story was sent in on 19/05/2011

Editor's comment

Thanks for sharing your experience and helping others to see that there is a wide range of experience and it's very individual how each person feels both physically and emotionally.

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