A hysterectomy after a medical abortion

My story was first shown on this site back in February after at 41, I had a medical abortion due to health reasons. I was 8 weeks pregnant and already mum to a 15yr old and a 12 yr old. A lot has happened since then so I suppose I am writing this with hindsight and a warning too. Six weeks after the procedure in March,and still bleeding, I went into hospital for sterilisation and an ablation (cauterising of the womb lining as I have always had terrible periods and the mirena coil failed twice. My 15 minutes in theatre turned into an hour as every time they tried to inflate the device to cauterise, I haemorrhaged. The procedure took a long time for me to get over and didn't work as I was bleeding again within a fortnight! At my follow-up consultation my surgeon explained the problem in theatre and said the samples they had sent off were 'necrotic tissue'. This means I had not been fully clear of the pregnancy tissue following the termination. I was treated as a matter of course with antibiotics although I genuinely don't think an infection had set in. I had to have 'help' to remove the placenta as it was and I suppose they just didn't get everything. Therefore, this story is really just to let other ladies know that if they have similar symptoms - continual bleeding afterwards and maybe trouble when passing the pregnancy tissue at the time of the procedure, to go get checked out at the doctor. Nine months down the line I have now had a subtotal hysterectomy (left the cervix and ovaries in) and everything has been great. I had keyhole surgery and was able to come home the next day and have recovered well. In retrospect though, it has been a hard, hard year and I still don't feel I have gotten over the termination in January.

I keep thinking 'what if...' and my heart skips when I see new babies.

I know I couldn't have carried the baby without putting myself physical severely at risk but it doesn't stop the mind playing cruel tricks. I know deep down that hysterectomy was the right decision in the end and I have to come to terms with the end of my 'child bearing' years. I just feel so remorseful that it ended with such a sad episode in my life. Philosophically, I have to think , that, that which doesn't kill us makes us stronger... and maybe wiser.

Editor's Comment

Quite a traumatic update. We don't often hear the sequel to the stories posted and I'm so sorry that you have had such a rough time. Retained products are one of the risks of medical abortion, and some women do have to have a surgical procedure to clear the womb. It is sad that this was not picked up in your case, and you could have been at risk of serious infection. I hope now that you are able to move on from this but if you are still struggling please contact us. You can call the national helpline 0300 4000 999, log on to Online advisor, or follow the link to find a centre for post abortion support in your area.
This story was sent in on 21/10/2011 and it's been viewed 1,499 times.

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