A difficult medical abortion
Hi, I had a medical abortion today and wanted to let everyone know about the experience I had.
I first advised my doctor 2 weeks ago that I didn't wish to continue with the pregnancy. I am 28 and was 5 weeks pregnant. I then had my fist appt. made at the sexual health clinic for a scan 8 days later. I thought this appt. would also give me the first set of pills but it wasn't the case. Obviously I wanted to get this over and done with ASAP once I had made my decision so that the foetus was as young as possible. So I was quite disappointed to learn I would need to attend 3 more appts before this would be over.
In the meantime I woke up one morning with bad cramps, dizziness, sickness etc so NHS Direct advised me to go to a & e to check it wasn't ectopic. They took my blood and scanned me there and found that it wasn't ectopic.
I went to the first appt and told them all about the a & e visit. The scan results were on record but I was still scanned a second time anyway. The foetus was dated at 6 weeks and 2 days. I asked if the first pills would be given and then advised that they wouldn't and that they'd be given at the next appt at the hospital.
This next appt was made in 3 days time. I got to this appt and told this was just to take my blood etc and sign paperwork. Again, I was in for yet more waiting and attended 2 appts in my opinion that weren't necessary and were just wasting my time and theirs, not to mention tax payers money in duplicating work.
I then went to my 3rd appt to get the first pill. I thought it would be an in and out job but I had to wait at least 3 hours to get seen despite having an appt.
The 4th appt for the vaginal pills was also a write off. When we arrived extra early and we were told there were no beds but the doctor would be discharging patients soon so to bear with them. We waited 2 hours before the nurse said I could take the pills now and wait in reception (with a load of strangers and crying babies etc - no thanks!) or wait around 1 hour for a bed. I asked if I could just have the pills now and go home. The nurse then called me in about 30 mins later to take my blood pressure, give me an anti d injection and asked me to swallow 4 antibiotic tabs now. She put the tablets into my vagina and asked me to wait for 20 mins to make sure I was okay.
I felt the effects of the pills quite soon after, say 10 mins. As I was leaving the hospital, I was really sick and threw up all of the antibiotics. I think normally they are spaced out throughout the stay so it was probably drug overload.
As soon as I got home, the sickness and excruciating pains/cramps really kicked in. It was like period pains x 1000. I was in a catch 22 where I couldn't take any pain relief as every time I took anything I would throw them straight back up. I basically had all of the symptoms I.e. flu, dizziness, temp, sickness, shaking and did the termination without any pain relief.
It was like 5 hours of hell.
I passed 3 stringy like clots, I kept getting the urge to push and every time I did I would throw up. It was just stomach bile and a clear like fluid was come out of my bottom. After about 3 hours of this where I just sat on the loo, I passed out on the bathroom floor. When I woke up, around 45 mins later I sat on the toilet and 3 golf ball sized clots came out of me without any pain. It was really strange and surreal to be in so much pain then nothing and calm.
Since then, I've been passing clots every hour the size of a 50p with no pain but a bit of period like cramping.
I don't think I would ever do a medical abortion again, and would go for the surgical option which seems like there isn't anywhere near as much pain or messing about with so many appts.
Don't get me wrong, the nurses were great when I finally got to see them but some do have the attitude of "you're lucky to get anything - its free" which really annoys me as I've worked all my life and pay a lot of National Insurance every month.
I would consider going to a private clinic next time also. The ward I was on was not very private and the staff were sometimes a bit tactless considering the sensitive nature of this type of thing. (ie speaking loudly about what you were having done in front of strangers, leaving doors open when you're half naked on a couch etc)
All in all, I am so relieved to have this over and done with. The reason for termination is just that me and my partner don't feel ready and were not in a great financial situation.
I hope someone from the NHS is reading this post and takes from it ways to improve the current system as it really does need looking at.
It sounds as though you had a difficult time with the pain and sickness you experienced. Different hospitals and clinics have different policies about whether people go home, or stay in for the whole procedure. The downside of going home is that you cannot get stronger pain relief, or injection form if you need it. The appointment procedure allows all the important checks to be done, and also gives time to those who are still thinking through their decision. Some clinics do offer a quicker service so it depends what is available in your area. However, the service should always be professional and respect your privacy and confidentiality.