I had a surgical abortion at Marie Stopes in Reading today under sedation

I had a surgical abortion at Marie Stopes in Reading today under sedation. I found out a week and a half ago that I was pregnant. It was only by chance I took a pregnancy test as I was getting very tired and had breast ache, and it confirmed I was.

I chose surgical as it seemed simple and clean

I went into a calm shock and called Marie Stopes to ask for advice. I chose for surgical abortion as I had researched a lot and this seemed the most simple and 'clean' method.

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I became as informed as possible

The week leading up to the abortion was hard, I didn't sleep and lost my appetite. I decided to prepare myself by being as informed as possible and getting all the bits I needed. I felt it calming knowing I'd be prepared and I was aware of what would be happening to me, but it still does not calm you.

The clinic was friendly and efficient

I arrived and there were several women in the waiting room, it's a friendly and efficient place. I met with a nurse after a short wait who scanned my tummy, telling me I was 9 ½ weeks gone. I did not want to see the scan as I was mentally dealing with this very well, and being more concerned about my health.

I paid for the procedure up-front

She asked a few medical questions, took my blood test which didn't hurt, took my blood pressure and I was given some documents to take to the reception. I was then asked to pay, the cost was £703.

Staff were friendly and patient

I then sat in a waiting room and was called through to another nurse, they ask you if you're sure and another lot of medical questions. At no point do you feel pressured, and they were friendly and patient with me.

The procedure itself

You're then given a sarong and remove your bottoms in the ladies room, and sit in the recovery room. In all honesty, there were a few women in here who came out and were crying, this did worry me the most. I was then called in.

The surgeon was polite and friendly and asked my name, I met the person who would give my injections and a nice nurse. I was asked to sit on the end of the bed at the end with stirrups. The nurse chatted to me, I explained I was very scared and asked again if it would hurt.

They can't say what your experience will be like

She was professional but they can't tell you what your own experience will be like. She said it would last for 3 mins, which didn't sound very long, so I decided to be brave and go ahead. I was very proud that I agreed, as I was so scared and I think this is a very normal thing to experience.

I knew I was fine with my choice, it was the medical and pain side which concerned me the most. I was asked to lie down and was given a cannula in my hand whilst they talked to me, just general chit chat. I hardly felt the needle go in my hand, it didn't hurt.

The sedative was administered via my hand

I was then given a sedation drug through my hand, which again didn't hurt, within a few seconds I went very fuzzy. I was only very slightly aware of something happening and very very mild discomfort, but no pain in my tummy.

Next thing I know a nurse was holding my hand as I walked through to the next room, sat on a bed with other girls and was given a drink. I didn't feel sick and was actually smiling. Another couple of girls came out after me crying, but I think some women cope emotionally differently.

The procedure wasn't painful or horrible

I was scared but this was not a painful or horrible experience. I was given a while to recover, was given antibiotics which didn't taste very nice and a biscuit which was lovely!

I'm now at home, I feel fine. I had a couple of drops of blood in a sanitary towel. I can eat and drink.

Do your research and be prepared

Once again, if you find yourself in this position, there are many options. Do your research, be prepared and be brave. It is over quickly and being anxious is by far the worst part.

This story was sent in on 18/05/2012

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