My medical abortion

Like many others on here, I searched the Internet to find out as much as I could about a medical abortion and came across some quite scary stories which really worried me. Due to this I want to share my very positive story of my medical abortion. I found out I was pregnant on the 17th of September and immediate knew I couldn't go through with the pregnancy. I spoke to my long term partner about it and he too thought we weren't ready just yet. We both still live at home, both have jobs but do not earn anywhere near enough to bring up a child. Also, I am in my final year of university so I just was not ready. I felt extremely selfish but knew it was the right decision for us. I contacted my GP and got an appointment on the 18th with a nurse. She was very nice and comforting towards me, offering me tissues when I broke down just walking through the door. She asked me what I was thinking, if I was with anybody, about contraception and ensured that I was making the right decision for myself. After this she gave me a self referral number to ring the PAC clinic at my nearest hospital. As soon as I got home, I rang the number. A very kind lady answered and went through some medical questions with me, asked how far along I thought I was and general questions about myself. After the short conversation I was given an appointment on the 27th September. This was a little longer than I wanted to wait. All I thought about was what was going to happen, whether I made the right decision and began to suffer from morning sickness. My boyfriend was very supportive and I was lucky to have him with me. If anything, I think you need somebody to know what you're going through so you can talk about exactly what you're thinking. My appointment finally came around. When I arrived at the clinic, I had to take a seat and wait for the receptionist to call my name so she could ensure my details were correct, give me forms to fill in and also a little pot so I could give one of the doctors a urine sample. Once this was all done I was called in to the first nurse. Here, she talked to me about my decision and wanted to make sure I was making the correct one. Then I had to have my bloods taken. Unlike many of the stories I came across on here, it wasn't a finger prick, it was an actual needle. This terrified me as I hate needles but that's just me. It doesn't hurt, just feels strange. After this she spoke to me about contraception and I decided to go on the pill. I then was asked what form of abortion I wanted to use, I felt the medical one was best for me as I felt was less intrusive. I felt at this point the doctor was trying to sway me to have the surgical abortion by saying it's less painful and quicker. She also said the medical abortion is "very very very painful. You also bleed a lot". This scared me and I felt like she shouldn't have said it the way she did, however, I stuck to my decision. Once this was done I sat back in the waiting room and waited for my scan. You do not see this, they turned the screen around so I couldn't see. I was so glad about this. This was an internal scan, it doesn't hurt, a little uncomfortable but it's nothing. They confirmed my pregnancy and told me I was 6 weeks. They took a swab also. They then watched me take the first pill and I was free to go home. My next appointment was 2 days later on the 29th. On the day of my 2nd appointment, I was terrified. However, as soon as I got there everyone was lovely. I was shown to my own room and my blood pressure, pulse and temperature was taken. I was then explained about what to expect and if I need anything, anti-sickness tablets or pain relief just ask. I then was given 4 tablets to insert inside my vagina, as far back as they would go. As I was feeling sick from the first tablet, they gave me an anti-sickness tablet which worked wonders. They also gave me co-codamol to take if needed. I lay on the bed and waited. They gave me bed pans and a bed pan cover to use every time i went to the toilet, I found this embarrassing but I'm sure they've seen worse! Nothing happened for the first couple of hours, I had a few cramps but I'm use to really bad period pains, it didn't come close to them. Me and my boyfriend decided to go for a walk around the hospital to see if that go things moving. I put a heat patch on my stomach to help with the cramps and took the painkillers provided before hand just incase it got worse. The walk helped a bit. I went to the toilet and passed a lot of blood and a few clots, these feel strange when passing but not painful. I rang the bell and a nurse came to collect it. A couple hours later, as it had been 5 hours since taking the first lots of pills, they gave me 2 more to take orally. About 30 minutes after this I needed another wee. The cramps got slightly worse but still not as bad as I've been use to, I could walk around easily still. I went to the toilet and just knew that I passed the pregnancy. It felt a little larger than the clots but still wasn't painful. I didn't look as I knew it would affect me greatly. I covered it up quickly and rang the bell. About 5 minutes later, the nurse confirmed I had passed the pregnancy and took my blood pressure and pulse again. They asked me to stay a little bit longer to ensure I was fine to leave. The heavy bleeding stopped and turned into more of a heavy period. I left the hospital by 3:30pm. I got there by 10am so my procedure lasted 5 and a half hours. Now I'm home. I'm not sure how I'm feeling, a little bit numb about the whole process. I knew it was the right thing to do for us though. I still have a few cramps but its more like period pains, nothing a heat patch won't sort. I also feel exhausted and lightheaded but that's due to the blood loss. The worst part of this experience was me with my own thoughts. It was nothing like I had read on the Internet. I was lucky. I just wanted to share my experience to let others know that it isn't always "very very very painful" like my doctors told me. Just make sure you have someone supportive with you. It really helps! Just do what is right for you!

Editor's Comment

It is always worth repeating that everyone experiences pain differently, and because it is so individual, you need to weigh up other people's stories and then accept that yours may be different. I think the emotional and psychological side is often overlooked when people focus on the physical aspects of abortion. As you commented 'the worst part was you and your thoughts'. I hope you recover well and please don't hesitate to ask for help if you need it. You can call the national helpline, log on to Online advisor, or follow the link to find a centre for post abortion support in your area.

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