I had a medical abortion at 6 weeks pregnant at Marie Stopes
Yesterday I had a medical abortion at 6 weeks pregnant at Marie Stopes. I want to share my story as there are a lot of scare stories on the Internet and barely any positive ones.
Firstly before I start I have always been pro-choice but I never thought that I would ever have an abortion. Any woman who goes through making this decision has the right not to be judged - only she can make this life-changing decision and any reason she has is valid.
[Try this page for more links to abortion stories involving different providers and procedures experienced at different weeks of pregnancy.]
I found out I was pregnant purely by chance and after a drunken night with my fiancée. We already have a baby (8 months old) so you can imagine my surprise when the test turned positive. I was referred by my GP who was lovely and didn't judge me - he asked me my reasons why I wanted an abortion, if I had considered my other options and if I wanted time to think about it.
Once I had my NHS certificate, I was given a number to call to arrange an appointment. I rang the number after considering my options again overnight and I was put through to a lovely man who asked me questions such as date of my last LMP, would I like counselling, how would I like my consultation, amongst others. I chose the telephone option as children aren't allowed in the clinic and I have no babysitting options. This was all confirmed by text and protected by having password protection.
The women who took my consultation rang on time, ensured that my password was correct and then asked me the reasons why I wanted an abortion, medical history was taken (very thorough), if I needed counselling, details of the procedure and then I was transferred to make a booking; this was all on Friday.
I made my appointment for Tuesday although I could have had it earlier. I was nervous but the clinic is discretely placed so that the entrance is hidden and the staff were lovely and didn't judge me at all. If I'm honest, I never expected it to be so busy!!
I had chosen to have a 6-hour treatment so, in the morning, I was taken into a room with a nurse where a scan confirmed my pregnancy - I was exactly 6 weeks. My haemoglobin was checked, blood type confirmed and I was asked again if I was sure - I was then asked to sign a consent form. The only bit of the whole process I found disturbing was the fact that I caught a glimpse of my scan and that set me off as they attach it to your consent form and NHS certificate.
I was then taken to another room where another nurse checked my blood pressure and gave me my first tablet to end the pregnancy. My next appointment was booked in for the afternoon.
That afternoon, I went back a bit early to take an anti-sickness tablet (I recommend this!) and then I took two antibiotics and then I was given the four tablets which would end my pregnancy - these had to be out in your gums and dissolved - this is hard, very hard!!!
The nurse continued to check on me, as I had to wait in the waiting room (with other ladies) until they had either dissolved or gone mushy. I was then allowed home.
My cramps started almost immediately but a hot water bottle helped them. About 3-4 hours after the second tablets, I started bleeding and it did hurt. Paracetamol does help a lot but take it easy. After passing a few largish clots bleeding started.
The only bit which actually hurt was the upset stomach I had which is a by-product of the tablets. Eating a plain jacket potato or toast helped alleviate it. By 9 o'clock that same night, I had passed a few clots (two large ones which I presumed was the pregnancy) and the cramping was mild like a period.
The day after, I feel fine and like I am on my period. I have a few cramps now and then when a small clot comes out but otherwise am fine. I just wanted to share my experience to reassure people that it's ok and my mind had made it far far worse than I thought.
Terms mentioned in this story
Sources will open in a new tab/window and take you away from the Pregnancy Choices Directory website.
LMP is an abbreviation of "last menstrual period" and is used to calculate the number of weeks of pregnancy after a missed period. Pregnancies are usually dated in weeks starting from the first day of a woman's LMP. If her menstrual periods are regular and ovulation (the releasing of an egg from an ovary) occurs on day 14 of her cycle, conception takes place about 2 weeks after her LMP. A woman is therefore considered to be 6 weeks pregnant 2 weeks after her first missed period.
Medical abortion refers to the taking of medication to end a pregnancy and usually takes place over two stages. The first stage is where a medicine called mifepristone stops a hormone that allows the pregnancy to continue. The second stage, usually 24-48 hours later, is where a second medicine, called misoprostol, is used to cause the lining of the womb to break down causing bleeding and the loss of the pregnancy.
Medical abortion doesn't require surgery but sometimes not all of the tissue is passed and may require a small surgical procedure to remove further remnants of pregnancy tissue.
This story was sent in on 16/10/2013