My medical-abortion experience

By anonymous on 27/10/2013
My medical-abortion experience (abortion pill) was a very painful process. I was 5 weeks pregnant and I hadn't been able to eat all day due to the nausea that the pregnancy was causing me. The way my provider suggested I take the pills was to take them orally-- putting two between one cheek and gum, and two between the other and letting them dissolve for 30 minutes and then swallowing what was remaining. This way is not the FDA approved way, and is only the tested way that my local planned-parenthood advised me on.

Immediately after they'd finished dissolving, I started feeling awful abdominal pains. I couldn't stand up straight so I went to the bathroom, hunched over, and sat on the toilet. I started getting diarrhoea right away, and just as I'd taken my first pain pill, I started to throw up as well. After there was nothing left in my stomach, I sat on the toilet for a while, then decided to go lay in bed. When my mom got home, she gave me a heating pad which helped a bit with the abdominal discomfort. I moved around a bit and discovered laying on my right side was the most comfortable for me. After about 45 mins to an 1 hour of severe discomfort, I could feel that the pregnancy had passed and the cramps had subsided greatly. I was able to move around and get up to grab a glass of water or try to eat some easy-to-digest foods. After the process was over, I had moderate bleeding for a while with mild cramps but took pain pills as needed.

If given the opportunity to have a surgical abortion instead of a medical abortion, I think I definitely would have given it more consideration had I known how painful this could be. Having had a surgical abortion before, I can attest that personally the surgical abortion was much more cut and dry, and there was less pain involved. It felt more invasive and less private than I wanted something that personal to be, so in that aspect, having a medical abortion is better because you get to experience this in the privacy of your own home.

Over all, the things I think are really important to keep in mind while going into this process are...

1. Make sure you have someone there to support you. This process really CAN be very painful, and you'll want someone to bring you the things you need.

2. Try your hardest to take your pills on a full stomach, because I'm pretty sure the intensity of the hormones was too hard on my completely empty stomach.

3. A heating pad to help sooth your abdominal pain is extremely helpful.

4. Keep water and easy to digest foods (saltines, white bread) on hand.

5. If you're going to take pain pills, I suggest taking them before you take the actual abortion pills.


6. If you throw up/have diarrhoea during the procedure, make sure the keep very hydrated in the following days to avoid dehydration and bloating.

Editor's Comment

It is more common in UK for the second tablets to be given vaginally rather than absorbed through the gums, although this does happen in some clinics.
You are always going to be more aware of what is happening to you in a medical abortion, but as you say it is less invasive.
It may be worth you getting some advice about long acting reversible contraception, which are safe and very effective. Options like the Implant, IUS or injection are very reliable and would give you peace of mind that you would not have to face another unintended pregnancy.

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