A surgical abortion under general anaesthetic.

I'm twenty-four and when I found out I was pregnant it was a horrible shock. I'd recently come off the pill and had used condoms instead, so I'd just assumed that my delayed period was a result of my body adjusting to the change in hormones. I didn't particularly show any signs of pregnancy - I'd felt nauseous once and noticed a bit of weight gain, but I just put this down to overeating over Christmas. When two months had elapsed and no period, I decided to take a pregnancy test. It came out positive, but I was still reluctant to believe it, so I booked an appointment at my local Pregnancy Advisory Service where I could talk about my next steps. Already I had decided that should I be pregnant then I wished to terminate. I waited three days for my appointment and they were very friendly at the clinic. They did a pinprick blood test and a scan, which confirmed I was about ten weeks pregnant. They advised me to go for a surgical abortion with general anaesthetic. This worried me a bit. I thought I'd have preferred a medical abortion as it sounded less invasive and I was apprehensive about the general anaesthetic. Nevertheless, I figured they knew what was best and booked my appointment for a week later. When I got to the clinic they explained what was going to happen and I was taken down to the ward. They gave me some tablets to 'prime' me and I was warned that I might get symptoms of bad cramping, vomiting and diarrhoea. I was also fitted with a cannula and given a suppository painkiller. The cannula being fitted and inserting the suppository (I did the latter myself) were by far the worst part of my abortion experience. I had mild cramps from the tablets, but nothing unbearable. There were a few other girls in the ward who were friendly and chatty. Everyone seemed happy to share what they were going through and wished everyone luck as they went in for their surgeries. I was taken in for my surgery about two hours after taking the initial tablets. The anaesthetist applied the initial anaesthetic and the next thing I was aware of was coming round about fifteen minutes later and feeling a huge sense of relief. I was taken back to the ward for about half an hour, given some tea and biscuits and antibiotics and told I was free to go. I took a taxi home and I felt a bit sick, although this may have been also been a bit of travel sickness. When I got home I was absolutely exhausted and slept for most of the afternoon. I got out of bed a few hours ago, and I can honestly say I feel perfectly fine now. My belly has stopped swelling and I feel so much better in my general well-being than I have since finding out I was pregnant. Whilst I don't want to trivialise abortion, I can honestly say that it was one of the easiest decisions I've ever had to make in my life. Furthermore, the entire process was pretty stress free and pain free, and all I'm left with is a feeling of overwhelming relief now. By far the most unpleasant parts of the termination process for me have been the waiting around and not knowing what to expect.

Editor's Comment

Thanks for sharing your experience of surgical abortion under general anaesthetic. It sounds as though your procedure was straight forward and you are making a good recovery. Please contact us if you need any support. 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.

This story was sent in on 17/01/2014

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