Medical termination - I'll be happy to ease even one mind

By anonymous on 21/04/2014
medical abortion abortion 8 weeks

I won't detail the reasons for my decision, not because it was difficult(far from it!) but because it is neither here nor there.

I basically just want other ladies out there to know that it is NOT the single most soul destroying horrific experience of your life- when I was reading personal accounts online I was horrified at some experiences.

Keep in mind some of these stories will be written with the intent in mind to stop you going through with it, Anti-abortionists and doom-mongers appear to be everywhere.

My experience, though not by any means pain free and easy going, was more than manageable and if I can help put at least one mind at ease then I'll be happy.

My termination was via the NHS

My termination was via the NHS in my local hospital's designated ward. I was admitted as a day case and was expected to stay for 4-6 hours. It was a shared ward but we all had the use of personal toilets, the beds had curtains to pull across for privacy.

Everything, and I mean EVERYTHING passed was done so into bed pans in your toilet and monitored by a qualified nurse.

When I found out I was pregnant I was mortified- mostly due to the fact that it was not something I could simply and quickly sort out myself, I had to make appointments have days off work, rely on public transport all whilst trying not to vomit every 5 seconds from morning sickness.

My GP was supportive and understanding

From finding out to actually starting the medical abortion it was almost 3 weeks.

My GP was supportive and understanding, I didn't feel patronised, belittled or judged, I saw her on the Tuesday, made my appointment on the Wednesday and had my referral at the Hospital for the next Thursday all neatly sorted.

At the hospital on the Thursday the nurse was equally as supportive. I had the procedure explained to me in full, all my concerns, worries and questions answered and I felt very at ease given the situation.

I had a scan to determine how far along I was - 8 weeks and 1 day! I was told I could have the medical termination or wait a further week and have a surgical abortion.

I couldn't have more time off work, I had bills to pay and didn't like the sound of the surgical option.

I was told to expect cramping & bleeding but got nothing

Mind made up and medical abortion confirmed I took the first tablet the same day as my consultation and scan.

I was told to expect cramping, perhaps bleeding some time the day after and would come back in 2 days for the rest of the procedure when I'd then be 8 weeks and 3 days pregnant.

Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

No cramping, no bleeding, no nausea - even the morning sickness suddenly tailed off, I was beginning to think this was a negative sign that I was due the most painful and torturous 6 hours of my life, not a single thing was felt or experienced until the Saturday morning.

I woke up with some nasty cramping (not quite painkiller worthy though), nipped to the toilet and had the shock of my life. I won't sugar coat this- the biggest clot I've ever had the displeasure of passing was passed.

I think the shock itself caused the mad sweating and dizziness that followed. I grabbed a sanitary towel expecting to be gushing all the way to the hospital, but nothing more occurred.

Back in hospital, 2 days later

At the hospital I was shown my bed, my designated toilet, had everything explained again, blood pressure taken and an anti-D injection as it turns out I'm rhesus negative, and required the antibodies to protect future pregnancies, if they occurred and I wanted the child.

I was then given 3 tablets to take with water one after another. 

Let's speed this up a little...

20mins later there was pain. I wasn't floored, I wasn't in tears, it wasn't crushing but it really did damn well hurt. It started as a firm pressure then just turned into all out pain.

This may sound horrible

Now this may start to sound horrible all this pain and blah blah blah - just ask for some pain killers. It is just pain at the end of the day and it isn't going to last. I knocked back some codeine just hoping it kicked in soon. It halved the pain so yes it still hurt but it was fine, I'd cope.

I nipped to the loo and bled a fair amount into the bedpan, it felt as if something would just give and the pain would instantly go.

But I wasn't so lucky, I stayed in the toilet for around 5 mins almost rocking back and forth like a mad woman wondering how I could have been so stupid to get myself in such a ridiculous and painful situation, how long was this going to go on for and how I was never going to have sex again.

I finally gave up when nothing was helping the pain shift and shuffled back to my bed, curled up on my side and stayed there for around 10mins wondering at which point I'd be given something stronger when I felt what I can only describe as a sort of ‘detachment’- much like when you pull something loosely attached to Velcro.

Emotionally, psychologically, physically - whatever it was I felt better

I suddenly knew I had to get to the toilet, I bled a fair amount again and passed something substantially sized, grimly I did have to give it a little pelvic push but it was instinctive to do so. 35 mins of quite intensive cramping, moderate pain and discomfort was all it took.

As soon as the ‘something’ had passed I felt better- be it emotionally, psychologically, physically- whatever it was I felt better.

The nurse confirmed it was the sac and kept an eye on me and my bed pan for the next 2 hours. I bled more- but no more than a rather heavy period. There was no passing out, no throwing up, no writhing about in agony on the floor bawling my eyes out. It was manageable and in my own experience- over quite quickly.

It has been 2 days since and I'm still bleeding but it is no different to a standard period now. I passed one more disturbingly large clot and haven't experience that shock since.

I'm not depressed and I don't need therapy

I'm a bit tired but otherwise I feel fabulous. I'm not depressed and I don't need therapy over the whole experience.

Yes it hurt, yes it was a bit grim, yes you bleed but no it isn't horrific and crushing. You just get on with it and then just as quickly as the pain comes on you forget about it do what is required, maybe feel a little physically tender from it but you cope.

I appreciate this is all from the mentality of someone who never wanted children and isn't remotely maternal, it wasn't a difficult decision to make but at the end of the day I made the same decision as every other woman who chooses to terminate and had to go through the same procedure as others who will be 8 weeks pregnant and opt for a medical termination- physically you will just get on with it.

There will be pain, but there will also be drugs. There will be blood but it isn't a constant deluge.

It will be ok :)

Editor's comment

I'm not completely sure who you are trying to convince, or who some of your earlier comments were directed at? I know from the posts we receive on this web site that some women have an experience like yours, which they have found manageable given the circumstances, while others have found it extremely painful and distressing. Both experiences are very real and equally valid, and I would not judge anyone who has written that their experience was really bad for them. I don't think that anyone takes the decision to have an abortion lightly, and I have never read a post on this site that I have felt was trying to scare other women into a particular decision. I think these are personal stories and helpful to hear of other people's experiences.

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