I felt medical termination was right for me but needed a surgical procedure as well due to retained products of conception (RPOC)

By anonymous on 31/01/2008
united kingdom failed medical abortion medical abortion

When I found out I was pregnant I was distraught, the thought of having a baby just didn’t feel right for me or my partner. I contacted my GP who explained both the medical and surgical procedures to me and I felt the medical termination was right for me. I was referred to a local clinic, that carried out such terminations, which was about 40 miles away.

[You'll find stories similar to this organised into different aspects of abortion such as type of abortion, duration of pregnancy etc over on this page.]

When I arrived with my partner at the clinic my partner was told to stay in the waiting room while I went through counselling, ultrasound and doctor’s consultation. This upset me because I wanted him to be a part of the experience. I felt extremely lonely there.

The procedure was explained to me and I agreed to carry on with the procedure. However, I felt extremely unsure as no one could tell me what to expect in terms of blood loss and pain. All everyone was saying was that it could be like period pain, but every woman was different!

After one week of worrying and sleepless nights, I arrived at the clinic for stage one of the medical termination, the oral pill. I took it, everything seemed ok, and I went home happy that I had made the right decision and could cope with what was ahead. I had no sickness or pain and felt relieved.

The next day I went back for stage two, I had a bit of a panic attack when I got to the clinic. The nurse was very professional and made me feel secure. I had the tablets inserted and went straight home.

Two hours later I started to get bad period pain. This increased in strength until all I could do was sit on the toilet rocking in pain. I couldn’t cope with the contractions that were coming every minute and lasting for about 30 seconds, which doesn’t sound much but it’s agony! I went straight to A&E.

The pain increased further. I was sick with the pain, so they gave me morphine and the pain started to decrease. I passed a lot of blood and clots (a very weird sensation) and drifted in and out of sleep for about seven hours.

I then had an ultrasound. The product[1] was still in the womb. I had to have a general anaesthetic and a suction procedure[2]. I woke up, it was all ok, it was over!!

I don’t want to scare anyone but if I could go back and choose again I would definitely have had the surgical termination. Good luck to anyone who is going through this at the moment. It will all be over soon.

Terms mentioned in this story

Please note that sources will open in a new tab/window and will take you away from the Pregnancy Choices Directory website.

  1. Products of conception

    Product in this story refers to Retained Products of Conception (RPOC) which is a medical term referring to remnants of placental and/or foetal tissue following a planned pregnancy termination or a miscarriage.


  2. Suction procedure

    The suction procedure is a term often used to refer to Vacuum Aspiration abortion, which is a procedure used to terminate pregnancies, usually during the first trimester. The process involves the use of a manual or electrical pump to create suction which removes the contents of the uterus (womb).


Editor's comment

Thank you for sharing your experience with us… It sounds as if the experience of the procedure is uppermost in your mind too, as with many women who find this a difficult procedure. If at any time, you need support talking through this experience, you’d be very welcome to get in touch for support from your nearest centre.

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