My experience of a painful medical abortion at 6 weeks
So, I'm a student in my early 20's, in a fairly new relationship, 3 months in I found out I was pregnant. I knew straight away I could not and did not want to keep it.
The sexual health clinic asked me to call Marie Stopes
I called my partner in a fluster and he was shocked but tried to calm me down. I told him I did not want it, and he said I should call a sexual health clinic to talk to someone about what I wanted to do. I called a local clinic, who asked me to call Marie Stopes. After a few questions, they arranged for a nurse to call me about 3 days later.
Talked through the options
The nurse called towards the end of the hour slot, it was a horrible wait, but she spoke me through the options (surgical and medical) and I decided to go for the medical option.
She estimated I was approx 4 weeks pregnant from my previous period.
An appointment was booked in 6 days time
I went to the clinic, and there were 2 nurses present. They did not allow my partner to come in, he waited outside. After them taking a blood sample, my blood pressure, asking me why I had decided to abort the pregnancy, they made me lie down and did a scan.
Maybe there was nothing there
The nurse firstly did a pelvic ultrasound, and she said that she could not see much (I started thinking maybe there was not anything there and was hopeful she would say that I was not pregnant), so she decided to do a transvaginal ultrasound.
This was a little uncomfortable but bearable. She said she could see the yolk sac but the embryo was far too small. She estimated it to be about 4 weeks 5 days. After some time they decided they could not treat me yet as it was too early, and I would have to come back in a week or so.
This was awful news, I just wanted it out and did not want to deal with the pregnancy symptoms I was having (sore breasts, liquid coming out of my breasts, bloating, constant fatigue...).
I booked an appointment for the end of the following week - I would be about 6 weeks then. After this I began bleeding a little and having cramps, I thought maybe I was going to miscarry as small clots came out.
Not unbearable pain and not much bleeding
I waited for my next appointment to tell the nurses, as I was not in unbearable pain and there was not much bleeding. This cramping and bleeding carried on until my next appointment.
I went to a different clinic for this appointment as I was staying away from home. The nurse took a urine sample and did 2 pregnancy tests after I told her about my bleeding, they were both strong positives.
She decided to do a pelvic ultrasound. She said she could not see anything so I may have miscarried, but to be sure she did a transvaginal ultrasound. She said I was definitely pregnant, and estimated it to be 6 weeks.
Did I want a gap of 6, 24 or 48 hours?
I told her my reasons for aborting the pregnancy again, and she gave me a consent form and told me to wait outside for the prescription of Mifepristone. After a half an hour or so wait, another nurse called me in and went through my options on whether I wanted the 6 hours, 24 hours or 48-hour gap.
It was explained that with the 6-hour gap 43 out of 1000 women would need further treatment, and with the 24-hour or 48-hour - 10 in 1000 would need further treatment.
I took the 24-hour option to be safe
Even though I wanted all of this over with I decided to take the 24 hour option to be safe. So I was given the pill to take, and told not much would happen. I was told to wear a pad for the next appointment, make sure I eat and drink like normal, take 3 ibuprofen and 2 paracetamol an hour before the next appointment and make sure I have a companion who will drive.
Once I got home, about an hour or so later, I started to get bad cramps, and I was still bleeding a bit. I had a nap, took some painkillers and felt a lot better later.
My next appointment was the next day at 12 noon
I went in to see the nurse who said the cramping is normal, and happens to some women. She gave me lots of leaflets and information about what would happen to me, and asked about my contraception plans.
She then gave me 2 antibiotics to take with some water, and asked if I had had painkillers, which I had.
She then explained that the antibiotics were to stop infection, and gave me 4 more to take home and take at night after dinner.
She gave me an anti-sickness tablet to hold under my tongue, then gave me the 4 Misoprostol pills, I put 2 between each of my cheeks at the top of my mouth. She asked me to massage them for a bit to help them disintegrate.
Once she checked they were dissolving, I was ready to leave. She told me to not drink or eat for 30 minutes, or until they have mostly dissolved.
I got into the car with my partner and felt OK, a bit faint headed but thought this was due to the experience.
The cramps were powerful and came suddenly
We drove to a shop to get some food, and I said I would stay in the car as I still had the tablets in my mouth. About 20 minutes after being given the Misoprostol, whilst I was in the car park, the cramps began, they came so suddenly and with such power, I was in agony.
I have never felt such pain before. It literally felt like my uterus was clamping on itself.
After about 10 minutes my partner came back to see me in tears and in agony. He drove quickly back to the house, I think I blacked out a couple of times, as I woke to him shaking me. I could not focus or think of anything, the pain was blinding me.
I thought there would be loads of blood, so ran out of the car into the house to the toilet, there was nothing. The pain then subsided a bit and about an hour and a half after the medicine, I began bleeding. I did not want to look at what I was passing, and was still in a lot of pain so did not concentrate on that.
I heard a plop but cannot remember if it was big or not. From then on the cramps subsided, but the bleeding has continued (I write this the day after at 7 pm). I felt much better when I woke up today, and able to go about doing menial chores. I am supposed to work tomorrow, but will see how I am feeling.
I worry that it's not worked
My current worries are that it has not worked - some women describe feeling something come out, or seeing it, I did not have this, although (TMI) stringy type tissue has been coming out. My pregnancy symptoms had subsided by 5 weeks, so I cannot judge by that whether I 'feel' not pregnant. I have to wait 4 weeks now until I do a pregnancy test, this wait is going to be horrible.
I really hope this has worked and I can move on with my life.
I try not to think about what could have been, to me, it was the potential of a baby, not a baby which was inside of me. I think I went through that grieving process quite early on when I found out. I am ready to move on but want assurance that everything has gone to plan.
This site helped a lot with my anxieties and worries
Hope my story helps other women out there, this site helped me a lot with my anxieties and worries, so I wanted to give something back.
DWC sent this story in on 18/07/2015