If you take pain relief your abortion experience may be less painful

abortion 8 weeks medical abortion

Yesterday I had a medical abortion, I was 8 weeks pregnant. Usually, the abortion procedure is carried out over two appointments, but I only required one appointment because I had already been screened for Chlamydia and the clinic had my blood type on file.

The Staff Nurse at the clinic talked me through the procedure, what to expect, when to be concerned and offered some counseling. I was also offered pain relief (Co-Codamol), which I declined. I was told to expect a heavy painful period and to pass some clots.

I took the first pill, Mifepristone, at 1.30 pm. I was advised that if I was sick within 3 hours, I would need to arrange another dose. Mifepristone stops the pregnancy hormone progesterone from working, inducing a miscarriage.

I was then asked to insert four Misoprostol tablets vaginally, high up. These tablets would soften and dilate my Cervix, eventually allowing the pregnancy to pass. I also placed a suppository - which I think was an antibiotic.

I was sent home and told to expect to pass the pregnancy between 2-4 hours. I was advised that I would need to look out for the pregnancy sac - to confirm the procedure had been successful.

When I left the clinic at 1.40 pm I noticed a few sharp pains between my legs, but nothing unbearable. Once home, I rested in bed and read a book, gradually I could feel the cramping getting stronger - much like a period coming on.

At about 4 pm the cramping became noticeably uncomfortable, between 4.30 pm when I started bleeding and until 7.20 pm the pain was increasingly unbearable - but please remember that I had chosen not to take any pain relief.

The pain (intense cramping) came in waves, every 30 seconds or so - I was comfortable in between 'contractions'. Sometime around 5 pm I felt I needed a poo, whilst this was happening I think I passed the pregnancy sac, about the size of a small golf ball - I barely noticed it coming out.

From passing the pregnancy sac until about 7.20 pm the pain intensified and I had waves of sickness and fainting. I finally took pain relief - Diclofenac. The pain soon went away (30 or so mins later) and I started to feel much more comfortable.

I managed to eat a good meal at about 8.30 pm and had an undisturbed nights rest, minimal bleeding, but some small clots passing this morning. The cramping was barely noticeable overnight and this morning I feel 'hungover' but able to get up and about.

I hope this helps to dispel any fears of the physical abortion process. I recommend having a supportive friend or relative with you, a hot water bottle and anti-sickness medication which the clinic will provide.

I didn't follow the nurse's advice regarding pain relief (taking it as soon as you get home and keeping it topped up regularly) but that was a personal choice - if you take pain relief your experience may be less painful.

This story was sent in on 15/10/2015

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