At my lowest, I was bleeding and crying naked in the shower
I want people to make an informed choice
This is my honest experience of a medical termination at 6 weeks. I'm sorry for the graphic content but I want people to make an informed choice. I don't regret having an abortion, not at all! But take some time to consider which treatment options are best for you.
I never expected the pregnancy test to be positive
I found out I was pregnant just over a week ago. I had been having nausea for about five days and took the test on the advice of a pharmacist. I never expected it to be positive. My immediate reaction was anger at myself for letting it happen.
I have been with my partner for 7 years and wanted kids at some point but not now. I'm 25 years old and half-way through medical school, it wasn't the right time. I called my boyfriend straight away and asked him to come home.
To my surprise, he was happy about the news and said we could make it work and he would step up, but I persuaded him that a termination was the right thing for me. I don't regret that decision.
The thought of progressing the pregnancy another week was awful
I called my local sexual health clinic the next day on the Thursday, and they gave me an appointment for the Wednesday the next week.
That was a shock and quite upsetting for me. So far I had handled the news quite well but the thought of progressing the pregnancy for another week was awful. I also had terrible morning sickness that started as soon as I woke up and lasted all day long, even waking me up at night. I could hardly eat or leave my bed.
Over the week I thought about the idea of keeping it, of just making it work and all that matters is that we are happy and love each other. I noticed changes in myself too, my breasts were bigger and my skin was so clear.
He's always been anti-abortion
It was hard to talk to my boyfriend because he has always been anti-abortion but it wasn't the right time for me to have a baby. I would have to leave medical school for a while and didn't have much income.
At the appointment, they first did an ultrasound and told me I was 6 weeks + 3 days which is quite early.
They then talked me through the different options for termination. I opted for the medical abortion at home, although I would rather have stayed in the hospital where the nurses could help me and take care of the mess, but I would have to wait another 5 days and I couldn't stand the sickness anymore. I thought the surgical one would be more invasive and would take longer.
The doctor gave me the first tablet mifepristone and an anti-sickness tablet before I left, and gave me the rest of the medications to take home. I had 7 antibiotic tablets to take the next day, and 4 misoprostol tablets, which cause the abortion, to insert vaginally on the Friday followed by another 2 by mouth after 4 hours. They also gave me another anti-sickness tablet, ibuprofen and co-codamol.
By the time I got home, my nausea had worsened and I had also started getting a small amount of diarrhoea from the tablet but it wasn't terrible.
On the day of taking the abortion pills, I was scared
The next day the nausea was so bad I could only take 5 of the 7 antibiotics. That night I started bleeding lightly with very mild cramps. On the day of taking the abortion pills, I was scared. I had read abortion stories online with some people saying it was horrendous and others saying it was just like a heavy period.
I have a high pain threshold and the doctor said I was very early so I wasn't expecting it to be too bad. I inserted the 4 tablets at 9 am and took the painkillers. I used a plastic glove since I was already bleeding and lay in bed after so they could dissolve. Other than some more mild cramps I didn't feel anything else.
The tablets worked really quickly
The nausea was quite bad but I hadn't eaten and it's also a side effect of the medication. After 4 hours nothing had happened yet so I swallowed the other two tablets.
The tablets started to work really quickly. Within 10 mins my cramps had intensified to what felt like contractions and steadily got worse to the point of nearly screaming in pain. I sat on the floor of the bathroom with my boyfriend who didn't know what to do. I then had the urge to sit on the toilet because I could feel my bowels moving so fast.
It was truly horrible. Every time I pushed there was diarrhoea and also bleeding with some clots. The pain was the worst I had ever experienced in my life and the pain killers did nothing. I looked in the toilet and saw what looked like a clear/grey lump so I assumed I had passed the pregnancy but things got no better.
I moved between the toilet, the bed and the floor, writhing in pain
Over the course of an hour, I moved between the toilet, the bed and the floor, writhing in pain. The pain came in waves like contractions and no position or breathing could make it any better. I would describe it as 10/10 pain and I have a high pain threshold.
I told him to call the advice line or I'd call an ambulance
Anytime I was in the toilet I would have diarrhoea and clots as well as wretching but there was nothing in my stomach to bring up. I told my boyfriend to call the advice line or else I would call an ambulance because of the pain and I was now feeling lightheaded.
The nurses were all busy and said someone would call back. I called back again 10 minutes later I was so desperate for help. They said again someone would call.
The doctor suggested a hot shower
The doctor called back 5 minutes later and said to try a hot shower and let the pain killers kick in, if I wasn't better after an hour she suggested going to the hospital for stronger painkillers.
While she was talking to my boyfriend on the phone I vomited quite a large amount of brown liquid. I felt a bit better after this actually. I took off all my clothes and sat in the shower with the hot water against my stomach which really helped.
At my lowest, I was bleeding and crying naked in the shower
I would advise using a hot water bottle for the pain because the heat really helps. It was at this point I felt at my lowest, bleeding and crying naked in the shower. I never thought my partner would see me like this.
I called my sister because I just needed emotional support as it had been so horrendous for over an hour.
I'm pretty sure this was the pregnancy
Shortly after I sat back on the toilet and passed a large lump/clot. I'm pretty sure this was the pregnancy. It didn't hurt. My pains and nausea got so much better after passing this.
I cleaned myself up, put on fresh pyjamas and got into bed. This all happened today. I'm still bleeding slightly with some mild cramps but nothing compared to earlier and the nausea has gone.
I don't mean to deter women from having medical abortions
I'm not telling my story to deter women from having medical abortions. I have read stories of some women only experiencing what is like a heavy period so I think it will be different for everyone.
If I had known mine would be this bad I would have either waited to have it done in the hospital where there are nurses on hand, or I would have the surgical option.
Today has really been one of the worst days of my life. I never imagined the pain, diarrhoea and vomiting would be so bad. I didn't feel prepared for it at all. I'm glad it's over now.
This story was sent in on 01/02/2019