My experience of surgical abortion at a NUPAS clinic at 11 weeks and 3 days

By Laura on 09/02/2019
united kingdom surgical abortion abortion 11 weeks

Okay so, I’m writing my story just to help anyone else thinking about a surgical abortion just like I did. I scoured the internet for helpful stories: did it hurt, what’s the process, etc etc so I thought I’d share my experience of a surgical abortion at a NUPAS clinic in the UK at 11 weeks and 3 days.

[For other stories about different aspects of abortion use this page.]

So firstly I found out I was pregnant on Christmas Eve which was a complete shock. I had been on the pill and taking it religiously, I also have a 6-month-old daughter and although myself and her father are still together another child was just not what I wanted at that time in my life.

The pill I had been prescribed was messing with my periods I was having days of bleeding then none, others I’d go a month with no bleeding then three weeks of spotting, so the fact my period was a bit off didn’t make me think pregnancy, although after weeks of no spotting or bleeding I took the test which was positive.

I and my partner both spoke and decided with working and having our daughter who was just 6 months old it wasn’t the right time, not to mention the fact I suffered from hyperemesis gravidarum[1] with my daughter and it took its toll on my body which pregnancy does anyway but the sickness made it horrendous.

I contacted the clinic on Boxing Day and they told me to call back the next day, which I did and luckily for me I got a cancellation and was asked to go the following Thursday which I did.

It was like a doctors appointment but my identity was concealed so I got the scan and a finger prick and was told I was 10 weeks and 3 days, and the limit for a medical abortion is 8 weeks at this clinic, either way, it wouldn’t have been carried out for another week at least so they made me an appointment for a surgical abortion.

If I could have taken the medical abortion I would have as at that point I was feeling really poorly and desperate to get it over with. Either way, they gave me an appointment for the following week.

The build-up to the appointment was frustrating and nerve-wracking where I just scoured the net for stories of other women and waited. The whole time my sickness was becoming unbearable and caring for myself, my daughter, my boyfriend and our home was becoming a task and I was feeling so rubbish, just as I had with my daughter (so much for every pregnancy being different huh).

So the day came. I was asked to be at the clinic for 9 which was an hour and 30-minute drive from my home. We got there, signed in and were given a number. It was VERY busy with barely even space to sit but we sat and waited which was the worse part.

I was seen by a Dr who asked if I was sure this is was my own choice etc I said yes and proceeded to sign the forms and was shown back to the waiting room.

Women were coming and going and we sat and waited 6 hours until eventually I and 3 others were called (we were the only women left).

I was shown to a room with a nurse who was lovely and very sympathetic. She again checked this was my choice and made sure I was certain this was what I wanted, again I said yes and was then shown to another room where one of the ladies I came up the stairs with was also waiting.

I was given a gown and told to put my belongings into a bag with a number on it. I got changed and waited. A nurse then came to collect us both and we were escorted to another room that was a small waiting room where the other 2 women were and all four of us sat together and waited.

We were then called one by one, second to last they shouted me. I was shown to a small room where an anaesthetist asked had I had a general anaesthetic before or any operation, am I allergic to anything. I said no to both and was shown to another room which was like an 'operating room' but less scary.

Two nurses stood by the door and asked me to take off my underwear and put it under my pillow, I was covered up whilst doing this. I then lay on the bed while the anaesthetist came over and put a cannula in my hand. He then gave me a strong painkiller which made me feel woozy and I was pushed under a light where the surgeon said count to 10. I got to about 5... next thing I was waking up in another room with the other girls and a nurse standing over me.

I opened my eyes and said is it over. She smiled and said yes would you like to sit up. I managed to sit up without any problem. I didn’t feel any pain or discomfort. I just felt slightly achy and tired. My tummy felt really warm.

The nurse then came over and gave me a drink of water and two tablets to take - antibiotics to reduce the chance of infection.

I then sat for another 10 minutes, then was told I need to take a drink of tea or juice which was great as prior to the appointment you have to fast from the night before. So I drank a cup of apple juice and ate 3 biscuits.

The nurse then said we need you to use the toilet. I got up, slipped into my underwear and used the toilet. There was no pain or discomfort when I used the toilet at all.

I went back into the room, she said did you go, I said yes. She said you can get dressed and leave when you're ready so I got my self together and left.

The whole experience for me was a lot better than I expected. This isn’t supposed to be a positive experience but for myself, at this time it was the right decision for me.

I left the clinic with my partner and began the drive home. I felt achy but nothing major and wasn’t in any discomfort.

I forgot to mention I also had an implant put in whilst I was asleep which has longed out the bleeding for me but the bleeding was nothing major, less than a period, and I had no pain afterwards either. Whilst passing any blood I had some pinkish stringy stuff when I wiped once or twice (sorry if TMI) but otherwise everything was fine.

I repeated the pregnancy test a month later which was negative and that’s it - my surgical abortion experience.

If this is something you're thinking about, for myself it wasn’t the horror story I had imagined the whole time. The staff were very nice and understanding and there was no judgement at all, they were very helpful and I was extremely grateful with the way I was treated.

To anyone reading this and considering this procedure I wish you all the best and if this is what you go through with it does get better and you will be back to yourself in no time.

Best wishes x

Terms mentioned in this story

  1. Hyperemesis gravidarum

    Most pregnant women (around 7 out of 10) experience nausea and/or vomiting (not necessarily just in the morning) however it usually subsides by around week 14 of pregnancy although it can last longer.

    Some women though, it's thought around 1%, experience excessive nausea and vomiting and might be sick many times in a single day, being unable to keep food or drink down - this condition is known as hyperemesis gravidarum (HG), and often needs hospital treatment.

    Sources (open in a new tab/window):

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