Having read predominantly negative experiences of medical abortion, I wanted to share my story which went exactly to plan

Having read predominantly negative experiences of medical abortion in the run-up to my own procedure, I wanted to share my story [other abortion stories], which I hope will show others that things do often go exactly to plan and, under these circumstances, that medical abortion is nothing to fear.

I found myself unexpectedly pregnant in mid-February. I wasn’t devastated, but at the same time, there is a lot going on which meant the arrival of a baby would cause additional strain. So after about a week of soul searching and discussion with my husband, I decided to get a termination.

I self-referred to my local hospital, and attended an appointment where I was scanned (abdominal, not internal) and shown to be 5 weeks and 6 days [experiences of abortion at 5 weeks pregnancy].

I had a brief discussion with a nurse around my decision to terminate, discussed my medical history, had my bloods taken, I was swabbed vaginally to test for STDs and then signed the paperwork. I was offered counselling on my decision, which I declined as I was absolutely sure by this point.

I could have started the procedure that day, but I had a business trip booked for the following day, so asked if I could come back early the following week, which they kindly accommodated.

On the following Monday, I attended the hospital again and was told that my STD test had come back clear and that my bloods had caused no concerns. I had my blood pressure and heart rate checked and then I was given the first tablet, which I took in the presence of the nurse. I was then allowed to leave the hospital and go home.

They provided me with a bag containing the tablets for the second part of the procedure, some antibiotics, some strong painkillers, some pads and a couple of large pads for my bed. I opted to complete the second part of the procedure the following day on the Tuesday.

At 7.30 I had some breakfast as the antibiotics have to be taken with food, then I inserted the four tablets vaginally. I also took two painkillers. From then I put some catch-up TV on and waited.

It’s important not to go to the toilet for the first hour in case the tablets fall out before they have had a chance to work. I kept expecting to be hit by a massive wave of pain, but there was nothing more than the smallest of cramps.

I was beginning to feel worried that it hadn’t worked. It wasn’t until 11 am that I wiped pink when I went for a wee, and then shortly after I felt the need to rush back to the toilet where I passed a few large clots and quite a lot of blood.

The clots were large enough for me to feel them moving down and out of me, which was a strange sensation, but not painful. This happened twice more in the next 30 minutes, where I had a feeling that I needed to rush to the toilet and when I did I passed clots.

Then that was it. The bleeding was fairly heavy for the rest of the day and I had some backache in the evening, but nothing unmanageable - a hot water bottle really helped.

The following day I felt a little shaky and lightheaded but was okay after some breakfast. I’d booked the following day off work too - and was glad to have another quiet day. The bleeding was still heavy but definitely slowing down - a bit like day 1 of a normal period at this stage.

I returned to work on the Thursday, which was fine. My role is largely desk based though; if I had a more active job I think I’d have taken the Thursday and Friday off too.

The bleeding lasted 10 days with the last four manageable with just a panty liner. In terms of the emotional impact, for me, that’s also been fine. I’d expected to be tearful with the drop in hormones, but it didn’t happen.

I remain very sure of the decision I made and incredibly grateful to live in a country that supports a woman’s right to choose and where there is safe access to abortion.

This story was sent in on 27/03/2019

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