My experience of medication abortion at 9 weeks and tips for dealing with the pain
My experience of having the medication abortion at 9 weeks and 4 days - tips for anyone about to go through it.
Once I found out I was pregnant I went to my local doctor who referred me to BPAS. I was not happy about the wait time for my first appointment, just under 2 weeks, this seemed like forever for me and made me a lot more anxious and worried about how far along I was.
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At my first appointment, they were friendly and very helpful, they gave me every test they could, from blood to STI tests along with the scan to see how far along I was.
Once they told me I was 9 weeks and 4 days, I felt relief I could get the medication abortion as the concept of the surgical route was very scary to me, although the staff did seem to be advising me more towards that route advising that as it was at 9 weeks there would be a lot of blood and that I would be able to see and recognize what came out of me.
For me this wasn't an issue as I was very confident in my decision, but for anyone that thinks they would be sensitive for that it is something to bear in mind, the fetus that came out of me was about the size of an olive, but you can see what it is and I can understand that could be upsetting to some woman.
The first pill stops the fetus growing
At the first appointment, I was given the first pill, that would stop the growth of the fetus continuing and begin to break down my wombs lining, it is advised you may experience some spotting after the first pill, although this never happened for me I just felt mid-period type cramps.
Subsequent pills expel the pregnancy
A few days later I was booked into the hospital for my second appointment and to have the other pills. Due to be being 9 weeks, I had had to remain in the hospital as I had to be given 2 doses, of 4 pills 3 hours apart.
These doses consisted of 4 pills that I had to insert as far up vaginally as possible.
- Hour 1-3
I felt mid discomfort with some cramping but I managed to sleep a little and it wasn't too bad, towards the end of hour 3 coming up to having the second dose my pain began to increase. The nurse came and I was advised to insert the second dose of 4 pills, again vaginally.
I went to the bathroom and as I was inserting them, I was starting to bleed.
- Hour 3-6
My pain increased a lot during this time and peaked, I was bleeding a fair amount and I could feel pressure in my lower abdominal area, the peak of the pain did not seem to last too long maybe 30 mins. I just kept telling myself through it, it would not last forever and once the fetus had passed I would almost instantly feel better, which I did. Once this had happened I began to feel better and within an hour I was ready to go home and was eating fine.
I began to bleed a lot more once I got home, but from that point, it was like having my period but with more blood, the pain was back to mild cramping and I was fine to go about my day.
My advice for dealing with the pain
A hot water bottle
I took a hot water bottle with me to the hospital and requested them to fill it up for me, this made a world of difference! I felt like I only experienced the peak of the pain and the heat on my womb offset most of the pain.
Almost like what they teach you to do when in labour, focus on your breathing, slow deep breaths, really helped me through.
Keep yourself in a good mindset! There will be times that you just want the pain to stop, it's not pleasant, but it will not last forever it's short-term and you can do it we are built to handle much worse!
Finally, pain relief! I would advise you take your first dose of pain relief about an hour before your appointment so that it has already kicked in by the time you are experiencing pain, I used co-codamol of my own before the appointment and the hospital gave me another dose of paracetamol and ibuprofen during the procedure.
Terms mentioned in this story
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- Medical Abortion
Medical abortion refers to the taking of medication to end a pregnancy and usually takes place over two stages. The first stage is where a medicine called mifepristone stops a hormone that allows the pregnancy to continue. The second stage, usually 24-48 hours later, is where a second medicine, called misoprostol, is used to cause the lining of the womb to break down causing bleeding and the loss of the pregnancy.
Medical abortion doesn't require surgery but sometimes not all of the tissue is passed and may require a small surgical procedure to remove further remnants of pregnancy tissue.