I had a medical abortion today, and thought I would share my story.

By anonymous on 16/11/2008
united kingdom medical abortion abortion 5 weeks

I had a medical abortion today and thought I would share my story. For about a week I've been reading and reading and reading people's stories on sites such as this, and to be honest I was terrified.

I had asked for a surgical abortion, but it turned out when I went for my scan that I was only 5½ weeks, so it was either wait 2 weeks until I was far enough along or have it medically in the next few days.

[There are links to other stories organised by abortion type and the number of weeks of pregnancy on this page]

Anyway, first things first is to say why I wanted an abortion. I have been with my boyfriend for about 15 months, and I love him dearly. I am very lucky that he is so understanding.

At 21 years old and in the last year of a degree, we agreed that this was pretty much 'the right thing at the wrong time'. There is no way we could support a child.

I have no fixed abode as I live in student accommodation, he is on the dole and I only have a job in a bar for 16 hours a week. It just wasn't going to be possible. And to be honest, I'm not ready. I'm awful with kids and I have no desire to be a mother yet.

My boyfriend would rather have kept the child, but he understood that it wouldn't be fair on any of us, and like me he refuses to bring a child into the world when we know we'd give it nothing but poverty.

So I went to the local family planning clinic and made the necessary appointments. The first appointment I had my scan and some swabs taken, and had some bloods taken.

Then the nice doctor lady arranged with me to go for an Implanon fitting the week after my termination. She said that as my boyfriend and I regularly used contraception with only a few slip ups in the last few months, we are obviously highly fertile together. So she thought that'd be the best option.

She then made my appointments at the hospital for a medical termination. I went on Tuesday at 8.30am (stupidly early) to take the first tablet to make the womb unsuitable for pregnancy.

This only took about 20 minutes, then I went back home to bed, where I had been pretty much since I found out I was pregnant. Not because I was wallowing or anything, but because I started suffering terrible nausea from about week four of the pregnancy. I have literally felt sick and exhausted for two weeks.

I got slight cramps from the first tablet but nothing too terrible. I bled slightly, more like the end of a period. I felt pretty dreadful too, and was sick once, but it got better after that.

More than anything I was just terrified after hearing all these horror stories. So what was it actually like? To be honest, it was fine.

The nurses were all absolutely lovely and very helpful. I was shown to my bed where I was told to get changed and get into bed. I was in a room with three other women, separated by curtains. Then a nurse came in and shoved a painkiller up my bum (lol), which was lovely!

She then inserted the four tablets vaginally and told me I was to stay in bed for one hour, then I could move around as I wished.

I'll be honest, it was painful. The pain started after about ten minutes. But it wasn't dreadful. A bit worse than a really bad period. I tried to grit my teeth and take it but eventually it got a bit too much for me and I called a nurse to ask for some more painkillers. She brought me 2 codeine or co-codamol, I forget which. 

Just after she put them on the table, I had to leg it to the toilet to be sick. I retched for quite a bit, but it wasn't too bad. And I have quite a phobia of vomit, so it can't have been too terrible if I'm not traumatised!

After I was sick I went to the toilet and passed quite a large clot. After this I felt much better and found that the nausea subsided as did the pain.

That was it really.

I lay around in bed reading magazines and doing puzzle books. I passed about three large clots between 9 am and 2 pm. I wasn't sick again and gradually picked up. I was even hungry, for the first time in weeks!

At about half past two, a nurse told me they wanted to examine me and that I had passed the pregnancy. After a suprisingly unpainful examination (they remove any tissue left in you with a pair of really long and intimidating looking scissors, but it really didn't hurt a bit). My nurse was excellent.

I was told I could go home whenever I felt up to it. And that was that.

I don't feel guilty. I feel a small bit of regret at the situation having to have happened, but I know I made the right choice and my boyfriend has been very supportive of me. I would tell anybody who is frightened of their medical termination to take a deep breath and relax - it's not as bad as all the terror stories.

As long as you are at peace with your decision you should be fine. After all, a little pain is something we women are all used to ;)

So don't worry. Just make the choice that's right for you. That's all x

Editor's comment

Thank you for sharing your experience…Many stories show a varied physical experience of medical termination and yours is no exception. It may reassure some readers about what it’s like, but it seems to depend on people’s pain thresholds, how well-informed they are and what pain relief is provided. Of course, the pain is not just physical for some women. You really hit the nail on the head when you mentioned being at peace with your decision. That seems such a rare thing. Logic is often not enough to carry women or their partners through the experience; the heart has something to say about it too. If you ever need any support in any way, please do contact a centre for post-abortion help.

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