Unlike the typical stereotype of a teenage girl who falls pregnant, I am intelligent and in a long term, loving relationship.

Unlike the typical stereotype of a teenage girl who falls pregnant, I am intelligent and in a long term, loving relationship. Unlike the typical stereotype of a teenage girl who falls pregnant, I am intelligent and in a long term, loving relationship. I went for a scan after my first pregnancy test and found out I was five weeks and five days pregnant. I was absolutely terrified. I confided in my best friend and my boyfriend, both of whom agreed to stay with me and be there for me whatever I decided. Unfortunately, my parents are not approachable people so I was alone on this one. I decided after that scan that abortion would probably be the best thing, not only for my life, but for the child’s, but I didn't know how I would deal with the consequences. I booked myself in for an abortion for 28th May. By my sixth week of pregnancy, I was being sick every morning and unable to eat during the day due to nausea. I decided to take the next available abortion appointment, for a surgical abortion (gentle suction) with no anaesthetic. I was told that the pain would be similar to period pains, and that an anaesthetic was not necessary. Still terrified and feeling very alone, my boyfriend and I went to the clinic on the Thursday morning (unfortunately not without me being sick all over the floor of a train in London Victoria) When we arrived, my boyfriend was asked to leave and to return in an hour and a half. I was taken into a small room, with two Asian nurses, and a male Asian who was going to be carrying out the abortion. To be in front of three people who did not speak very good English, in such a small room was absolutely horrible. I was shaking and as soon as I saw the table in the middle of the room with stirrups that tighten up, I panicked. It looked like a scene from a horror movie. I was asked to remove my jeans and underwear, which I did. And then laid on the bed and had my legs strapped into the stirrups. I was asked again if I wanted anaesthetic. I said no again as I thought the pain would be bearable. I then had a long cold instrument inserted into my vagina, which sent a large shooting pain through my stomach and instantly let me know this wasn't going to be pain-free. By this point I wanted to run. I felt like I hadn't had enough information and maybe this wasn't the right choice. The male doctor said 'you'll feel a small pressure' and honestly it felt like someone was twisting a knife in my stomach. I vomited all down my top and all over the bed. The suction began and I thought I was going to faint. I just remember screaming and crying, and a pain that for me was quite unbearable. I would NOT liken it to period pains, I would liken it to someone pulling your insides out, and then putting them in again. And the noise was horrendous. Silence apart from the sucking noise. After five minutes it was over. I couldn't stand up and I was in agony. I felt so dirty and ashamed, embarrassed and in pain, and the loneliness was awful. I’m 17 and I can't watch a scary film without someone holding my hand. Going through that alone was so traumatising. I was made to wait in a recovery room for thirty minutes. From there I was given an aftercare leaflet, and then sent home. Outside all I could do was hug my boyfriend and sit on the floor and vomit. I have never experienced so much pain and something so emotionally disturbing. I'm not sure how to react to anything now. It was two days ago, and all I can do is cry. It was a rushed decision which led to pain and heartache. My exams have been completely disrupted, although I intend to re-do year 12 and get 4 A's as I was predicted. I don't know how to get over this. All I can advise to anyone considering an abortion is to think it through so carefully. And from talking to the other women who were in the clinic with me, take either general anaesthetic or the other anaesthetic which makes you sleepy, but you don't sleep through it. Either way, you won’t feel the pain. Just don't get it done with no anaesthetic. Editor’s note: Thanks for sharing your experience with us…Every woman considering an abortion should be fully informed about the procedures and what to expect, and be given the opportunity to explore how they feel about it all. It sounds as if you received inadequate information about the pain levels you might experience. Whatever your reasons for going ahead with an abortion, you may find that you struggle emotionally due to how you felt about the experience as a whole. You mention that you felt ashamed and dirty afterwards, and I wonder how you are coping with that memory now. I think you have been shocked by what happened to you. If you find you need to talk it through with someone who understands, feel free to contact your nearest centre. You can do a questionnaire assessment to see how you are coping and this will help to reveal any areas that need some attention and compassionate care. It’s free and confidential.

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