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Post abortion - is this normal? (Quite graphic description, sorry if tmi)

(47 Posts)
Namechanger012345 Wed 29-May-13 13:18:53

I had a surgical abortion a week and a half ago at 10 weeks. It was emotionally very hard for me and I'm trying to move on but I can't forget about it because I have some horrible physical symptoms that I am constantly aware of. If anyone has experience of similar please could you advise whether this sounds normal or if I should be getting worried.

For the first couple of days I felt physically okay, my bleeding started after a day and was fairly light, not really painful. However now over the last week the bleeding has got really heavy, doesn't seem to be reducing at all.. It sometimes calms down for a few hours but then it comes back just as strong. I have been passing what I think must be blood clots (huge lumps, some dark black, some more reddish) regularly since last Friday as well and these are getting larger. Sometimes they are quite uncomfortable to pass, but not unbearable.

I have cramps but these are not too bad, just like a normal period, and I am just taking Nurofen for them, which is fine.

I'm starting to feel quite dizzy and light headed probably just from bleeding so heavily and got some iron tablets today which hopefully should help.

The nurse told me its possible to bleed for up to 3 weeks so I'm prepared for that. In the after care leaflet I got it says heavy bleeding with clots can be normal for 2 to 7 days, however it then also says somewhere else in the leaflet that particularly heavy bleeding after 2 days can be a problem. This will be coming up to 7 days for me tomorrow or Friday and I'm wondering if I should wait until then and see, or if I need to just get it checked now. I don't have any of the other typical signs of an infection, like no discharge or high fever, I'm just worried because the bleeding and clots seem quite extreme and I'm starting to feel really weak and exhausted from it.

Thank you for any input anyone can give me.

AmberLeaf Sat 01-Jun-13 09:49:09

Sorry you're having such a horrible time of it.

Not termination related, but I had terrible flooding that went on and on after I had one of my children, I got antibiotics and it sorted it, the doctor told me that if there is infection in the womb/cervix that can cause heavy bleeding as it is a way of 'flushing' out infection.

Hope you're feeling better soon. flowers

Namechanger012345 Sat 01-Jun-13 09:35:47

Lurcher thanks that's very interesting re the endo. I don't have anything like that. Also they did do a scan yesterday, I think only of my uterus and ovaries not anything else, but nothing was mentioned there. If I do have it surely it must be really mild if I never felt any symptoms and there was nothing noticeable on the scan?! I wish she had just said something rather than only writing it on my notes without a word angry

Namechanger012345 Sat 01-Jun-13 09:31:34

Maybe I really should try counselling again or at least give it a chance. Generally I tend to feel like I don't like it and it doesn't help me (had various types of counselling over the years for anxiety etc due to the rape and I think the only thing that actually really helped me deal with it at all was just time...) and I wasn't too impressed with the brief counselling I did have to try to help me reach my decision about the abortion in the first place... But I have to admit I am not feeling good about this. Maybe I do need help. Feeling a lot of regret sad Im feeling jealous and weirdly angry at people who are pregnant or have babies. Just had a dream about that too.

lurcherlover Sat 01-Jun-13 00:07:07

I was having really painful periods - it felt like cystitis every time, and I'd have really painful guts and diarrhoea. Turned out it was all because I have patches of endo growing on my bladder and bowel. In my case they could see it on a scan, but usually you need a laparoscopy (keyhole surgery where they go in with a camera through your abdomen) to give you a definite diagnosis. Sometimes they can laser some of it off at the same time, but there's not really a cure. Ironically the best treatment is often to get pregnant, and as I was diagnosed when we were thinking about babies anyway we decided just to get on with it - and as noted had no problems conceiving. I had my first child, then when my periods eventually came back they were loads better so it seems it worked for me. My second pregnancy ended in a missed miscarriage and ERPC but I conceived again very soon afterwards ( something else which should reassure you, as you've basically just had the same procedure). The final pregnancy was completely normal. Endo symptoms vary wildly from woman to woman and you definitely need specialist advice - that dr today was useless!

Another thought - if talking things through with a stranger would help, consider phoning the Samaritans. I've called them at difficult times in my life and found it very helpful. You certainly don't need to be suicidal or anything like that.

I def agree with ballroom. Counselling, when you're ready, will help you sort everything out in your head. I won't lie - I've struggled - but with help I'm much happier about my decision.

Glad you got sorted at the doctors op. I don't know about endo. My sis has it but has no interest in having kids. I know it affects her periods - they can be very painful for her and she's had a lot of scans and internals.

I think the one thing I did notice from your posts is the way you are feeling about the abortion and just wanted to suggest some post-abortion counselling might be helpful for you to work through those. I didn't take up on counselling and had a very bad time for a lot of years as everyone concentrates on the physical side rather than how mentally it can make you feel.

Namechanger012345 Fri 31-May-13 21:20:57

Thanks for being so lovely everyone thanks

Lurched that is really reassuring to hear you conceived with no problems with endo. If you don't mind me asking, how did you get diagnosed with it, like how did it come to the doctors attention? Were you having any symptoms bothering you that you went to get checked or did a doctor just notice something on a smear or examination?

I'm quite confused as to what it is that's made her put it down as suspected for me. I don't really know what she means by an adhesion or where this apparently is. I had never noticed anything and no one has ever commented... I'm not sure if that's only thing she is worried about. She did ask me if I have pain during sex, and i was asked that when i had a smear before too, so I dont know if something looks like it should be causing me pain or if they were just asking because I was in a lot of pain from the internal.

sorry your having all these worries, i agree with the others see your gp and get a referal to a gyne, its not really on to tell you theres a problem but then to not follow it up, esp when your so worried
sorry for everything you have been through and i hope physically the worse is over for you
flowers

lurcherlover Fri 31-May-13 20:47:19

You poor poor thing, what an awful time you've had flowers

FWIW, I have endo and when I was diagnosed (pre-dc) I was immediately worried about my fertility - but I went on to conceive three times, twice the first month of trying and the other time the third month. So it's certainly not automatically a problem - and you have conceived, after all. You also need more investigations than just an internal exam to get a diagnosis.

It might be worth asking your gp for a referral to a sympathetic gynae you can talk to about all this. And when you get there, don't be afraid to ask for the consultant if you only see a junior doc initially. I'm sorry you had such a rough time today.

Depending on the severity endometriosis can be a cause on infertility however if it is mild it may not have any effect at all. Maybe make an appointment with your GP to discuss it when you're recovered. I have just finished a placement in a gynae ward in a hospital with an emergency clinic and we only use standard speculums but it may vary by NHS trust. I hope you feel better soon.

O god you've had such an awful time.

When I had a smear they used a spreader thing so maybe that's what the cone was? I don't know a lot about endometriosis I'm afraid but someone will.

Try and not punish yourself right now though x

Namechanger012345 Fri 31-May-13 16:27:27

I'm home from the hospital. Had a scan and internal examination and they are satisfied that there are no retained products left so that's good news. They gave me antibiotics for a possible infection and also some tablets to decrease the bleeding. The bleeding has already gone down quite a lot so I'm wondering of last night was maybe the final "clear out".

However even though the scan was pretty good news I'm now quite worried about something else. The internal examination was really horrible for me. She didn't really explain what she was doing, just said taking some swabs. I expected small swabs but she started to shove this massive cone thing up there (not sure if that is normal for internal examinations or smear tests in England, I have only had one in Scotland before which used a much smaller speculum and whenever I have had "swabs" e.g. for routine sti tests they were literally just cotton bud type swabs confused ) Anyway I tensed up a lot and was kind of freaking out, it really distressed me... I felt like I probably came across a bit pathetic and i know no one enjoys these but I was raped about 10 years ago and I think that's why I tensed up as it kind of made it flash back sad

Anyway during this examination the doctor commented that I have some kind of adhesion, I asked her about it as soon as she said and she didn't want to tell me anything, just brushed it off completely. I asked her about it after but she said its probably nothing... However then when I got my medical notes back she had written "suspected endometriosis". I didn't really know anything about this except I thought it was one of those things which can be linked to infertility?! I googled it a bit and saw it is to do with scar tissue. I am wondering if maybe I just have some kind of old scar tissue from the rape and its not endometriosis. I don't normally have any of the other supposedly common symptoms (found from googling) like heavy periods and bad period pain or pain during sex. everything is normally totally fine.

Feeling quite upset and confused. I'm going to see my usual GP about it on Wednesday when she is next in. I hope she will be able to explain things to me better and find out whether I actually have this. I'm so worried about the fertility thing and if this had even been mentioned as a possibility before I would have never ever had this abortion if I thought there was any risk of difficulties with my fertility sad I feel so stupid.

MrsLettuce Fri 31-May-13 09:21:38

Thank goodness! Maybe take a wee overnight bag with you for safeties sake.

ExcuseTypos Fri 31-May-13 09:10:07

That's great. Hope all goes well.

BalloonSlayer Fri 31-May-13 09:09:36

oh x-post! Glad you got someone helpful.

BalloonSlayer Fri 31-May-13 09:08:34

I have only had ERPCs but as lurcherlover says, it's the same procedure and this sounds like far, far too much bleeding. All I ever had afterwards was like a light/medium period. TMI but I have had a miscarriage where the Dr expressed shock at how much blood there was (why? just what did he expect when he became a gynaecologist?) and it was nothing like as much as you are describing.

I am worried for you that part of the pregnancy products have been retained. Please get help asap and insist you are seen.

lurcherlover Fri 31-May-13 09:07:25

Phew. Really hope all goes well at the hospital today.

oh good, good luck

Namechanger012345 Fri 31-May-13 09:05:44

Thanks everyone. The GP surgery called me back and it was a nice doctor who I have seen before, and she was really good. She's giving me some painkillers which should also lessen the bleeding and referring me for an urgent scan at the hospital today.

how scarey for you op, i think your gp needs to refer you to emergency gyne at your locak hospital, they need to scan you realy to see whats going on and maybe do a few blood tests

i had a mmc and i lost so much blood it was terrifying
i got a bollocking from the dr for not going intot he hospital when i started getting whisting in my ears and feeling faint
so if you dont get any liuck with your gp i think you really need a and e
this type of blood loss can be very seriois

I've been in the same position as you tho I didn't bleed just so much. Marie stopes are useless so you're totally right to get to your Gp ASAP.

I hope everything is ok x

ExcuseTypos Fri 31-May-13 08:55:45

So sorry you are going through all this.

When you see your Gp, could you insist on getting scan/investigations to put your mind at rest that nothing has been damaged?

Im sure all will be absolutely fine, but you don't want to be worrying unnecessarily.x

lurcherlover Fri 31-May-13 08:51:26

If you don't get an appointment for some reason, please go to A&E. It sounds like you might need a scan to check for retained tissue. I know it's gross, but if you pass any more big clots in the meantime, keep them to show the dr ( old ice cream tub or something similar).

It's very unlikely to have affected your fertility. Please don't worry. I had an ERPC after a missed miscarriage (exactly the same procedure as a surgical abortion) and conceived again very easily. Be kind to yourself flowers

Namechanger012345 Fri 31-May-13 08:45:45

I managed to get a couple of hours sleep and rang the GP urgent number first thing. I'm now in the doctor triage list waiting for them to call me back, get my symptoms and then I'm sure they will give me an appointment for later this morning. I did consider a & e yesterday but I was feeling so crap I just couldn't really face trudging over there, waiting ages etc.

MrsLettuce Fri 31-May-13 08:42:57

Oh hell. I hope you went to A&E or have now seen a doctor. I'm so
sorry you're going through this.

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