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This topic is for personal experiences or dilemmas; to debate the ethics of termination, please go here or here.

My surgical abortion experience

(13 Posts)
Bexicle22 Mon 13-Apr-15 11:15:01

Just thought I would add my experience as I know some people, me included, like to have an idea of what they're getting themselves into when they decide on abortion.

I initially went to the family planning clinic to see a Dr who referred me to the local sexual health clinic for a consultation. At the second consultation, I was given an ultrasound to check my dates but they didn't make me look at the screen, I was then okayed by a second doctor who called the local BPAS clinic to book me in for the procedure. I had opted for a surgical abortion under general anaesthetic . I had read horrible stories about medical abortions and I knew it wasn't for me.

On the morning of my procedure, I arrived at the clinic at 9am. I filled in a form about my medical history then waited to be called. There were about 5-6 other girls there at this point. The room was like a doctor's waiting room with magazines and TV and was pretty laid back. I was called at 9.30 to have another scan to confirm dates. I went back and waited to be called by the nurse. She called me at about 10 and she took a finger prick blood test and explained my procedure and also the contraception I'd chosen (they would be putting the implant in while I was asleep) then I was asked to wait back in the waiting room until I was called upstairs to theatre.

I only waited for about another 45 minutes and a nurse called me and two other girls up to a changing room where we were given gowns and blankets and slippers to change into. After a short wait, I was then taken into a pre-theatre room and laid on a bed while a lady tapped my hand to find a vein. She was very friendly and kept me chatting. A man came in and inserted a cannula into my hand while two others, the anaesthetist and the surgeon, came in and introduced themselves, both were very nice and chatty. I had been worried that the staff would be judgemental but they weren't at all.

I was taken into theatre and all I remember is having something injected into my hand, the next thing I knew someone was saying my name and as I came round realised I was on a ward. They gave me about 10 mins to come round then wheeled me into a recovery room where I was sat on a reclining chair and given some water and had my blood pressure taken a few times. After that I was allowed to change my sanitary pad and get dressed. I was then taken to another room where I was given hot chocolate and biscuits and saw the discharge nurse who explained my procedure had gone fine, gave me aftercare advice and explained my implant. I was then given some antibiotics and once I'd taken them, I was allowed to go home.

I was sick when I got back but this is a side effect of the anaesthetic. I was cramping a little so I had a sleep for a few hours and when I woke up I felt a lot better. My cramps got worse that evening but eased off the next day as did the bleeding.

I was very apprehensive about the whole thing, mainly because I had never had a GA before but it was as simple as falling asleep. The staff were all friendly and reassuring and made me feel totally at ease. A point to remember if you are wanting to go down the surgical route, if you haven't had a child before (I have so didn't need one) you have to take a tablet to open up your cervix which can take up to two hours to work and the girls I saw who took it got quite sick.

I just wanted to share my experience because it really isn't as scary as you think, it's over so quickly and it is totally pain free. The thing that hurt most was my arm where the implant had been inserted. The people there see all different women every day who have had to make the difficult choice to abort and so they aren't there to judge you. What I feel I should say is, if you have ANY doubts that abortion might not be right for you, please think very carefully. I knew 100% that it was the right decision for me and so I have no regrets and it became fairly easy to do. If I had had any desire to continue with the pregnancy and wasn't completely sure I wanted to terminate, I wouldn't have gone through with it and, after having been through it now, I don't think I could have coped.

Sorry this was long but I hope maybe it's helped answer some questions or reassured anyome going through the same thing.

DuckChowMein Mon 13-Apr-15 12:32:44

Thanks for sharing. I'm glad you had a positive experience and i hope this post helps others who may be worried about the procedure. smile

muddypuddles01 Mon 13-Apr-15 17:48:22

Thank you for sharing your experience - would you mind saying how many weeks you were?

Bexicle22 Mon 13-Apr-15 18:24:58

Thanks, I hope so too smile

Bexicle22 Mon 13-Apr-15 18:28:17

And muddypuddles, at the time of the procedure I was 13+5. I realise that seems late, there a couple of reasons behind it. One is that initially I wanted to keep the baby and I tried my best to convince my partner (and myself) that this was threat thing to do. However after a few weeks I wasn't sure it was what I wanted but I didn't want to rush into an abortion unless I was 100% sure I wouldn't regret it. By this time I was almost 10 weeks. Second is that from the initial consultation at 10 weeks about the termination, an admin issue with the hospital saw me waiting a little longer than expected for a second consultation and by the time I saw them, they told me they wouldn't do an abortion past 12 weeks but by then I was 11+6 so they had to refer me to a BPAS clinic but the earliest appointment they had was ten days later.

Bexicle22 Mon 13-Apr-15 18:29:00

I mean "the right thing to do" not "the threat"

YonicScrewdriver Mon 13-Apr-15 18:30:27

I am glad you were well taken care of. Thanks for posting your story.

ArabellaStrange Mon 13-Apr-15 18:36:10

I had two terminations in my late teens, prior to having had my children and I have no recollection what so ever of being given a pill to open up my cervix. Since I remember the finger prick test on both occasions (and trying to tell them that I knew what result it would give on the second occasion) I am pretty sure that I would recall that. Maybe the procedure in regards to that has changed or varies between clinics?

Bexicle22 Mon 13-Apr-15 18:59:08

Arabella, from what I gather it is a "new" thing. I assume it makes it easier for surgeons and cuts down waiting times perhaps or could be something to do with making it safer in terms of not harming the cervix or uterus in any way. I was told this was the current procedure at both the hospital and at the clinic but it was only explained to me that it was to help open the cervix but not why having the cervix open was necessary.

WhenSheWasBadSheWasHorrid Mon 13-Apr-15 19:02:42

Thanks for sharing - glad it went well for you

Laurenjones23 Tue 19-May-15 15:30:21

Thankyou for sharing your experience it's really helped me I was having the medical abortion but on the day found out I was too far gone, I was meant to have a surgical under sedation today but got into the treatment room and ended up bottling out as I was so scared I would feel everything , I'm now booked in for a surgical with a general anaesthetic when I'm 12 weeks 4 days and your story has put my mind at ease thankyou x

silver1977 Wed 20-May-15 12:41:14

Yes thankyou for posting that- I have been searching MN for experiences as I am apprehensive about the procedure so nice to read someones account of it. I had my consultation today and was desperate to have treatment asap as I am being sick and struggling. I had read about the different procedures prior to the appointment and was set in my mind I would go down the Medical route, however the next available appointment to take the first pill was 8 days away and everyday seems forever at the moment! They offered me an appointment tomorrow for a surgical termination under GA so decided to go for that (even though the clinic is about 30 miles away) hoping to take kids to school and hubby be back in time to pick them up all being well. I feel worried about having a GA when I wasn't really considering this option, however the thought that it will all be over so quickly and I will be asleep is quite appealing.

Please anyone else do share your experiences, it helps to talk about it and helps others searching for advice either now or later on. Big hugs to anyone going through

LucyBabs Sun 24-May-15 23:14:05

Thanks for posting, its sounds almost identical to my own experience.
I felt taken care of and in good hands so to speak.

I had to travel from Ireland. They had a special room for Irish women as my flight was 9 hours after the procedure. I had internet, biscuits and tea smile

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