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

Surgical Termination under local anaesthetic - Experience

(3 Posts)
caramelcreme17 Tue 07-Nov-17 19:43:21

So today I've been for the surgical abortion under local anaesthetic. My boyfriend suddenly decided to skip all his classes and come with me to the town (but not the clinic since he had a bit of work to do), so honestly it was a waste choosing local since the only reason I did so was because I thought he couldn't come with me. Emotionally, I was very ready - I'm a student of medicine so quite detached/aware of the consequences of not getting it done this early etc. So I've decided to just write a log of my experience just to reassure anyone who was worried about having a surgical termination, or afraid of the pain etc.

I said goodbye to my boyfriend and left him to do his uni work in Costa nearby and went into the BPAS clinic - it was a very homely sort of waiting room and whilst a lot of the ladies there looked a bit frightened, everyone was super friendly and sweet - we all had a chat about the fiddly coffee machine/etc. I was honestly, at this point, terrified of the pain, also felt a little awks because I was the only one there without a support person (damn Oxbridge and their workloads). Then a lovely nurse called me in and we had a chat to make sure this was what I wanted, and took my BP and temperature, and confirmed the contraception I was having (the coil).

Then she gave me 2 tablets of Misoprostol since I was 9 weeks along and needed the cervical preparation apparently, and she also gave me an anti sickness tablet since I told her I suffered from terrible nausea during the pregnancy and Misoprostol apparently makes you feel icky etc. So I had them under the tongue (they tasted, frankly, vile) and went back out into the waiting room where apparently I had to wait for an hour. If you're over 8 weeks along and need these tablets, believe me, they're absolutely gross - I started having cramps and minor pains so I took two Ibuprofen and washed it down with some hot chocolate. Read for about an hour and they called me in.

Two lovely nurses called me in and asked me to change into a paper gown and slippers, and gave me a bag to put my undies in. I then got called into the room - so there were the two nurses and a chatty doctor. Laid down, put my legs in the stirrups. She then put a speculum in me, which, frankly, was the weirdest bit about the procedure for me, and she cranked it a bit so it was a weird sort of ache - maybe comparable to having sex for the first time etc. I really didn't feel her injecting the local anaesthetic - either my cervix walls are weirdly free of sensation or I'm just a dozy tit.

Then she turned on the machine and I got light cramps. Maybe comparable to passing a clot during your period - except marginally odder, considering about two people were staring at my vagina and the other one going on about how she wants her kid to go to the university I attend. It really wasn't as painful as I thought, just moderate cramping for about a minute, some pressure (you can feel the suction) and then she's completely done. I do admit I got a bit of a shock when she shoved two fingers in my bum to put up a suppository but I gritted my teeth and didn't complain, especially because I was still in shock at the relative painlessness of the procedure.

The nurses gave me one of their humongous hospital grade pads and also a pair of granny panties because again, like an idiot, I was wearing somewhat skimpy pants. The nurses did tell me that my pain tolerance seemed exceptional, so I'm not sure if that apparent fact had something to do with how painless it seemed to be. I do think my psychological state did help, however - I knew it was going to be a termination the moment I saw the test, my boyfriend was very supporting (albeit not present, the swot), and so I was not at all attached to any possible outcomes other than this. If I had been nervous/unsure, I do suppose it would have seemed way worse and big, so my advice (if possible, of course, considering your individual circumstance!) would be to go in somewhat relaxed.

Anyway, so I had very mild twinges as I was led into the recovery room. The two girls who were put under were basically lying down and looked very ill - they did leave as soon as I was brought in though - apparently their procedure was an hour ago. The nurse in the recovery room was lovely as well - I was a greedy one as my nausea had immediately stopped after the procedure, and she gave me a ton of crisps and biscuits to scoff, and some coffee too. I had a chat with her about men being absolute numpties (my boyfriend and I had our condom break and he didn't notice), had about ten biscuits, and was off on my way. I was able to walk the five minutes to Costa, and the other thirty minutes to the train station with no fuss at all. To compare - I had to be driven in a cab to the clinic because I was dizzy and on the verge of puking.

Anyway, so that's how my procedure went, and it was far less (physically) painful than I had thought. There, personally, really isn't a call for general anaesthesia at an early stage if you're tolerant to pain/scared of needles/have nobody to drive you back - there was only a period-like pain and then a very quick recovery time under local anaesthesia. For women who have no option but to go for local, or for those who don't like the feeling of sedation - this is nothing to be extremely frightened of (in terms of physical pain, of course).

Do hope I reassured some of you, holding your hands from afar xx

Frazzles99 Wed 08-Nov-17 19:34:44

Fab post Caramel!
We need more like this to help calm everyones nerves and needless imagination of such procedures being horrific xxx

Looper17 Thu 09-Nov-17 20:37:14

Thanks! - we all need to share I had a surgical abortion at 7 weeks under general anaesthetic at my local hospital in September. Before I'd read every horror story on this site and the internet. The procedure itself was pain free and wonderfully managed by all the hospital staff. I am so grateful for their support!

And also thankful for the positive stories on here that put my mind at rest.

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