Not For The Feint Hearted #GuestPost

Posted on 16th March 2011 in abortion pill/ levonelle/ Marie Stopes/ medical abortion/ miscarriage/ termination

My guest poster wishes to remain anonymous.

This post is not intended to offend and I hope that you will offer support if you can. If you find the post offensive, I would really appreciate it if you opted not to make a negative comment. Let’s respect each other and our differences.

Medical Abortion

Yes that’s right, that really is what this post is about. Need to say that loud and clear up front. If you don’t wish to read on then please don’t.

Thank you to @CoffeeCurls for running this post which I appreciate will be contentious.

I want to share with you my experience of a medical abortion, not to shock but to share, I hope you’ll see the difference.

Having found myself in a position where I wanted to terminate a pregnancy, I was surprised at the lack of available options. It isn’t something I have ever thought about before and I think it’s one of those ‘things’ that I’ve probably pretended doesn’t go on. I have said to friends many a time that ‘I could never have an abortion’.

I don’t want to explain my reasons. They are private and not relevant to this post. Except to say that I did take a morning after pill (Levonelle) which wasn’t quite as reliable as I had hoped. I made my choice after much soul searching and I am at peace with it.

After doing a positive test I went to see my doctor. I’d hoped they might bring up the subject of whether or not I wanted to keep the baby but they didn’t. It was an immediate assumption that I did. It took me a week to pluck up the courage to phone them back and say that I wanted to know the options for a termination.

I rang on a Friday and was told (by the doctor) that the earliest she could see me was the following Tuesday. At the that appointment she said she would discuss the options with me and then make a referral to the local hospital who would then do a consultation appointment and scan before booking me an appointment to have a termination. At 7 weeks pregnant I was concerned at the length of time this would take. I asked the doctor what she thought the timescale would be and mentioned that the decision was growing harder with every passing day. She said the appointments at the clinic were ‘hard to get’ and it would be a couple of weeks.

I couldn’t wait a couple more weeks.

I turned to my old friend google. I felt ashamed typing in ‘private termination’. Several hospitals and clinics appeared in the results. I began ringing them – most of them didn’t actually offer the service and it was a very uncomfortable conversation to have with the reception staff.

Most of them asked if I’d rung Marie Stopes. After exhausting all the local options I rang Marie Stopes. It was clearly a call centre but the staff were sensitive and helpful and I was offered an appointment the following day to have the procedure.

So I had the option of doing this via the NHS for free – but waiting at least 2 weeks.

Or doing it privately, at a cost of £530 – the next day.

It was a long way from home, but I had a supportive partner who came with me. I was really quite scared. The staff at the centre were lovely, everything was clearly explained. There was no pressure and absolutely no judgement.

The procedure itself was 2 tablets at the first appointment. Followed by 4 tablets at the second appointment. They then cause a miscarriage. Being a long way from home, the staff did warn me that this process may well happen in the car. They told me it would be painful with heavy bleeding and that I may also suffer sickness and diarrhea. Between the two appointments we bought tissues, wet wipes, water and bags in case I was sick on the way home.

There were lots of other people in the waiting room. Couples much older than me and couples much younger than me. One girl (with her mum) was so young it was almost upsetting. But the atmosphere was one of support.

The pain did start on the journey home, I got shivery and just wanted to get to bed to be warm. I took the nurses advice and as soon as I got home I took painkillers and got into bed with a hot water bottle. Once the initial shock and shivering had passed I came down stairs so as not to worry my children.

It was painful, there is no way of denying that. The pain kept building and building, then there would be a sharp cramp which was almost intolerable but lasted only seconds. The bleeding when it came was very heavy, clotty and unpleasant – as you would expect.

Overall though, as hideous as it was. From making the decision to going through with it. I would have to say that it wasn’t as bad as I thought that it would be. If you are contemplating it, for whatever your own reasons are, I just want to say that it was ok and that Marie Stopes were great.

I know I chose this. I know that millions of women suffer miscarriages every day through no fault of their own. I know that most of those women would hate me for choosing a termination.


  • Reply divasupermum 16th March 2011 at 3:37 pm

    very brave blog, went through simular myself, not by my choice by my doctors orders.

    • Reply CoffeeCurls 16th March 2011 at 3:38 pm

      I’m really sorry for you. Hope you are ok now. And thank you for a positive comment x

  • Reply Kelly 16th March 2011 at 3:55 pm

    I myself had an abortion last year, again for reasons personal and not relevant to my comment. I just wanted to say how sorry i was for the poor response from your local medical practitioners, and to say that not all of them are bad.

    When i went to my doctor, after doing a confirmation pregnancy test, the first thing he asked me was how i felt about being pregnant. Was it planned? Did i want to keep it? Have i discussed this with my partner? How does he feel?

    At the time i wasn’t 100% sure that an abortion was what i wanted, but he gave me the telephone number to call, which i did when i got home, and was seen by a consultant 2 days later. I wanted to know what my options were should i decide to go ahead.

    There were two methods i could have chosen, the pill method, as you had, or a medical procedure where they put you under anesthetic. I chose the latter and had it done a week later.

    My abortion took 15 minutes. I was kept in for an hour afterwards to make sure there were no adverse affects, but i was soon back home where i spent the rest of the day in bed. I had cramps, there was a little bleeding, but for the most part, i felt fine.

    Whilst i got the support i needed medically, my family and and boyfriend were not as supportive as they could have been and i feel like i went through the whole procedure alone. I’m glad you at least had your other half and family to help you.

    Whilst the decision was right for me at that time in my life, it was not an easy decision, and i urge anyone contemplating having one to really think long and hard if it is right for them, as you have to live with the decision for the rest of your life, and in my own experience, that is not an easy thing to do.

    • Reply CoffeeCurls 16th March 2011 at 4:26 pm

      I’m so sorry you didn’t have a lot of support. That makes a huge difference at these times. But your NHS option sounds fantastic so I’m happy for you in that respect. xx

  • Reply Angie 16th March 2011 at 5:35 pm

    Very brave lady. It’s not a nice subject, but is part of life and for a lot of women there is no other option, either for medical reasons or personal choice, but it is a womens right to decide.
    I admire the brave decison to post this blog.

    • Reply CoffeeCurls 16th March 2011 at 6:19 pm

      Thank you for your lovely comment. I think it’s a shame it still carries so much taboo x

  • Reply Mummy Beadzoid 16th March 2011 at 6:09 pm

    A tough read – it must have been very difficult for you and you’re very brave to post this. It’s our body, our right to choose. Glad you had a supportive partner, it must make the world of difference. Best of luck to you xXx

    • Reply CoffeeCurls 16th March 2011 at 6:19 pm

      Thank you, that’s really kind of you x

  • Reply sheila2010 16th March 2011 at 8:11 pm

    How very brave of you to tell your story.

    I worked within the NHS and witnessed woman going well past the time limit on the NHS to have a termination and having to have a private procedure done. All down to the NHS not acting quickly enough.

    One occasion my next door neightbour (whom I might add was lovely) was a single mum, at home with two boys, the eldest has some social problems and was quite a handful, her partner came out of prison and she got pregnant with her second boy and then the partner left her – returning a few months later to again get her pregnant – and then went back to prison. She went to her doctor, she was on social security at the time and for obvious reasons felt she could not manage yet another baby – she asked for a termination and she was refused by her GP – he advised her if she wanted a termination that she should pay and go privately but being on social security she just couldnt afford it. So she went through with the pregnancy and gave birth at 34 weeks. She had so many problems coping with the 3 children in a small flat 2 of which were under a year old – what gave the GP the right to say she couldnt have it done.
    Terminations are not something that most woman do not take lightly – and it is such an emotional journey before, during and after and I think that it should be treated with a lot more compassion that it is at times.

    • Reply CoffeeCurls 16th March 2011 at 8:39 pm

      Your poor neighbour :( that’s such a sad tale. It does seem that the NHS are letting some ladies down in some parts of the country although they seem very on the ball in other parts. It should be standard – not a lottery. I hope your neighbour is coping ok. And that the GP has been complained about! x

  • Reply hrwithouttickingboxes 16th March 2011 at 9:29 pm

    Very brave and touching blog. I have never been in your situation but have had 2 miscarriages and regardless the experience is horrid. I am astounded at how brave you are and thank you for sharing. Bx

  • Reply Paul (@Hooker1uk) 20th March 2011 at 10:41 am

    As everyone else has said, Such a brave post.
    Again thank you for sharing your experience.

  • Reply Julie 27th March 2011 at 6:32 pm

    A very brave and thought provoking post. Thank you for sharing the experience and exposing your emotions in such a post. I work within the health profession and am often ashamed at the behaviour & thoughtlessness of other professionals.

    • Reply CoffeeCurls 28th March 2011 at 6:46 am

      Thank you. I’ve often felt that I would struggle to work for the NHS given the experiences that I and others have had. Some are so helpful and some are so not! x

  • Reply Delilah 28th March 2011 at 12:54 pm

    Well done on writing about this. I’ve had 2 medical abortions. It wasn’t fun, but actually, in the grand scheme of things, it’s really not a big deal. It upsets a lot of people to know that you had a termination, and even more so when you don’t automatically come out and say “it ruined my life”, “I feel so guilty”, etc.

    I am now six months pregnant with a planned baby, and I still don’t regret what I did in the past. I actually feel I previously made very moral and responsible decisions; I did not take the decisions lightly, but I was absolutely adamant about not wanting to go ahead each time. That was the right decision for me. Life goes on.

    • Reply CoffeeCurls 28th March 2011 at 2:38 pm

      Hi and thank you so much for your comments. You are so right about it being more upsetting for other people who expect you to feel as though you’ve done something wrong. It really is and should be up to the individual to decide what is right for them.

      Congratulations too btw!


  • Reply Delilah 28th March 2011 at 2:29 pm

    WRT the above post about the unhelpful doctor, you can always go and get a second consultation with another doctor. A friend of mine was refused the pill by some fuckwit Catholic doctor (yes, on the NHS too!), but asked to see another doctor in the practice, who happily prescribed it. The same applies to terminations. It’s very sad that the lady in question didn’t realise she had other options.

  • Reply Reluctant Housedad 6th May 2011 at 5:12 pm

    I came to this from Twitter because I follow you and as a man, felt like an intruder. But I carried on reading and I’m glad I did. High praise to you for your honesty and for sharing your experience. I know several former colleagues who went through the same thing. Fascinating to have this insight into what they experienced. Best wishes to you.

  • Reply @FayC 9th May 2011 at 3:15 pm

    Brave post, thank you for sharing

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