11 wk surgical abortion experience (no sedation)

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Submitted by: Beth

I am 28 years old and have had a medical abortion at 22 because I was just not ready. I was genuinely shocked to find out I was pregnant and this far along, as I was still regularly getting my menstrual cycle. But, when I went from a barely B cup to a C cup, I knew something was up. I took two tests and sure enough they were both positive. I juggled around the idea of keeping the baby now that I am a bit more established at 28 but not quite where I wanted to be yet. I went to PP 12/13 but unfortunately was completely terrified after reading horror stories and having a good friend of mine going through a terrible experience with a surgical abortion. I was able to make the appt for today, 12/26 so it gave me some time to really think over everything and make sure this was what I wanted. After I found Exhale and read the stories of these incredibly brave women on here, I knew that I could do this.

I will honestly say that I am happy that I was able to do the surgical procedure. Like most stories you’ll find on here, they take your vitals, transvaginal sono, speak with an educator, provide your options, then you’re back in the recovery room the doctor is ready. I have never taken anxiety medicine before so I opted out of the Valium, as well as doing an IV sedation just because I did not want to be groggy but it is a twilight sleep, not completely knocked out. I was given 800 milligrams of ibuprofen and an antibiotic. I was told to empty my bladder and asked to put on a pad for when the procedure was over. I spoke with two nurses who were really comfortable and asked if I had any questions at all. Once they were ready, I was taken back. I have TERRIBLE anxiety and I felt like my heart was going to beat out of my chest. They had me undress from the waist down and the doctor came in. She was with me 100% of the way and let me know each and every single step of what was happening down there. There was also an MA there for support.

The procedure is fairly quick depending on your pain tolerance (5-10 mins). They insert a speculum and then give you two needles to your cervix on the right and left side to numb. I will say this wasn’t the greatest feeling, as the needles are a bit larger, however it was quick. The doctor then inserts metal rods to dilate your Cervix. This was indeed the worst part, I felt like I was going to pee and poop all over these poor people. The cramping was intense, however for me, lasted seconds once each rod was in and secured. I saw most people saying cramp level was 7 on a scale from 1-10. I would say about 6-8. I do not get period cramps so they were a bit intense but quick. The actual suction procedure takes approx 30 secs to 1 min. I did not feel a thing. I had a little cramp here and there when the doctor had to go to further into the uterus but it was not unbearable. They did a sonogram to confirm everything was out and it was done! While it wasn’t the most comfortable thing in the world, it was truly seemingly pain free and super quick. I have zero cramping and zero to light spotting. I am SO happy I was able to opt for this option bc from someone who has done the medical abortion, that is MUCH longer and way more painful. This is quick and recovery time post procedure is quicker as far as bleeding, cramping, etc. I went back for 15 mins, checked my pad to report the level of bleeding and was sent on my way. Please, please, please do not be scared! They are there to help you and ask ALL the questions you need! I am about an hour post procedure and I have no cramping still and light spotting. If I can do it, you can too! I hope my story can help someone!

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One response to “11 wk surgical abortion experience (no sedation)”

  1. Stormy

    Hi I was 11w 1dy no sedation, no drugs, no iv, nothing but the numbing shots… my experience was similar I even felt the need to pee and poop and also vomit all at once! I broke out into a sweat and it was intensely painful for me! You’re a champ though! Thanks for your story! It is one of the few on here helping me cope.

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