IUD failure, 6 week surgical abortion, no sedation

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Submitted by: Sarah

I had an abortion today. I never thought I would have to go through this, especially considering I had an IUD inserted just 6 months earlier. I had missed my period, which is not unusual with an IUD, but was unusual for me. I decided to take a pregnancy test, or four, to confirm my suspicions. They were all positive.

The decision to have an abortion was an easy one for me. I am not prepared to be a mother and I just started my new career. My partner and I had already discussed my thoughts on this prior to my IUD failure and he was supportive the whole time. I chose to go to Planned Parenthood for the procedure. In the State I live in, it is required that you wait 24 hours after an initial appointment. I had looked at my options and decided the surgical abortion was better for me. There were fewer side effects associated and I felt more comfortable having medical staff with me throughout the entire procedure.

During the first appointment, the clinician took my vital signs and could tell I was nervous because of my blood pressure. She then took me to a room to perform an ultrasound to determine how many weeks I was. I was exactly 6 weeks. I opted not to see the ultrasound or listen to anything. Afterwards, I signed some consent forms and the clinician provided me with some information about the procedure. I went home and did some research on what to expect, I found the stories on this blog particularly helpful in knowing what to expect. Then came the day of the procedure. Since I had opted for no sedation, I was able to drive myself to and from the appointment.

After a short wait in the waiting room, the same clinician I had at my previous appointment took my back and again took my vital signs and gave me an antibiotic and 800mg of ibuprofen for the cramping. I was then taken to the procedure room and got ready. The doctor came in and spoke with me about what happened. I reminded her that I had an IUD that would need to be removed and that I wanted Nexplanon inserted. She did the Nexplanon first, which was pretty painless. The only pain with that was having the numbing shot. Afterward, it was just pressure. She then removed my IUD and started with the procedure. Since I opted for no sedation, the cramping when they numbed me and opened my cervix was like a very bad period cramp. The cramping continued during the procedure. I would say for me, the cramping was a 7.5-8 on a 10 points scale.

The doctor and nurses were fantastic. They reminded me to breathe, but not too fast to where I would hyperventilate and were okay with my use of profanities as a pain coping mechanism. My procedure lasted less than five minutes. As soon as the doctor removed all of the equipment the cramping significantly subsided. I was then taken to the recovery room where I sat in a comfy recliner with a heating pad. Another employee checked my blood pressure and gave me ginger ale and goldfish crackers. I stayed in the recovery room for 15 minutes. Before leaving, the employee checked my blood pressure again and had me tell her how my bleeding was, which wasn’t bad. I then drove myself home where and watched movies the rest of the day. So far, I haven’t really had any bad cramping and my bleeding has been no more than that of a normal period. Many women talk about how they feel after the procedure, and I felt relief. I know this is right for me and I’m thankful that Planned Parenthood was able to provide me with a safe procedure and for this blog to read to know other women’s experiences.

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