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Medical and Surgical Abortion Stories

Abortion  •  15 February 2022  • 6 min read

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At MSI, we know that reading other people’s experiences of abortion can help you know what to expect, and reassure you that you are not alone. 

In the stories below, our clients have shared their medical and surgical abortion experiences so that you can feel supported in your choice.

Medical Abortion Stories

A medical abortion (abortion with pills) uses medication to end a pregnancy, and is the safest treatment option up to 9 weeks and 6 days of pregnancy for most people. Below, two clients share their experience of a medical abortion.

A client’s experience of a medical abortion in September 2021

“I took the first pill in the clinic, I waited for about 15 minutes and then the nurse inserted the implant. I went home with my ex-partner and after 24 hours I took the next four pills orally. I started cramping and bleeding almost immediately and passed the pregnancy that night. I did continue bleeding for about two weeks afterwards but the pain did ease.

MSI were so amazing the whole time, they offer a counselling service and I never felt judged by anyone I spoke to.”

Read the full story here: My story: abortion, counselling and contraception

A client’s experience of a medical abortion in June 2020 

“Anybody in a situation like me, please don’t be afraid.

The day arrived and I was feeling very nervous and apprehensive as I didn’t know what to expect. However my nurse was amazing and went through all of the relevant paperwork and made me feel at ease.

First, I had to have a scan to see how far I was and I was 6 weeks so I was able to have the medical abortion. It’s now been 48 hours since I started the process and I do still have slight cramping and bleeding like a heavy period – but it’s manageable.”

Read the full story here: A client story from York

Surgical Abortion Stories

A surgical abortion is a safe and simple procedure used to end a pregnancy. We offer surgical abortions up to 23 weeks and 6 days of pregnancy, and the type of procedure we offer you will depend on how many weeks you have been pregnant, and your medical history. Below, two clients share their experience of a surgical abortion with MSI UK.

A client’s experience of a surgical abortion in March 2020

“I had heard some worrying things about the procedure, but my experience was so much better than I had thought possible. 

I had the surgical abortion with a sedative and was very worried I would be in a lot of pain, but it was over so quickly and the pain afterwards is actually really manageable and minimal, I just need to take pain killers and use a hot water bottle to soothe any cramp. Surprisingly, I’ve found the cramps to be less painful than my usual periods.”

Read Chloe’s full story here: Chloe’s story

A client’s experience of a surgical abortion in January 2018

“I had a surgical abortion at 7 weeks at the Bristol clinic. I didn’t tell many people and I attended on my own.

“I found the whole procedure very positive and supportive. I spoke to a counsellor beforehand. It is important that you take your time to make a decision and do not rush into it, as you need to be sure. Talking to a counsellor can be easier than talking to family and friends if you don’t want them to influence you. 

I think that it does help people to read about what happens from someone who has been through it because the clinic was extremely good and the whole procedure was the least scary and stressful they could make it.”

Read Becca’s full story here: Becca’s story

How to choose between a medical or surgical abortion

Most clients having an abortion can choose how it will be carried out. At MSI UK, we offer medical abortion care (abortion with pills) up to 9 weeks and 6 days gestation, and surgical abortion care from 6 weeks, up to 23 weeks and 6 days gestation.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence NICE published two decision aid leaflets that can help you decide which option is best for you.

There are pros and cons to each option, these may include practical things, for example, if you have to travel to the clinic or might need to attend more than one face-to-face appointment.

The two decision aid leaflets (above) will walk you through pros and cons with each of the treatment options, answering questions such as: 

  • What are the options available to me (based on how many weeks pregnant I am)?
  • Where will the abortion take place?   
  • Is the abortion painful?   
  • How much bleeding will I get?   
  • What other problems could I have?   
  • How likely am I to need another procedure to complete the abortion?   
  • What contraception options are available at the same time or shortly after the abortion? 

During your consultation with us we will walk you through the options and answer your questions, so that you can make an informed choice. 

Do you have a story to share?

On our website, you can find a whole section where we publish the stories that clients share with us. You can read more abortion stories at this link. 

At MSI UK, we know that sharing stories is at the heart of ending the stigma that too many women and pregnant people still feel when it comes to abortion.

If you’d like to share your story and help people know that they are not alone, you can do so – anonymously, if you prefer – at this link: Share Your Story


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