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Lily's story - an abortion with "pills at home"

8 September 2020 Case study

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    "For making this most difficult time of my life as easy as it could possibly be I thank you Marie Stopes from the bottom of my heart."  

    A client story with abortion pills at home (telemedicine)

     

    "I decided to write this detailed account to give something back to Marie Stopes UK for an amazing support I received from them and also for all the other women who might be scared and stressed in this moment." 


    So back to the beginning. I am 41, I have two sons and I absolutely did not plan to have another child.

    My periods are regular and I always know one is coming two days before as I have little stains and spotting. This time was different so on the 28th evening of my cycle I took the test and it was positive. Only a faint second line but it was pretty obvious. I cannot describe the panic and stress I felt immediately.

    I cried and told my partner I was not going to carry on, it would be a big struggle for all of us in many ways. I was lucky to have his support.

    Immediately I started searching the internet for the options of early abortion. I found Marie Stopes and called them the next morning. It was Sunday.

    I felt really nervous but straight away I felt that they wanted to help me. I answered a few questions about my situation and I got my account created with the pin and password to call any time and discuss anything regarding my case over the phone in a future. I then had a medical telephone assessment booked for Monday.


    On Monday the nurse called me and asked about my medical history, time of the last period, if I needed counselling etc. Even though I was nervous, the way she talked to me not judging but helping, listened with understanding, put my mind at ease. I was given another telephone appointment with the nurse from the center that was the closest to where I lived for Tuesday.

    "Even though I was nervous, the way she [the nurse] talked to me not judging but helping, listened with understanding, put my mind at ease."
    "When I received a phone call and I decided that I need more time to think it through. Straight away I was offered counselling but I did not want it, I was comforted by the nurse with the advice of what to do if I decided to keep it and also that I may call them any time if I decided not to."

    I was thinking for the whole day having mixed feelings. I am a believer and termination wouldn’t normally be an option for me. I thought maybe there was a reason for me to have this baby, maybe somehow I could manage.

    I started searching for the information about the process of termination and I fixed my mind on all the side effects one may have. I got really scared and confused.

    On Tuesday I received a phone call and I decided that I need more time to think it through. Straight away I was offered counselling but I did not want it, I was comforted by the nurse with the advice of what to do if I decided to keep it and also that I may call them any time if I decided not to.

    I went back to searching other accounts and stories, there was not too many but one was very detailed and my worries disappeared after reading it.

    I realized that I am in such an early stage that the zygote has not developed into an embryo yet. I thought to myself now or never. I called the Marie Stopes again and asked if I could receive the medicine the same week. I booked the appointment I missed for Wednesday (the first available at that moment).

    I was offered an option to collect my pack or to have it delivered. I decided to collect it as it would be quicker.

    On Wednesday I had detailed interview to establish if I could safely take the medication at home. I could without any further scans etc. I was offered an option to collect my pack or to have it delivered. I decided to collect it as it would be quicker. Time mattered for me immensely because I knew that I could not carry on with the termination after the embryo had developed and had a heartbeat-it is just my belief.


    So on Thursday morning I was informed that the pack is ready for me to collect. I got instructed how to take it I was offered other advice on contraception STI etc. I picked up the bag, I was wished all the best and I was reminded about 24/7 nurse/midwife after care available over the phone.


    I took the first tablet that stops the pregnancy from developing any further the same evening (I was 4 weeks and 4 days pregnant if counted from the first day of my last period) after my partner came back home. I did cry thinking there was no way back but I also did feel this is what I needed and wanted to do. I did not feel any different for the next 24h, no side effects whatsoever.

    Three weeks after I took the pills on Friday I took the special pregnancy test provided with the pack from Marie Stopes. I had no doubts what it was going to show. It was negative.
    "Next two hours passed (over 4 altogether) with no change so I called for the 24/7 aftercare line for the advise. In no time I was talking to the nurse who asked me some specific questions and she then advised me to take other two tablets (provided just in case I need them) the same way, the slight temperature rise was common."

    I was really scared that I was going to experience some terrible pain but nothing was happening for over two hours. I just watched some silly movies to take my mind of everything. I had no pain at all.

    On Friday evening 26h later I decided to take the main medication. I put on maternity pad and took the painkillers from the pack I received, 10 min later I put 4 tablets inside the vagina as instructed, I lied down and waited. I was really scared that I was going to experience some terrible pain but nothing was happening for over two hours. I just watched some silly movies to take my mind of everything.

    Over two hours passed and only tiny bleeding started, no pain no craps. Then slowly the bleeding become a bit heavier with little clothes, just like a normal light period. My temperature rised to 37.4 but I didn’t feel bad at all.

    Next two hours passed (over 4 altogether) with no change so I called for the 24/7 aftercare line for the advise. In no time I was talking to the nurse who asked me some specific questions including if I passed any big cloths (like plum or lemon size). I did not so she advised me to take other two tablets (provided just in case I need them) the same way, the slight temperature rise was common.


    I took 2 paracetamol tablets because again I was scared that it would really hurt this time (I was advised that it would be safe) and I inserted this extra two tablets ten minutes after, lied down and read the book.


    One hour later I still felt OK, no problems at all, no pain no cramps. I stood up and went to the toilet I noticed much more bleeding this time like very heavy period and also 3 or 4 big dark cloths plum size came out. I had no pain at all. I laid down, took the temperature, which was still 37.5 and went to sleep as it was really late.
    The next morning I was feeling a little bit sick but my temperature went back to normal. I was still using maternity pads because bleeding was quite heavy in the night, heavier then a heavy period.


    For the rest of the day the bleeding was really light, lighter then normal period, I felt a little bit tired but had no pain, occasionally I felt a bit light headed. Because it was Saturday I was able to spend the day not doing much and being looked after by my partner, who also took care of the younger son.
    On Sunday I felt nearly the same, with not much energy and a bit light-headed at times, bleeding like a period.
    The next two days the bleeding become really heavy again with cloths passed day and night. I did not need any painkillers.
    Day 5 bleeding became very light again and lighter and lighter every day since.
    It carried on for another week with just a regular pads for lighter period needed until it stopped completely.

    Read more abortion stories

    Sharing stories is at the heart of ending the stigma that too many women still feel when it comes to abortion.

    For all this time I knew I made the right decision, very difficult one, but the right one. I felt that the whole process, from the first phone call, through the medical assessments, pick up of the pack and the aftercare I was supported and cared for
    Lily, telemedicine client
    August 2020

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