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Author Topic: Emergency bc and late period
kk_22
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I'm worried about a pregnancy risk/late period.
I had unprotected sex (condom split) on the 22nd of December, which was day 18 of my cycle. I've been tracking my cycle since having my iud removed four months ago and it has varied from 27-31 days. I'm guessing therefore there was a good chance I may have been ovulating on or around day 18. I took Levonelle emergency contraception 15 hours after the risk (the soonest I could get it as it was a Sunday). I had no bleeding/spotting afterwards (though I know this is a side-effect and does not signal whether the pill has worked or not). Now my period has not arrived even though it would now be day 33 and I have not had a cycle that long before.
Is it possible that Levonelle could have delayed it or do I need to take a pregnancy test? Considering my previous cycles, I'd consider my period about 3-5 days late. I know stress can delay a period so I've been trying to stay calm but inevitably I am getting panicked and tearful.
I understand how Levonelle works but I don't really understand what effect that may have on the next period and therefore how worried I should be about my late period.
I'm not sure I could bring myself to take a test yet but I know facing it sooner rather than later is important. In pretty mad at myself for this...
What should I do? Wait a few more days or test ASAP?

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Robin Lee
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Hi CJ_fairies,

It's common for cycles to be irregular for a few months after taking Levonelle. For some people this means more frequent bleeding and for others it may mean delayed periods.

It's sound practice to take a pregnancy test after taking emergency contraception, so I'd recommend that you do that.

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Robin

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kk_22
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Okay, will do, thank you for your help.
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kk_22
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The test was positive. I've taken another one and it was also positive.
Please help.
I haven't managed to stop crying.

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Heather
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We can be here for you, CJ.

Why don't you let me know what you'd like to start talking about?

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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kk_22
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I don't know what to say. I think I'm still in shock. It sounds ridiculous, but I really thought it would be negative.

I want a termination (I can't say the 'a' word).

I'm going to try and get an emergency doctors appointment tomorrow morning before work to start the process.

I'm just so scared. I can't believe I'm in this position. And I'm so, so mad at myself. And terrified that I've ruined my life. I can't stop crying even though I'm really trying.

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Heather
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I think if what you feel like doing is crying, then crying is probably the thing to do right now. You have feelings about this, and it's okay to have them.

And since you have them, I say it's usually best to let them out rather than trying to hold them in, okay?

It's likely too early to terminate the pregnancy at this point, but do you have a sense of if you'd prefer to have a medical termination or a surgical one? Do you know the difference between the two? If not, I'd be happy to fill you in on that.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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kk_22
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Okay, I guess I'm afraid if I get too emotional, I'll find it all harder? I feel like I need to separate my feelings so I can be practical. I guess deep down maybe I feel like that's the only way I can get through a termination?

I think the medical termination...they both sound scary but the one where you take medication orally? I don't really know what it involves...would it hurt? Is it less invasive?

I know I can't really ask you this...but my biggest fear is whether its a bunch of cells or something more (I can't type the word because I don't want to put the thought in my head that I'd be getting rid of anything more than cells.). Some people are so anti-abortion (some of my friends are). I've always been pro-choice but faced with this situation I keep thinking of the things people say.

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Heather
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My sense as someone who has been through this process with a lot of women is that people are generally able to feel what they feel and express it and still make the practical choices and plans they need to. In fact, I'd say it's harder to do that well -- where you're really making the choices that are most right for you -- when not being in touch with your feelings.

A medical abortion involves taking two medications,medications which induce a miscarriage when you're at home, not in a clinic. That's followed up with a follow-up visit both for your health, and to make sure the termination worked: medical abortions are slightly less effective than surgical ones.

For sure, I can't tell you or anyone else what to believe, and we all have different beliefs about this. The best I can tell you is to go with your own feelings and beliefs, and then to try and seek out people for support who will support this as your choice, based on your feelings and beliefs, not theirs. Know what I mean?

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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kk_22
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Yes that makes sense. I guess seeing as I'll be living with the consequences, I need to know my own feelings about it.

I think a medical termination sounds okayish to me...I'd want to be at home...

Its feeling a bit too real discussing this.

Its sounds a bit strange, but I grew up religious and when 'bad' or unwanted things happen, I always feel like I'm being punished. I'm not religious any more, but I still feel the sort of pressure. I always learnt that...abortion...was basically murder. I never ever agreed, and I don't think my family do either, but it just sort of stays with you. I can't explain it.

If I took away all the things others say, I honestly do not think its anything more than cells or the potential for life. I don't think abortion is wrong at all. But I guess I'm scared that guilt will overwhelm me. I'm scared that it will ruin my life...

Thank you for talking to me. I feel like I need to stop for a bit and just sleep. I know this is real but I'm getting a bit overwhelmed.

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Heather
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It's still very early in all of this, so I'm perfectly happy to stretch out any conversations you want to have over days or a few weeks. No need to try and pack any more in than you feel right about, okay?

I certainly understand having baggage per being raised to think of unwanted pregnancy as a punishment, and to think of abortion as murder. I don't think either of those things are either of those things, though. If it'd help for me to say some things about that, maybe some helps to help you let go of some of it, just let me know, I'd be glad to.

We can also talk about how to make these choices and address possible guilt.

But why don't you get your rest for now, and ping me back when you want to talk again?

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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kk_22
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Hi Heather

I'd liked to ask you a tonnes of questions if that's okay.

Today I went to my gp. I've been referred to Marie Stopes on the NHS. I have a phone consultation monday.

My gp didn't give me a pregnancy test as he said if I'd taken one at home then I was pregnant. He did ask about how many weeks I thought I was. I mentioned that I'd taken Levonelle and he was pretty surprised as he said it should have worked given I took it within 15 hours. I then queried whether I could have already been pregnant (though I was using protection and there was no noticeable risk). He estimated me at 5-6 weeks using my last period. This means I'm moving along a bit faster with the process (I thought I was 3 weeks.)

This brings me to the next concern. I'm okay for this to move pretty quickly but I'm worried about Marie Stopes. There's some awful experiences on the internet that women seem to have had with them. In particular I'm concerned that as I'm likely not more than a few weeks pregnant, that the embryo won't be visible on the scan at my first appointment (which I've been told can probably happen a week after my phone consultation so possibly in less than two weeks). I'm worried they won't give me a internal scan and instead tell me to go home for 10 days and test again hence the pregnancy will go on...some women have mentioned their scan still didn't detect pregnancy at 8 weeks. I really want this over with as soon as possible so I don't become stressed to the point it begins to seriously affect my life (I've just started a new job I've worked so hard to get and not only is it going to be difficult to get time off, especially if I end up having multiple visits, but I'm concerned about not being able to focus at my job at a time when I really, really need to). Could you fill me in a bit about how a medical abortion works in more detail, how is it assessed, how soon is it given? I'm finding it a bit traumatic looking it up online because its so clinical and detailed. I know I can ask all of this when I have my phone consultation Monday but I feel it would be better to go into it with an already clear understanding so that I can have questions ready and query anything that doesn't sit right or make sense instead of being confused (its hard to think of the right questions on the spot when its the first time you've heard information).

If you could, I'd also be very grateful if you could talk to me a bit about baggage and letting go of how I was raised i.e I'm being punished, abortion is murder.
I feel I need to let this go, its already affected my life so much but now that I'm in this position I really, really need to let it go.
I don't feel ready to talk about guilt yet though, in relation to having a termination if that's okay. Although I get that that may come into it.

I'm feeling a bit better today. Still very upset but I managed to function at work.

I've also talked to my boyfriend a lot. We are spending tomorrow together NOT obsessing over this but having a day out. He's supporting my choice and I feel like our best bet of getting through this as a couple is to be honest but not obsessive about the process. I've explained what's going to happen and talked about our feelings. He's feeling extremely guilty and keeps telling me how sorry he is that he's put me in this circumstance (his sister had an unplanned pregnancy and even though she kept it and went on to have another child, her life is pretty messy and difficult and painful for my boyfriend to witness). I've made sure to tell him that I DON'T blame him at all, it was BOTH our responsibility and to be quite frank, we got a bit unlucky. There's nothing more we could have done (i.e I took Levonelle) except go back in time which isn't possible. I really don't want us to fall apart as we've been together four years. I have all sorts of fears about us coping but we'll give it our best shot - that's all we can do right?

Sorry I've written so much, its helping me today to write down things so I can make sense of where I am at.

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Heather
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It's totally okay. [Smile]

Plan B of any kind isn't 1oo% effective, so I'm not sure why your GP was surprised if, in fact, it didn't work. Sometimes it doesn't after all, even when taken hours after a risk. If they didn't do an ultrasound, I don't think we can know how far along you are, though it's sounding like six weeks is a max, which still makes a medical abortion available to you if that's still what you feel you'd prefer.

Marie Stopes is a BIG organization, and on the whole, when we're looking on the net, we're going to tend to more easily find complaints about someone than rave reviews. I'll tell you that working in the field, I personally have a very high opinion about them and haven't heard anything about them that would lead me to believe they're not a good service provider.

Ultimately, no one will probably do a transvaginal ultrasound since there isn't likely a need for one. If you're far enough along to have a medical (that's usually around five weeks at the earliest), they should be able to see the pregnancy on an abdominal ultrasound. Not seeing a pregnancy on an ultrasound enough to do a termination at 8 weeks would surprise me. A provider of medical abortions who had any issues detecting a pregnancy during the timeframe for a medical who didn't try other things to detect it would also surprise me.

But I think that ultimately, there's no getting around going in for that scan and just seeing what happens, you know?

So, medical abortion is effective up to around 60 days after the last menstrual period, or up until around 10 weeks of pregnancy. It's a combination of medications (usually mifepristone and misoprostol) given and supervised by a clinician, which cause a termination identical to a miscarriage. The drugs stop embryonic cells from multiplying and dividing as they need to to continue a pregnancy, block hormones which would support a developing pregnancy, and cause uterine contractions which empty the contents of the uterus.

An injection or oral medication of one drug is given in the doctor or clinician's office, while the other is inserted, by you, a day to a few days later into the vagina or mouth at home. From a few days to a week after the first dose, the products of conception pass out through the vagina. The experience will be very similar to a miscarriage: there can be heavy cramping and bleeding, and what is expelled may contain large blood clots and/or the small, grayish-looking gestational sac created by the blastocyst. It does not contain the embryo: that's so small at the time medical abortion can be performed that it is unlikely to be able to be seen. Cramps and bleeding are usually stronger and more intense than during a menstrual period. Side effects can include nausea, headaches, vomiting or bowel problems as well as continued spotting for a week or two, sometimes more.

Like I said before, medical abortions are coupled with follow-up visits to the provider to assure a complete termination did occur and that a patient is in sound health afterwards.

Does that get you clued in on that enough to get started? If not, happy to answer any more questions.

On the baggage stuff: I don't know about you, but as a person and as an advocate for women and children alike, I take quality of life very seriously. I know that children who grow up in homes where they are not wanted or can't be provided for struggle a lot, and some do very poorly. I know that parents who really don't want to parent don't tend to parent at all well. In a word, I know unwanted children have a LOT of challenges and a lot of hardship. I also know that quite a lot of people who say things like that abortion is murder don't seem to have as much care about say, preventing abuse or neglect, and treating children with care as they seem to do about abortion. Or heck, seem to care that much about women and women's lives, which always confuses me, since around half of children born will grow up to become women.

So, for me, with my reproductive choices, that's what I'm most concerned about. I know I need to think about me and my life, and also think about what I think would be best for something that could become a child, my child. Do you know what I mean?

I'm so glad to hear you have a supportive partner: that always helps a lot in any reproductive choice.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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kk_22
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Thanks Heather. Yes I think I've got a clear idea of what a medical termination involves. I'm nervous about having a scan and dating the pregnancy but as its unavoidable, there's no point making myself anxious about it.

I think I just need to wait now until my consultation tomorrow and see when my first appointment will be. I'm hopeful I can have an have a termination as early as possible but I guess I just need to wait and see.

I'm feeling a lot better today. I think the best thing I can do is just try and get on with life as there's only so quickly this can move and I don't want my life to go on hold waiting for a termination. I think emotionally it will take a toll on me if all I'm thinking about is getting this over with.

I've thought a lot about what you've said regarding the baggage stuff and I agree. I don't feel like I'm doing anything wrong; I'm making the best choice for me and my life. If I have children one day, I want it to be because I wanted them, not because I felt I had to.
I don't feel emotionally torn between continuing the pregnancy or aborting. I'm sad because it happened, because I'm in this situation NOT because I feel like I should be keeping it if that makes any sense?

I had a question about pregnancy if that's okay? Is it meant to be painful early on? I feel very sore in my lower stomach and I've been have a few cramps. Also, I was wondering whether taking Levonelle will have affected the pregnancy at all? And will it affect my choice of termination? (I really, really don't want to have a surgical termination).

Thank you again Heather. I have a very supportive sister and a close friend who are both being great but its very reassuring to talk to/get advice from someone who is more knowledgeable about the process. I feel like I'm panicking A LOT less. Though this may change when the reality of having to go to the clinic kicks in...

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Heather
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I know that the waiting game with this can really stink. If it helps, I remember likely driving clinic staff crazy back in the early nineties when 8 weeks was the earliest you could get in, calling them every few days starting at five weeks, asking if they were SURE I had to keep waiting.

And yep, I understand the feelings you're expressing. I'm glad to hear it sounds like you're both in touch with them and more at peace with those feelings.

Having taken Plan B won't have any impact on what kind of termination you can have. In terms of experiencing pain and cramping, the range of experience with pregnancy is really wide, so sure, that can happen, and of course, it can also happen that, for example, a person has stomach issues due to nerves or something else entirely.

I'm happy to be here for you throughout all of this, just so you know you have one place to go for support, be that the day of going, afterward, what have you.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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kk_22
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Yes that does help a lot, the waiting is not fun because I've made my decision and want it over with! Thank you for sharing that, I would never ask anyone because I know its personal but its good to know I'm not the only person to go through this and that my feelings are normal.

I saw a very close friend today who made me feel heaps better. I don't feel like I need someone to validate my choices but its still reassuring to have someone who knows me and my life (and the things I want for my life) and agrees that I'm doing the best thing. She added that she feels, like me, that life isn't black and white and that you just have to the makes the decisions that are best for you and that I don't have to answer to anyone about something like this. Like you said earlier, seeking out people who support my choices is obviously a very good idea because, as sad as this is, at least I'm not feeling alone in it.

Like you've said, I feel like I've worked out my feelings and am more at peace with them i.e. I'm sad about the situation but I know with certainty this is the right thing for me and my life.

I would definitely appreciate if I could keep talking to you over the next few weeks because even though I'm firm on my decision, I know that it WILL be hard and emotional.

Then there'll be the aftermath.

But at least, for the here and now, I feel positive about moving forward with a termination.

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Heather
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I think being supported in our choices, especially the tough ones, or those where we've found it hard to get support is generally something all of us need to some degree. I'm really glad you were able to get that from your friend today. [Smile]

By all means, I'm happy to talk with you about any of this as much as you want or need. [Smile]

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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kk_22
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So I'm booked in for a medical termination in just under 2 weeks. By my own calculations I should be 5 weeks by then but possibly up to 7/8, so fingers crossed it should go ahead.

I'm having it all in one day which I know has a slightly higher failure rate but I think its the best choice for me.

I'm not exactly feeling happy but definitely relieved to have a date set, I feel like my life is no longer suspended.

I don't really have much else to say right now but I would definitely like some support the day before/on the day/afterwards.

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Heather
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I'm a bit confused, because a medical isn't something you can have done in one day, because you have to take the medications and then have it happen over a day or two. Just checking with that to make sure you're scheduled for what you actually want!

By all means, if you post what date that is, I can do my level best to make myself very available the day before of and after for you. [Smile]

Just also know that it's always okay to also ask any clinical staff for any support you need, too. In other words, you can build yourself a pretty wide net if you like.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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kk_22
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Sorry, what I meant was, at this clinic they offer a medical termination where you take both sets of pills on the same day, 6 hours apart. So I don't have to spread the taking of the pills over 2 days, which is what I meant by having it all done in one day (I.e the act of taking the drugs). Then I can go home and wait (I know it can take days to weeks for the pregnancy to be lost.)

Thank you, it's the 26th, I didn't mean to assume you'd be free. But if you are around at all that would be great. I'm not sure about asking the clinic, I think I'm going to see how comfortable I feel with them if you know what I mean. The phone consultation was okay, I felt like I had to decide pretty quick how I wanted the medical abortion (in regards to when to take the pills). And I don't feel like I got a great answer on my concern of whether I was too early to be coming in (they offered me tomorrow but I am positive I am not pregnant enough!).

Thanks heather, for making sure I understood because it was quite confusing on the phone. (I would put a smiley face because I appreciate your help but I can't quite put a smiley face when I'm talking about my termination, although yours cheer me up.)

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Heather
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Oh! I don't know that there's any data, for the record, that finds that's any less effective. I can double-check for you if you like, though.

It does not take weeks, however, for a medical termination to happen: it's usually within 24-48 hours. So, no need to worry about this dragging on for weeks: it won't.

I don't have any travel scheduled that day, so consider me available to you, no problem.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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kk_22
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Yes if you could check that would be good. They told me on the phone that taking the drugs 48 hours apart has a 1-2% failure rate but taking them 6-8 hours apart has a 5% failure rate. It's not a lot of difference I guess, just makes me nervous. I was surprised though- I didn't know you could take the pills across just a few hours (hence why i struggled to choose wgat to do when they asked how I wanted to take them)- is this new? It can't be any less safe, right?

Okay, good, the thought of it taking a week is horrible, so (% wise) it will most likely take 24-48 hours right?

Thanks again

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kk_22
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Yes if you could check that would be good. They told me on the phone that taking the drugs 48 hours apart has a 1-2% failure rate but taking them 6-8 hours apart has a 5% failure rate. It's not a lot of difference I guess, just makes me nervous. I was surprised though- I didn't know you could take the pills across just a few hours (hence why i struggled to choose what to do when they asked how I wanted to take them)- is this new? It can't be any less safe, right?

Okay, good, the thought of it taking a week is horrible, so (% wise) it will most likely take 24-48 hours right?

Thanks again

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Heather
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I will double check for you today or tomorrow, but to my understanding, medical abortion (rather than surgical) has a 5% failure rate no matter how you slice it. That's the data we use here in the United States anyway, so this may be a difference per countries, but I'll check for you all the same.

Of course, I don't think taking them together is going to make the miscarriage happen any faster (my guess is you'd just be more likely to feel nauseated from the medications), so since they're taken at home, if we find the failure rate is less high (and I'd say that of all abortions done, the difference between 5% and 10-2% is substantial), then it'd probably be more sound to take them further apart, you know?

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kk_22
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Yes I get what you mean. That nakes sense to go with the method that has the best success rate but I have to have 2 appointments on the same day, so I have to take the pills in the clinic not at home. Therefore if I want to spread them out more it would have to be over 2 days...which if the failure rate does vary maybe I should do this. However because of my job, I wouldn't be able to do it anytime soon :/

I think I'll probably have to ask them a bit more about this. They said there were actually THREE ways of taking the pills but I have no idea what the third is. I just know I'd like to only have to come into the clinic for one day (a weekend day).

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Heather
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Here's the page I always like best for info on medical abortion: http://www.prochoice.org/about_abortion/facts/medical_abortion.html

Here's Marie Stopes page, though it doesn't really have more information: http://www.mariestopes.org.uk/Womens_services/Abortion/Abortion_options/Medical_abortion.aspx

And here's a WHO page on it, which states that when the pills are taken hasn't shown a significant difference in efficacy: http://apps.who.int/rhl/fertility/abortion/dgcom/en/index.html

When you go to your appointment, however, you should be able to ask for more information on all of this, and you certainly have the option with any of it to change your mind, including about how you take the medications.

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Heather
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By the by, you will want to make sure that you can have some time off from your job, or at least the ability to leave. I know that isn't always easy, but this kind of abortion -- versus a surgical -- does tend to require some downtime, and isn't something where, once your body starts responding, you're going to be able to just go about your day.

If that's what you want or need, it might make more sense to think some about a surgical, okay?

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kk_22
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Thank you for the links, they were very helpful. I'm definitely going to ask the clinic a bit more about this type of termination.

I also need to figure out about time off work. I think the best choice work-wise is a surgical termination but for my emotional health it's definitely the medical one. And as my emotional health should come before work, I think I will have to take the time off if I need it. If, like planned, I take the pills the Saturday, expel the pregnancy by Sunday and still feel unwell (or have not lost the pregnancy) then I will just have to take time off, it's not like I have to explain why.

I think I need to weigh up the pros and cons and I'm hoping after talking to the clinic this will be clearer (I'm worried they'll rush me along as I've booked a medical termination but they deal with this ALL the time so they must be used to woman hesitating or changing their mind.).

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Heather
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Do you want to talk about perceived emotional differences with medical vs. surgical, to make sure a medical still feels like the right choice for you?

I ask because I tend to find that outside people with profound medical anxiety or other issues like that, emotionally -- even though it obviously ranges hugely, how people feel about their abortions is so very diverse -- there aren't usually major differences for people with medical vs. surgical.

If not, that's fine, and it sounds like you have a plan to make the medical work for you in terms of work, I just wanted to check and make sure it wasn't a conversation you wanted to have with someone.

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kk_22
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I guess I perceive the surgical as A LOT more invasive. I just don't want to lie there and have something done to me, I'm not sure how else to express it.
I actually think the medical will be more painful and prolonged but It makes me feel more in control, being the person who actively begins the termination by taking the pills and being able to wait for it to happen at home.
Ultimately I'm going to ask questions at the clinic but right now I'm weighing up whether the quickness of a surgical is worth feeling more traumatised afterwards. And I don't know because I have no idea how much it will play on my mind in the next weeks/months/years.

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Heather
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Well, I'd say it sounds like you have some central differences down. A surgical certainly is shorter -- once you're in the exam room, it only takes a couple of minutes -- but you are in a medical environment, someone else is doing something to you. With the medical, people tend to experience it as DIY, and you are in the comfort of your home.

Neither, this early on, for the record, should be very painful. Either should be pretty comfortable. (If it helps, while I haven't myself done a medical, I have had miscarriages as far as 8 weeks in, and my periods more painful, even though I do regular have very painful periods.)

Maybe, regardless of which you land on, we should talk about your expectation of feeling traumatized? Ideally, you don't feel traumatized either way, if abortion is what you want, and it's sounded like it has been right from the start. If you want to talk about that expectation, it might help to unpack it per NOT feeling traumatized after.

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kk_22
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Yes, I'd like to talk about that. Its hard to explain though, and maybe I'm not really sure of my own feelings?

I guess I think I'll be traumatized because - mostly down to the way I was raised - deep down, I feel like I'm doing something wrong by having a termination, by ending a life. I have always been pro-choice but I never wanted to have to make that choice myself, if you get what I mean?

However, I am absolutely positive this is the right choice for me. So basically, I'm making a decision that I know is right for me but that I think I will always feel a bit traumatized when I look back and remember. In relation to surgical vs medical, I think it will be easier to look back on a medical than a surgical because its less invasive.

The strange thing is when I think of having a medical termination, it doesn't strike me as wrong at all. I think its an issue of the way I was raised rearing its head every so often, which is something I have to cope with in other aspects of my life (sex before marriage= no, masturbating = no, I have so, so much guilt over that one in particular).

I guess I'm just afraid of feeling guilty. But at the same time, I also feel strongly that I SHOULDN'T feel guilty. I really believe I shouldn't have to feel guilty about this but its just trying to shake off the instinctive guilt that's come from how I grew up.

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Heather
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At this point, we do tend to have a good deal of sound data on post-abortion trauma, and what we primarily know are that there are two major factors which make it likely an abortion will be traumatic for someone:
• When it's not what they really want (this is the biggie)
• When they have a TON of judgment or non-support around it, and little to no support for that choice

(Having gotten misinformation about abortion, pregnancy and parenting is another factor.)

So, to reduce the likelihood of trauma from this, you want to make sure it's your right choice -- which you've sounded very clear and unwavering about from the start -- and do what you can to gather support for yourself, and limit or filter out any nonsupport.

Ultimately, no matter what choice someone pregnant makes, people tend to have a range of feelings. Even mothers who have births in wanted pregnancies will sometimes feel regret, sorrow or doubt about that choice instead of joy.

There's no difference, really, between the action of a surgical termination versus a medical: both are things we can do with the express intent of ending a pregnancy. But if YOU feel better about one versus the other, and if one, versus the other, is less upsetting to you and that choice is available to you? Then that's probably the best method to choose for you.

[ 01-17-2013, 12:55 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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kk_22
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This makes me feel a bit better because
a) This is definitely what I want
b) I do have supportive people around me. Both my boyfriend, sister and close friend are all supporting my decision.

I think I will have the medical termination because it is less upsetting to me. In fact, to be quite honest, I'm not that worried about it whereas the thought of a surgical makes me nervous. I get that the end result is the same, however I think I should definitely go with the option that sits easier with me.

I think maybe I need to not worry so much about afterwards. I've made my decision and I'm not going to change my mind so I think the best thing I can do now is stop worrying so much.

And I need to stop assuming that I'll be traumatized because, actually, I've managed to defend my right to think for myself and make decisions away from religion pretty well since I was a teenager.

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Heather
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By all means, so much of these decisions are really about our personal feelings than about anything more objective, so I'd trust your gut at this point on which way to go with the kind of termination you have.

I do also think that there's a lot to be said for expectations about things like pain or trauma. In other words, if we expect something to be painful or traumatic, it's much more likely to be.

So, I'd suggest you focus on your wants here, your needs, and what you see as the benefits of making the choice you're making. Focus on the positive outcomes and the positive expectations of the experience and choice.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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