A Very Detailed Account Of An At-Home Abortion

by C

August 17, 2022

This is a quite long and detailed account of my fully at-home medial abortion experience, with all details I can possibly remember. An account I wish I’d have had, I find that with such an uneasy and varying process as this, it’s nice to know every detail and all the little things. If you’d like to skip ahead I’ve put little headings. I just want everyone going through this to know this is a safe process, you are not alone, you are not the only person that gone through this, you’re not even the only person today going through this. Please don’t worry, as much as you will want to ignore me: everything will be okay.


My abortion journey began last month, I was counting down the days to my period as we’d have an accident earlier in the month, but not really worried at the time. The date rolled around and it just wasn’t showing up and I was waiting day after day after day giving it another chance to get here before I started to worry. Even so, I was researching abortion options just in case, just so I knew about it if I should need one, I knew there was absolutely no chance I wanted a child or could cope with one, I’m only 19. After 5 days of waiting and panicking, making myself sick every single night awake on my own, I told my parents I was expecting to come on but haven’t. I’m only 19 and still live with them and I’d almost decided that I was pregnant and there’s no way I could do all this without telling them. They were supportive and told me not to worry; saying they’d support literally any decision me and my boyfriend made. The stress was really taking a toll and I felt sick all day every day, not eating and so making myself feel worse. I didn’t want to tell my older brother as I didn’t want him to worry so trying to hide my lack of eating and fear of throwing up at smells was so hard and frustrating.

I did a test the day after telling my parents and couldn’t look at it for 2 hours and left it in another room, just taking the test triggered a panic attack and I was worried seeing the test and confirming the worst would trigger an even worse one. Eventually, my boyfriend looked and came back into the room I was in, nodding. I knew. I’d pretty much already accepted I was pregnant but the confirmation was terrifying but also a relief. I finally had an answer after waiting for weeks to come on with false hope.


I made the call to MSI the day after (a British company who offer things like abortion, contraception, vasectomies all funded by the NHS). I was about 4 and a half weeks pregnant at this point, and was naive about how quick the process would be. I’d already decided on a medical abortion and chose a ‘Pills Posted Home’ service that MSI were offering due to COVID. I assumed by calling they’d ask a few medical questions and post the pills within a day or so. I made a call on the Monday, the next appointment I had to have was to take medical information; the next available appointment being the Friday. I had no choice but to wait. Friday came and I had the phone call answering medical questions and telling them my preferred method of abortion. I then had to have another call where a nurse would look over all the information I gave and tell me if I was eligible to do this from home. I wanted this as soon as possible and so I took the nearest appointment which was 9PM, the next day (Saturday). During this call I was told I was eligible for this service and told the full process, offered codeine for pain relief (which I accepted) and given the chance to ask any questions I might have. I was told that the pills would be posted on the Monday, which scared me to think I’d have to do all this in the next few days but also slightly glad as I wanted to get this process done in the week instead of the weekend when all my family would be home and fussing. I was terrified; even before taking the test I was up til 5 in the morning every night Googling stories of medical abortions, researching how likely it is that things can go wrong, crying my eyes out every night knowing I didn’t have a choice and I had to do it. I felt so helpless and scared and when I expressed this to my dad and boyfriend they said I was being silly and everything would be fine, I felt they were ignoring serious things and just blindly thinking everything would be okay, whilst I was the one who’d have to go through it. I see now that they were right. On Tuesday the post arrived and my dad came up with the package, my stomach instantly dropped. It suddenly all became reality. I knew I wanted to go through the more painful aspect (the second lot of tablets) in the morning so I could get it out of the way and hopefully be so tired I’d fall back asleep. As the post came at around 3PM on the Tuesday I decided I’d wait til Wednesday morning to take the first pill and then take the second lot on Thursday morning, 24 hours later. Thursday was to be the day I’d dreaded. I was terrified of the lesser side effects like just dizziness and diarrhoea never mind the more bizarre serious warnings they put on the care booklet. I felt trapped and no one understood.


I took the first pill on Wednesday at around half 9 in the morning and sat feeling sick knowing this time tomorrow would be it and I have no choice. I felt sick, but I felt sick anyway as I had for days; I hadn’t eaten one full meal for over a week, only eating to subside the lightheaded feelings. I tried to enjoy the rest of the day and was dreading the sun fading, knowing that once it was time for bed that I’d be waking up and having to take the pills. Night time came and I sobbed begging my boyfriend not to go asleep, I didn’t want to accept that it was nearly time. My boyfriend eventually fell asleep and I stayed up all night panicking about the 0.001% chance I had of getting a certain infection and eventually fell asleep from sheer exhaustion. I woke up the next day at about 9; my dad had already been shopping picking up thick pads, ginger, heat pads, energy drinks and snacks to keep me going through the day. I got up and brushed my teeth and came so close to vomiting during from sheer panic and dread. I spoke to my dad who encouraged me to get the process started and get it over with, I was exactly 6 weeks along on this day. I’m very lucky that my boyfriend was off work and my dad works from home so I had lots of support all day. I had to take the codeine I was sent 10 minutes before the 4 pills. I took 1 codeine; I’d never had it before so thought it best to start with just 1. After all the stories I’d heard of this process, I assumed I’d barely be able to walk and have to shut away upstairs. Instead I thought it would be better to sit downstairs in front of the TV, being closer to my dad and just generally less shut away. I sat downstairs chatting to my dad whilst he worked while the 4 pills dissolved in my gums. I thought I’d be panicking knowing there was no going back but I was surprisingly calm. After the 30 minutes some pains came around 10 minutes later. I usually have quite strong pains when I’m on my period so I thought I’d be okay, but also in reality but also worried that it would still hurt a lot more than that and what I call bad period pains are nothing to others. I got similar pains to a bad period and just walked around the kitchen chatting while this was happening. After 10 mins they got closer together (a wave of tightness in my belly and lower abdomen), not more intense, which made me think I’d better sit down now and try to relax, I also started feeling really cold and got some chills and I wanted to warm up with a blanket. I was terrified that the pains would get worse and worse, but they never did. I sat down in the living room with some water, isotonic drinks, some biscuits, blankets and my dogs. I also had a fan on standby just in case I experienced any sweats or became lightheaded, it’s good to be prepared for both ways. I watched episodes of a British show called Taskmaster which I think really helped; they’re funny, light-hearted and fast paced, taking my mind off things as well as being an hour long. This made me feel better as because the episodes flew by, I felt the time flew by as well and I was soon out of that window where all side effects are at their height. About 10 minutes after I got settled down I decided I didn’t feel I needed more painkillers but I’d see how effective a hot water bottle would be. I really must stress the pains were ridiculously easy in comparison to the horror stories banded about on awful forums. I was genuinely and honestly shocked that the pains were the exact same as a heavy period. I sat quite contently with drinks and my hot water bottle, watching TV and my mum texting from work to check up on me. I could feel the pains sometimes but it was no more than tightness in my abdomen and maybe a sharper pain every now and then. The pains are not some new mad thing you’ll never have felt before. I left the hot water bottle on at all times, it helped a lot. During this time I was worried that this is peak pain time, but the pain I could hardly feel with the hot water bottle and the only side effect I felt was a slight feeling of needing to be sick every few minutes which lasted about an hour at most. So much so I could barely actually feel anything. 3 hours after the first 4 pills I had to take another 2 with food. After reading the main bulk of side effects are over within 4-6 hours, I knew that the pains have gotten past the worst they’d get to and so the stress disappeared and I felt able to eat something. At the time I hadn’t felt any bleeding and so I just thought if I can’t feel it I won’t check. I took the 2 tablets and just carried on. Now was when the bleeding began; I felt some bleeding happening and after a while I thought I’d better check, thinking it was a lot. In reality it has filled around the first 3 inches of the very front of my pad. I changed it and sat downstairs again. After a while I felt it coming heavier and I felt what I thought was a lot come out, I went to the toilet and found around 10 smaller clots all grouped together, the whole shape being around 3 inches long and not very wide. I assumed that was it. I noticed the blood was steadily dripping out every few seconds; I was concerned about a steady amount of blood coming out so I thought I’d start to monitor knowing I shouldn’t fill a full pad within an hour for 2 hours running. I went and sat back down and tried to distract myself however I was back and forth to the toilet checking on the blood. After around half an hour I went to toilet and felt like I needed to push to wee but I didn’t need the toilet. I pushed and felt my belly drop and felt a rush of clots fall into the toilet. I immediately flushed, I didn’t need to see it and I didn’t want to. Seconds after I flushed it another rush came and flushed again. I felt relief, and silly for thinking the few tiny clots previously could have been it. Any pain instantly went away. I would like to recommend also buying some kind of feminine hygiene wipes or even baby wipes. I found I had blood dried to my inner thighs and *THIS IS NOT TO ALARM AT ALL, PLEASE DON’T WORRY* I found because the blood came out in a gush and is quite watery I did find a few drops splashed on the floor, the bottom of the radiator and dried around my ankles. It really helped to take a minutes to calm down and tidy up before I left the bathroom. After this I felt such a relief, pain had gone and I felt finally after weeks actually being able to be present with other people and not just there but inside panicking and dreading, feeling helpless. From the point of the bleeding starting I was stood up walking and talking for most of it; please don’t think this is going to be massively debilitating and you won’t be able to do anything. After 20 mins or so I noticed the bleeding slightly picked up and so carried on monitoring again (I set a 1 hour timer after I changed my pad to check). I was stood in the garden with my parents watching my dogs play and having a laugh (again, you can still do normal things!) and some pains had come back (not bad at all) when I pushed slightly and felt a tightness; another clot; it felt bigger and dryer than the other. I quickly ran to the toilet and it was hanging out; almost a ball about an inch wide. Some blood also came out just as I was sat on the toilet. I changed my pad again and monitored to see if that was the all of it. The blood slowed right down and any pains went altogether. I was unsure as to whether there would be more or not so I just kept an eye on things, I had hardly had any blood before the first rushed of clots. I noticed my appetite came back and I was really hungry. This was around 5PM and I’d only eaten a few biscuits all day. My dad made me favourite tea which is just roast potatoes and loads of gravy. Bleeding became a lot lighter and I felt completely normal again except for some aching in the hips now and again. A huge weight was lifted. I watched TV and a film with my family and at around 10 I started to feel a bit gassy. About half an hour later I had an extremely short bout of diarrhoea which is of course another completely normal side effect; I was surprised it happened so long after taking the tablets but it’s normal. After that I just changed my pad, finished the film and went to bed. I went to bed feeling so proud of myself and ridiculously high levels of relief; this was the scariest thing I’ve ever had to do and I couldn’t back out. I also felt really proud of myself and silly that I’d let the panic and what-ifs ruin weeks of my life.

The day after I woke up and I’d filled nearly a whole pad in around 15 hours, normal. I bled throughout the day and had very light pains.

I am very grateful to have had support from everyone around me, people there to check up on me, endless cups of tea, hot water bottle refills and nipping upstairs to get me another pad. And I’m very lucky to mentally feel no shame and no regrets and know this was 100% the right thing to do. I am also grateful to have access to this service, paid for and looked after, it was amazing to not have to worry about financial aspect.


  1. 🖤Ignore the horror stories, many websites are over run with people who are against abortion, trying to put you off and discredit the safety of abortion, other may also have underlying health issues they haven’t discussed which affects the way their treatment goes and often with scary experiences people like to remember things as a lot worse than they actually were
  2. 🖤Don’t stress! I cannot express this enough, it’s just a waste of time, abortion is so safe!
  3. 🖤Don’t be scared to get the process started straight away, whilst I was only 6 weeks on the day of the abortion, I could have done it earlier if I hadn’t waited around for a week to come on, the abortion is easier the earlier you do it
  4. 🖤Don’t buy all kinds of pain relief, ask for some codeine, maybe buy some ibuprofen and have a hot water bottle to hand! I had 1 codeine and a hot water bottle and just didn’t feel the need for anything else
  5. 🖤Wear comfy, dark clothes (in case of accidents) and in order to hold the pad as close as possible maybe wear 2 pairs of underwear
  6. 🖤Buy actually thick pads, I used thin ‘ultra absorbent’ and it’s not the same, long and thick are the best and most accurate for measuring and monitoring blood loss
  7. 🖤Buy some snacks, it’s good to nibble on stuff throughout the day and helps a lot with nausea
  8. 🖤Drink lots, it’s always beneficial and you’ll feel better for it
  9. 🖤You do NOT have to stay in bed all day, unable to move and in pain, you’ll be able to get up and walk, chat and other normal things, you won’t feel like a helpless invalid
  10. 🖤Buy some wipes for easy clean up and to keep you feeling fresh BUT I don’t recommend using them around your actual areas in case of infection, just for cleaning legs and things like that
  11. 🖤I thought the process would seem never ending and grueling, in reality the day flew by and I was surprised at the difference between what happened and what I imagined it would be like
  12. 🖤Pick out a light-hearted, comforting programme to watch, mine made time fly and I genuinely enjoyed watching it
  13. 🖤Lastly, an odd recommendation I wish I’d have been given: if you are a bath person have a bath as close to treatment as you can, I can’t bath for 2 weeks after or during to prevent infection and I’m sad about it, I hate showers


Isn’t it funny that after weeks of making myself sick with worry my main concern now is when I can finally get a bath? That’s because everything went okay and everything will be okay for you and a day or so after you’ll be feeling relieved, empowered and be thinking about what to have for dinner, living your life again. During the weeks I was worrying, I was just wishing life could go back to normal and thinking about how at home I’d always be thinking about trying to get through my book and since everything happened I just neglected everything I enjoyed and sat stewing in misery, the day after the abortion I finished my book, watched a film I’d wanted to see for months and cooked myself my favourite dinner I would have had the appetite for a few days before. Everything will get better.

Remember that our stories are ours to tell. We’d love to hear your story too!