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what happens at the gum clinic (suspected pregnancy)? Watch

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    hi, I made an appointment to go to the gum clinic (no walk in option anymore). I did a home pregnancy test and want to get it confirmed and then talk about my options. I've never used the clinic before so I'm quite scared.
    what actually happens in the gum clinic when you go in for a pregnancy test? can they provide abortion services or do they refer you somewhere else? if so where do they send you?

    the bpa help line told me that if I go to them they do an initial consultation (finger prick blood test and ultrasound) and then invite back for the termination. will they do this blood test and ultra sound at the gum clinic?

    Please serious answers only I can't find advice anywhere and its really scaring me I don't need anyone judging me right now
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    Hi I just got your quote on the old thread and I'm happy to answer any questions

    The whole process for me was - as soon as I found out I was pregnant, I called up my local family planning clinic and made an appointment to be seen by a doctor and nurse the next day. Some GUM clinics have a family planning centre too and others is just one clinic or the other but I imagine if you are going down the GUM/FP clinic, it will pretty much be the same procedure each way. So I went to the appointment the next day and they gave me a pregnancy test just to confirm the pregnancy in front of them and they took a blood test and checked my blood pressure and then I spoke to the doctor on my own, away from the nurse and my partner and she asked me why I wanted the abortion, if I had people to support me with my choice and what kind of contraceptives I would be using after the abortion. After that convo, she told me I would be called the next day with an appointment at the abortion clinic which happened to be at the maternity ward at my local hospital.

    As for the bleeding -I bled very heavily during the actual abortion and once the sac had been passed, the nurses monitored my bleeding for an extra hour just to make sure it was lessening, which it did and then I went home. For about 4 days to a week afterwards, the pain and bleeding I had was no worse than a generic period. It wasn't unbearable. I went straight onto Cerazette after the abortion so I don't know how long it would have taken for my natural period to come after the abortion but I've heard it can take anywhere from just over a week or so to a couple of months to get a natural period again after the abortion, if you aren't taking hormonal contraceptives afterwards.

    Happy to answer any other questions you might have
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    (Original post by Spock's Socks)
    Hi I just got your quote on the old thread and I'm happy to answer any questions

    The whole process for me was - as soon as I found out I was pregnant, I called up my local family planning clinic and made an appointment to be seen by a doctor and nurse the next day. Some GUM clinics have a family planning centre too and others is just one clinic or the other but I imagine if you are going down the GUM/FP clinic, it will pretty much be the same procedure each way. So I went to the appointment the next day and they gave me a pregnancy test just to confirm the pregnancy in front of them and they took a blood test and checked my blood pressure and then I spoke to the doctor on my own, away from the nurse and my partner and she asked me why I wanted the abortion, if I had people to support me with my choice and what kind of contraceptives I would be using after the abortion. After that convo, she told me I would be called the next day with an appointment at the abortion clinic which happened to be at the maternity ward at my local hospital.

    As for the bleeding -I bled very heavily during the actual abortion and once the sac had been passed, the nurses monitored my bleeding for an extra hour just to make sure it was lessening, which it did and then I went home. For about 4 days to a week afterwards, the pain and bleeding I had was no worse than a generic period. It wasn't unbearable. I went straight onto Cerazette after the abortion so I don't know how long it would have taken for my natural period to come after the abortion but I've heard it can take anywhere from just over a week or so to a couple of months to get a natural period again after the abortion, if you aren't taking hormonal contraceptives afterwards.

    Happy to answer any other questions you might have
    Thank you so much for replying honestly I tried to ask on the phone when I was making my appointment what would happen etc but they were quite busy and then I looked around for online live chats on sexual health and its just impossible to find anyone to answer these questions so I'm really grateful.

    I conceived 4 weeks ago and did a home test this week as my period was one week overdue and I've been feeling really sick and nauseous and having a lot of sensitivity in my breasts which I've never had before.

    I'm really scared because I've been reading some absolute horror stories apparently the pill abortion is more painful and worse than the surgical one. This thread https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho...=697019&page=3
    there's a girl talking about how the blood you produce is like weeing and the clinic sent her home instead of letting her wait like yours did.

    Do you relate to what she said? She's the anon#9 with the really long post. I have heavy periods normally anyway like you, so I don't know maybe these girls haven't experienced bad period pain before that's why it's a shock to them. Do you think it's really any worse than period pain? Does bleeding happen on both days? When did it stop? And did you have any other side effects or problems post abortion? After the abortion does your period come on its usual date or does your cycle start again? I'm really regular normally and I'm scared this is going to affect my future cycle.

    I'm so sorry for all of the questions btw I'm just so scared after reading these stories as I wasn't that panicked before

    And also the clinic I'm using is an hour away from my home and I don't want to be bleeding on the bus if they send me home straight away so do you think I should take period pads with me when I go for termination? And was your boyfriend allowed in on the 1st day at least?

    I'm also really worried about how to fit this around uni because I've heard you can end up staying overnight if it's still bleeding a lot??? And my family don't know and this sounds so messy and painful I don't know how I'll hide it. How many hours realistically do you need for each day?


    So sorry for the questions you can answer when you're free as my gum appointment isn't for a few days yet anyway but thank you again for being so helpful and sharing your experience
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    Thank you so much for replying honestly I tried to ask on the phone when I was making my appointment what would happen etc but they were quite busy and then I looked around for online live chats on sexual health and its just impossible to find anyone to answer these questions so I'm really grateful.

    I conceived 4 weeks ago and did a home test this week as my period was one week overdue and I've been feeling really sick and nauseous and having a lot of sensitivity in my breasts which I've never had before.

    I'm really scared because I've been reading some absolute horror stories apparently the pill abortion is more painful and worse than the surgical one. This thread https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho...=697019&page=3
    there's a girl talking about how the blood you produce is like weeing and the clinic sent her home instead of letting her wait like yours did.

    Do you relate to what she said? She's the anon#9 with the really long post. I have heavy periods normally anyway like you, so I don't know maybe these girls haven't experienced bad period pain before that's why it's a shock to them. Do you think it's really any worse than period pain? Does bleeding happen on both days? When did it stop? And did you have any other side effects or problems post abortion? After the abortion does your period come on its usual date or does your cycle start again? I'm really regular normally and I'm scared this is going to affect my future cycle.

    I'm so sorry for all of the questions btw I'm just so scared after reading these stories as I wasn't that panicked before

    And also the clinic I'm using is an hour away from my home and I don't want to be bleeding on the bus if they send me home straight away so do you think I should take period pads with me when I go for termination? And was your boyfriend allowed in on the 1st day at least?

    I'm also really worried about how to fit this around uni because I've heard you can end up staying overnight if it's still bleeding a lot??? And my family don't know and this sounds so messy and painful I don't know how I'll hide it. How many hours realistically do you need for each day?


    So sorry for the questions you can answer when you're free as my gum appointment isn't for a few days yet anyway but thank you again for being so helpful and sharing your experience
    Please don't apologize for asking too many question, I know exactly how nervous you are. I was in the exact same boat 5 years ago and I had no one to talk to about it and like you, all I could see online was horror stories about the pain or regretting my decision so I'm only too happy to help

    I've heard that for some girls, the medical/pill abortion is more painful than the surgical one but since I have only had the pill one, I can only really say how it was for me. Everyone is affected by every medication differently just like people take Valium to calm down, it actually makes me more panicky just like some girls may get bad cramps with the abortion medications and some will sail through it. I did notice when I was at the clinic that the girls who suffered with the cramps more where those who didn't take any painkillers offered at the start of their day at the clinic. I took the painkillers when offered at the start and then topped them up with just one extra paracetamol once the cramps started and that is all that was needed. I think they gave me naproxen or another NSAID at the start. Clinics usually offer hot water bottles and blankets too. You might be allowed to bring someone with you. I wasn't allowed to bring my partner to the clinic on the day of the actual abortion which I found hurtful as its not something many people want to go through alone. He was only allowed to the first appt at the family planning clinic and first appt at the hopsital.

    Yeah I've noticed that clinics such as BPAS do tend to send you home after taking the 4 vaginal pills whereas abortion clinics set in hospitals tend to keep you in for a few hours to observe you. I think if you are worried about how you will respond to the pills, even a BPAS clinic might keep you in for observation.

    As for what Anon#9 wrote, I can't agree with her on the pain front as it was 3/10 max for me, even at its worst. I kept waiting for the unbearable cramps to start but they never came. I think this might be because I took the painkillers before the cramps started, I have heavy periods and a bowel condition so I'm used to cramps anyway and also from what I noticed at the clinic, those who didn't want to have an abortion but had to because of an abusive partner or because of a health condition responded worse to the tablets which is understandable. I think if you are clear on your choice and you go into it as calm as you can be and take any painkillers offered, you will be fine but tbh, I think I could have gotten through it without. The worst of the pain lasted 10 mins - if that and like I said, the worst was only 3/10 for me.

    After the abortion, I didn't have any other side effects other than bleeding. It was heavy like the first few days of a period for maybe 2 days and then it lessened and after about 5 days it became more like bloody discharge instead of pure blood. Cramps were less than a usual period and nothing a bath couldn't help.

    If you are regular, you should probably expect to ovulate within a week or fortnight after the abortion but don't worry if you don't ovulate in that time, hormones from the pregnancy and the abortion medication can muck up your cycle for a little while but it wont be permanent.

    Each day spent at the clinic depends. If you go to BPAS they might do it all on the one day but generally most clinics will see you one day (say Monday) and give you an ultrasound, a physical, STI and blood test and give you the first pill - this kills the embryo. This appt should only take an hour. The second appt will be 2 days later (say the Wednesday) and usually you go in early in the morning (I was there for 9am) and you are given another ultrasound and then given 4 vaginal tablets and an antibiotics to take and if you are told you have to pass the foetus at the clinic like I had to do, you can expect to be there anywhere from 3-7 hours. I didn't start bleeding until 12pm and then it was all over by half past 12 but they kept me in for a little while longer to check my bleeding and then I needed a special jab because I have a negative blood type so I had to wait around for them to get all that sorted which took a while since they were looking after about 4 other girls too.

    If you are allowed to have the abortion at home then you will be able to go away from the clinic after taking those 4 pills and the cramps can start anywhere from 1-4 hours later so if you are allowed to go home, go straight home as the bleeding and cramps can start any time. Definitely bring pads with you if you are sent home. The clinic will probably give you big maternity pads to wear but can never hurt to bring some of your own.
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    (Original post by Spock's Socks)
    Please don't apologize for asking too many question, I know exactly how nervous you are. I was in the exact same boat 5 years ago and I had no one to talk to about it and like you, all I could see online was horror stories about the pain or regretting my decision so I'm only too happy to help

    I've heard that for some girls, the medical/pill abortion is more painful than the surgical one but since I have only had the pill one, I can only really say how it was for me. Everyone is affected by every medication differently just like people take Valium to calm down, it actually makes me more panicky just like some girls may get bad cramps with the abortion medications and some will sail through it. I did notice when I was at the clinic that the girls who suffered with the cramps more where those who didn't take any painkillers offered at the start of their day at the clinic. I took the painkillers when offered at the start and then topped them up with just one extra paracetamol once the cramps started and that is all that was needed. I think they gave me naproxen or another NSAID at the start. Clinics usually offer hot water bottles and blankets too. You might be allowed to bring someone with you. I wasn't allowed to bring my partner to the clinic on the day of the actual abortion which I found hurtful as its not something many people want to go through alone. He was only allowed to the first appt at the family planning clinic and first appt at the hopsital.

    Yeah I've noticed that clinics such as BPAS do tend to send you home after taking the 4 vaginal pills whereas abortion clinics set in hospitals tend to keep you in for a few hours to observe you. I think if you are worried about how you will respond to the pills, even a BPAS clinic might keep you in for observation.

    As for what Anon#9 wrote, I can't agree with her on the pain front as it was 3/10 max for me, even at its worst. I kept waiting for the unbearable cramps to start but they never came. I think this might be because I took the painkillers before the cramps started, I have heavy periods and a bowel condition so I'm used to cramps anyway and also from what I noticed at the clinic, those who didn't want to have an abortion but had to because of an abusive partner or because of a health condition responded worse to the tablets which is understandable. I think if you are clear on your choice and you go into it as calm as you can be and take any painkillers offered, you will be fine but tbh, I think I could have gotten through it without. The worst of the pain lasted 10 mins - if that and like I said, the worst was only 3/10 for me.

    After the abortion, I didn't have any other side effects other than bleeding. It was heavy like the first few days of a period for maybe 2 days and then it lessened and after about 5 days it became more like bloody discharge instead of pure blood. Cramps were less than a usual period and nothing a bath couldn't help.

    If you are regular, you should probably expect to ovulate within a week or fortnight after the abortion but don't worry if you don't ovulate in that time, hormones from the pregnancy and the abortion medication can muck up your cycle for a little while but it wont be permanent.

    Each day spent at the clinic depends. If you go to BPAS they might do it all on the one day but generally most clinics will see you one day (say Monday) and give you an ultrasound, a physical, STI and blood test and give you the first pill - this kills the embryo. This appt should only take an hour. The second appt will be 2 days later (say the Wednesday) and usually you go in early in the morning (I was there for 9am) and you are given another ultrasound and then given 4 vaginal tablets and an antibiotics to take and if you are told you have to pass the foetus at the clinic like I had to do, you can expect to be there anywhere from 3-7 hours. I didn't start bleeding until 12pm and then it was all over by half past 12 but they kept me in for a little while longer to check my bleeding and then I needed a special jab because I have a negative blood type so I had to wait around for them to get all that sorted which took a while since they were looking after about 4 other girls too.

    If you are allowed to have the abortion at home then you will be able to go away from the clinic after taking those 4 pills and the cramps can start anywhere from 1-4 hours later so if you are allowed to go home, go straight home as the bleeding and cramps can start any time. Definitely bring pads with you if you are sent home. The clinic will probably give you big maternity pads to wear but can never hurt to bring some of your own.

    Thanks again so much I think you answered everything. I'm still really scared but I'm used to heavy/painful periods so it can't be as bad as other girls say.
    Are there any risks to it that you know of?
    And if you were to do it again now, do you think you would still go for the pill or would you go for the vacuum abortion? The vacuum way just seems a lot less messy and quicker and less painful but I've read about them not being efficient enough in early pregnancies and tissue might be leftover etc. What do you think I should do?

    And also so the first pill is the one where you can go straight home and there aren't really any side effects right? Is it the second pill that gives all the bad symptoms?
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    Thanks again so much I think you answered everything. I'm still really scared but I'm used to heavy/painful periods so it can't be as bad as other girls say.
    Are there any risks to it that you know of?
    And if you were to do it again now, do you think you would still go for the pill or would you go for the vacuum abortion? The vacuum way just seems a lot less messy and quicker and less painful but I've read about them not being efficient enough in early pregnancies and tissue might be leftover etc. What do you think I should do?

    And also so the first pill is the one where you can go straight home and there aren't really any side effects right? Is it the second pill that gives all the bad symptoms?
    There's risks to every medical procedure but in general, having an abortion both the pill and surgical kind, is one of the safest procedures out there with a very low risk of any serious side effects or risks. People say it can affect your future fertility - I was the only girl in the clinic that day who was there for their abortion, for the rest it was their second, third or even fourth so abortions don't impact fertility. Risks of heavy bleeding are common with both methods but the risk of serious heavy bleeding is low.

    If I ever got pregnant again, I'd still go for the pill method if I was still early enough. I don't fancy the vacuum method but if I was too far gone for the pill, I'd just have to grin and bear it I suppose. Personally, I've heard that for 9 weeks or less, the pill is the most effective at getting rid of the entire pregnancy but if you are given the option of either then only you can make the choice. Both methods will have their own pros and cons but just throughly research both and you'll come to the right choice for you

    I didn't have any symptoms at all after the first pill but yeah, the second lot of pills are the ones that give you the cramps and bleeding. I've heard of some girls getting very minor cramps and spotting on the first but even that's rare and when it happens, you barely notice it.

    It is scary when it's your first time going through it, I was the exact same but I'm not just saying this to make you feel better but for me, there was nothing to it. The pregnancy itself was worse for me. I had health problems both mental and physical at the time and the pregnancy was the last thing I needed and I also don't want kids to begin with so it was very stressful. I wouldn't say an abortion is a walk in the park either but if you're sure it's what you want then it's nothing to fear either. I had mine five years ago and I had no regrets then and still none now. I've not had an abortion since and touch wood, this pill unlike the last one hasn't failed but I wouldn't hesitate to do the same if I ever found myself in that situation


    Are your friends and family supportive of your choice or are you keeping it a secret? I hope you do at least have one person to talk to in person, it really does help :hugs:

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    Where you will be referred to depends on where you are - some places the NHS has the contract, some places it's BPAS and some it's Marie Stopes.

    In either case, you will be interviewed separately from anyone else you go to the clinic with and probably given an ultrasound to, again, confirm you're pregnant.

    The availability of the different methods can vary. Using pills should be available everywhere although the aftercare can vary, depending on where you are. But despite being in London, the vacuum abortion I am most familiar with happened in Birmingham - it's where the provider concerned did them and had availability in the time frame wanted.
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    (Original post by unprinted)
    Where you will be referred to depends on where you are - some places the NHS has the contract, some places it's BPAS and some it's Marie Stopes.

    In either case, you will be interviewed separately from anyone else you go to the clinic with and probably given an ultrasound to, again, confirm you're pregnant.

    The availability of the different methods can vary. Using pills should be available everywhere although the aftercare can vary, depending on where you are. But despite being in London, the vacuum abortion I am most familiar with happened in Birmingham - it's where the provider concerned did them and had availability in the time frame wanted.
    Thanks so much for answering and all the info. So if I bring someone with me they won't even be allowed in for the ultrasound? Or just for the interview bit? What do they ask? I'm going on Monday cos it was the earliest slot I could book

    I read that BPAS let you self refer and you can even do the vacuum method under local anathesia and be awake which I would prefer. Have you had any experience with vacuum abortion? It's what I'm leaning towards because it seems a lot quicker less messy and less painful too whereas the stuff I've read about the pill looks like you can be in the hospital waiting to start bleeding for up to 12 hours and I read it's actually less efficient/less safe by a tiny percentage.
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    Thanks so much for answering and all the info. So if I bring someone with me they won't even be allowed in for the ultrasound? Or just for the interview bit? What do they ask?
    I was kept out of the interview - they're making sure this is your decision, not someone else's - and didn't get to see the ultrasound.

    you can even do the vacuum method under local anathesia and be awake which I would prefer. Have you had any experience with vacuum abortion?
    Yes, it was done that way, with a local. (Although I didn't see it, again...) An endoscope - a camera on a flexible rod - is used so that the doctor can be sure its worked.

    She would make the same decisions again in the same circumstances, but she was unlucky and ended up with an infection that took some antibiotics to clear up and that probably wouldn't have happened with a pill-based abortion.

    It's like contraceptive options: it's swings and roundabouts, with no 'one thing is best for everyone'. What you pick is down to what aspects you think are most important.

    Good luck.
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    I read that BPAS let you self refer
    Yes, but if you're not covered - because of where your GP is - by one of their NHS contracts, you will have to pay.

    https://www.bpas.org/abortion-care/c...ortion/prices/
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    (Original post by unprinted)
    I was kept out of the interview - they're making sure this is your decision, not someone else's - and didn't get to see the ultrasound.



    Yes, it was done that way, with a local. (Although I didn't see it, again...) An endoscope - a camera on a flexible rod - is used so that the doctor can be sure its worked.

    She would make the same decisions again in the same circumstances, but she was unlucky and ended up with an infection that took some antibiotics to clear up and that probably wouldn't have happened with a pill-based abortion.

    It's like contraceptive options: it's swings and roundabouts, with no 'one thing is best for everyone'. What you pick is down to what aspects you think are most important.

    Good luck.
    Thanks so much again and sorry for all of the questions. Is there a reason she chose vacuum over the pill? As I heard most girls choose the pill but personally I think it sounds way scarier and longer than the vacuum. And was it done in the early stages?

    I also read that bpas are the only ones that give you the option of getting it done under local, is that true or did you guys do it somewhere else with NHS?
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    No problem with the questions - this is important for you.

    (Original post by Anonymous)
    Is there a reason she chose vacuum over the pill? .. And was it done in the early stages?

    I also read that bpas are the only ones that give you the option of getting it done under local, is that true or did you guys do it somewhere else with NHS?
    She's not a fan of taking pharmaceuticals. I can't remember - it wasn't so late that the pill wasn't an option or too early so that it was the pill was the only option.

    It was either BPAS or MSI, but I don't remember which. Things have doubtless changed in the few years since it happened, but BPAS don't currently have a clinic where the consultation was done. Ah, it was Marie Stopes and, yes, it was via the NHS.
 
 
 
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