A Personal Story

Submitted: August 31, 2006

Shared by: Daniella from the US

Age: 23 at time of pregnancy (this was about 4 years ago)
Weight: ~145
Height: 5’7”

Did you have a pregnancy test? Yes
When was it taken? A few days after my missed period
What was the result: Positive

How was the pregnancy ended? RU-486
Were you successful in using the herbs? No, unfortunately.
Would you try herbs again, or recommend them to a friend in the same situation? Yes I would try them again. I suppose I would recommend them to a friend but I was SO disappointed that they didn’t work for me.

Is this your first pregnancy? Yes it was my first and only.
For how many days were the herbs used (total)? Almost 4 weeks.

Were you using birth control? Not well enough...
What kind/method of birth control/contraception were you using? Condoms & withdrawal
Do you know how/why it failed? I think we did withdrawal on a day I was fertile, usually I know my fertile days but I guess I lost track.

If you were not using birth control, please share why not: Because I felt invincible and “I know I wont get pregnant”. I learned my lesson, and now I am VERY adamant about using birth control. My preferred use is condoms.

Did you experience any symptoms or signs of pregnancy? Yes
When did they start? About 3-4 weeks in, roughly.

Please include a summary of dosage information for each herb used:
Vitamin C: 1000 mg every 2 hours for about 5 or 6 days. Felt nothing.
Black Cohosh: followed dosage recommendations on package for a few days. Felt nothing.
Cotton Root Bark: followed dosage recommendation on package for about 6-7 days I think. Felt nothing. I tried running and jumping too but nothing was happening.

How did the herbs affect you? They had NO effect! I was surprised that I felt literally nothing, either way.
Any positive effects? No
Where there any negative effects? No.
Do you smoke tobacco? Very sporadically
Do you have any health problems or issues? No – in fact I believe that it was my excellent health that prevented the abortifacients from working – I think that I should have doubled the dosage recommendations on the packages, and I WISH that I had taken pennyroyal tea.

How did being pregnant make you feel physically? VERY hungry, and tired. I should also probably have fasted I bet this would have worked.

If the herbs caused miscarriage -- how did you feel just before bleeding began? And when bleeding started - How was the bleeding, cramping, etc? N/A – although the mifepristone was extremely painful. I would recommend doing strong herbs EARLY ON.

Could you reflect on the process of a herbal abortion?
I think you really need to know your own body. I have a high tolerance for things - I don’t drink much, do too much drugs or smoking or anything, and when I do take drugs, they usually don’t have such a big effect on me. I am also very healthy – I eat healthy and exercise. Therefore, my body is probably the perfect place for a pregnancy, I feel that this is why the herbs didn’t work – I was up against a very healthy body. Therefore I should have taken extra strong doses of the herbs, and I feel like if I had fasted as well this would have helped. I also was under a lot of stress – I happened to have a terrible job, terrible apartment, low on money, my friends were not around that summer, etc. so I couldn’t really put the proper mental focus on it. Therefore I recommend that people who are going to try herbs should really take a day to focus their minds on it, and since each woman is different, she should think about her own physical and mental characteristics and this should help her decide which herbs to use and how. If I get pregnant again I will definitely take pennyroyal tea, I will fast and restrict my caloric intake, and I will take time to de-stress and focus on it, although as a result of my experience I am now extremely steadfast about using birth control (although I have to confess that I have considered experimenting on myself and getting pregnant on purpose in order to test my hypothesis and see if I can get herbs to work this time... but I sort of doubt I will, unless the Christian fundies really do outlaw abortion then I’d consider taking this somewhat drastic measure so that I can contribute to the resistance).

Is there anything you would have done differently? Yes, see above (I would have taken stronger doses of the herbs, I would have started right away with Pennyroyal tea instead of trying the weaker herbs like black cohosh and cotton root bark, and I would have fasted since I was really hungry constantly).

There are many lessons that can be learned from an experience such as this, Do you feel you have learned something from this experience? If so what? Yes – that herbal abortion must be brought back – let the looney religious nuts try to outlaw a plant that grows wild, the schmucks then can’t get their perverted hands on our bodies. I feel that herbal abortion would be the most natural and best way to go, and I’m sure the answer is out there somewhere but it was killed off by the Christian loonies from the medieval ages who did all the witch hunts and made sure to blot out the accumulated wisdom of the midwives and herbalists. They just hate the fact of women having this element of power and control – they like to see women at the mercy of their shriveled penises. As you can see I feel quite strongly about this...

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