A Personal Story

Submitted: Jan 19, 2001

Name: Jen
Age: 25
Weight: 165
Height: 5'7"
Pregnancy Test: Positive
Resolution: Clinical Abortion

Were you using birth control? No, but I did take emergency contraceptive pills.
Do you know how/why it failed? Possibly because I took the first pill 60 hours after sex, the later you take them the lower the chance of them working, down to 75% efficiency. I would suggest that everyone have a package at home, because many planned parenthoods are not open on the weekend, as I found out too late.
If you were not using birth control, please share why not. Alcohol, lust, and stupidity, not a lucky combination :)

What was the date of the first day of your last menstrual period? 11/25/00
Do you know the date of fertilizing intercourse? 12/08/00
What was the date you were expecting menstruation? 12/25/00
How long do your cycles usually run? 30 days more or less
Do you cycle regularly or irregularly? regular

What was the date when the herbs were started? 12/26/00
For how many days were the herbs used (total)? 8 days
What was the date the pregnancy was terminated? 1/18/01

Please include a summary of dosage information. And any side effects noted.
These are averages, I would sometimes miss one dose by a few hours and balance it out later, and experimented during the first days.
Vitamin C 12/26-1/02 1 500mg pill every hour during day. Woke up every 3-4 hours at night and took 3 pills. The last few days I felt like maybe my body was getting used to the high level and I upped the dose to 2 pills every hour during the day, but the same as before at night. I tolerated the C without problems.
Dong Quai 12/26-12/30 tincture, 1 squirt every 3-4 hours, night too
12/31-1/02 565mg capsules, started when i ran out of the tincture, 2 every 3 hours, night too
Black Cohosh 12/27-1/02 tinture 1 squirt every 4 hours, night too
On the third day I took too much of the Dong Quai and Black Cohosh, too close together, without enough food and felt ill, had nausea, and diarrhea. After that I figured out how to take both of those without overloading my body. I had a much easier time with the Dong Quai pills. The tinctures smelled so badly I often felt queasy taking them. I don't know when I will ever want to take a tincture again as that week was so intensive.

I had occasional moderate cramping during the week, but I also had mild ones before I started the herbs. No spotting at all. My breast tenderness went away by the end of the week, but it also didn't return after the herbs were out of my system.

Comments -
I did not enjoy this process at all. It was difficult work waking myself up, constantly forcing myself to take the foul smelling herbs, monitoring myself to see if i was having bad reactions. I hated continually wondering if I was going to see blood the next time I went to the bathroom. It was all draining. The abortion was SOOOO much easier. I was disapointed that the herbs didn't work especially after the EC pills hadn't worked either. One of the reasons I had tried this was because I am unemployed and living off of credit cards and a dwindling savings, and I felt like I had wasted 50$ on top of the 25$ for the EC, and would have to now pay 400$ I didn't have at all.

But at planned parenthood for my second pregnancy test I was told about medical coupons for pregnancy that covers your expenses whether you terminate or follow to term. I don't know if these are special to Washington state, but I would encourage poor women to find out, before they start the herbs, what is available to them if cost is one of the main determiners. The application process was simple, and I was approved that day.

I also did the herbs because I was afraid of how bad the abortion would be. I read certain accounts that painted it as very negative and something to be avoided if at all possible, and that increased my fear. But my fears were way worse than the experience for me. The procedure was like a pelvic exam, with menstrual cramps. It hurt less than a pap smear, but was more uncomfortable. The women at planned parenthood were all extremely gentle and kind, which helped a lot with my anxiety. I had moderate cramps for the rest of the day that I easily took care of with ibuprofin, and felt tired, but the next day felt fine.

Is there anything you would have done differently? Knowing what I know now, I wouldn't have bothered with the herbs. In the future if this ever happened again, I would definitely just get an abortion.

to sister zeus
Although I had a negative experience with the herbs, I think it is wonderful that you maintain this site. More so than ever I believe in information, if i had had more to begin with this whole process would have been much easier for me. Women should have all the information they need and easy access to it so they can make truly informed decisions, and your page is part of that. Thank you

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