A Personal Story

This anonymous entry was posted in the guestbook. I hate to remove things, but could not leave it in good conscious because others, teens in particular may interpret this in the wrong way, and I don't want anyone to harm themselves based upon this vague claim. First is the post and following are my own commits and questions. Should the author of this post find it here, I would really like to talk with you further on this. -- See her response below.

Guest book Entry

    - 02/05/99 17:03:35
    What is your age group?: 17
    Is there anything that needs clarification?: no

    I was so glad i found your site. I was 14 weeks pregnant and ended it using black cohosh. Nothing else worked for me but after taking it for 1 1/2 days I finally started bleeding. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! Since I'm underage for an abortion, this site was a lifesaver! Thanks again!

Questions & Commits: I'd really like to hear more.... In particular, whether or not the pregnancy was confirmed with a pregnancy test. Forgive me for being the skeptic, but your post concerns me deeply.

Rarely if ever does pregnancy end this "easily". It is difficult for me to believe that a pregnancy in its 14th week would be ended in 1 1/2 days by using black cohosh. At 14 weeks we are talking about a fully established pregnancy, attempting herbal abortion at this stage, IS DANGEROUS!!!!! And is definitely NOT recommended. The more established a pregnancy becomes the harder it is to dislodge. I can't help but feel that it is unlikely that a fully established pregnancy would end after a day and a half of using black cohosh.

In the 14th week of pregnancy the placenta if fully formed and the fetus is over 4 inches long. Miscarriage at this point is a big deal. In order for the body to expel the fetus it has to go into labor, force the cervix open and contractions to expel the fetus. If the fetus and/or the placenta is not completely expelled there is a very real possibility of hemorrhage, where you could easily have bleed to death. Or a uterine infection, which could cause you to never be able to have children. The only way to remedy these situations is with the help of qualified medical personnel, usually with a D&C abortion.

And finally, Black Cohosh is most often used in conjunction with other herbs, as it is not considered strong enough to produce abortion on its own.

I think it is more likely that your period was late, indeed months overdue..... Menstruation can be late for a wide variety of reasons. It can be absent for many months as well, with out pregnancy as the cause. For what ever reason you went so long with out bleeding, the black cohosh was just the right thing to stimulate menstration. It is common for emmenagogues (herbs that stimulate menstruation) to start the blood flowing within about 12 to 36 hours of taking the herbs. If you experience something like this again, I would definitely have it checked out.

Her response....

    How would you rate your experience?
    Over all it was a positive experience
    Were you successful in using the herbs? Yes
    Is there anything you would have done differently? Don't know

    Did you have a pregnancy test? What was the result? and when was it taken? Yes 3 pregnancy tests confirmed me positive at 2 weeks, 6 weeks and 12 weeks.


    I am the one who submitted the anonymous letter about my experience with black cohosh. I did know for sure that I was pregnant...not only did I have 3 confirmed tests (one done by Planned Parenthood) but I was also having all the symptoms. I had scheduled a clinical abortion and as a last resort I tried the herb. Before I used black cohosh, I had tried every other herb mentioned for an herbal abortion. None of them worked for me. So I started taking parsley to soften my cervix for a whole day and by the next day my cervix was pretty soft and dilated. So I started taking the black cohosh.

    I took 2 caplets every 3-4 hours and around 10pm I started having really strong cramps. I had a little bleeding and was totally not expecting what was about to happen. For about 2 hours the cramps continued, which I soon realized was labor. I felt my cervix at that point to see if anything was progressing. I felt my baby's head starting to come through the cervix. At this point I was very scared because it wasn't until then that it actually set in that I was carrying a real child. I was still having a lot of contractions when I decided I better push. I just wanted it to be over with. I began pushing as hard as I could for about 20 minutes until I felt my baby come out. He was not alive. When I saw him I just began sobbing uncontrollably. I believe I was 14 weeks along. He was about 4 1/2 inches long. It ripped my heart out to see him.

    Soon after that I delivered the afterbirth. Then the bleeding began. I lost a lot of blood. I remember sitting on the toilet and hearing the blood run out of my body. I did that about every 30 minutes for about 2 hours. I work for a veterinarian and had some gauze that I packed against my cervix to control the bleeding. Because I knew I could get a severe infection in my uterus, I immediately started some super strong antibiotics. I also took several different multi-vitamins because of all the blood I lost.
    {Note: packing gauze against the cervix won't help to control bleeding, it just acts like a tampon. The blood is coming from inside the uterus, well out of reach. Bleeding slows as the uterus returns to its normal size, assuming that it got rid of enough fetal tissue to beable to clamp down, contract to its normal size. Infection only occurs if everything is not expelled.}

    The physical pain I went through was bad enough but the emotional pain was something I can't even describe. I would not recommend this experience to anybody. I realize I could have died from the bleeding or from an infection. I realize that I didn't know how much of the herbs to take and could have easily poisoned myself. I want people to look at my experience and learn from it...just because other people have been successful with herbs doesn't mean you are going to be. I almost wasn't. And just because their experiences sound painless doesn't mean it won't tear your emotions apart. I understand and accept what I did because I know right now isn't the right time. I have learned a very valuable lesson from my experience. But I want to help others before they make the same mistake I did. I want others to take the responsibility so that pregnancy doesn't happen in the first place.

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