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Pregnancy scares and abortion at university

Does losing your virginity change you? Generally, the answer is no. However, what does change when you become sexually active is how you feel about your periods, if you have them. Their meaning changes. The sight of blood in your underwear is no longer an annoyance, but a relief.

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This blog has been contributed by Molly. If you would like to contribute a blog to this series, please email campaigns@warwicksu.com.

Does losing your virginity change you? Generally, the answer is no. However, what does change when you become sexually active is how you feel about your periods, if you have them. Their meaning changes. The sight of blood in your underwear is no longer an annoyance, but a relief.  

I know this all too well. I know this because there were a couple of days a few months ago where I was scared I was pregnant. An experience like that is just as terrifying as you’d expect when you’re nineteen and pregnancy is the last thing you want.  

I wondered if I could call it a pregnancy scare at first. As far as I knew, my boyfriend and I had done everything right on the occasions we’d had sex. No split condoms, no morning after pills. I am lucky in that regard. I was petrified enough just dealing with a period that arrived later than I expected, on what was the thirty-second day of my cycle (and my cycles were not normally as long as that). I was lucky enough to bypass taking a pregnancy test, just about. I had bought one, but my period came on the morning I was supposed to take it.  

In my panic, I made my preparations in case the worst happened. I knew instantly I wanted an abortion. It’s not as easy a decision for every person with a uterus, but it was for me. I knew I didn’t want to drop out of university to raise a child, neither did I want to go through pregnancy, bond with the baby, give birth and then give the baby up for adoption. I set out to research what I would have to do to have a termination.  

A lot of research was required - where would I have to go? How could I get there? What would happen? I was surprised how much I didn't know. I wish I could have been armed with that knowledge going into the situation. A pregnancy scare is stressful and scary enough. Researching a way out of it can feel exhausting on top of everything going on in your head. We need that information before we ever get to that place. I’m of the opinion that abortion should be in the SRE curriculum - if one in three women have an abortion before the age of forty-five, it makes sense for information to be readily available.  

So, for any Warwick student who might need it now or in the future: the only abortion clinic in Coventry is in Cheylesmore, near Earlsdon. You can access it from the 61 bus, which goes from the interchange every hour, or it’s an eight minute drive away. It is open from 8:30am-4:30pm on Tuesdays and Fridays. They provide medical abortions for which you take one medication orally in the clinic and then another at home a day or two later. You have four tablets you can put between your cheek and gum, where they dissolve, or inside the vagina, and this medication causes a miscarriage. It is most effective taken before the tenth week of pregnancy.  

Surgery is also an option, in the form of vacuum aspiration up to the fourteenth week, and dilation and evacuation (D&E) between the fifteenth and twenty-fourth week. You can have the procedure under local anaesthetic (up to week fourteen), or under sedation or general anaesthetic if you prefer. You can go home the same day.  

More information can be found on the NHS and BPAS websites: 

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