Anticipated Emotional Effects of an Abortion

Anticipated Emotional Effects of an Abortion

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What kinds of psychological responses are to be expected after an abortion? 

 

ūüõ§ Could an abortion affect me long-term? ‚Äď Take the Test

  • Not¬†every¬†woman¬†suffers¬†after an¬†abortion;¬†some¬†feel¬†a sense¬†of¬†relief.¬†
  • Many¬†women¬†struggle¬†mentally¬†and¬†emotionally¬†when¬†coming¬†to¬†terms¬†with¬†their¬†abortion.
  • Some¬†women¬†suffer¬†from¬†depression¬†or¬†other¬†undesired¬†emotional¬†responses¬†immediately¬†after¬†the¬†abortion,¬†or¬†later¬†on.¬†

Try: ‚öĖÔłŹ "Abortion: Yes or no?" - Take the Abortion Test

 

Could an abortion affect me long-term? ‚Äď Your Self-Evaluation

Do you find yourself in this situation? Answer three multiple choice questions about your circumstances, and receive an expert evaluation within seconds on your screen.

 

 

 

 

How Do You Feel After an Abortion? 

Considering abortion usually coincides with a severe emotional battle, many elements can factor in: the relationship, aspirations, fear, and past experiences. Just as each and every woman experiences an abortion differently, the post-abortion experience of women also differs significantly. 

In counseling, we commonly see the following scenarios play out (some women experience both simultaneously): 

 

Relief

Immediately following an abortion, many women feel a sense of relief. The burden of having to make such an enormous decision is gone - and many concerns are now nullified. Initially, these women are able to cope with an abortion well, and continue life as normal. 

 

Painful Emotions 

Other¬†women¬†regret¬†their¬†abortion¬†right¬†away.¬†Again,¬†others¬†feel¬†grief¬†and¬†sadness¬†after¬†the¬†sense¬†of¬†relief¬†has¬†worn¬†off.¬†Some¬†women¬†seem¬†unfazed¬†‚ÄĒ¬†only¬†to¬†be¬†troubled¬†by¬†emotional¬†distress¬†years¬†later.¬†

These troubling emotions are often described as a feeling of emptiness, grief, guilt, a sudden desire to have children, disappointment, vulnerability, numbness,...  

Rushed decisions are more likely to lead to regret, as are choices which were solely based on reason, while disregarding one’s emotions. 

 

Potential Psychological Effects of an Abortion 

An abortion can cause serious emotional distress. Some women sink into a deep, dark hole around the time of the baby’s due date. Others ruefully remember each anniversary of the abortion. A crisis can also be triggered by a pregnancy, whether her own or someone else’s. 

Both¬†physical¬†and emotional¬†symptoms¬†are¬†common¬†‚ÄĒ¬†immediately¬†following¬†the¬†abortion¬†or¬†later¬†on.¬†Some¬†women¬†bear¬†their¬†pain¬†silently¬†for¬†years¬†or¬†even¬†decades.¬†

 

Post Abortive Mental Health Concerns

These are possible symptoms of post-abortion trauma: 

  • Moodiness¬†or¬†depression¬†
  • Guilt¬†
  • Difficulty¬†sleeping;¬†nightmares¬†
  • Falling¬†into¬†addiction¬†
  • PTSD¬†
  • Anxiety¬†Disorder¬†¬†

Women frequently share about relationship struggles after an abortion. Having undergone an abortion for one’s partner's sake puts the relationship under increased strain. At this point, break-ups are common. 

 

Physical Reactions to Mental Distress (Psychosomatic Reactions) 

When an abortion leads to psychological stress, physical reactions are possible. Symptoms may include migraines, back pain, or increased severity of menstrual cramps. 

 

Questions and Concerns? 

Are you pregnant and wondering what to do? If so, you are probably flooded by many thoughts, concerns, and emotions.  You may feel anxious about either of the possible choices. 

You are not alone! We would love to come alongside you as you navigate this difficult road. Our judgement-free resources aim to bring clarity, so that you can discern the path that suits your lived experience:  

 

Post Abortion Testimonials 

Many women have reached out to us at profemina, sharing their grief over their abortion. Here is what two of them wrote: 

"... I had an abortion… and now I deeply regret it. I long to have a baby more than ever before... what I did tears my heart into a thousand pieces... I am constantly thinking about how far along I would be, boy or girl ... my partner is trying to comfort me, but doesn't really get it..." 

‚Äú...I can‚Äôt stop thinking¬†that I should have kept the baby,¬†and that everything would have worked out. It would not have been easy, but it would¬†have¬†also¬†been wonderful...¬†I should have taken more time to decide‚Ķ¬†I wish I could¬†make it all undone. This was not what I really wanted, not my¬†choice. My path would have included the baby.¬†All of a sudden it has become clear to me that it would have been good to keep the baby,¬†and I¬†am unsure¬†whether I will ever get over it. It hurts so badly.¬†I want my baby back.‚Ä̬†

We want you to make a decision that you feel good about in the long run. 

 

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Source:

  • Coleman: Resolution of Unwanted Pregnancy. journal of youth and adolescence (6/2006)
  • Quotes from letters¬†written¬†to¬†profemina¬†
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