What Are the Mental Health Effects of Abortion?

Women have a number of options when facing an unplanned pregnancy. They may be scared or worried, which are two common emotions during this time. First, take a deep breath. You are not alone in this, and you deserve to have all of the facts so that you can make the best possible decision.

While abortion may sound like a straightforward procedure, it can create a variety of physical and mental side effects that can be troubling. It’s important to know the mental health impacts so that you can protect yourself as much as possible.

I’m Thinking of Having an Abortion. How Might I Feel Afterward?

Thinking of having an abortion? You’re not alone. Many women feel that this is the best decision for themselves. But you may experience some concerning feelings after an abortion, some of which can take a short time to develop, or even months and years after the procedure. 

The National Library of Medicine lists the following as possible feelings after an abortion:

  • Loss 
  • Grief
  • Anxiety
  • Sadness 
  • Depression

What Could I Experience?

A number of mental health problems can arise after an abortion, some of which can be severe. Occasionally, women will experience what is known as depression, which is characterized by intense feelings of sadness. 

If you’re depressed, you may have the following symptoms:

  • Loss of interest or pleasure in doing activities
  • Feelings of sadness, emptiness, etc. 
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
  • Tiredness and lack of energy
  • Anxiety, restlessness
  • Trouble thinking, remembering things, or making decisions
  • Thoughts of death or suicide 

What Can I Do to Make Myself Feel Better?

While mental health issues can be extremely difficult, the good news is that there are things you can do to help yourself recover and heal after an abortion. These include:

  • Speaking with a therapist or other professional
  • Spending time with family and friends
  • Engaging in self-care activities
  • Participating in exercise
  • Eating well

While these tools may not cure your depression, they can make you feel better.

Where Can I Go for Support?

 1 in 4 women have experienced an abortion. Each of those women and each of their partners had a different experience with abortion. Each of their experiences has led to a wide range of emotions. If you have experienced an abortion and want to process that, WISH Medical offers post-abortion support. We are here for you.