Is this feeling normal? Abortion side effects demystified

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So – you’re considering having an abortion. You may be wondering what to expect, or maybe you’re concerned there could be side effects or a psychological impact after having an abortion. Maybe you’ve already had an abortion and are wondering if your feelings are normal.

First, it’s important to remember that every person is different and everyone’s abortion experience will be different. Abortion is a very personal decision, and carafem believes in the ability of every woman to determine her own best path based on her own circumstances. For some people, the choice to have an abortion is an easy one– they know they are pregnant and absolutely do not want to be, and they are certain of their decision. For others, choosing abortion is very difficult. This can be especially true for those who consider themselves or their family “pro-life;” for people in loving relationships; for those who really would like a child someday, but maybe not right now.

Regardless of the path to an abortion, study after study shows that having an abortion does not increase women’s risk of mental health problems, and that rates of mental health issues were the same for women who carried a pregnancy to term and those who did not.

While many women report feeling relief or happiness after their procedure, feelings of sadness, depression, guilt or remorse are not abnormal. According to the Guttmacher Institute, however, those same feelings can affect women who place a child for adoption; those who have raised a child in adverse conditions, or those who have experienced post-partum depression after giving birth.

Whether you’re considering an abortion or have already had one, it’s important to remember that a common side effect of pregnancy is the disruption of existing hormones and the production of a new “pregnancy hormone” that can make your emotions feel more intense than normal. While an abortion will eventually return those hormones back to normal, it can take a little while for your body to readjust. Feeling more emotional than usual is not uncommon.

While studies show that 95% of women do not regret having an abortion, everyone is different. If you find yourself struggling with feelings of depression or regret, it might be beneficial to speak to a counselor or therapist.

Luckily, there are great options available. If at any time you’d like to talk about your feelings surrounding your abortion, good or bad, Exhale is a fantastic resource! With trained, nonjudgmental counselors ready to listen, Exhale is a great way to help work through your feelings – for free. Backline is another great resource designed to help folks through ALL stages of reproductive health.

Finally, we know that dealing with an unwanted pregnancy can be very stressful in itself, but carafem trusts you and your decisions. We are here to provide information and services with unconditional respect so you can make the best choice for you.

carafem provides a full spectrum of birth control options to help you decide if and when you become pregnant. Call us any time to make an appointment, and check out more about our contraceptive options here.

Ready to schedule your abortion? Call us 24/7 at 855-225-0495.