If you are facing an unplanned pregnancy and considering your options you are likely familiar with the physical side effects and complications that can result from an abortion. But you may be unaware of the potential for mental health effects after an abortion, including an increased risk for drug and alcohol abuse, anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts.
It’s talked about a lot, but not everyone knows exactly what it means.
The World Health Organization defines mental health as including “our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make healthy choices.”
Important life decisions, and the outcome of those situations, can have a big impact on your mental health–which can then impact your physical health, as well as your emotions.
If you are in an unplanned pregnancy and exploring your options you’ve likely seen the precautions about the potential risks and side effects of an abortion procedure. For decades the physical risks of abortion were the primary health considerations when a woman was deciding her options. But in recent years, thanks to research and studies, more is becoming known about potential mental health risks that often occur after an abortion.
One of the first experts to begin to understand the connection between abortion and mental health issues was Psychotherapist Vincent Rue. His study, “Induced Abortion and Traumatic Stress,” found common responses in post-abortive women:
60% reported that they felt “part of me died” after their abortions
25% said they didn’t receive adequate counseling
64% said they felt pressured by others to abort
65% of U.S. women experienced multiple symptoms of PTSD (which they attributed to their abortions)
Another study, by David Fergusson, a medical researcher, and professor, found that women had increased rates of mental health problems after an abortion. He concluded that women who had abortions also had higher rates of mental health problems than other women, including increased risk of anxiety, drug and alcohol abuse, and suicidal behaviors.
If you are facing an unexpected pregnancy and feeling overwhelmed, an abortion may seem like the simplest solution. But with the known physical and mental risks, it’s important to understand all your options, so that you can make the best decision for your health and future.
If you think you are pregnant or have a positive result from an at-home pregnancy test, the first step is to confirm your pregnancy. Metro Women’s Care can provide you with valuable services, like lab-quality testing to confirm whether you are pregnant, and ultrasound consultations to determine the age and viability of your pregnancy. Once you know all the details you can about your pregnancy, and what options you have available, you will be empowered to make the best decision for your mental and physical health.
Contact us to schedule your no-cost, un-hurried, confidential appointment today, and start getting the answers you need.