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If you think you might be unexpectedly pregnant and feel like abortion is your only option, take a moment to breathe and slow down. You'll want to ensure you have all the information you need to make a confident, informed choice.
Abortion is a serious medical procedure, and it's wise to know all the facts first – both the potential physical risks as well as how it may impact your mental health. The Mayo Clinic shares that many women can experience mixed emotions following an abortion, such as grief, sadness, relief, or guilt. As you navigate your pregnancy decision and plan your next steps, explore all the aspects of what having an abortion may mean for you and your whole-person health.
It's important to recognize that each woman's experience is unique, and it's difficult to predict exactly how abortion will affect you personally. But, there is some common understanding amongst medical professionals and researchers that describes how abortion experiences are often related to higher rates of mental health concerns.
For instance, this study on abortion and mental health concludes, "Common ground exists regarding the very basic fact that at least some women do have significant mental health issues that are caused, triggered, aggravated, or complicated by their abortion experience." This study also notes that one major risk factor for negative mental health effects following an abortion is if one feels pressured into an abortion or if one chooses an abortion without paying close attention to "maternal desires or moral beliefs that may make it difficult to reconcile one's choice with one's self-identity'.
The findings of this study are consistent with others as well, such as this study that found abortion to be linked to higher rates of PTSD experiences, suggesting that abortion can "increase stress and decrease coping abilities," and this study that found that women who had undergone an abortion experienced an 81% increased risk of mental health problems.
Simply put, in order to protect your mental health, it is important to ensure you are taking the time to make a confident, informed choice and that you know all that abortion entails, particularly if you have a history of mental health concerns or have experienced trauma previously.
Particular risk factors could be a concern for you that would potentially result in a higher likelihood of mental health problems following an abortion. If you think your past experiences or history may put you at risk, it is wise to discuss them with a trusted professional.
Risk factors for mental health concerns following an abortion may include:
At Choices Options for Women, we are here to help. You are not alone as you navigate your pregnancy decision.
Our professional medical team can provide you with no-cost care to get you detailed information on your unique medical needs, as well as walk you through what your options may be and what factors you might want to consider.
Schedule your free appointment today to get your questions answered and make an informed, confident choice.
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