Abortion is a serious medical decision with potential physical and emotional risks. The Mayo Clinic states, “Having a medical abortion is a major decision with emotional and psychological consequences.” If you are contemplating abortion or recovering from one, we want you to know that post-abortion healing is possible. PCS Health offers a free abortion-recovery program.
Can Abortion Cause Mental Health Issues?
The National Library of Medicine published a report on mental health and abortion. The following were some of their findings:
- Abortion is consistently associated with elevated rates of mental illness compared to women without a history of abortion
- The abortion experience directly contributes to mental health problems for at least some women
- There are risk factors, such as pre-existing mental illness, that identify women at greatest risk of mental health problems after an abortion
Many women report feeling relieved immediately following their abortions, but some begin feeling sad and anxious within weeks, months, or years afterward.
How Will I Know If My Mental Health Will Be Affected?
Before an abortion, the Mayo Clinic suggests you visit your healthcare provider for the following:
- Evaluate your medical history and overall health
- Confirm your pregnancy with a physical exam
- Do an ultrasound exam to date the pregnancy and check that it’s not outside the uterus (ectopic pregnancy) and not a tumor that developed in the uterus (molar pregnancy)
- Do blood and urine tests
- Explain how abortion procedures work, the side effects, and possible risks and complications
If you have struggled with mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, or overall sadness, you have a higher chance of having mental health problems after an abortion. Many factors determine the psychological outcome of your abortion.
For instance, questions like “How far along were you in your pregnancy?” “Was someone forcing you to have an abortion?” and “Were you given a thorough explanation of what to expect emotionally and physically?” determine some outcomes. Unfortunately, no one knows how they will respond to their abortion.
What Are the Signs of Post-Abortion Mental Health Issues?
One study reported the following as some of the signs of post-abortion trauma:
- Relationship problems
- Substance misuse
- Suicidal thoughts
- PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder)
How Can PCS Health Assist Me?
Although we do not perform or refer for abortion, we can explain procedures, side effects, and potential risks. We can also review the other options for your unplanned pregnancy.
In addition, we offer free and confidential pregnancy tests. It’s essential to verify your pregnancy with an additional test. If your PCS Health test is positive, we will schedule a free, limited ultrasound exam to help confirm and date your pregnancy. We encourage you to schedule a pregnancy confirmation appointment with us today.
If you are struggling with a previous abortion decision and want to discuss our post-abortion healing program, we would love to chat with you. Healing from abortion is deeply personal. Reaching out takes courage, but we are here for you.