Abortion is one of your options for your unplanned pregnancy, but not the only one. Before scheduling an abortion, get the facts on procedures, side effects, and potential risks physically and emotionally. There are proven mental health issues like depression and anxiety for some women who have had abortions. Find out who is most vulnerable.
Are There Really Mental Health Problems With Abortion?
There have been very few in-depth studies about abortion’s effect on a woman’s mental health. So many factors like how far along a woman is in her pregnancy, what type of procedure she has, what her mental health was beforehand, and if she’s willingly having the abortion determine the results.
One study by the National Library of Medicine reviewed literature written by pro-abortion and anti-abortion writers. The author came to the following conclusions:
- Both sides agree that abortion is consistently associated with elevated rates of mental illness compared to women without a history of abortion.
- They also agree the abortion experience directly contributes to mental health problems for at least some women.
Who Are the Women Most at Risk for Mental Health Issues?
Both sides determined women with pre-existing mental illness had the most significant risk of mental health problems after an abortion. Unfortunately, mental health problems are on the rise due to the pandemic, mass shootings, crime, and opioid use.
According to the American Psychiatric Association (APA), nearly one in five U.S. adults experience some form of mental illness. They define mental illness as “significant changes in thinking, emotion and/or behavior.” Another characteristic is “distress and/or problems functioning in social, work, or family activities.”
Women struggle with their mental health almost twice as much as men. The CDC says nearly one in four adults 18 to 44 received treatment for mental health in 2021. The number most likely increased after lockdowns and social distancing.
Getting Help For Mental Illness
More people today are willing to discuss their mental health issues. Your mental health affects your overall well-being, so getting help is essential.
The APA suggests talking with your primary care physician about your anxiety. Depending on the severity of your issues, they could recommend meeting with a counselor for “talk therapy,” anti-anxiety medication, or a combination of therapy and medication.
Making specific lifestyle changes is another way you can help yourself. Consider exercise, eating nutritious meals, and getting better sleep to help your overall mental health and recovery.
Discuss Your Mental Health as You Contemplate Abortion
Abortion is a serious health decision, and you should look at all aspects of your health before making this choice. Schedule an appointment with your healthcare provider to discuss your physical and mental health.
Many women feel relief immediately after their abortions, but some begin feeling anxious, depressed, angry, or guilty within weeks, months, or even years.
We Can Help You
At PCS Health, we can discuss your situation and offer referrals to doctors who can assist you if you are struggling with mental health issues. If you haven’t confirmed your pregnancy with an ultrasound yet, schedule a free appointment with us.
More than anything, we want you to know you are not alone. If you have had an abortion(s) and are struggling emotionally, we offer an excellent abortion recovery program.
Call or schedule your appointment online. We’re here for you.
PCS Health does not provide or refer for abortions