If you’re unexpectedly pregnant and considering abortion, make sure you know the facts about all that abortion entails. As abortion is a serious medical procedure, there are physical risks you need to be aware of—but lesser-known mental health effects may also be a concern for you.
The Mayo Clinic notes that many women experience mixed emotions following an abortion, including grief, sadness, relief, and guilt. Make sure you explore all aspects of what an abortion may mean for you and your unique needs.
Does Abortion Cause Mental Health Problems?
Each woman’s experience is unique, and expert medical professionals and researchers have various opinions on what abortion may mean for mental health. However, there is a general consensus amongst several studies that abortions are related to higher mental health concerns rates than the general results of women who have not experienced abortion.
In research done by the APA Task Force on Mental Health and Abortion, the authors note that some women may “experience clinically significant disorders, including depression and anxiety,” following the termination of a pregnancy.
Another study done by medical researcher David Fergusson revealed several potential mental health effects on women after abortion. In this study, Fergusson concluded:
- Abortion was an independent “risk factor for the onset of mental illness.”
- At age 25, 42% of the women studied who had an abortion experienced major depression during the previous four years, twice that of other women.
As noted previously in this article, the Mayo Clinic also points out that mixed emotions and negative feelings are likely following abortion procedures. In some cases, prolonged negative emotions may lead to greater mental health concerns that may necessitate seeking out a counselor for help.
How Do I Manage My Mental Health Risks for Abortion?
There are certain risk factors for mental health problems following an abortion. You can discuss these risks with a trusted professional.
Risk factors for mental health concerns and abortion may include:
- Feeling pressured by others to have an abortion
- Feeling unsupported
- Inadequate pre-abortion counseling
Free and Confidential Help
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