Choosing to have an abortion is never an easy decision. Some women opt for an abortion because they are dealing with an unplanned pregnancy and feel it is the best option. How you decide to handle your pregnancy is deeply personal. Ideally, it is best to get the support you need from the moment you find out you are pregnant. Pregnancy care centers like Care Net can help you explore your options, including abortion, adoption, and parenthood. Whatever decision you make, having ongoing support can help you deal with any feelings you may have before, during, or after.
Abortion is an option that approximately 18 percent of pregnant women choose each year in the United States. Sometimes women experience extreme grief after an abortion. Even when they know what to expect and choose this pregnancy option, it can be difficult to unpack their emotions afterward. Grief is not always immediate, either. Sometimes it takes years for a woman to recognize the emotional trauma having an abortion can cause.
How to recognize the signs of after-abortion grief
Pregnancy loss – whether planned or unplanned – causes an interruption in your hormonal cycle. Most women are familiar with the kind of mood disturbances that can occur when their hormones fluctuate, especially when it involves estrogen. Pregnancy hormones can decline quickly after an abortion, hurling you into an emotional freefall. It can take anywhere between 16 days and 2 months for hCG levels (the pregnancy hormone) to decline.
So, what does all this mean? Well, it means it is somewhat normal to be moody after an abortion until your hormone levels return to normal. Any feelings of relief you experience immediately after your choice can quickly be replaced by discouraging ones or self-doubt. Some of the negative feelings you might experience after an abortion include:
- Loss of self-esteem
- Remorse or regret
Women who choose abortions also may have relationship issues moving forward and feel isolated or lonely. Again, while these feelings are common and even normal, it does not mean you have to suffer through them alone.
When to seek help for your after-abortion grief
There is never a wrong time to seek help and support after an abortion. Even if you think you are handling it well, you may be surprised to learn that some of your underlying feelings of anxiety and stress are caused by the major life decision you just made. Talking with others who understand how you feel can be a tremendous source of relief.
While it is normal to feel remorse and grief after having an abortion, it does not mean all feelings after an abortion should be ignored. If you find yourself unable to cope with the loss or experiencing thoughts of suicide, you must seek help immediately. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a valuable resource. A national network of crisis centers, the lifeline provides 24/7 free and confidential support for people who are in distress. You can receive information about local care and suicide prevention resources. If you are experiencing suicidal feelings after an abortion, please do not wait. Call the lifeline toll-free at 800-273-8255.
What to expect from after-abortion care programs
Sometimes talking with others who know what you are going through can help with any feelings of anxiety or other distress you are having after an abortion. After-abortion care programs provide the support needed and can help you connect with other women who get it because they have been through it themselves.
Support groups are just one resource you can expect from a quality after-abortion care program. Our caring staff at Care Net also have access to trauma resources to help with your emotional and physical reactions to pregnancy termination that require more assistance than a support group offers. We pride ourselves on offering a confidential, non-judgmental environment where you can feel safe talking with someone one-on-one about your after-abortion feelings. We can help you find a trauma resource that addresses your individual needs, providing the help you need to work through your feelings.
Seeking help before you make a decision
Seeking help before you decide what to do about your pregnancy can ensure you make the right choice. Sometimes women choose abortion because they do not realize there are alternatives. Care Net Pregnancy Care Centers provide information about all your pregnancy options.
Our team of advocates and licensed medical professionals make sure you have access to medically sound and accurate resources that include abortion, adoption, and parenting. All care you receive – including pregnancy testing and limited ultrasounds – is free and confidential.
You do not have to go through this alone. Contact us today to schedule your free appointment to discuss your pregnancy options. We have four convenient locations in Albuquerque, Los Lunas, Moriarty, and Rio Rancho.