At-Home Abortions and Mental Health Risks

If you are considering an at-home abortion, it’s essential to understand the pros and cons along with other information you need to make the best choice for you and your baby. And while there is plenty of information avaialable about the risks of at-home abortions and the benefits, one less explored topic is the effect of abortions on your mental health. 
When you experience an unplanned pregnancy, you are already shifted into a state of anxiety and fear. Not knowing the outcome, how people will react, and what options you have will weigh heavy on your mind. Being in this elevated state of fight or flight can also increase the chances of having mental health risks if you perform an at-home abortion. Since at-home abortions are performed without medical supervision, your risks can increase.
According to the American Pregnancy Association, abortion can cause the following mental health responses: 

  • Stress
  • Isolation
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Regret
  • Anger
  • Shame
  • Loneliness
  • Low self-esteem

These responses are tied to the emotional and physical effects you might feel when having an at-home abortion.

Abortions and Depression

Research has shown that some women have significant mental health issues that are triggered by abortions, and this trigger stems from their abortion experience. (1) In some cases, this can be caused by feeling pressured to get an abortion, not understanding other options, or struggling with their own moral beliefs. Each individual will handle the emotional toll of abortions in their own way, but it’s important to share information regarding this mental health connection and ways you can protect your mind from the trauma of abortion. Many women who receive at-home abortions do not receive information about potential mental health effects and the possibilities of reversing their abortions if they feel remorse or regret. It’s also important to note that being alone throughout this process can cause even greater distress. Having a support system and the right knowledge to make an informed decision needs to be more of a priority for pregnant women. 
If you are experiencing an unplanned pregnancy, it’s important to verify the viability of your pregnancy and get the proper resources about your options. At Clearway Clinic, we offer no-cost ultrasounds and medical consultations to support your pregnancy journey and help you explore your options. You are not alone, and we are dedicated to offering non-judgmental care and resources for your needs. If you are pregnant and need help, please contact our clinic today. 
Reardon D. C. (2018). The abortion and mental health controversy: A comprehensive literature review of common ground agreements, disagreements, actionable recommendations, and research opportunities. SAGE open medicine, 6, 2050312118807624.

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