How Will I Feel After an Abortion?
Every year, more than half a million pregnant people choose abortion. Nearly one in four women will have an abortion before the age of 45. Yet you might never have spoken to another person about their abortion because the far right has made people who have abortions fearful. Rest assured, no matter why you are choosing abortion, you are not alone. You might wonder how you will feel when you leave the abortion clinic. Everyone is unique. You are not a statistic. The science on abortion, however, does tell us that most people feel good about their choice and quickly physically recover from the procedure.
What to Expect Physically After Abortion
The recovery from abortion depends in part on how far along you are and what type of procedure you have. Women who choose medication abortions may bleed longer and have more prolonged cramping. Similarly, the length of the pregnancy may intensify the physical recovery. Second-trimester abortions often cause more bleeding and cramping following the procedure, and may require a longer recovery.
Even the longest abortion recoveries are typically pretty short. You can return to your usual activities the same day if you have no complications. That doesn’t mean you should, though. The body needs time to recover, so consider taking a day or two off from work or school.
Some symptoms you may notice following an abortion include:
- Vaginal bleeding similar to a period
- Cramping like a period
- Following a late abortion, mood swings and other postpartum symptoms
Some women who have second trimester abortions notice that their milk comes in.
How Will I Feel Emotionally After an Abortion?
The far right has spent a lot of time trying to terrify women of abortion. You might worry that you’ll feel sad after the procedure. The truth is that there’s no way to predict your feelings. The overwhelming majority of women say they feel empowered by their abortions. Indeed, the emotion women most frequently report following a termination is relief. Even 5 years following an abortion, 99 percent of women say they are glad they had an abortion.
If you have a late abortion because your baby is sick or endangers your life, you may grieve your abortion as you would a stillbirth or any other death. That doesn’t mean you’ll regret it, though; even women who have emotionally fraught abortions generally report they are happy with their decision.
If you need support or are struggling following an abortion, check out Exhale, which offers nonjudgmental support.
Will I Regret My Abortion?
Women have many different feelings about their abortions. One emotion they almost never feel is regret, according to every study published on the topic. Research on women who are denied abortions finds that those who want abortions but do not have them have much worse outcomes than those who have the procedure. So while every person is different, it is very unlikely you will regret your choice. Some questions you can ask yourself to ensure you are making the right decision include:
- Do I want this baby?
- What would I do if I had this baby?
- Is anyone pressuring me to have or not have an abortion?
- Have I spent time thinking about my decision?
- Do I have people in my life who will support me after my abortion?
Choosing the right abortion clinic can ensure that you have a positive experience while feeling safe and supported in your decision. Here are some strategies for choosing the right abortion clinic for your needs.