Advice on Managing the Emotional Impact of Unplanned Pregnancy and Abortion

An unplanned pregnancy can be very stressful. You can feel anxious, confused and as if you’ve lost control of your own body. The emotional impact of an unplanned pregnancy can be the same whether you decide to continue with it or to have an abortion. It’s difficult to know exactly how you’ll feel after an abortion, but it’s important to be aware that help is available if you need it.

Understanding Your Emotions

There is no right or wrong way to feel. You might feel sad, relieved, lonely, anxious, stressed, numb, guilty, or hopeful for the future. Your emotions can also change over time, especially as the physical effects of the pregnancy and abortion wear off. You should make sure that you’re getting the support you need and be aware that you can ask for help at any stage, even if it’s years later.

Here are some strategies that you might find helpful for managing stress, depression or other negative emotions after an unplanned pregnancy:

  • Talk to someone about your emotions, even if you’re feeling fine.
  • Write down what you’re thinking and feeling if it’s easier than talking.
  • See a doctor or therapist if you’re feeling down, especially if you think you might have depression. Having an abortion doesn’t increase the risk of mental health problems any more than having a baby, but we can all be affected by conditions like depression, especially when we’ve been dealing with stressful situations like an unplanned pregnancy
  • Take some time to yourself to relax or do something you enjoy. You don’t have to keep thinking about the pregnancy all of the time.
  • Spend time with other people to avoid feeling isolated.
  • Deal with other sources of stress in your life too.

Sex and Relationships After an Unplanned Pregnancy

Sex can be a source of stress and anxiety for many women after an unplanned pregnancy. You might not feel ready for sex until your body is fully recovered and you could also be worried that you might get pregnant again.

The experience of an accidental pregnancy can also put a strain on your relationships. Your partner will be dealing with his own emotions and it’s common for you to feel angry or to blame each other some of the time. You might not know what to say to one another or how to move on.

It’s important to address all of these emotions. Talk to your partner about how you feel and listen to what he has to say in return. Don’t rush back into having sex and consider having therapy or relationship counselling if you need it.

When you are ready to have sex again, it’s important to remember that you can get pregnant right away after an abortion. Make sure that you’re using protection and ask a doctor for contraception advice if you’re not sure which option is right for you.

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