For those who have undergone or are contemplating an abortion, understanding the post-procedure expectations is advisable.

Abortion, regardless of its type (surgical, medical, self-managed, or inician-supported), is a safe process. After the abortion, it's generally recommended to rest and ensure personal comfort. Commonly, side effects are mild and transient, but it's important to acknowledge the potential for complications.

Common Abortion Side Effects

  1. Bleeding: Bleeding patterns can vary among individuals after an abortion. If you've opted for a medical abortion, you can anticipate the bulk of the bleeding to occur on the day you administer misoprostol. Research suggests that medical abortion tends to result in more bleeding than surgical abortion, lasting for an average of around nine days.
  2. Pain and Cramps: It's normal to experience cramping, which indicates your body's process of expelling the pregnancy and returning the uterus to its pre-pregnancy state. The pain after an abortion is frequently more intense than regular menstrual cramps.

How Does Abortion Impact Women’s Mental Health?

Frequently, women may convey intense remorse regarding the choices or lack thereof that led to their abortions, all while grappling with a sense of bewilderment about their journey to that point. Their self-perceptions and views of others can be profoundly shaken or altered, leaving them in a state of uncertainty. This may trigger a pattern of overthinking and severe self-judgment, leading to a harmful cycle of detrimental thoughts and behaviors, which could include the misuse of substances.

Frequently, signs of post-traumatic stress emerge, encompassing distressing elements like intrusive images, thoughts, memories, flashbacks, and nightmares. These are often coupled with behaviors such as avoidance, detachment, and anger, among others.

The advent of medical abortions has resulted in women seeking assistance relatively quickly, sometimes within days or weeks rather than waiting for years or decades. This urgency arises from experiencing the abortion procedure in a more immediate manner, leading them to confront aspects they cannot easily erase from their memory.

Counseling After Abortion

The secure environment fostered by counseling's non-judgmental atmosphere can significantly aid both women and men in permitting themselves to undergo a process of mourning, to delve into and articulate the myriad complex and distressing emotions they might encounter, and to analyze and reshape any counterproductive thought patterns or actions.

Compassion-focused therapy is often most effective for those who battle self-criticism and endure feelings of shame. Once the foundational aspects are understood and any initial resistance is addressed, this approach can assist individuals in gradually letting go of self-condemnation. Numerous women and men emphasize that they cannot change the past, but seeking counseling post-abortion ensures they are not solitary in their journey. Despite the often heartrending nature of their individual stories, there always remains a beacon of hope and available assistance.

Where To Find Support 

During this time, it is essential to talk to your close ones as they can help you in going through this without overthinking and stressing yourself much. There’s always someone to listen to when there’s someone to share their story.  For more women’s health-related blogs, check out our website called