Roughly 56 million women worldwide undergo abortions each year. Yet, there’s a serious lack of scientific research on the biological changes that happen post abortion because women rarely come forward to disclose their truth. The trauma and stress of deciding and having to go through an abortion can be so overwhelming that being aware of the changes that will happen in your body once the procedure is over can seem trivial. Each woman’s experience is different, but there’s a wide number of emotional, physical, and mental changes to cope with that can and usually does last much longer than the abortion itself.
Oxytocin is released into the bloodstream once a woman becomes pregnant and the bond between mother and child already begins to form. When the pregnancy ends that oxytocin is still present, and the memories of the abortion can remain vivid. It’s also not uncommon to experience post partum depression and a feeling of loss on various levels depending on the individual.
A number of massive hormone shifts take place during pregnancy – the hormone hcg skyrockets at the moment of conception and doubles every 2 days for the first 10 weeks. This starts a domino effect and triggers the hormones estrogen and progesterone among many other hormonal changes, literally flooding your body with hormones. This is what’s causing those mood swings, nausea and morning sickness, that feeling of exhaustion, and skin changes. When the pregnancy is aborted, those hormones take quite some time to return to its normal levels. Based on discussions in online forums by women who have had abortions, it can be as little as a week to months and largely depends on how far along the pregnancy was at the time of abortion.
Many women are also not prepared for the never ending period that comes after an abortion. Based on online forum discussion, it can last more than a month with the norm being around two to three weeks and be extremely uncomfortable.
It’s common to experience bowel issues for a number of different reasons such as loss of blood, low physical activity due to the trauma of having an abortion, and a sluggish metabolism from the pregnancy hormones that remain in the body.
Post Abortion Stress Syndrome (Pass)
Though the term is not accepted by the American Psychiatric Association or the American Psychological Association, any traumatic event can cause psychological repercussions. Symptoms of PASS include:
- Suicidal thoughts
Though some women may never experience any psychological repercussions and simply be relieved after the abortion, emotions after an abortion are complex, and since most women never divulge that they’ve had the procedure done due to fear of judgement, these emotions can stay bottled up and exacerbate PASS’ symptoms. As we all know by now, stress has a direct impact on our bodies and health. It’s important to see an unbiased and compassionate counselor if you find any of abortion’s psychological symptoms causing significant distress…and practice self-love everyday.
Written By: Andrea Lee, @organicbeautylover