After much research and soul-searching, your partner decided that this was not the time to continue her pregnancy, and she had an abortion. Even if she was confident about her abortion choice, you see that her recovery is not easy. You are going through your own process of coping with the abortion, and you still compassionately wonder how you can help your partner.
The first step is to understand what she is going through, so keep reading to learn more about her experience and practical ways to help.
How Your Partner Might Feel After an Abortion
Immediately following a surgical abortion or medical abortion, your partner may feel a sense of relief together with uncomfortable physical symptoms. As time goes on, emotional difficulties may set in. Here is what you can expect your partner to feel soon after a medical or surgical abortion:
- Pain: Cramping after abortion is normal because it helps the uterus return to its pre-pregnancy size. Cramping can last for one to two weeks.
- Nausea: Nausea and diarrhea are common after an abortion.
- Bleeding: It’s normal for your partner to pass small clots and bleed for one to two weeks after the abortion. She may experience spotting for longer.
- Tiredness: Your partner has been through much physically and emotionally after an abortion, contributing to fatigue that can last a few days.
- Emotional highs and lows: Your partner may feel a complicated combination of relief and sadness. This can be partly due to the sharp hormonal drop that occurs after an abortion. If she had a medical abortion at home and could visualize the pregnancy, that can also contribute.
Some partners may also suffer from long-term effects if they had abortion complications. Post Abortion Stress Syndrome (PASS) is a common syndrome that affects both women and men who have been affected by an abortion, and help is available.
Now that we have discussed how your partner might be feeling after an abortion, you might be wondering how you can help.
Ways You Can Help Your Partner After an Abortion
If there is a time when your partner needs to feel safely cared for, it is now — after her abortion. Here are examples of how you can help:
1. Offer practical support
- Ask what kind of help is most supportive for her.
- Ask if she wants to be alone or prefers your company.
- Offer pain medication, a heating pad, and extra pillows to increase her comfort.
- Bring her food and water.
- If there are other children, arrange care for them so you can be available for her.
- Run errands as needed.
- Bring her to follow-up appointments.
- Watch for signs of complications needing medical attention.
2. Offer emotional support
- Be emotionally present.
- Do something special for her or with her (give a gift or do something she loves).
- Ask her how she is feeling.
- Listen actively.
- Be sensitive to her experience and patient with the healing process.
- Watch for signs that she needs professional mental health support.
- Willow Women’s Center Can Help
Willow Womens Center offers no-cost medical services if you and your partner are facing an unexpected pregnancy or considering abortion. Reach out online or call 608-312-2025 today for your confidential appointment and get the answers you deserve.