From an advice column:
I had an abortion recently, and though my boyfriend and I agreed it was the right thing to do, I feel guilty and I've gone off sex. Will these feelings pass?
DR THOMAS STUTTAFORD
A Lack of interest in sex after an abortion is so common that it can almost be said to be expected. Before long your libido is likely to have returned, but both you and your partner have to bear in mind that even now having an abortion is a huge event in anyone's life. It is possible, but by no means inevitable, that the changes this will have wrought in the way you feel about a future together may have irretrievably undermined your relationship.
Abortion can kill your sex life. Now why didn't we pro-lifers think of that? There's the marketing angle we need (said tongue in cheek).
About 15 years ago, a large American survey of the psychological effects on a woman of having an abortion was revealing. It showed that although nearly all the women studied felt grief and feelings of guilt, in 90 per cent of cases, the acute feelings of doubt, remorse, anxiety and depression passed within a month.
When the psychological symptoms persisted for longer, the research workers found that usually the underlying cause of the continuing grief was that unavoidable pressure to have a termination, placed on the woman by her family or her partner. My own opinion is that the American research workers were unduly sanguine in expecting women to jettison guilt and overcome their feelings of loss - the grief response - within just a month.
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