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What is Reproductive Trauma and How Does it Impact Mental Health?

Kayla Johnson, Trauma

As a therapist who works with individuals and families dealing with trauma, I see firsthand the deep and lasting impact of reproductive experiences gone wrong. While we hear a lot about “traditional” traumas like car accidents or violent crimes, reproductive trauma often flies under the radar, leaving individuals struggling in silence.

Hi, I’m Kayla Johnson, a Marriage and Family Therapist at Fearlessly Inspired Therapeutic Solutions, and in this article, we’ll explore the topic of reproductive trauma and its connection to mental health.


What is Reproductive Trauma?


Put simply, reproductive trauma is any deeply distressing experience related to your reproductive health or experiences. This can encompass a wide range of events, including pregnancy loss such as miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy or stillbirth, struggles with infertility, and even negative experiences with exams or procedures.

But reproductive trauma isn’t limited to experiences surrounding pregnancy and childbirth. It can also encompass early experiences such as sexual abuse or child sexual abuse, gender identity and expression, as well as barriers to accessing care based on discrimination, especially in BIPOC and LGBTQ+ communities.


How does this impact mental health?


The emotional and psychological consequences of reproductive trauma can be significant and varied. For some, it can trigger symptoms of Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), with flashbacks, nightmares, and intrusive thoughts.

It can also trigger depression and anxiety, including feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and worry resulting in relationship strain that affects intimacy and trust with partners or family.

It’s important to remember that everyone experiences trauma differently. There’s no “right” way to react or feel.

Some individuals may cope well initially, only to have symptoms emerge later. Others may experience ongoing challenges from the onset.


What can you do to find help and healing?


If you’re struggling with the aftermath of a reproductive trauma, please know you’re not alone. Talking to a trusted therapist can be a powerful step towards healing.

A therapist can validate your experiences and offer support, and help you understand and process your emotions.

They’ll guide you through the process of developing coping mechanisms and managing symptoms, and they may offer to connect you with additional resources and support groups.


If you’ve experienced reproductive trauma and are ready to seek help, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with us today.

Our team of therapists offer a safe and confidential space for you to share your story and begin your journey towards healing.

Together, we can navigate this difficult terrain and discover a path towards wholeness and hope.