What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of an Unplanned Pregnancy?

An unplanned pregnancy is the last situation a woman ever wants to find herself in. Learn more about the advantages and disadvantages of unplanned pregnancy in this guide.

An unplanned pregnancy is the last situation a woman ever wants to find herself in. But in reality, it’s more common than you might think. Over half of all pregnancies in the United States are unplanned. No matter how you’re feeling, just know that you’re not alone.

We can imagine that you’re struggling to make a decision right now, and you’re probably feeling extremely overwhelmed thinking about what the right option is for you. Facing an unexpected pregnancy isn’t the easiest place to be, and you’re probably having a hard time coming up with positives for your situation.

To help you make your decision, it can be helpful to know the advantages and disadvantages of unplanned pregnancy and its three options. Read on to learn which one is right for you.

Pros and Cons of an Unplanned Pregnancy

Below are a few pros and cons of an unplanned pregnancy that can apply to all of your options.

  • You will experience the ups and downs of pregnancy: Facing an unplanned pregnancy can take a huge toll on you emotionally. You will feel drained, exhausted, and tested in ways you never thought possible. And even if you do decide to eventually terminate your pregnancy, you will still feel the early pregnancy symptoms and the side effects that come with it.
  • It will all put your personal relationships to the test: An unplanned pregnancy will be hard on you emotionally, but it may not be easy on your support group either. You might find that the people who you thought would support you no matter what, like certain friends, aren’t around. Your relationship with the baby’s father may become strained, making things difficult no matter what unplanned pregnancy option you choose. When you have an unplanned pregnancy, you may feel more alone than ever. So, it’s important to try and build your own support system early on.
  • You will feel overwhelmed trying to choose an unplanned pregnancy decision. Figuring out what to do with an unplanned pregnancy is exhausting. Each choice will affect your future in dramatic ways, and it can feel impossible to know which option is right for you. If you’re unsure, it can be helpful to speak with an unplanned pregnancy counselor, your doctor, or a health care provider to learn more about your options.

Adoption

Adoption is a beautiful and selfless act. But is it right for you?

Here’s what you should know about the advantages and disadvantages of an unwanted pregnancy if you’re considering this path.

Advantages

  • You have the opportunity to help someone else make their dream come true. There are countless families in the United States looking to become a family. Many of them have struggled for years with infertility as they try to conceive on their own. They may have tried other infertility methods before choosing adoption and consider it to be their only option for becoming parents. When you decide to make the selfless decision to choose adoption, you are helping a family in more ways than you will ever know.
  • You don’t need to worry about the costs or about putting your dreams on hold. Adoption will always be free for pregnant women. You don’t have to worry about the costs that come with parenting, and you don’t have to worry about any medical costs, like you would for abortion. Additionally, you can continue to pursue your dreams for the future while you work on your adoption plan with your adoption professional.
  • You can still maintain a relationship with your child and the adoptive family. Many women still believe that choosing adoption means that they’re “giving up” on getting to know their baby. None of that is true. When you place a child for adoption, you are giving them the gift of a beautiful future. One of the pros of unplanned pregnancy and adoption is that there’s nothing stopping you from being a part of your child’s life as they grow older. You might continue your relationship through pictures and letters, emails, phone calls, and even in-person visit. No matter what you’re looking for, your adoption professional can help you make an open adoption plan that has everything you’re looking for.

Disadvantages

  • You may be worried about what your family and friends think. Adoption is an incredibly selfless decision. But not everyone will agree with your choice. One of the hardest things about an unplanned pregnancy problem like adoption is that you don’t know what the people around you are going to say until you tell them.
  • You will feel a sense of loss. Placing your child for adoption is a life-changing moment. Even though there are ways to cope, there is never a moment where you really “get over” that sense of loss. This is one of the biggest negatives of unwanted pregnancy resulting in adoption. When you’re having trouble coping with feelings of grief and loss after the adoption, don’t hesitate to reach out to your adoption professional or a counselor if you need someone to talk to.

Abortion

Abortion is your second choice for an unplanned pregnancy. Before you choose it, learn more about the disadvantages of this unwanted pregnancy option.

Advantages

  • You won’t have to experience pregnancy or childbirth. If you decide to make adoption or parenting your choice for an unplanned pregnancy, you’ll still have to go through childbirth. In addition, your body won’t be exactly the same after pregnancy. But if you decide to go with abortion, you can skip most everything that goes with an unplanned pregnancy.
  • You get to focus on yourself again. Every woman’s situation is different, but one of the biggest pros of an abortion is that you can to put your life back on track. You can make your career or educational goals a reality again without having to worry about the stress of an unplanned pregnancy.

Disadvantages

  • You’re still going to grieve. One of the problems associated with unwanted pregnancy and abortion is that many women think it is their easiest option. And while that’s technically true, abortion is still an emotionally complicated decision. You will probably feel guilty, confused and unsure if you’re making the right decision. It’s also not uncommon to experience grief and loss after your procedure. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you picked the wrong decision; it just means that you’re human. If you choose this path, understand that abortion might not be the “easy way out” that you’ve been told.
  • Your friends and family might be unsupportive. Abortion is a controversial unplanned pregnancy option. There are many people, and many states, that don’t support the procedure whatsoever. If you choose abortion over your other unplanned pregnancy options, be prepared for some of your relationships to change after sharing your news. You might have a hard time building a support system of friends and family who understand what you’re going through. Even though you feel alone right now, don’t forget that you there are people you can reach out to who are ready to listen.

Parenting

When a woman finds out she’s pregnant, her first thought will usually be, “Am I ready to be a parent?” Learn more about the pros and cons of unplanned pregnancy and parenthood below.

Advantages

  • You can finally build a family. An unplanned pregnancy may give you the motivation to make your dreams of parenthood a reality. An unplanned pregnancy may not be ideal, but you can still become an amazing mother even when the news is unexpected.
  • You get to experience the joys of motherhood. We won’t say that becoming a parent is easy, but it can be one of the most rewarding and fulfilling jobs out there. If you decide to raise your baby, you’ll be with them through every moment as they grow up ­­— which will never be a con of this unwanted pregnancy option. Any parent will tell you that there’s nothing better than the heartwarming moments that make it all worth it.

Disadvantages

  • You have to be financially ready. A big problem of unwanted pregnancy and parenthood is its expense. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the average cost of raising a child to 17 is at least $233,000. So if you’re thinking about this unplanned pregnancy option, you should make sure that you’re financially ready for all of the costs that come with it. If you’re worried about the cost of raising a child, there are some services, like your local women’s and children center, that can help.
  • Your own dreams will be put on hold: Becoming a parent is a full-time job. If you choose this unplanned pregnancy option, you are signing up to potentially put your educational, career and future plans on hold for the next 18 years and sometimes longer. When you become a parent, your child’s needs will always come first, no matter what. If you sign up for this unplanned pregnancy option, know that will be some time before you can make your personal dreams a reality.

Which Option is Right for Me?

No matter what option you’re leaning toward, there are always going to be advantages and disadvantages of an unwanted pregnancy. But at the end of the day, it’s up to you to decide which option is right.

If you’re having trouble deciding what to do next, you might turn to a counselor for advice about all of your unplanned pregnancy options. Fill out our form to be connected to one in your area.