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How to Combat Denial

“You’re in denial!” Claiming someone is in denial is often perceived negatively. Did you know denial can be temporarily beneficial? However, if denial lingers too long it can keep us immobilized and unaware of our current reality. How do you go about combatting denial—especially when it comes to an unplanned pregnancy?

Finding out you are pregnant can be difficult to wrap your mind around. The great news is Avenue Women’s Center is here to help. We have been assisting women and their partners facing unplanned pregnancies for over 37 years. We offer services that provide assistance, support, and helpful information for those who are making a pregnancy decision. Find out if you are pregnant today and take the next steps towards making a decision that is right for you. Contact us right away.

What is denial?

Merriam-Webster defines denial as “a defense mechanism in which confrontation with a personal problem or with reality is avoided by denying the existence of the problem or reality.” It’s our way of giving ourselves time to react to a big stressor. It limits our perception of the situation, keeps us from facing the facts and downplays the consequences involved.

How does denial factor into unplanned pregnancy?

An unplanned pregnancy is a life stressor. It is unintended and not sought-after. When the situation arises, various coping mechanisms may also arise to help combat the stress and anxiety involved. Denial is one such mechanism.

There are many examples of how denial manifests itself in unplanned pregnancy. It may show up in how you address physical changes, how you respond emotionally, how you interact in relationships, and so much more. Each individual will exhibit denial differently. Below are just a few examples:

  • Insisting on taking multiple pregnancy tests, although each result has been the same
  • Not acknowledging the pregnancy to important people in your life such as your partner, friends, or family
  • Continuing to drink, do drugs or engage in an unhealthy lifestyle
  • Ignoring a missed period or pronounced pregnancy symptoms until further along in the pregnancy

Can denial be beneficial in an unplanned pregnancy?

As mentioned above, denial can help give you time to come around to the reality of your situation. However, it can also immobilize you and keep you from making a pregnancy decision. Because some of the pregnancy options are time-sensitive, it’s important not to stay in the denial phase.

How can denial be harmful in an unplanned pregnancy?

Denial can keep you from facing the pregnancy and taking next steps. When dealing with an unplanned pregnancy it’s important to get further information regarding your pregnancy options, the viability of the pregnancy, how far along you might be, etc. In order to fully process this information, you must acknowledge your pregnancy and begin thinking through your decision.

Denial can also keep you from bringing important people into the decision-making process. Denial can isolate you when otherwise you would be able to receive help and support. Talking with important people in your life, as well as processing your decision with a trusted expert such as Avenue Women’s Center can be beneficial for those going through an unplanned pregnancy. Don’t let denial keep you from finding the assistance you need.

Avenue Women’s Center is here to help combat denial. We offer affordable, supportive services that provide information about your pregnancy and the options that lay ahead. Our caring client advocates have walked through this process with hundreds of women who have faced many trying circumstances. Let us be there for you today. Call, chat, text, or email for an appointment today.


  • Mayo Clinic. (2017, April) Denial: When It Helps, When It Hurts. Retrieved from:
  • Merriam-Webster. Denial. Retrieved from:

The information provided here is general in nature.  It is not a substitute for a consultation with a medical professional. Before any medical procedure, it is imperative that you discuss your personal medical history, risks, and concerns with your doctor. If you have questions during or after a procedure, your doctor should be immediately contacted. Avenue Women’s Center is not an emergency center.  If you are experiencing severe symptoms, such as bleeding and/or pain, seek immediate medical attention.  Contact your physician, go to an emergency room, or call 911.