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Are complications after an induced abortion associated with reproductive failures in a subsequent pregnancy?

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Abstract

Background. We have previously shown that induced abortions result in a slightly increased risk of spontaneous abortion and preterm delivery in subsequent pregnancies. Danish records show that approximately 4% of women who undergo surgically induced abortions have complications related to the procedure. We examined whether it was women who had the short-term complications that carried an excess risk of spontaneous abortion and preterm delivery in the subsequent pregnancy.

Methods. Two cohorts of women who had had an induced abortion and a subsequent pregnancy were followed. The cohort with no reported complications comprised 12 972 women, and the cohort with complications 605 women.

Results. The cohort with complications did not have more spontaneous abortions or preterm births. They did, however, have a higher risk of stillbirth, mainly seen in women whose induced abortion had been complicated by an infection.

Conclusion. Most of the women who had had an induced abortion with reported complications did, however, carry a subsequent pregnancy to term with no more complications than other women of similar parity and age.

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