Induced Abortions – Risk of Preterm Baby

Studies on mothers who had undergone surgical abortions in previous pregnancies have revealed that babies born to them are at risk of premature birth. This study has been published in the latest edition of British Medical Journal.

Induced Abortions

Study on abortions and pre-term births in Scotland

One study was conducted by Dr. Siladitya Bhattacharya and his colleagues from the University of Aberdeen and they have also conducted extensive research on this subject. The main objective of their research was to explore the effects of surgical termination methods on future babies including premature birth. These scientists analyzed medical records of about 600,000 women in Scotland, between 1981 and 2007.

Outcomes of the research and its implications

Among them about 25% of the abortions were repeat procedures. Statistics proved that women who had induced abortions carried 37% more risk of delivering preterm than those who had had not been pregnant before.

Another fact that emerged from this research is that use of pharmaceutical drugs to terminate pregnancy was less risky than the surgical methods, in this respect. The scientists attribute this to the negative impact of surgery on the cervix of the woman that makes the cervix less resilient.

One other fact that surprised the team was that while one termination increased the chances of a premature birth, more procedures did not increment the risk.

This research is more relevant to Scottish women because as on today, more than 70% of the abortions in Scotland are done surgically. The findings of this study will definitely bring changes to the way doctors in Scotland deal with abortion cases.

Study on abortions and pre-term births in Finland

Another study on the same subject was conducted independently by researchers in Finland. The study involved analysis of data from 300,000 Finnish women. The study sample consisted of Finnish mothers who underwent abortions between 1996 and 2008. The findings of this research are published in the latest edition of the journal – Human Reproduction.

The outcomes of the study were similar to the Scottish research and reiterated the fact that induced abortions do lead to preterm deliveries and the risk remains more or less same with more than one surgical terminations. The scientists suggest that going by the results of this research, health professionals must be informed of the risks that repeated abortions carry. They also stress the need for educating adults on this subject.


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