Summary: Abortions May Lead to Low Birthweight and Preterm Birth in Subsequent Pregnancies.

Women with a history of induced abortions had an increased risk of experiencing preterm births and giving birth to low birthweight infants.  This risk also increased if the number of abortions increased.

  • According to a recent study, about 75% of all women who go through an abortion every year will wish to or will get pregnant again in the future. These women need to know the risks associated with abortion, not only for the sake of their own health, but also for their future reproductive potential.  A recent study was conducted in order to review the risk of infants being born prematurely, with a low birth weight, or being too small for their gestational age among women who have a history of abortions (“induced termination”). Researchers found that women in the study who chose an induced termination of their pregnancy were inherently different from women who continued with their pregnancy in that they were at risk for several pregnancy and childbirth complications. More specifically, a number of women in the study with a history of abortions were reported to experience pre-term births or give birth to infants with low birthweight. This risk also increased in women who had more than one abortion performed.  According to the study, the reason for this risk could be anything from infection from the previous abortion(s), trauma to the woman’s cervix leading to cervical difficulties, and/or scar tissue in the cervix following the abortion procedure. The authors have also noted that more research is needed in order to answer some more important questions about the risk of abortions on future pregnancy.1

1Induced termination of pregnancy and low birthweight and preterm birth: a systematic review and meta-analyses, BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 2009, pp. 1425-1442.


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