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.