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

Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. 2003 Feb;82(2):177-81. doi: 10.1034/j.1600-0412.2003.00005.x.


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.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Abortion, Induced / adverse effects*
  • Abortion, Spontaneous / epidemiology
  • Abortion, Spontaneous / etiology
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Gravidity
  • Humans
  • Infertility, Female / etiology*
  • Obstetric Labor, Premature / epidemiology
  • Obstetric Labor, Premature / etiology
  • Odds Ratio
  • Parity
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications*
  • Pregnancy Outcome*
  • Pregnancy, High-Risk
  • Risk