Ectopic pregnancy concurrent with induced abortion: incidence and mortality

Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1990 Mar;162(3):726-30. doi: 10.1016/0002-9378(90)90995-j.


From 1972 through 1985, 24 women who underwent an induced abortion died as a result of a concurrent ectopic pregnancy. We analyzed data from the Joint Program for the Study of Abortion, National Hospital Discharge Survey, and the Centers for Disease Control Ectopic Pregnancy and Abortion Surveillance Systems to determine the incidence and mortality of ectopic pregnancy concurrent with induced abortion. During the period 1971 through 1985, the incidence of ectopic pregnancy concurrent with induced abortions was 1.35/1000 induced abortions, compared with 13.6/1000 pregnancies not terminated by induced or spontaneous abortion. The rate was higher among women who obtained abortions at earlier gestational age and among older women. The death-to-case rate for ectopic pregnancies concurrent with induced abortion was 1.3 times higher than that for women not undergoing abortion. Most of the deaths of women with ectopic pregnancy who underwent induced abortion were attributable to the failure to diagnose the ectopic pregnancy before the woman left the facility where the abortion was performed. Such deaths could be prevented by the provider of the abortion assuring that the tissue is examined for products of conception at the time of the abortion.

MeSH terms

  • Abortion, Induced / mortality*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy, Ectopic / epidemiology
  • Pregnancy, Ectopic / mortality*
  • United States