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Best Pract Res Clin Obstet Gynaecol. 2010 Oct;24(5):657-65. doi: 10.1016/j.bpobgyn.2010.02.001. Epub 2010 Mar 19.

Induced abortion and psychological sequelae.

Author information

  • NHS lothian, Dean Terrace Centre, 18 Dean Terrace, Edinburgh, EH4 1NL, UK. Sharon.cameron@ed.ac.uk

Abstract

The decision to seek an abortion is never easy. Women have different reasons for choosing an abortion and their social, economic and religious background may influence how they cope. Furthermore, once pregnant, the alternatives of childbirth and adoption or keeping the baby may not be psychologically neutral. Research studies in this area have been hampered by methodological problems, but most of the better-quality studies have shown no increased risk of mental health problems in women having an abortion. A consistent finding has been that of pre-existing mental illness and subsequent mental health problems after either abortion or childbirth. Furthermore, studies have shown that only a minority of women experience any lasting sadness or regret. Risk factors for this include ambivalence about the decision, level of social support and whether or not the pregnancy was originally intended. More robust, definitive research studies are required on mental health after abortion and alternative outcomes such as childbirth.

Copyright 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

PMID:
20303831
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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