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Baillieres Clin Obstet Gynaecol. 1990 Jun;4(2):391-405.

The effect of pregnancy termination on future reproduction.


A variety of conditions have been anecdotally ascribed to induced abortion, including subsequent reproductive complications. Since most women obtaining induced abortions are at the beginning of their reproductive life, the effect of induced abortion on subsequent reproduction becomes a very significant one. Our review of the literature confirms findings reported previously. First, except in the case where an infection complicates induced abortion, there is no evidence of an association between induced abortion and secondary infertility or ectopic pregnancy. Second, the risk of midtrimester abortion, premature delivery and low birthweight in women whose first pregnancy is terminated by vacuum aspiration is not higher than that in women in their first pregnancy or women in their second pregnancy whose first pregnancy was carried to term. However, the risk of having a premature delivery or a low birthweight baby tends to be higher (but not significantly) among women whose first pregnancy is terminated by induced abortion when compared with women in their second pregnancy than when compared with women in their first pregnancy. This suggests that an induced abortion does not protect a women against the known risk of low birthweight for first-born offspring. Finally, women whose pregnancy is terminated by dilatation and evacuation may have an increased risk of subsequent premature delivery and a low birthweight baby. Very little has been published and no conclusions can be made regarding the effects of instillation procedures and repeat abortions on future reproduction. In conclusion, except for the association between pregnancies following dilatation and evacuation procedures and premature delivery and low birthweight, no significantly increased risk of adverse reproductive health has been observed following induced abortion.

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