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Babies Born After Three or More Abortions Have Increased Risk of Prematurity and Low Birth Weight

Health professionals should be informed about the potential risks of repeat abortions

 

One of the largest studies to look at the effect of induced abortions on a subsequent first birth has found that women who have had three or more abortions have a higher risk of some adverse birth outcomes, such as delivering a baby prematurely and with a low birth weight.

The research, which is published online in Europe’s leading reproductive medicine journal Human Reproduction [1] today (Thursday), found that among 300,858 Finnish mothers, 31,083 (10.3%) had had one induced abortion between 1996-2008, 4,417 (1.5%) had two, and 942 (0.3%) had three or more induced abortions before a first birth (excluding twins and triplets).

Those who had had three or more induced abortions had a small, but statistically significant increased risk of having a baby with very low birth weight (less than 1500g), low birth weight (less than 2500g), or of a preterm birth (before 37 weeks), or very preterm birth (before 28 weeks), compared to women who had had no abortions. There was a slightly increased risk of a very preterm birth for women who had had two induced abortions.

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