Health News of Tuesday, 4 September 2012
The more abortions a woman has before her first child, the more likely she is to give birth prematurely, a study has suggested.
Data from all 300,858 first-time mothers in Finland between 1996 and 2008 was analyzed. The study showed women were three times more likely to have a very premature baby, born before 28 weeks, if they had three or more abortions.
The report was published in the journal Human reproduction. The overall risk was still low, the study suggested.
Being born too soon is linked to high risks infection, hypothermia and death. Repeat Abortions
The study showed there would be three babies born before 28 weeks for every 1,000 women who had never had an abortion, six in those who had had two abortions and eleven if the woman had had three or more abortions.
There were similar figures for babies born 37 weeks and for low birth weight.
However, only 0.3% of more women in the study had had three or more abortions before their first child.
The lead researcher, Dr. Reija Klemeti from the National Institute for Health and Welfare in Helsinki, said: “our results suggest that induce abortions before the first birth, particularly three or more abortions, are associated with marginally increased risk during the first birth.
“However, the increased risk is very small, particularly after only one or even two abortions, and women should not be alarmed by our findings”.
The way the study was designed means the researchers cannot say for certain that abortions result in premature births, merely that they had spotted a link between the two.