How an Abortion Affects Subsequent Pregnancies
Abortions are nothing new and have been practiced for centuries. In recent times there has been a belief that if properly done, an abortion will not negatively impact subsequent pregnancies. This belief is being reconsidered by recent research.
The Risks Caused by Abortion
The research which was done to investigate the causes of low birth weight babies came up with some surprising results. It was discovered that women who aborted a pregnancy had a greater chance of having babies that were below the normal birth weight. The review of past studies on abortions was conducted by Dr. Prakesh Shah of Canada’s Paediatrics Department at the Mount Sinai Hospital. The results of the research were published in the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology in September.
Low Birth Weight
There was a 35 percent risk of having a low birth weight baby if an abortion was done in the first or second trimester of a previous pregnancy. In fact, having more than one abortion increased the risk of having a low birth weight baby even more. Women who fall into this category had a 72% chance of giving birth to a baby that was below average weight.
A low birth weight baby is generally viewed as an infant weighing less than 5.5 pounds at birth regardless of what gestational period the birth occurs. Most low birth weight babies are also premature and tend to be at an increased risk for certain health problems throughout their lives. Fortunately most infants go on to live healthy lives given today’s technology.
According to Dr. Shah, having an abortion in the first or second trimester increased the risk of premature birth by 36%. Premature birth refers to deliveries that occur by the 37th week of pregnancy. Dr. Shah’s findings are not the first to suggest this link. In 2007, a research team suggested that abortion can result in extreme pre-term birth and cerebral palsy in subsequent pregnancies.
Dr. Shah made his findings on the abortion link between premature birth and low birth weight after reviewing 37 studies published between 1965 and 2001. He concludes that the increased risk of premature birth and low birth weight may be due in part to damage to the cervix during the abortion. This damage Dr. Shah contends was more likely from older methods of performing the abortions. He recommends that women considering ahving an abortion be told about the possible risk to future pregnancies.
Written by: Jessdel27
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