Can we identify women at risk of more than one termination of pregnancy?

Can we identify women at

risk of more than one termination of pregnancy? 

H. St.John (1), H. Critchley

(1), A. Glasier (2) 

Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Lothian

University Hospitals NHS Trust, Little France, Edinburgh EH16 4SA, Scotland,

UK (1); Family Planning and Well Women Services, 18 Dean Terrace, Edinburgh,

EH4 1NL, Scotland, UK (2)

Introduction: One in five women will have more than

one abortion in their lifetime. The recurrent pregnancy termination rate (i.e.,

women who undergo a second abortion) varies around the country but is between

20 and 30%. 

Aims and Methods: This study was designed to identify risk factors

in women requesting termination of pregnancy (TOP) after previous TOP(s) so

that women at risk of recurrence, attending for the first time could be

identified. A retrospective case note review of 358 women undergoing TOP

during October and November 2000 was performed. 

Results: Twenty-six percent of

women had had a previous TOP. Women undergoing a second or subsequent

therapeutic abortion were more likely to be older and have experienced more

pregnancies to full term but these two factors were confounded. When women

were both parous and deprived the risk of them having had more than one TOP

was over 50%. 

Conclusion: The reasons for increasing rates of repeat abortion

are probably complex and numerous. This study suggests that women who undergo

more than one abortion may be socially and emotionally disadvantaged. Whether

the rate of repeat abortion can be influenced by identifying women and

targeting them for specific interventions remains to be seen.

Scroll to Top