Studies - PreTerm Delivery / Premature Birth / Prematurity Complications

ESHRE Study Abstract Shows D&C Raises Risk of Very Premature Birth by 69%, More Abortions Raise It Even More (2015)

Long-time abortion apologist Dr. David Grimes ridicules the link between abortion and subsequent premature births (“Abortion and Prematurity: A False Alarm” 6/10/15) in the Huffington Post.

Yet, the very next [week] there is a press release from a researcher presenting at the annual meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology in Lisbon confirming that there is indeed an association between a standard dilatation and curettage (D&C) abortion and an increased risk of prematurity in a subsequent pregnancy (ESHRE release, 6/16/15).

[see ESHRE details below this article]

The researcher, Dr. Pim Ankum of the Academic Medical Centre of the University of Amsterdam, analyzed 21 cohort studies covering almost 2 million women.

Ankum found that D&Cs performed for abortion or miscarriage increase the risk of a subsequent premature birth (under 37 weeks) by 29%, and the risk of very premature birth (under 32 weeks) by 69%.

Ankum notes that these statistically significant increases were seen even when measured against control groups of similar women who did not have a D&C prior to pregnancy.

(One of Grime’s complaints was that other potential risk factors were not fully considered.)

And, Ankum warns, risks were higher for women with histories of multiple D&Cs.

As Ankum points out, it is not hard to figure out why there might well be a problem. He suggests that dilating the cervix may result in permanent damage affecting tightness, leading to premature opening in a subsequent pregnancy.

Also potentially affected, says Ankum, is the cervix’s anti-microbial defense mechanism, raising the possibility of an ascending genital tract infection, a known contributor to premature birth.

What says Grimes in his Huffington Post article? He tries to make it sound as if there are only a handful of ambiguous studies showing, at best, a weak association.

However Ankum’s analysis is consistent with more than a hundred studies that have found an association between abortion and subsequent premature birth. [1]

Grimes also attempts to divert attention to other factors such as socioeconomic status, smoking, drug or alcohol use or other factors that have been linked to prematurity. But such factors were controlled for in many of these studies.

Though they vary in size, detail, and strength, these studies consistently show not only the association between abortion and subsequent prematurity, but also a “dose-response” relationship showing the risk increasing with the number of prior abortions.

Moreover Grimes ignores the plethora of studies and points people to one Finnish study (Klemetti, et al., “Birth Outcomes…,” Human Reproduction, 8/29/12) that he says is a “favorite citation of abortion opponents.” In fact it is but one of a basketful of studies pro-lifers cite, and nowhere near as weak as Grimes implies.

Grimes says that while the Finnish study finds a 40% risk of subsequent prematurity among women having three or more abortions, it finds (unlike other studies the Finnish study itself cites) “No significant relationship” between one or two abortions and later prematurity.

However, Grimes fails to share with readers that while this was true of this particular study’s data for prematurity when the threshold was 37 weeks, there was still a clear association between abortion and much more serious “very preterm birth” (less than 28 weeks) for even a single abortion (+19% risk).

The risk of subsequent significant prematurity was in fact dose dependent. It increased to 69% for two previous abortions and to 178% for three or more.

This is no “false alarm.”

In a word aborting the first child thus not only means the loss of that child, but quite possibly threatens the life or health of any future children.

Consider:

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) say that “Preterm-related causes of death together accounted for 35% of all infant deaths in 2010, more than any other single cause.”

Moreover the CDC says that “Preterm birth is also a leading cause of long-term neurological disabilities in children. Preterm birth costs the U.S. health care system more than $26 billion in 2005.”

Abortion’s role in this national tragedy cannot be ignored or dismissed.

In an October 2007 review published in the Journal of Reproductive Medicine, researchers Byron Calhoun, Elizabeth Shadigan, and Brent Rooney found that induced abortion increased the early preterm delivery rates of subsequent children by 31.5%, with a resulting annual increase of $1.2 billion in just initial neonatal hospital costs.

At this rate, Calhoun, Shadigan and Rooney estimated that abortion accounted for 22,917 excess early preterm births (less than 32 weeks in their analysis) per year and an additional 1,096 cases of cerebral palsy among very-low birthweight newborns (less than 1500 grams).

Grimes tries to hide behind the official statements (or lack of statements) from medical organizations he has lobbied or been a part of over the years. But this data is too extensive, too significant, and too serious to ignore.

Grimes compromised his medical integrity years ago when he decided to become a shill for the abortion industry. And now, not just aborted babies, but their younger siblings, are paying the price for it.

[1] To read a 47-page summary chart of over one hundred peer-reviewed studies involving mothers and newborns from 34 countries stretching back from the present to 1972, see http://media.wix.com/ugd/523623_f962f05bef524b79ab72e5f69c9409d7.pdf

[Randy O’Bannon, Ph.D., June 19, 2015, Washington, DC, http://www.lifenews.com/2015/06/19/study-shows-abortion-raises-risk-of-premature-birth-69-more-abortions-raise-it-even-more/

Randall O’Bannon, Ph.D., is the director of education and research for the National Right to Life Committee.

 

ESHRE Study Details

“Does Dilatation and Curettage (D&C) Increase the Risk of Preterm Birth in the Subsequent Pregnancy? A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
“Summary Answer: This meta-analysis shows that D&C is associated with increased risk of subsequent preterm birth.”
[Project number 80-82310-97-12066, funded by ZonMw of Dutch Government] Abstracts of the 31st Annual Meeting of ESHRE, Lisbon, Portugal, 14-17 June 2015, [Report O-169]
http://www.eshre2015.eu/Books/ESHRE2015/AbstractBook/index.html#p=87

 

European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology in Lisbon confirming that there is indeed an association between a standard dilatation and curettage (D&C) abortion and an increased risk of prematurity in a subsequent pregnancy (ESHRE release, 6/16/15).

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/news/fullstory_153135.html

The researcher, Dr. Pim Ankum of the Academic Medical Centre of the University of Amsterdam, analyzed 21 cohort studies covering almost 2 million women (“reporting on 1,853,017 women, in women with a history of D&C”).

 

RELATED:

Research Review Finds Link Between Abortion and Preterm Birth
http://liveactionnews.org/new-research-review-finds-link-abortion-preterm-birth/

Abstracts of the 31st Annual Meeting of ESHRE, Lisbon, Portugal, 14-17 June 2015, [Report O-169]
http://www.eshre2015.eu/Books/ESHRE2015/AbstractBook/index.html#p=87

Surgical Procedure Common in O&G Associated with Increased Risk of Preterm Delivery, European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology, 16 June 2015
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2015-06/esoh-msp061015.php

 

[June 17, 2015, Robert Preidt, http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/news/fullstory_153135.html ]
D & C Procedures May Raise Risk of Preterm Birth: Study
A widely used gynecological procedure may increase the risk of preterm delivery in future pregnancies, a new study suggests.

Dilation and curettage (D&C) is one of the most common minor surgeries in obstetrics and gynecology. It is used in cases of miscarriage and abortion, among other reasons.

While generally considered safe, previous research has found that D&C is associated with some rare but serious side effects, including tears or punctures in the cervix or uterus, infection and bleeding.

In this new study, researchers reviewed 21 studies that included nearly 2 million women.

The study found that D&C performed in cases of miscarriage or abortion was associated with a 29 percent increased risk of preterm birth (less than 37 weeks) in a later pregnancy, and a 69 percent increased risk of very preterm birth (less than 32 weeks) in a later pregnancy.

Although this study found an association between D&C and preterm birth, it cannot prove a cause-and-effect relationship.

Typical risk for preterm delivery is about 6 percent, while having an earlier D&C appears to increase the risk to almost 8 percent, according to the researchers.

That nearly 2 percent higher risk translates to about 16 extra preterm births per 1,000 women who have undergone D&C, the review found.

The results suggest the need for caution in the use of D&C in cases of miscarriage and abortion.

The results also lend further support for the use of less invasive procedures in such cases, according to study author Dr. Pim Ankum, a gynecologist at the Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

The study was to be presented Tuesday at a European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology meeting in Lisbon, Portugal.

Results from studies presented at meetings are generally viewed as preliminary until they’ve been published in a peer-reviewed journal.

[European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology, news release, June 16, 2015; HealthDay, http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/news/fullstory_153135.html ]

 

Research Review Finds Link Between Abortion and Preterm Birth
[ http://liveactionnews.org/new-research-review-finds-link-abortion-preterm-birth/ ]

New research from Europe suggests further evidence that abortions cause an increased risk of premature birth in future pregnancies.

Dr. Pim Ankum from the University of Amsterdam’s Academic Medical Centre examined data from nearly 2 million women across 21 cohort studies, and concluded that dilation and curretage (D&C) procedures, whether to abort a living fetus or remove a miscarried one, increase a woman’s odds of giving birth before 37 weeks by 29% and before 32 weeks by 69%.

The odds are higher still for women with multiple past D&Cs.

According to Ankum, these findings hold even with control groups of similar women without D&C histories factored in.

He suggests two possible causes: dilation causing damage to the cervix that makes it open too early, and impairment of the cervix’s defenses against ascending genital tract infections, which Mayo Clinic identifies as a risk factor for preterm birth.

Abortion’s defenders often dispute the link between abortion and medical problems such as premature birth, but National Right to Life Education & Research Director Dr. Randall O’Bannon points to “over a hundred peer-reviewed studies involving mothers and newborns from 34 countries stretching back from the present to 1972.”

As Live Action News has previously relayed, multiple studies have concurred in recent years.

In 2007, for example, TIME Magazine reported that the then “largest U.S. study of its kind” found “[w]omen who had had one, two or three prior abortions or miscarriages were three, five and nine times more likely, respectively, to have a low-birth-weight child.”

 

Editor:

A stunning increase in preterm delivery — both intended and unintended — has been happening over the past few decades.

Preterm delivery can dramatically increase the risk of Cerebral Palsy in the child.

There appear to be two procedures that affect this increase.

The first reason is elective induced preterm delivery.
A normal pregnancy lasts approximately 40 weeks, measured from last menstrual period (LMP).

Many women and couples have decided to push delivery of their babies earlier and earlier to accommodate their personal wishes, apparently unaware that the last few weeks, and days, of pregnancy are critical to complete development of many body organs, such as lungs and brain.

One major consequence of early preterm delivery can be Cerebral Palsy.

Unfortunately, many physicians have ‘gone along’ with these wishes, possibly to the detriment of the babies.

Nationally, the “39-Week Initiative” is spreading to encourage hospitals to write policies that ban elective deliveries prior to Week 39.

Slowly, the public is learning about the dangers of early, and very early, preterm delivery, and are realizing that allowing the baby to pick its own birth-date is “worth the weight”.

The second reason is induced abortion.
There are presently well over one hundred peer-reviewed published studies suggesting a strong connection between abortion and unintended preterm delivery/birth of subsequent children.

Some of these studies can be found at this website.