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A Journal on Obstetrics and Gynecology

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Minerva Ginecologica 2001 April;53(2):121-6

language: Italian

Current epidemiologic features of septic abortion

Spina V., Bertelli S., Bartucca B., Bonessio L., Aleandri V.


Background. This article deals with the current epidemiological features of septic abortion.
Methods. Forty-two of 431 abortions (9,74%) were diagnosed as septic abortions during 1998 at the I and II Institute of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Rome ''La Sapienza'', and are retrospectively analyzed.
Results. Thirty-four women (81%) came from an EEC country, whereas 8 (19%) from a developing country. Their mean age was 31,4 years (range: 18-43 years). Eighteen patients (43%) were nulliparous; 24 (57%) multiparous; 14 (33%) had previous abortions, none had previous septic abortions. Among risk factors, premature rupture of membranes was found in 5 cases (12%); whereas amniocentesis, HIV positivity, diabetes, positive urine culture and illegal pregnancy termination procedures were found in 5 further cases. No risk factors were found in 76% of patients.
Conclusions. It is observed that, due to medical-scientific advances, previously unknown risk factors have emerged during the last three decades in Western Countries, such as invasive procedures of prenatal diagnosis, IUD contraception and AIDS immunodepression. Howe-ver, other previously frequent risk factors, such as sepsis from illegal abortion, may emerge again in Countries where abortion is legal (such as Italy), due to massive immigration of clandestine women from developing Countries.

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