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Minerva Ginecologica 2006 April;58(2):91-9


language: English

Teratological risk evaluation and prevention of voluntary abortion

De Santis M., Straface G., Cavaliere A. F., Cinque B., Carducci B., Caruso A.

Telefono Rosso, Teratology Information Service, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Sacro Cuore Catholic University, Rome, Italy


Aim. Many women exposed to completely innocuous agents during pregnancy have a high perception of adverse effects to such an extent that they may interrupt their pregnancy. The objective of our study is to evaluate the importance of the perception of the risk level in making the decision to end the pregnancy and the relevance that a teratology consultation can have in preventing unmotivated terminations of pregnancy
Methods. We carried out a survey on 350 women in Rome who voluntarily interrupted their pregnancy to evaluate the prevalence due to presumed teratogen. Contemporarily we studied the pregnancy outcomes, the clinical, the psychological and the socio-economic factors of 142 women who contacted our Teratology Information Service (TIS) in the 1st trimester of pregnancy because suspected of teratogen exposure: 72 decided to terminate their pregnancy, whereas 70 were used as a control group.
Results. On 350 women who voluntarily interrupted their pregnancy, 4 cases (1.4%) reported exposure to a suspected teratogen, but our evaluation determined only 1 case. On 72 women decided to terminate their pregnancy and who contacted our TIS, after counselling 73% continued their pregnancy with respect to 97% of the control group. Those women who interrupted their pregnancy did so because of personal reasons independently to or the type of exposure or the risk attributed by us.
Conclusion. From our data it appears that a percentage of voluntary abortions is related to suspected teratogen exposure and that TIS are effective in the prevention of this kind of voluntary abortions caused by groundless fears.

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