Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Abortion is no mental health risk

Research shows that, even in women who have had psychiatric disorders, abortion does not increase the chance of future mental problems.

In women with a history of mental illness such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, getting an abortion does not increase their chances of landing in a psychiatric facility again, suggests a new study from Denmark.
Feelings of sadness and loss around the time of an abortion are "temporary and appropriate," said Dr. Anne Davis, an ob-gyn at the Columbia University Medical Center in New York.
Women who had abortions were more likely to have been treated for psychiatric disorders, suggesting that they may feel less capable of raising a child. However, their rate of relapse was the same after an abortion than at any other time.
"All the things that make women think this is not the time to have a baby are risk factors for having mental health problems," said Dr. Nada Stotland, a psychiatrist at Rush Medical College in Chicago. "The best predictor of your mental health after an abortion is your mental health before an abortion," she told Reuters Health
In contrast,
Rates of readmission were higher after having a baby than before in women who gave birth, peaking in the first month after their babies were born. That's consistent with prior research.

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