To test whether there is an association between abortion legislation and maternal mortality outcomes after controlling for other factors thought to influence maternal health.
Clinical language applied to early pregnancy loss changed in late twentieth century Britain when doctors consciously began using the term ‘miscarriage’ instead of ‘abortion’ to refer to this subject. Medical professionals at the time and since have claimed this change as an intuitive empathic response to women’s experiences. However, a reading of medical journals and textbooks from the era reveals how the change in clinical language reflected legal, technological, professional and social developments. The shift in language is better understood in the context of these historical developments, rather than as the consequence of more empathic medical care for women who experience miscarriage.
BACKGROUND: Estimation of maternal mortality is difficult in developing countries without complete vital registration. The indirect sisterhood method represents an alternative in places where there is high fertility and mortality rates. The objective of the current study was to estimate maternal mortality indices using the sisterhood method in a rural district in southwest Ethiopia. METHOD: We interviewed 8,870 adults, 15–49 years age, in 15 randomly selected rural villages of Bonke in Gamo Gofa. By constructing a retrospective cohort of women of reproductive age, we obtained sister units of risk exposure to maternal mortality, and calculated the lifetime risk of maternal mortality. Based on the total fertility for the rural Ethiopian population, the maternal mortality ratio was approximated. RESULTS: We analyzed 8503 of 8870 (96%) respondents (5262 [62%] men and 3241 ([38%] women). The 8503 respondents reported 22,473 sisters (average = 2.6 sisters for each respondent) who survived to reproductive age. Of the 2552 (11.4%) sisters who had died, 32% (819/2552) occurred during pregnancy and childbirth. This provided a lifetime risk of 10.2% from pregnancy and childbirth with a corresponding maternal mortality ratio of 1667 (95% confidence interval, 1564–1769) per 100,000 live births. The time period for this estimate was in 1998. Separate analysis for male and female respondents provided similar estimates. CONCLUSION: The impoverished rural area of Gamo Gofa had very high maternal mortality in 1998. This highlights the need for strengthening emergency obstetric care for the Bonke population and similar rural populations in Ethiopia.
Antipsychotic medications are increasingly used during pregnancy. Nevertheless, fetal risks are still not fully studied. It is currently unclear whether the antipsychotic treatment might induce a higher risk of fetal death. We aimed to determine if use of antipsychotic medication during pregnancy is associated with an increased risk of spontaneous abortion or stillbirth.
In Malawi, abortion is legal only if performed to save a woman’s life; other attempts to procure an abortion are punishable by 7-14 years imprisonment. Most induced abortions in Malawi are performed under unsafe conditions, contributing to Malawi’s high maternal mortality ratio. Malawians are currently debating whether to provide additional exceptions under which an abortion may be legally obtained. An estimated 67,300 induced abortions occurred in Malawi in 2009 (equivalent to 23 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15-44), but changes since 2009, including dramatic increases in contraceptive prevalence, may have impacted abortion rates.
Ovarian insufficiency is a major long-term adverse event, following the administration of a myeloablative conditioning regimen, and occurring in >80% of children and adolescents receiving such treatment for malignant or non-malignant disease. Cryopreservation of ovarian tissue is currently offered to preserve the fertility of these young patients. At least 35 live births have been reported after transplantation of cryopreserved ovarian tissue in adult patients, but the procedure remains unproven for ovarian tissue harvested at a prepubertal or pubertal age. We report here the first live birth after autograft of cryopreserved ovarian tissue in a woman with primary ovarian failure after a myeloablative conditioning regimen as part of a hematopoietic stem cell transplantation performed for homozygous sickle-cell anemia at age 14 years. This first report of successful fertility restoration after the graft of ovarian tissue cryopreserved before menarche offers reassuring evidence for the feasibility of the procedure when performed during childhood.
MSF responds to needs for the termination of pregnancy, including on request (TPR); it is part of the organization’s work aimed at reducing maternal mortality and suffering; and preventing unsafe abortions in the countries where we work. Following the publication of “Why don’t humanitarian organizations provide safe abortion care?” we offer an insight into MSF’s experience over the past few years. The article looks at the legal concerns and proposes that the importance of addressing maternal mortality should replace them and the operational set-up and action organized in a way that mitigates risks. MSF took a policy decision on safe abortion care in 2004; the fact that care did not expand rapidly to relevant MSF projects came as a surprise, reflecting the important weight social norms around abortion have everywhere. The need to engage in an open dialogue with staff, relevant medical actors and at community level became more obvious. Finally the article looks some key lessons that have emerged for the organization as part of the effort to prevent ill health, maternal death and suffering caused by unwanted pregnancy and unsafe abortion.
Over 5 million stillbirths and neonatal deaths occur annually. Limited and imprecise information on the cause of these deaths hampers progress in achieving global health targets. Complete diagnostic autopsies (CDAs)-the gold standard for cause of death determination-are difficult to perform in most high-burden settings. Therefore, validation of simpler and more feasible methods is needed.
In 2013, the stillbirth rate in the UK was 4.2 per 1000 live births, ranking 24th out of 49 high-income countries, with an annual rate of reduction of only 1.4% per year. The majority of stillbirths occur in normally formed infants, with (retrospective) evidence of placental insufficiency the most common clinical finding. Maternal perception of reduced fetal movements (RFM) is associated with placental insufficiency and increased risk of subsequent stillbirth.This study will test the hypothesis that the introduction of a package of care to increase women’s awareness of the need for prompt reporting of RFM and standardised management to identify fetal compromise with timely delivery in confirmed cases, will reduce the rate of stillbirth. Following the introduction of a similar intervention in Norway the odds of stillbirth fell by 30%, but the efficacy of this intervention (and possible adverse effects and implications for service delivery) has not been tested in a randomised trial.
The objective of this study is to investigate placental telomere shortening in unexplained stillbirths (SBs) as an indication of premature senescence.