Abortion Complication Rates


Of the 64,641 reported abortions performed on Canadian women in 2010, detailed reports on complications exist for only 27,576. Complication rates are not known for the remaining 37, 065 abortions.  All of the abortions with detailed records on complications were performed in hospitals; clinic data on complications is not available.

Out of 27,576 hospital abortions, 649 women suffered complications following the abortion, or 2.3%.  Reported complications include hemorrhage, infection, and retained products of conception (fetal tissue), with 82 women experiencing a combination of two or more types of complication, and 140 reported experiences of complication(s) categorized as “other”.  The most common complication, hemorrhage, was reported after 231 abortions.  Infection occurred in 107 cases, and there were 89 reported cases of retained products of conception.  

Table detailing the number of hospital reported abortion complications in Canada in 2010 (Click here for a pdf of this table):

Complication
Number of Abortions in Canada as Reported by Hospitals in 2010
None26,927
Hemorrhage
231
Infection
107
Retained Products of Conception
89
Combination82
Other140
Total27,576

Note: Figures exclude Quebec. The total is limited to abortions reported with a coinciding complication. Source: CIHI, “Induced Abortions Performed in Canada in 2010”, Canadian Institute for Health Information, 2010, http://www.cihi.ca/CIHI-ext-portal/pdf/internet/TA_10_ALLDATATABLES20120417_EN

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Source:

CIHI, “Induced Abortions Performed in Canada in 2010”, Canadian Institute for Health Information, 2010, http://www.cihi.ca/CIHI-ext-portal/pdf/internet/TA_10_ALLDATATABLES20120417_EN

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Abortion Complication Rates

Statistics for 2004

Of 100,039 abortions performed on Canadian women in Canada in 2004, detailed records exist for only 42,880. Complication rates are not known for the remaining 63,165 abortions for which Statistics Canada has no records. Abortions with detailed records were predominantly hospital abortions. Only the province of Alberta provided detailed records for 6,125 clinic abortions.

Out of 36,755 hospital abortions, 625 women suffered complications following the abortion, or 1.7%. The complication rate was slightly lower for abortions performed in Alberta clinics, at 0.2% or 123 women out of 6,125.

While hospital abortions performed in the first trimester had a complication rate of 1.4% or less, the complication rate leaped to 8.8 % for abortions performed between 17-20 weeks gestation and climbed to 10.7% for abortions over 20 weeks. Clinic abortions showed comparable but slightly lower increases in complications with later term abortions, at 6.9% for abortions between 17-20 weeks and 10.5% over 20 weeks.

Reported complications included hemorrhage, infection, pelvic damage, retained fetal tissue and complications listed as “other.” The most common complication, retained fetal tissue, was reported after 313 abortions, in most cases as an initial complication. Infection occurred in 176 cases as an initial complication. Thirty-four women suffered pelvic damage, reported as both an initial complication and a secondary complication. Thirty women hemorrhaged as an initial complication, with an additional 26 cases of hemorrhage recorded as a second reported complication. Another 90 women experienced complications listed as “other”.

Based on data produced by Health Statistics Division, Statistics Canada, 2004. Source: Therapeutic Abortion Survey, Canadian Institute for Health Information, 2004.

 

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