Association of gestational age with the option of pregnancy termination for fetal abnormalities incompatible with neonatal survival

Flavia Westphal Suzete Maria Fustinoni Vânia Lopes Pinto Patrícia de Souza Melo Anelise Riedel Abrahão About the authors

ABSTRACT

Objective:

To identify the profile of women seen in a Fetal Medicine unit, diagnosed with fetal abnormality incompatible with neonatal survival in their current pregnancy, and to check the association of gestational age upon diagnosis with the option of pregnancy termination.

Methods:

This is a retrospective cohort study carried out in the Fetal Medicine Outpatients Clinic of a university hospital, in the city of São Paulo (SP), Brazil, using medical records of pregnant women with fetus presenting abnormalities incompatible with neonatal survival. The sample comprised 94 medical records. The Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS), version 19, was used for the data statistical analysis.

Results:

The population of the study included young adult women, who had complete or incomplete high school education, employed, with family income of one to three minimum wages, single, nonsmokers, who did not drink alcoholic beverages or used illicit drugs. Women with more advanced gestational age upon fetal diagnosis (p=0.0066) and/or upon admission to the specialized unit (p=0.0018) presented a lower percentage of termination of pregnancy.

Conclusion:

Due to characteristics different from those classically considered as of high gestational risk, these women might not be easily identified during the classification of gestational risk, what may contribute to a late diagnosis of fetal diseases. Early diagnosis enables access to specialized multiprofessional care in the proper time for couple's counseling on the possibility of requesting legal authorization for pregnancy termination.

Keywords:
Congenital abnormalities; Fetal viability; Abortion; legal; Decision making

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